Vista da exposição "Histórias afro-atlânticas" (2018), no Masp. Curadoria de Adriano Pedrosa, Ayrson Heráclito, Hélio Menezes, Lilia Moritz Schwarcz e Tomás Toledo (Foto: Divulgação)
Interview

Carollina Lauriano, Daniel Lima and Hélio Menezes talk with SP-Arte

Marina Dias Teixeira / Barbara Mastrobuono
20 Dec 2018, 12:12 pm

On the occasion of Black Consciousness Month, SP-Arte talked to several black curators about their path and their take on the current Brazilian artistic moment. November is over but the reflection on the subject needs to continue! Read below the second part of the series, with curators Carollina Lauriano, Daniel Lima and Hélio Menezes. Make sure to check out the first part, with curator Diane Lima!

Above: View of the exhibition "Afro-Atlantic Histories" (2018), at Masp. Curated by Adriano Pedrosa, Ayrson Heráclito, Hélio Menezes, Lilia Moritz Schwarcz and Tomás Toledo (Photo: Publicity)

(Foto: Carolina Antoniazzi)

(Photo: Carolina Antoniazzi)

Carollina Lauriano

What made you decide to start working as a curator?
The possibility of creating new conversation fields based on art.

What is the focus of your curatorial research?
The production of young women artists in contemporary art.

What changes have you identified in the São Paulo art scene in recent years?
The voice raising of the majoritarian minorities and the great thematic exhibitions helped in discussions about “inclusion”. And I say inclusion in quotes, because black artists, women, queers, have always been producing their works, but without the deserved prominence in the market. So I think one of the big changes is recognition, even if still within a segmentation.

Do you have black artists to recommend?
I have several, from the most acclaimed ones like Jaime Lauriano, Rosana Paulino, Sidney Amaral, to a new generation like Maxwell Alexandre, No Martins and the collective AEANFDC (Environment for the Blackening of National Art in Favor of Cultural Decolonization), who gave much to talk about this year. Igi Ayedun and Samuel D’Saboia are also two names I have been following.

What are your expectations for the future?
That any discussion that has already started does not stop, as if they think that our part has already been done. Together with this I expect more and more artists within the country’s artistic scene.

 

Vista da exposição "Que Barra" (2018), no Ateliê 397. Carollina Lauriano, Flora Leite e Thais Rivitti (Foto: Divulgação)

View of the exhibition "Que Barra" (2018), at Ateliê 397. Carollina Lauriano, Flora Leite and Thais Rivitti (Photo: Divulgação)

(Foto: Victoria Negreiros)

(Photo: Victoria Negreiros)

Daniel Lima

What made you decide to start working as a curator?
I am an artist graduated from the School of Communication and Arts (ECA) of the University of São Paulo, and have been working with visual arts for twenty years. My artistic practice has always taken place conjointly, through participation in different artistic collectives, and this naturally led me to the path of curator. In this case, an artist curator, who inserts the curatorship within a trajectory of artistic research shared with other partners.

What is the focus of your curatorial research?
My curatorial research follows three basic axes: working with the artistic collectives of São Paulo, dealing with the issue of urban intervention, art and the city; the intersection of the discussion of art from a perspective of racial issues posed in America and Brazil, that is, how the marks of the process of a colonization based on slavery, indigenous extermination and religious persecution form the basis of representation of our society, and how we can create counter-discourses to this hegemonic process; and, finally, the axis of social movements that today build resistance to the totalitarian discourses present in our society.

What changes have you identified in the São Paulo art scene over recent years?
For the first time in history, in the Census of this Millennium, most of the Brazilian population recognized themselves as Afro-descendants. This means that the institutions needed to start thinking about their role in a society in which the majority of the population recognizes themselves as black, and as part of the history of black slavery in Brazil, leading to a reflection on their collections and the type of representation that they are building, built and will build in terms of racial questions.

Do you have black artists to recommend?
I have several, but I would like to highlight the importance of the Frente 3 de Fevereiro, of which I am a part, which has, since 2004, promoted a discussion focused on our colonial history, on the history of slavery, and on the marks that still remain in Brazilian society, creating questions through art and through a poetic language, in addition to a social investigation.

What are your expectations for the future?
I think our future is facing two forces in conflict. On the one hand, we have a fascist discourse that takes shape based on authoritarianism, violence and an idea of ​​redemptive religion; on the other, we have the emergence of various imagery and political representations arising from another social DNA, historically excluded from our society and which now appears with all its symbolic counter-speech power. These two forces are in constant conflict. The future, as we know, is not given. But there is certainly a clash between these forces, in which we will need to defend the democratic idea so that this type of conflict does not become a blood conflict anymore.

