São Paulo, March 21st, 2018.
To Curators Network / Hablarenarte “Sweet Home” Residency Program.
Dear Community of Madrid,
Brazil, my homeland, has a huge diversity of cultures and identities but is amongst the most socially unequal in the world. While that diversity is not recognized as such by the established art system - ruled by a cultural elite – or is somehow exoticized by that system to be incorporated as assets into soft power playing – Brazilians at large have actually little exchange on what could be a universal mixing of different beings and livings. As a granddaughter of Japanese immigrants born and grown up in the periphery of Sao Paulo, I would say that the spread vision of Brazil as a diversity democracy is a myth. But how could we engage to an additive socio-cultural mixing with horizontal preservation of micropolitical differences and subjectivities?
At this moment, we are struggling with the unfoldings of a coup d´etat occurred in 2016 via the impeachment of president-elected Dilma Rousseff. We´re facing an acute polarization in society: a waking up of an ultraconservative right; on the other hand, a so-called “progressive” left fragmented in internal disputes and friendly firing. Our art scene seems to reflect that as to be - supposedly - reduced to a “bourgeois and alienated formalist production focused on art market” versus “politically engaged practices that somehow mirror the assertive pamphleteer mood of upraising far right”.
In this context, where everybody seems to be very sure, would be there space for the contradictory? For ambiguity? For listening to the other not just as a mirrored opposite? For being able to imagine and to be imagined? Are “alienated” or even “fascists” all those ones who do not agree with us? What is been silenced (and lost) in such process of quick-labelling dissonances?
My interest in the residency at Madrid is to research artistic practices - from present and past – which try/tried to address those concerns in periods of acute political polarization. Trying to address the current Brazilian proto-fascist context, I´m interested in learning from artistic approaches that are/were acutely engaged to their time, but not so focused on literal assertive militant discourses. I´d rather look for those ones who endured with their sensitive practices in the everyday basis while in repressive contexts, thereafter being institutionally recognized or not. I also would like to get in touch with institutions and independent agents sharing common concerns about our present landscape and figuring out how we could engage to this moment while artists. I´m looking for interlocution and friendship to deal with a demand that seems worldwide, despite its local triggers – as well as to deconstruct my own trues.
(Proposal submitted in March 21st, 2018 and approved on April 6th, 2018)