Other worlds of art
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”:
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.