The association between diverse art practices and accurate research into colonial violence perpetrated against material and spiritual culture of African origin are striking aspects of the production of Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro, author of one of the most powerful installations in the current edition of Biennial. Assembling the story of life It is, according to her, about the metamorphosis of the soul, despite starting from a historical fact: the persecution of Afro-Brazilian religions in the country. As a unit in which everyday indexes are condensed, the installation takes the form of an inaccessible piece of land, in which rest comforting and highly archetypal elements such as a house without a roof (which the artist calls a museum and which houses her paintings), eucalyptus trunks, a used canoe, coming from Pirapora (MG), which bears the marks of time, a promise of a farm, alguidares – a container associated with different cultures and very strongly with Umbanda entities.
She says she is interested in the transmutations of life and matter, in their various dimensions and expressed in contradictions such as that of eucalyptus, which simultaneously generates essential healing oils and explorations with great environmental impact. “I look for a spiral time, between time and construction”, explains Castiel, who also has a master's degree in clinical psychology and African medicine and refuses labels and any attempt at generalization or categorization as a black or trans artist. “We are not quota holders”, she teases.
Unlike his other works, such as Healing room (an installation that highlighted it as one of the young promises of Brazilian art in recent years), this time Castiel did not allow visitors to enter the installation, wanting to generate this feeling of prohibition, forcing people to snoop around, to exercise a personal choreography around of the land. Still worried about the violent environment in the country, she chose not to perform during the Biennale.
The youngest artist at the Biennale, Castiel is also present in the exhibitions of the Brazils, on display at Sesc Belenzinho, and Test for o Museum of Origins, a joint action between Instituto Tomie Ohtake and Itaú Cultural, two exhibitions that interact intensely with the Biennale’s proposal. The artist is due to perform later this year at the Serpentine, in London. Part of this work is part of a long-term project that she has been developing, entitled Kalunga: the origin of the species, in which he contrasts with phallocentrism, with figures such as Freud and Darwin, and deals poetically and plastically with the sea; dislocation and pain; death, life and pleasure.