Viva Maria: Curated by Maria Montero
With the title taken from one of the most striking works by Waldemar Cordeiro, Viva Maria show dialogues in a non obvious way with the present moment. Just like the iconic work, which displays in large letters the word 'canalha' (bastard), the works that Maria Montero have selected display a cutting sarcasm. Amid the thrill about the directions of the social and political panorama of Brazil at the time of hosting the World Cup, the curated works employ irony, or even sharp cynicism, to investigate the reality or to propose utopias.
On one hand, the work of Waldemar Cordeiro responded in 1966 to the profound institutional crisis the country was facing (which led to a military dictatorship). On the other hand, it can be said that the seleted works of this Viva Maria states before the mocking and provocative catchphrase 'Imagina na Copa?' (can you imagine it during the Cup'). Avoiding a politically committed approach, or even any crystallized thesis about the events, the selection of works reflects the complexity and uncertainty of present times. In the words of the curator, the work can be read as a "reflection of the Brazilian spirit, heartbreak and hope living together, and a keen sense of humour to prevail."
The work of Waldemar Cordeiro - ironically - is not featured at the exhibition, which includes works by: Tobias Putrih that reinvents objects and living spaces; Regina Silveira, with her fusion of cultural criticism and investigation on perception; Fabiana de Barros and Michel Favre, in narrative fragments that tell much about the contemporary times; Héctor Zamora and discursive possibilities of labour work elements and urban interventions; Rochelle Costi, revealing the eloquence of the trivial; Ricardo Basbaum, recreating the very notion of human occupation of space; or Thomaz Farkas, with his pioneering work that merges registration and artistic expression.
In the clash between historical and contemporary productions, the exhibition proposes an open, unfinished reflection on the social criticism in art - in the case of Brazil, previously conditioned by repression and censorship, and now marked by an ethical and moral confusion where corruption dominates and criticism is done by scattered voices, far from any unity.
The curator also included works by Roberto Traplev, Rafael RG, Pablo Lobato, Pedro Victor Brandão, Gustavo Speridião, plus the Scottish Michael White - who, like the Slovak Putrih, shows that the local theme can be read in an interesting and pertinent way also through a foreign eye.
June 7 to July 26
Curated by Maria Montero. Participating artists: Fabiana de Barros + Michel Favre, Geraldo de Barros, Gustavo Speridião, Héctor Zamora, Hudinilson Jr., Jorge Menna Barreto, Michael White, Mônica Nador + JAMAC – Jardim Miriam Arte Clube, Pablo Lobato, Pedro Victor Brandão, Rafael RG, Regina Silveira, Rochelle Costi, Thomaz Farkas, Tiago Tebet, Tobias Putrih, Traplev