“It is no longer possible to see hammocks as a space for rest and decoration. It is necessary to admire its representation and understand that materiality is the proof of Amerindian resistance. That behind beauty and form there are foci of resistance. That weaving or creating from them is art, activism. It's activity. It's survival. It is to be.”, says Naine Terena in the exhibition catalog shuttle, seen until July at the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil in São Paulo, and now in September, being opened at its headquarters in Brasília, then moving on to Rio and Belo Horizonte.
shuttle it is one of those shows that go beyond the field of art to deal with culture more broadly, and therein lies its greatest value.
More than simply presenting sequentially several representations of one of the most typical objects of Brazilian culture, the exhibition curated by Raphael Fonseca presents several aspects of the meanings of the network, as Naine points out in the quote above, going far beyond the cliché of laziness that colonialism demarcated it.
This becomes clear in the first room of the show, when the importance of the production of the artifact of indigenous origin in the northeast is contextualized, more specifically in São Bento, in Paraíba, where no less than 12 million hammocks are produced per year. The numbers there already make it clear that the impact of trade also goes beyond the stereotype that one can have. The city portal has an immense network to mark your position.
Thus, the show continues in a succession of somewhat surprising narratives over six modules, which approach from the different forms of representation of the network, whether in Brazilian modernism, or in Walt Disney's comics with Zé Carioca, to its role as identity generator, as Naine Terena rightly points out in relation to indigenous peoples.
In fact, some of the most powerful images in the show come from them, most of them commissioned by the curator, among them produced by Yermollay Caripoune, Alzelina Luiza, Carmézia Emiliano and Jaider Esbell, among others. In the catalogue, Clarissa Diniz cites a speech by Esbell, by the way, which precisely points out why the exhibition reaches high political voltage: “There is no way to discuss decolonization without entering the doors of the cosmovisions of the native peoples”.
There is an immense curatorial success there, after all, even though contemporary artists have appropriated the network in their works, from Hélio Oiticica to Tunga, from Paulo Nazareth to OPAVIVARÁ – all present in the show, it is in the indigenous context that it gains a character of resistance and anti-hegemonic manifesto.
The exhibition is still generous in presenting the various representations of the network over the centuries, whether in traveling artists from the time of the Brazilian monarchy, or for its critical review, so well done by Denilson Baniwa.
The exhibition is undoubtedly audacious, presenting more than 300 works by 140 artists, spanning five centuries, from the 16th to the present. However, its focus is precise, and passing through it an effective experience.
It is essential to remember that the exhibition is the result of a doctorate carried out by the curator over five years, therefore, it is a long-term research, which materializes in the exhibition space in an appropriate way and really as an experience, that is, it is not a transposition illustrative of a thesis. In times of questioning of science and academia, shuttle it also serves to point out how the university environment remains essential for the reflection of Brazilian culture, as well as capable of transposing the academic environment into a powerful dialogue with society.