"Maloca próxima à missão católica do rio Catrimani, RR" (1976), Claudia Andujar (Foto: Claudia Andujar / divulgação)
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Other worlds of art

Felipe Molitor
9 Apr 2020, 3:14 pm

In a recent interview, Ailton Krenak, an important indigenous thinker in Brazil, mentioned Carlos Drummond de Andrade to talk about the global pandemic. The poem “Zero-quota”:

Stop.
Life has stopped
Or was it the car?

The inherent inconsistency between the technological development of capitalism and the preservation of the planet has reached the limit of sustainability, and this denunciation has been made for decades, centuries, by native peoples. More than any nation, the indigenous people know what the threat of extinction is and resist. They still exist. The global brake of quarantine has exploded the sense of normality, bringing burning and compelling reflections on other ways of living together from now on, as opposed to those who say that “the economy must flow”. And apparently, to quote the title of Krenak’s latest work, we are lagging behind in ideas to postpone the end of the world. According to the indigenous leader, the elders of his people say: “You cannot forget where you are and where you came from, because that way you know who you are and where you are going to”. Let’s keep that saying in mind.

Through art, we can shuffle and rearrange personal and collective narratives. Different knowledges are absorbed in exercises of imagination of a world to come or future ones that have already passed. There are artistic practices that reveal and present the permanence of certain plans, which coexist with our world without us being able (or wanting) to notice. These spheres can be of the social or historical order and, in even more radical displacements, reach microscopic and cosmic scales.

Away from the old isms of art, we will deal with artistic achievements that are closer to Donna Haraway’s “Cyborg Manifesto” (1985) than to Filippo Marinetti’s “Futuristic Manifesto” (1909). Here, we present an admittedly eclectic selection of artists who transport us to alternative existences and temporalities. Each in their own way, Daniel Lie, Thiago Martins de Melo, Denise Alves-Rodrigues, Luiz Roque and Claudia Andujar expand time and incorporate other knowledge in their intricate poetics. They are artists who broaden the ordinary of the languages ​​they work with, and introduce us to other worldviews, be they of the past, the present or the future.

Above: "Hut close to the Catholic mission on the Catrimani River, RR" (1976), Claudia Andujar (Photo: Claudia Andujar / publicity)

Through a hybrid artistic language, Daniel Lie manipulates organic materials in processes of decomposition and birth. Long-term ritual situations are created for the live performance of the works, which seem to give movement to invisible energies of space and time.

“Os Anos Negativos: Quing” (2019), Daniel Lie, no Jupiter Artland, Escócia (Foto: portfólio dx artista)

“The Negative Years: Quing” (2019), Daniel Lie, at Jupiter Artland, Scotland (Photo: artist's portfolio)

“Os Anos Negativos: A Privacidade Alheia” (2019), Daniel Lie, no Jupiter Artland, Escócia (Foto: portfólio dx artista)

“The Negative Years: The Other's Privacy” (2019), Daniel Lie, at Jupiter Artland, Scotland (Photo: artist's portfolio)

A transgender artist, Lie also seeks to break the binaries between science and religion, life and death. Their ancestry, with roots that go from the Brazilian northeast to Indonesia, and the traditional knowledge of the places they pass through, are the founding elements of their practice.

“Fome de Decadência” (2018), Daniel Lie, em Bucamaranga, Colômbia (Foto: portfólio dx artista)
“Meus Sentimentos” (2015), Daniel Lie, na Oficina Cultural Oswald de Andrade (Foto: portfólio dx artista)

“Fome de Decadência” [Hunger of Decadence] (2018), Daniel Lie, in Bucamaranga, Colombia (Photo: artist's portfolio)

“Meus Sentimentos” (2015), Daniel Lie, at Oficina Cultural Oswald de Andrade (Photo: artist's portfolio)

Exposição “Filhxs do fim”, Daniel Lie, na Casa Triângulo, São Paulo (Foto: portfólio dx artista)

Exhibition “Filhxs do fim” [Children of the End], Daniel Lie, at Casa Triângulo, São Paulo (Photo: artist's portfolio)

It’s as if the mutations through which their works go through reflect spiritual cycles that are broader and older than we are, as a kind of reminder of the ephemerality of bodies and a desire for (re)integration with other dimensions.

“PASSALOGO” (2017), Daniel Lie, no Sesc Sorocaba (Foto: portfólio dx artista)

“PASSALOGO” (2017), Daniel Lie, at Sesc Sorocaba (Photo: artist's portfolio)

Death Center for the Living - Daniel Lie

Death Center for the Living

A cry of revolt echoes from the images created by the Maranhão native Thiago Martins de Melo. His impetuous works overlay layers of mythologies and historical events to manifest the perpetual clash of legendary and anonymous figures who are at war in yesterday and today’s Brazil.

