(New York, USA)
The Anton Kern Gallery will be holding the group show “Samba In The Dark”, which features 24 contemporary Brazilian artists, such as Jonathan de Andrade and AVAF, that explore a wide variety of materials. The exhibition’s idea is that both the artists and the public reflect on the “tumultuous times we live in”. It can be visited from January 14 until February 15, 2020.
The name of the show is inspired by a famous Brazilian protest song called “Apesar de Você” (In Spite of You), which was written and recorded by Chico Buarque in 1970. In that time, Brazil was going through a military dictatorship that lasted from 1964 until 1985, and which was in it’s height from 1968 to 1984. The powerful and metaphorical lyrics criticize the repressive government, what caused the song to be immediately censored by General Médici’s regime. Still, “Apesar de Você” became an anthem for Brazilians and it “remains a popular song today for the hope and resilience it inspires”, as commented in the exhibition’s press release. It also states that “This exhibition is an invitation to the artists and the audience alike to reflect on the tumultuous times we currently live in”, since ideas from the military regime have not been completely eradicated and threaten the contemporary society.
The artists featured in “Samba In The Dark” transmit the energy of activism, and some of them are Jonathas de Andrade, assume vivid astro focus, Dora Longo Bahia, Lenora de Barros, Vivian Caccuri, Marcelo Cidade, Marcius Galan, Cao Guimarães, Lucia Koch, André Komatsu, Laura Lima, Cinthia Marcelle, Arjan Martins, Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca and Yuli Yamagata. Artists in Brazil have a history of standing up against authoritarianism and fighting for a just society, and that resilience is expressed in the song, such as in the excerpt: “In spite of you, tomorrow will be another day. I ask you, where will you hide the huge euphoria? How will you ban when the rooster insists on singing? New water welling up, and our people love each other nonstop.”
The text written abou the show, by Fernanda Arruda, Patricia Pericas, and Nessia Pope, discuss, in it’s last paragraph, the stereotypes that Brazil carries, but also the characteristics of the culture and the current situation of the country: “Yes, we do, after all, have a reputation for being a Samba dancing, ass-shaking nation. Samba is rooted in our culture and in our lives, and vibrant colors define our landscape. The artworks in this exhibition embrace these lively, energetic stereotypes while carrying a darker message about Brazil today. Like Marcos Chaves’s flag flying outside of the gallery, we question: vai passar? Will it pass?”.
“Samba In The Dark”, group show by multiple artists
From January 14 until February 15, 2020
Anton Kern Gallery
16 East 55th Street, New York, NY 10022
From Tuesday to Saturday, 10am – 6pm