"Refino #2", 2017, by Tiago Sant'Ana. Photo: Disclosure

O Museum of Modern Art of Bahia – located in the historic building of Solar do Unhão, in Salvador – begins an intense program for the coming months with the opening of the exhibition CROSSROADS. The exhibition proposes a dialogue between the modern and contemporary collection of MAM-BA and the Claudio Masella African Art Collection of Solar do Ferrão (Dimus/IPAC).

Curated by the artist Ayrson Heráclito – currently with individual show at the Pinacoteca de São Paulo – and the general curator of the Salvador institution, Daniel Rangel, CROSSROADS presents a dialogic dynamic between a vast collection of creative subjects. “It is a meeting of artists from different historical, social and racial contexts that articulate tensions in the production of visualities, whose centrality of their creative interests is activated from the universe of Afro-diasporic cultures”, says Heráclito in the disclosure text.

Untitled, Carybé. Photo: Disclosure

According to Rangel, the proposal to CROSSROADS brings a material-spiritual space-time connection that seeks to reveal the potency of the African presence in Brazilian artistic production, from modernism to the contemporary. “We also have themes that transit between the sacred and everyday emergencies, as well as aesthetic references and approaches from about 18 ethnic groups from different regions of Africa”.

Regarding the exhibition's title, the curators state that CROSSROADS recognizes MAM as a historic meeting place, from the 1950th century warehouse to the current museum – reformulated by Lina Bo Bardi between the 1960s and XNUMXs. ” says Rangel. In the words of Heráclito: “We gathered in this exhibition a broad public debate at the 'crossroads museum', considering the museum as a crossroads space, from the approaches of visual anthropologists to artists of different colors, different ethnic origins and places of speech, to artists -priests and a broad panorama of the so-called young-black-afro-brazilian art”.

The Claudio Masella Collection of African Art – named after the Italian industrialist who lived in Nigeria and Senegal for 35 years – is made up of more than a thousand objects representing ethnicities from 15 African countries, such as masks, figurines, instruments and utensils, made in materials ranging from terracotta, wood, metal and ivory. This collection is characterized by the richness and diversity of African cultural production from the late 19th and 20th centuries.

Regarding the programming of MAM-BA (Av. Contorno, s/n°, Solar do Unhão) for the coming months, the director of the institution, Pola Ribeiro, reports that between April and August, in addition to CROSSROADS the MAM will have the Laje's collection in the Artist Residency Program, two concerts already planned by 'JAM at MAM', three free courses at the 'MAM Workshops', the 'Museum-School' with the Department of Education, in addition to dozens of activities and research with UFBA professors and students – via a cooperation agreement signed with the vice-rector Paulo Miguez and a partnership with UNIJORGE for the second semester.

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