"A reencarnação do bandeirante no ventre vermelho" (2016), Thiago Martins de Melo (Foto: Galeria Millan)

"A reencarnação do bandeirante no ventre vermelho" (2016), Thiago Martins de Melo (Photo: Galeria Millan)

Instalação “Martírio” (2014), Thiago Martins de Melo, na 31a Bienal de São Paulo (Foto: Galeria Millan)

Installation “Martírio” (2014), Thiago Martins de Melo, at the 31st Bienal de São Paulo (Photo: Galeria Millan)

Although essentially figurative, based on a vast repertoire of symbols and situations, such works voraciously combine elements and themes such as colonization, sexuality, cosmologies and social insurgencies. The pictorial plan of his drawings and paintings longs to gain flesh.

“Ogum Xoroquê expulsa os demônios de Caspar Plautius - para Tuíra Kayapó, Sebastião Salgado e Marighella” (2019), Thiago Martins de Melo (Foto: Galeria Millan)

“Ogum Xoroquê expulsa os demônios de Caspar Plautius - para Tuíra Kayapó, Sebastião Salgado e Marighella” (2019), Thiago Martins de Melo (Photo: Galeria Millan)

In these allegories, crystallized truths of collective imagination clash with counter-hegemonic narratives. They are forces and visions of the artist’s or viewer’s unconscious, that can bring about transformation.

"Lua nova da utopia americana" (2019), Thiago Martins de Melo (Foto: Galeria Millan)
“A cruz que penetra Pindorama (série Teatro nagô cartesiano” (2015), Thiago Martins de Melo (Foto: Galeria Millan)

"Lua nova da utopia americana" (2019), Thiago Martins de Melo (Photo: Galeria Millan)

“A cruz que penetra Pindorama (série Teatro nagô cartesiano” (2015), Thiago Martins de Melo (Photo: Galeria Millan)

"Moiras do Rio Preguiças" (2019), Thiago Martins de Melo (Foto: Galeria Millan)
"Américas - para Haiti, Túpac Amaru, Carlota Lukumí, EZLN e Munduruku" (2019), Thiago Martins de Melo (Foto: Galeria Millan)

"Moiras do Rio Preguiças" (2019), Thiago Martins de Melo (Photo: Galeria Millan)

"Américas - para Haiti, Túpac Amaru, Carlota Lukumí, EZLN e Munduruku" (2019), Thiago Martins de Melo (Photo: Galeria Millan)

If chance and the intangible are aspects neglected by scientific research, in Denise Alves-Rodrigues’ studies, they are true engines of curiosity. In her practice, methodologies and evidence of diverse knowledge are allowed and can formulate new meanings. What is the difference between astrology and astronomy?

“Essa semana sigo para Rural Scapes e lá inicio a fase de catalogação de ruídos cósmicos. Essa parte de D.K.A. estou chamando de Especulações Áudio Estelares, tenho pensado em como indicar ruídos para as estrelas e também mais alguma coisa que eu não sei direito o que é” - Anotações de Denise Rodrigues-Alves entre uma residência e outra, em 2015 (Foto: site da artista)

“This week I go to Rural Scapes and there I start the phase of cataloging cosmic noises. That part of D.K.A. I’m calling Stellar Audio Speculation, I’ve been thinking about how to indicate noise to the stars and also something else that I don’t really know what it is” [Free translation] - Notes by Denise Rodrigues-Alves between one residency and the other, in 2015 (Photo: artist's website)

Her investigations are often formalized in devices that are both rustic and technological. In these works-contraptions, electronic circuits establish parameters that verify magical theories, witchcraft and animisms.

Vista do projeto “Breviário Celeste” (2018), Denise Alves-Rodrigues, Sesc Bom Retiro, São Paulo (Foto: site da artista)
“Mediador de assuntos delicados” (2019), Denise Alves-Rodrigues (Foto: Sé Galeria)

View of the project “Breviário Celeste” [Celestial Breviary] (2018), Denise Alves-Rodrigues, Sesc Bom Retiro, São Paulo (Photo: artist's website)

“Mediador de assuntos delicados” [Mediator of Delicate Subjects] (2019), Denise Alves-Rodrigues (Photo: Sé Galeria)

“Maldição de Cunhambebe ou o 1o tratado de paz da américa” (2018), Denise Alves-Rodrigues (Foto: Sé Galeria)

“Maldição de Cunhambebe ou o 1o tratado de paz da américa” (2018) [Cunhambebe's Curse or 1st Peace Treaty of America], Denise Alves-Rodrigues (Photo: Sé Galeria)

Much of Denise Alves-Rodrigues’ poetic potency lies in the realm of experience, which can be seen through the countless notes, illustrations, essays and sketches of projects – a simple invitation to imagination.