*

Daniel Lima is an artist, curator, editor and researcher. Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master in Psychology and PhD student in Media and Audiovisual Processes at the University of São Paulo. Since 2001, he has created investigations-actions in research related to the media, racial issues, collective resistance, colonial gifts and geopolitical analyzes. Founding member of several collectives, including Frente 3 de Fevereiro, he has more than fifteen awards in his career. He participated in several international exhibitions and festivals and developed projects in several cities around the world. He directs the production and publishing house Invisíveis Produções. His work can be found on his website: www.danielcflima.com

Vista da exposição "Agora somos todxs negrxs?" (2017), no Galpão Vídeo Brasil. Curadoria de Daniel Lima (Foto: Divulgação)

View of the exhibition "Agora somos todxs negrxs?" (2017), at Galpão Vídeo Brasil.

Curated by Daniel Lima

(Photo: Publicity)

(Foto: Tatewaki Nio)

(Photo: Tatewaki Nio)

Hélio Menezes

What made you decide to start working as a curator?
I received an invitation from Masp and Instituto Tomie Ohtake to compose the team of curators of the exhibition “Afro-Atlantic Histories” due to my master’s dissertation, “Between the occult and the visible – the construction of the concept of Afro-Brazilian art”. In it, I focused on critical, intellectual and artistic production, and the construction of museum institutions focused on Afro-Brazilian art. From the analysis of other people’s curatorships, I ended up getting involved in curatorial production. I transit in the process of shifting academic research to curatorial activity. Research work should not be confined to the academy’s walls, but should reach other audiences.

What is the focus of your curatorial research?
My curatorial work has focused on the production of black visualities, especially in Brazil (although not only), both from the point of view of black authorship and from the point of view of the representation of bodies and other elements and signs aimed at “black culture” more abstractly and broadly.

What changes have you identified in the São Paulo art scene over recent years?
I see a greater openness to productions previously concealed from the mainstream of art. It is a process of valorization that is still very occasional, which must be extended to the artistic production of subjects who are repeatedly excluded from the centers of power: women artists, from outside the Rio-São Paulo axis, blacks, indigenous people and other racial, regional and class designations. This scenario of change already indicates an intimate relationship between the artistic scene and the social discussions that have reached our country. Pressures for a review of history, art history and the uses and abuses of museum spaces and important galleries in the city of São Paulo have forced these places to look at other productions. I find in them a fruitful source of renewal and questions about the artistic structure itself in the city of São Paulo.

Do you have black artists to recommend?
Rosana Paulino is an inescapable reference, not only for her quality, sophisticated production, for being an artist of the greatest importance and delicacy, but also for being an inspiration for a series of black and non-black artists who have been succeeding her. Another name is No Martins, a young artist from the east side of São Paulo who has a production that is still little known by the general public and specialists, but already robust and extremely delicate.

What are your expectations for the future?
I think it will be a future of conflict where, on the one hand, we have a conservative, backward political scenario, which aims to submit these so-called minority productions under the carpet, into the dusty drawers; and, on the other hand, an accumulation of struggles, strategies and quality of artistic works that no longer allow themselves to be subjected to a place that is not of protagonism. I like to bet that these movements for greater diversity and plurality in the arts will not take steps backwards.

*

Hélio Menezes is an anthropologist and internationalist, graduated in International Relations and Social Sciences at the University of São Paulo, where he became a master and is currently a doctoral student in Social Anthropology. He was international coordinator of the World Social Forum in Belém (Brazil, 2009), Dakar (Senegal, 2011) and Tunis (Tunisia, 2013). He works as an independent curator and has developed research on Afro-Brazilian art, race relations in Brazil, youth, anthropology of image, museums, art and activism. He was also one of the curators of the exhibition “Afro-Atlantic Histories” (Masp and Tomie Othake Institute, 2018) and of the performance show “E eu não sou uma mulher?” (Tomie Ohtake Institute, 2018).

Vista da exposição "Histórias afro-atlânticas" (2018), no Masp Curadoria de Adriano Pedrosa, Ayrson Heráclito, Hélio Menezes, Lilia Moritz Schwarcz e Tomás Toledo (Foto: Divulgação)

View of the exhibition "Afro-Atlantic Histories" (2018), at Masp

Curated by Adriano Pedrosa, Ayrson Heráclito, Hélio Menezes, Lilia Moritz Schwarcz and Tomás Toledo

(Photo: Publicity)


WhatsApp Image 2020-03-19 at 15.09.01

Marina Dias Teixeira graduated in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of the Arts London (UAL). She has worked as part of Fundação Bienal de São Paulo and Sotheby’s Brazil teams. Today, she is responsible for the institutional relations department of SP-Arte. In parallel, she researches decolonial theories and the production by Afro-diasporic artists in the contemporary arts circuit, with a focus on black women.


liki

Barbara Mastrobuono is an editor, translator and researcher. She has worked in publishing houses such as Editora 34 and Cosac Naify, and served as the editorial coordinator of the Pinacoteca de São Paulo. Among the titles she translated are “Tunga”, with text by Catherine Lampert; “Poesia Viva”, by Paulo Bruscky, with text by Antonio Sergio Bessa; and “Jogos para atores e não autores”, by Augusto Boal. She defended her master’s dissertation at the Department of Literary Theory at the University of São Paulo, and has texts published in cultural magazines such as Amarello. She is currently chief editor of SP-Arte.

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