(New York, USA)
“Those who set out to consider and historicize the peripheries of the world—the dispossessed, the subaltern, the enslaved—must address the power of narratives and archives, whose limitations define what can and cannot be known or acknowledged”.
This is how Lorraine Mendes opens the critical text of the group show “Six Artists”, opened until March 5th, 2023, at Mendes Wood DM in New York, USA. The exhibition presents Josi, one of the winners of PIPA 2022, Jefferson Medeiros, Gabriel Branco, Luana Vitra, Marcos Siqueira and André Ricardo.
What is recognized as ‘Art made in Brazil’, has been shaped by notions of coloniality and the archive, drawing upon a white-centric view of the world rooted in European rationality. The artists, materials, languages, themes, references, and provocations recognized by this westernized gaze occupy the centrality of thought in the narrative that became the history of Brazilian Art. That said, we can understand and name, as did the Brazilian authors Igor Simões and Kléber Amâncio, the history of Brazilian Art as the history of white-Brazilian Art.
In Brazil, we have seen growing awareness for artistic practices unsubordinated to the limits imposed by this traditional way of thinking. This awareness does not subjugate itself to the agency of the archaic hierarchies that have long directed the field. Above all, these practices materialize the formation of another reality. The artworks presented here reflect this other gaze, coming from social and cultural actors implicated in, and sensitively committed to their environment. When we know and recognize the practices of these Brazilian artists, we have the opportunity to recognize the diverse strategies used to engage with and transgress the boundaries that determine who can think and produce art.
These artists, as well as others in their generation, carry out a critical game of symbols, teetering between conventional art systems and their poetics and singularities. They revisit archives, re-elaborate aesthetics and redefine, not only the modes of representation of the black, poor, and peripheral, but the way the history of Brazilian Art was built. Together, they find a poetic agency that dares to go beyond the frontiers of refusal.
February 3 – March 5, 2023
Mendes Wood DM New York
47 Walker Street – New York NY 10013
Mon-Sat, from 10 am to 6 pm