Horizontal, color photo. View of the ZONA DA MATA exhibition at MAM São Paulo. In the foreground, a work in a suspended glass aquarium and a small flowerbed on the floor, in the shape of a pentagon. In the background, the glass walls of the exhibition space bring the environment of Ibirapuera to the image, it is possible to see vegetation and the Oca in the background.
View of the exhibition “Zona da Mata” at MAM São Paulo. Photo: Karina Bacci

The coastal strip of the northeast region of Brazil, which extends from Rio Grande do Norte to Bahia, is called Zona da Mata. Gateway to colonization, it is historically a territory of conflict, had its fertile soil exploited in a predatory way and was the scene of the destitution of native peoples and the African diaspora in the country. Curated by Ana Magalhães, Marta Bogéa and Caue Alves, new exhibition adopts the term Zona da Mata as a symbolic metaphor to deal with the relationships between culture and nature and sheds light on the latent problems in Brazil today. On display until March 2022, it takes place simultaneously at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC USP) and at the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art (MAM-SP).

Despite starting from a geographical issue, the exhibition focuses on the changes in the landscape that these encounters between colonizers and native peoples brought to the country and reflects how they unfold and affect us to this day. “Faced with Brazil in feverish convulsion, violently retrograde, Zona da Mata is today the entire country. In line with the global challenge, we need more than ever to reposition ourselves in the face of our country and society pact, starting with recognizing ancestral knowledge that we did not know how to cherish, without imprisoning them in a historical past, but as a fundamental part of our desirable present.” , says the trio in the curatorial text of the show.

Organized in four parts, in different spaces and with different temporalities, the exhibition is never presented to us in its entirety, but in a fragmented way. On the fifth floor and on the ground floor of MAC USP we come across two of its faces. The Glass Room at MAM-SP houses the other two, not simultaneously, but at two different times. From June 19 to October 17, the space receives works by Marcius Galan, Guto Lacaz and Gustavo Utrabo; and from October 23 to March 6, 2022, the work of the artist Rodrigo Bueno made especially for the place will be presented. The exhibition at MAC USP, shown in a single assembly, features works by Brasil Arquitetura (Marcelo Ferraz and Francisco Fanucci), Claudia Andujar, Fernando Limberger, Gabriela Albergaria, Gustavo Utrabo, Guto Lacaz, Jaime Lauriano, Julio Plaza, Leandro Lima, Gisela Motta in one of the exhibition areas and Claudia Andujar, Marcius Galan, Paulo Nazareth and Rodrigo Bueno in the other.

It is because of this fragmentation that Wood zone proposes a crossing condition, articulating the two neighboring museums. “Intends a coming and going adhering to the ground of the city, addressed to the present and the future, in the inseparable pact of a shared and simultaneously diverted landscape, from the vibrant singularity of each invited work and the collection of both institutions that integrate this landscape show”, suggest the curators.

For them, this connection between MAM and MAC is crucial. “There is a historical link between these two institutions that make up the cultural axis of Ibirapuera. It is essential that we join efforts, reposition ourselves through partnerships and reflect on the way in which art and architecture approach the transformation of the landscape and its links with socio-environmental issues”, says Cauê Alves, chief curator of MAM-SP.

WHERE: MAM São Paulo – Ibirapuera Park (av. Pedro Álvares Cabral, s/nº – Gates 1 and 3 – Vila Mariana – São Paulo, SP)
WHEN: Tuesday to Sunday, from 12pm to 18pm
Schedule your visit through the institution's website

WHERE: MAC USP (Av. Pedro Álvares Cabral, 1301 – Vila Mariana – São Paulo, SP).
WHEN: Tuesday to Thursday, from 11 am to 19 pm, Friday to Sunday from 11 am to 21 pm.
Schedule your visit through the institution's website

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