Jaime Lauriano is the eight guest of “Closer to PIPA: the artist speaks in the Institute collection”. Every fifteen days we select an art piece that was acquired by the Institute and ask the artist to talk a little bit about the work: be it the creative process; the ideia behind the piece; how it connects with the artist’s production; or any other aspect the person would like to share. The goal is to bring the audience closer to the artist’s universe and to the “Displacement” collection from the PIPA Institute, which was established in 2010 to support, help document and promote the development of Brazilian contemporary art, and which has the Prize as one of its initiatives. This time, we chose the works “Bandeirantes #1” and “Bandeirantes #2”, from 2019, which were part of Jaime’s section in the Finalists’ Exhibition of PIPA Prize 2019.
His works synthesize the content of his researches and formalization strategies, calling us to examine the structures of power involved in the production of history. In audiovisual pieces, objects and critical texts, Lauriano shows how violent relations maintained between the institutions of power and State control – such as the police, prisons, embassies, borders – and subjects shape the subjective processes of society. Thus, his production seeks to bring to the surface historical traumas relegated to the past, to confined files, proposing in alternative to collectively revise and rework history.
In the occasion of being chosen as one of the finalists of PIPA 2019, Jaime gave an interview to the curator of the PIPA Institute, Luiz Camillo Osorio, in which they both talked about multiple topics of the artist’s production, including his education and details of specific works. We reproduced below an excerpt of an answer by Lauriano in which he explains how he established the selection of themes for his artistic creation:
“[…] since I realized that I wanted to understand Brazil as a nation subject, I decided that I would focus my research on images produced by this subject. Or rather, I would focus my efforts on understanding the way this subject produced these images. However, as it was necessary to focus further on my research, I chose the period of slavery (and post-slavery) and the Brazilian military dictatorship, as key moments for understanding how the images produced by Brazil, the nation subject, affected the construction of Brazilian society. So, I started to study the production of images that portrayed slavery in Brazil and how their diffusion occurred through Brazilian contemporary society”.
To read the full interview, click here.
Already knowing a little bit more about Lauriano’s practice, check out the text the artist sent to Closer to PIPA about his artworks that are part of the Institute’s collection:
“Named ‘bandeiras’, and organized by individuals known as Bandeirantes (pioneers), multiple expeditions left mainly the state of São Paulo (initially the captaincy of São Vicente) heading to the interior of Brazil in search of gold, and aiming to capture enslaved people who escaped and indigenous people to use as slave labour. For being an exploratory movement, the bandeirantes exceeded the limits of the Treaty of Tordesilhas (1494) and expanded the Portuguese domains in America. Because of their goals, many bandeiras were constituted as expeditions to capture and destroy autonomous communities and to maintain slavery.
Due to manipulations, inherent to processes of historical construction, the bandeirantes became polemic and contradictory figures. This happens because there are numerous divergencies between the actions taken by the bandeirantes and the memory built around these figures of Brazilian History. In its great majority, the representations that we know the best, and that inhabit the popular imagery, specially that of the residents of the state of São Paulo, raise the bandeirantes to the status of national heroes, always portraying them as strong, brave and fearless men who fought against a series of obstacles: vicious indigenous people, forts of enslaved people who escaped, among other fictions created to enlarge even more their ‘achievements’. In this process, some facts are discarded, such as, for example, the nationality of the bandeirantes, since many weren’t even really Portuguese, and the social reality of them, disregarding that many were seen as persona non grata in Portugal, and also the fact that a lot of bandeirantes’ expeditions were hired to exterminate all and any possibility of abolitionist fight organized by enslaved people who escaped from mills and farms.
In their expeditions, the bandeirantes built houses that worked as shelter for their troops. Constructed with the rammed earth technique, they had a typically simple floor plan. A central door, with a porch, flanked by two front rooms – the guest bedroom and the chapel – opens into a main hall, through which there’s access to other rooms, or alcoves.
The best known bandeirantes were, in their great majority, from what we understand today as the state of São Paulo. Among them stood out: Antônio Raposo Tavares, Bartolomeu Bueno da Silva, Domingos Calheiros, Domingos Jorge Velho, Estevão Parente, Fernão Dias Paes, Manuel Borba Gato, Morais Navarro and Pascoal Moreira Cabral.
In the work series ‘Bandeirantes’, miniatures that pay homage to the bandeirantes, bought in flea markets, antique fairs and auction houses are remade from the foundry of brass and ammunition cartridges used by the Military Police and by the Brazilian Armed Forces. As a base for the sculpture, a solid cube was built by applying the rammed earth technique.
The choice of utilizing ammunition cartridges used by the Military Police and by the Brazilian Armed Forces was to highlight the centrality of the figure of true genocides, such as the bandeirantes, in the construction of national identity and the notion of security and national sovereignty. This fact is made clear in the multiple monuments, squares and roads in tribute of the bandeirantes. However, the most perverse facet of these homages is found in the homages rendered by the armed wing of the state, such as: the OBAN (Bandeirante Operation), information, investigation and repression center of the military dictatorship, which had Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra as its best known name; or the Batalhão Bandeirante (Binfa-14), a special operations group of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB); among others”.