What does contemporary indigenous art look like and how should it be exhibited?
This installation brings together four interactive pieces made by Brazilian indigenous communities during the Arte Eletronica Indigena project, along with a video about the way they were first shown at the Museum of Modern Art in Salvador. Listen to a contact-sensitive fishing net that recreates an ocean soundscape when touched; interact with projections of indigenous body-painting motifs; venture inside a cocoon-like structure that illuminates in time with the rhythm of your pulse; talk to an earthenware pot that responds with indigenous songs and stories; and, most importantly, interact with the people who are present to exhibit their work.
The art project that Dr. Thea Pitman, Senior Lecturer in Latin American Studies at the University of Leeds, research has focused on is called AEI – Arte Eletrônica Indígena, and is run by an NGO called Thydêwá based in Southern Bahia. The project ran throughout 2018 and consisted of an open call for participation from suitably skilled artists to undertake short residencies in 10 indigenous communities in the states of Bahia, Alagoas, Sergipe and Pernambuco (a subsection of the Brazilian North East that is about the size of France). The indigenous electronic art that was produced in the residencies was subsequently exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art (MAM) in Salvador da Bahia in August and a smaller touring exhibition also visited all the participating indigenous communities from October onwards.
The overall aim of the project was to encourage intercultural communication and diminish prejudice between indigenous and non-indigenous members of Brazilian society. It did this both by bringing non-indigenous artists into the communities for the residencies and by taking significant numbers of the indigenous participants in the project to present their work at the MAM. The effectiveness of this strategy was striking.
Check the full info and read Dr. Thea’s full article about it here.
When: June 20th and 21th
Where: The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, St. James, London SW1Y 5AH