Estudos de “Antro Lunar/D.K.A” (2015-17), Denise Alves-Rodrigues, do caderno da artista (Foto: site da artista)

Studies of “Antro Lunar/D.K.A” (2015-17), Denise Alves-Rodrigues, from the artist's sketchbook (Photo: artist's website)

“Índice Austral - Sigilos” (2016), Denise Alves-Rodrigues (Foto: site da artista)
“Piii” (2009), Denise Alves-Rodrigues, obra inédita (Foto: site da artista)

“Índice Austral - Sigilos” (2016), Denise Alves-Rodrigues (Photo: artist's website)

“Piii” (2009), Denise Alves-Rodrigues (Photo: artist's website)

The utopias of modernism converge into dizzying dystopias in Luiz Roque’s films. Hypnotic and seductive, his works accentuate social and political disputes in a type of video art science fiction, often displayed on devices that look like television sculptures.

"HEAVEN" (2016)
Luiz Roque

HEAVEN

The formatting of classic cinema is abandoned in favor of thought-provoking visual essays, full of references to the field of art and architecture in the form of enigmatic clues. The characters, which can be people, animals or sculptures, act ironically in short stories.

Still de “The Triumph” (2011), Luiz Roque (Foto: Galeria Mendes Wood DM)

Still from “The Triumph” (2011), Luiz Roque (Photo: Galeria Mendes Wood DM)

luiz-video-02
Stills de “Ano Branco” (2013), Luiz Roque

Stills from “Ano Branco” (2013), Luiz Roque

The futures imagined in the works of Luiz Roque do not sound so impossible, even more so because of the prophetic nuances they acquired in the face of the specific challenges of our present time. In this sense, mere artistic hypotheses become flagrant alerts.

Stills de “HEAVEN” (2016), Luiz Roque
luiz-vs-03

Stills from “HEAVEN” (2016), Luiz Roque

Still de “Ano Branco” (2013), Luiz Roque

Still from “Ano Branco” (2013), Luiz Roque

In the 1970s, period of the Brazilian civil-military dictatorship, the then photojournalist Claudia Andujar met the Yanomami, an indigenous ethnic group that lives north of Roraima state, on the border with Venezuela. Over the years, photographic practice made her an artist, and the coexistence with that people, an activist. She understood that that culture had a lot to contribute to the whites’ world.

"Desabamento do céu – o fim do mundo", da série “Sonhos Yanomami” (1976), Claudia Andujar (Foto: Claudia Andujar / divulgação)

"Desabamento do céu – o fim do mundo" [Collapse of the Sky - the End of the World], from the series “Sonhos Yanomami” [Yanomami Dreams] (1976), Claudia Andujar (Photo: Claudia Andujar / publicity)

"Guerreiro de Toototobi", da série “Sonhos Yanomami” (1976), Claudia Andujar (Foto: Claudia Andujar / divulgação)
Sem título, da série "Sonhos Yanomami" (1974), Claudia Andujar (Foto: Claudia Andujar / divulgação)

"Guerreiro de Toototobi" [Toototobi Warrior], from the series “Sonhos Yanomami” [Yanomami Dreams] (1976), Claudia Andujar (Photo: Claudia Andujar / publicity)

Untitled, from the series "Sonhos Yanomami" [Yanomami Dreams] (1974), Claudia Andujar (Photo: Claudia Andujar / publicity)

In a highly experimental phase, Andujar used specific lights, films and chemicals to highlight another face of the Yanomami, not that of the so-called reality that photography undertakes, but a subjective, spiritual and timeless vision.

"Êxtase", da série “Sonhos Yanomami” (1976), Claudia Andujar (Foto: Claudia Andujar / divulgação)

"Êxtase" [Ecstasy], from the series “Sonhos Yanomami” [Yanomami Dream] (1976), Claudia Andujar (Photo: Claudia Andujar / publicity)

"Yanomami", da série “A casa” (1976), Claudia Andujar (Foto: Claudia Andujar / divulgação)

"Yanomami", from the series “A casa” [The Home] (1976), Claudia Andujar (Photo: Claudia Andujar / publicity)

As a legacy, Claudia Andujar teaches that photography can and should be much more than an extractive practice, which disregards and romanticizes those on the other side of the lens. The singular power of her images results from a coexistence of deep integration and respect for difference.

"Antônio Korihana thëri sob o efeito do alucinógeno yãkoana, Catrimani, RR" (1972-1976), Claudia Andujar (Foto: Claudia Andujar / divulgação)

"Antônio Korihana thëri sob o efeito do alucinógeno yãkoana, Catrimani, RR" [Antônio Korihana thëri under the effect of the yãkoana hallucinogen] (1972-1976), Claudia Andujar (Photo: Claudia Andujar / Publicity)


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Felipe Molitor is a journalist and art critic, part of the editorial team at SP-Arte.

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