YOU OPEN YOUR ARMS TO ME AND WE MAKE A COUNTRY: BRAZIL, BODIES AND DEMOCRACY
Gallery Ilian Rebei gathered Brazilian artists researching the theme of the body and politics in a collective exhibition to reflect on their relationship to the country’s political context.
Curated by Brazilian art crticis and curator Ulisses Carrilho, the collective show’s starting point comes from 1968, a pivotal year in Brazil’s political history. Marked by both public demonstrations of students and workers –connecting its very story to the French one– but also the year of AI-5, known as Institutional Act Number 5, that served to institutionalize the generals’ practices of torture and repression.
From this starting point to nowadays, this show reunites historical works from the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s and follows towards contemporary through a history that fought for freedom of its citizens and to the recognition of the country as a democratic state. In actual days, a period of manifest return to extreme right or right-wing extremism globally, the exhibition aims to consider democracy as an important outcome of popular movements, but also a limited concept to the challenge we face globally nowadays taking a route that comes from the Global South, marked by colonial violence and militarism.
The exhibition counts on a large array of bibliography and sources of images and materials. The curatorial strategies were not those of narrating nor delineating a progressive history of Brazilian art history. In opposite, the intentional approximation of images counted on formal singularities and similitudes to count on a radical juxtaposition of images creating echoes interconnecting images in the exhibition space to achieve an intensive visual space to please the eye with movement, vibration and speed arraying from both political and poetic forces.
You open your arms to me and we make a country is the English version of a quote present in “Fullgas”, a 1984 song by brazilian artists Marina Lima and Antonio Cícero: Você me abre seus braços e a gente faz um país . In the sentence we can perceive a call of embodiment, participation and involvement, an investment in politics understood not only as a way of living, that would to maintain and to guarantee democratic freedom of lives and bodies, but politics as a result of the fight, creation and resistance of those bodies.
Artists participating: Anna Maria Maiolino, Cinthia Marcelle, Ventura Profana, Luisa Brandelli, Barbara Wagner et Benjamin de Burca, Iole de Freitas, Tiago Mata Machado, Nídia Aranha, Allan Weber, Thiago Ortiz, Anna Bella Geiger, Jonathas de Andrade, Lyz Parayzo, Anitta Boa Vida.
You open your arms to me and we make a country. Group exhibition.
Curated by Ulisses Carrilho.
Until December 18th, 2022.
Galerie Ilian Rebei – 50 rue Chapon, Paris, France.