Today, we share our final live broadcast on Jolt Radio, Miami, from inside the exhibition pavilion of the 32nd São Paulo Biennial! We have quite the line-up! Brazilian artist Vivian Caccuri talks about her Afro-Brazilian sound project to kick off the show. Yvette Mutumba and Julia Grosse, Germany-based editors of Contemporary And (C&), follow, with their impressions of the exhibition and an introduction to their latest print publication. Our last guest, Brazilian artist scholar Jorge Menna Barreto, tells the story behind Restauro, a biennial dining experience inspired by local agro-forestry efforts.
From the biennial website:
Vivian Caccuri uses sound as the vehicle to cross experiments in sensory perception with issues related to history and social justice. Through objects, installations, and performances, her pieces create situations that disorient everyday experience and, by extension, disrupt meanings and narratives seemingly as ingrained as the cognitive structure itself. At the 32nd Bienal, the artist presents TabomBass (2016), a sound system composed of stacked speakers, similar to those used at street parties. Placed in front of them, lit candles move with the displaced air and dance to the rhythm of the deep sounds – basslines composed by artists from the city of Accra, who collaborated with Caccuri after her research in Ghana. Accra received groups of African-Brazilians after the Malê Revolt, a slave rebellion that took place in Salvador in 1835. To this day, their descendants are known as ‘Tabom’ – because, not knowing the local languages, they answered all questions with ‘tá bom’ [roughly translated as ‘okay’]. Caccuri takes this historical background, seeking to expand connections and meanings to consider the Africa-America trajectory, proposing an encounter in which Brazilian musicians and performers improvise based on the African sounds and, through this combination, create a hybrid work of art.
Jorge Menna Barreto‘s Restauro [Restoration] (2016) raises questions about the development of eating habits and their relationship with the environment, landscape, climate and life on earth. The work operates as a restaurant, in partnership with Vitor Braz, whose menu, prepared with the nutritionist and chef Neka Menna Barreto and the Escola ComoComo de Ecogastronomia in São Paulo, prioritizes the diversity of the plant kingdom originating in agro-forestry. This space for nutrition proposes a metabolic and digestive experience that is both physical and mental. Its ambience, carried out in partnership with O Grupo Inteiro, emerged from the idea of microclimates. The audios connected to the work were made by Marcelo Wasem, mainly in agroforests, where you can perceive another moment in the life of the foods that are brought for our consumption. Restauro encourages awareness about how we use our land and the global consequences of our choices. By understanding our digestive system as a sculptural tool, diners become participants in an environmental sculpture in progress where the act of nourishing oneself regenerates and shapes the landscape in which we live.
Contemporary And‘s new print issue focuses on Afro-Brazilian perspectives as well as the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo, co-edited with the amazing São Paulo-based editorial team of cultural magazine OMenelick 2° Ato.