São Paulo

We Are What We Lost

November 7-16, 2014

We Are What We Lost closed the research cycle “Catastrophe & Heritage” (2012-14) where OuUnPo has investigated crisis, conflict and how these affect our perception of temporality and culture. Over the span of ten days, the session researched the painful legacy of European colonialism and the eradication of Indigenous culture through artistic and theoretical interventions. We Are What We Lost became a platform where “disappearance” has been explored as a metaphor and research question. With a continuous reference to the disruptive history of  Brazil, the session looked at how loss influences our being in the present as well as our dialogue with the past. How do we take in voids and vestiges to generate sense and revisit memory? How do ruptures and new constellations affect our experience and understanding of time and temporality?

Organizers

Sara Giannini with Per Hüttner. Curatorial assistant Gabriela Vanzetta.

Some highlights of the program

The session formed an immersive and itinerant palimpsest of events co-organized with a great number of local contributors, spaces and institutions. The group approached local collections in an interrogative manner but also worked with impromptu situations, urban explorations as well as other forms of interventions in informal contexts. The rich program included lectures by renown Brazilian theorists such as philosopher Peter Pál Pelbart and anthropologist Pedro Cesarino, performances in museums (Per Hüttner at Pinacoteca of the State of São Paulo, Jacopo Miliani at Centro Cultural de São Paulo) and independent spaces (Elena Nemkova at Kunsthalle São Paulo, Claudia Squitieri and Pauline Curnier Jardin at Vila Itororò, Mauricio Ianes at Casa do Povo) as well as video screenings proposed by Video Brazil and lecture-performances by artists (Samon Takahashi at Casa do Povo, Clara Ianni at the Museum of Modern Art). Hosted by the legendary Teatro Oficina, we had the possibility of screening for the first time in Brazil unseen footage documenting the struggle of Native Americans in the late seventies. Shot by independent film-maker Andrea Tonacci the recordings describe an urgent moment in the history of indigenous activism in the Americas against imperial-colonial powers and institutions. Following their production, the videos were housed in Tonacci’s private archive, unseen by the public. Artists Maria Thereza Alves and Jimmie Durham have together with art historian Richard Hill reactivated this archive through a live presentation and contextualization of a selection of Tonacci’s materials during the Berlin Documentary Forum in 2014. The screening has been introduced and contextualized by contemporary Guarani activists Giselda Pires de Lima and Poty Poran and has been documented by a group of students from the Guarani community of the state of São Paulo. The event marked one of the rare times that Guarani representatives are invited to speak about their cause in a major cultural institution in São Paulo.

Participants and Contributors

Maria Thereza Alves, Márcio-André, Marcio Aquiles, Marcus Bastos, Thelma Bonavita, Gabriel Borba, Rodrigo Bueno, Massimo Canevacci, Pedro Cesarino, Pauline Curnier Jardin, Ana Dupas, Jean-Louis Huhta, Per Hüttner, Maurício Ianês, Clara Ianni, Runo Lagomarsino, Jacopo Miliani, Sachi Miyachi, Fabio Morais, More Paper, Eléna Nemkova, Leandro Nerefuh, Peter Pál Pelbart, Giselda Pires de Lima, Poty Poran, Laercio Redondo, Natasha Rosling, Emilia Rota, Vinicius Spricigo, Claudia Squitieri, Gustavo Sol, Samon Takahashi, Terreyro Coreográfico, Fatos Üstek, Gabriela Vanzetta, Olav Westphalen, Stephen Whitmarsh, Carla Zaccagnini & Students of SP Escola de Teatro.

Partners and venues

Associação Cultural Videobrasil, .Aurora, Casa do Povo, Centro Cultural São Paulo (CCSP), Goethe-Institut São Paulo, Kunsthalle São Paulo, Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (MAM), Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, SP Escola de Teatro.

Supported by Creed,  Linköpings universitet, Goethe Institut, São Paulo; and the Embassy of Sweden in Brazil.

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