Until July 23rd, Galeria Leme presents “Irmãos de barco” [Ship Brothers], Tiago Sant’Ana’s first solo show at the gallery. The exhibition delves into the world of navigation, drawing connections between the fluxes of maritime trade routes and the African diaspora in Brazil. The image of the ship – at once a traditional means of transport and a machine that contributed to the systematization of colonial violence – is central to the artist’s work. The exhibition, happening in São Paulo, Brazil, is also available to be visited virtually.
Drawing on the hybrid image of the ship as a means of transport and as a place where countless identities were forcibly stripped down and reforged, the exhibition, relying on diverse mediums – such as sculpture, photography and painting –, features ships crewed and captained by black mariners, who take over the helm of history with their own hands and propose a new way of navigating the oceans – no longer riding with the waves which, in the past, led them only to misfortune and captivity, and viewing the sea, instead, as a kind of escape route through which they could test the waters of freedom.
The title of the exhibition seems to allude to a large fictionalized family or brotherhood, born out of the rocking of the ships during their Atlantic crossings, while also citing the fact that, in Afro-Brazilian religions, people who undertake initiation rites simultaneously are referred to as “ship brothers”. In other words, they undergo the same process of religious rebirth together. In works like “O barco de açucar” [The Sugar Boat], Sant’Ana utilizes sculpture and photography to synthesize the exhibition’s central concept, while simultaneously exploring three symbols which are central to his poetics: the seafaring vessel, the body, and sugar – a product that was crucial to the economic machinery of colonial Brazil.
To read Moacir dos Anjos’ curatorial text, click here.
To virtually visit the exhibition, click here.