"I say and I have said", by Anna Maria Maiolino. Ubu Editora, 2022. Photo: Reproduction

Among biographies of important international figures, books authored by important Brazilian artists and theories that question the hegemonic perspectives on culture, many publications involving the world of arts were published in 2022. arte!brasileiros prepared a list of 12 recently released books that provoke us to rethink art in Brazil and in the world.

I say and have said, by Anna Maria Maiolino

Recognized for her production in the visual arts, Maiolino has always had, over fifty years of career, a literary production. In this book, released by Ubu Editora, the artist brings together an unprecedented body of texts in prose and poems, which accompanies and tensions her plastic production. She narrates ambivalent memories of the immigrant family; belonging or not belonging to the various lands she inhabited, the most intimate relationship with longtime friends and lovers, pure existence, the constitutive femininity of her vision and experience of the world, the indelible passage of time: “I seize the minute/ the second / the instant / the thousandth of the thousandth of the instant / we subtract time / until the end”. In his writing, the materiality of his plastic work appears. In it, one can also read the marks that psychoanalysis left on him. The outline of desire and the search for language are not exhausted either in the image or in the word, but insist on making themselves present, in Maiolino's case, as an artistic creation. know more about I say and have said.

Water is a time machine, by Aline Motta
“Water is a time machine”, by Aline Motta. Fósforo Editora, 2022. Photo: Reproduction

Between word and image, between archive and fiction, Aline Motta's book brings together different artistic languages ​​and reconfigures memories by making use of a non-linear perception of time. Constructing a fluid mosaic of eras from historical documents, the artist-writer crosses several planes with each other, in a journey that passes through the mourning for her mother and goes to Rio de Janeiro at the end of the 19th century, through the fragments that reconstruct the lives of Ambrosina and Michaela, the author's ancestors. By combining creation and research, Aline Motta exposes the various forms of erasure that the colonial heritage imposes on our history. On the cover of the book, Ricardo Aleixo writes: “In the eagerness to give substance to this 'trying to narrate' the perhaps unspeakable – the gaps, crevices, folds, the invisible bonds, the lofts of history –, Aline offers us a work that, in his words, results from a process of creation so obsessive and strenuous that it can be defined as a kind of possession”. know more about Water is a time machine.


An African at the Louvre, by Anne Lafont
“An African in the Louvre: The Place of the Model”, by Anne Lafont. Bazar do Tempo, 2022. Photo: Reproduction

In the painting painted in 1800 by Marie-Guillemine Benoist, then a 38-year-old Parisian artist, a young black woman poses at once haughty and serene. The way in which the African beauty is represented proceeds from a revolutionary construction, both from an artistic and historical point of view. The work would change its name a few times, following changes in the perspective of art history itself, until Madeleine, the model, appears as the protagonist of a historiography renewed by the issues of diasporic Africa at the time of the Atlantic slave trade. This is the story that Anne Lafont wants to tell: “Exhibited at the Louvre in 1800, the work was the subject of numerous comments published in libels and newspapers of the time. Therefore, it would still be possible to add one more stone to its interpretive building, a colonial stone. That is what I set out to do in this book.” The publication, recently translated into Portuguese by Bazar do Tempo, highlights the need to review history from perspectives of valuing black characters, reparation and decoloniality. Learn more about An African in the Louvre: the place of the model. In September, the work's translator, Ligia Fonseca Ferreira, spoke about the subject in the Culture Democracy and Reparation Seminar, check it out.

The future of the museum: 28 dialogues, by André Szántó
“The future of museums”, by André Szántó. Cobogó, 2022. Photo: Reproduction

What is the role of museums these days? In a world where inequality deepens, amid political and environmental crises, how to combine new curatorial approaches, audience engagement, technology, inclusion and learning to expand the role of art and culture in society? To understand the possible paths for these answers András Szántó, writer and editor based in New York, interviewed 28 curators and directors of some of the most important museums on all continents. The result is a book that shows a museological landscape in transformation and points out, in different ways, that museums need to constantly reinvent themselves in order to, broadening listening and incorporating differences, reaffirm the transforming role of art. Museums must exist both as places to guard heritage and to experiment in art and society – public and plural spaces dedicated to the dialogue of autonomous perspectives. know more about The future of the museum.

Opened by customs, by Eustaquio Neves
“Aberto por aduana”, by Eustáquio Neves. Origin Publisher, 2022. Photo: Reproduction

Produced from the manipulation of archival materials, drawings, collages, among other techniques, the new book by the publishing house, Origin, resumes the trajectory of the photographer Eustáquio Neves – artist from Minas Gerais, descendant of enslaved black people, who in his work brings a story of diasporas and resistance. The publication was born from his artist's book of the same name, which is part of the collection of the Museu Afro Brasil. “Despite having a general structure similar to a book, the work is actually an art object that speaks for itself. According to Eustáquio, the name Opened by Customs was chosen to stimulate discussion around the multiple violations of the black body, from the slave trade to the present day”, highlights the presentation text. And he adds: “Customs, it is worth remembering, is the name given to the government department that controls the movement of entries (imports) and exits (exports) of goods abroad or from abroad. And it is precisely at this point that the relationships involving the objectification of thousands of black bodies during the Atlantic slave trade and, in contemporary times, with the stratospheric numbers of deaths from violent causes of young black people throughout the national territory, are traced.” know more about Opened by customs.

“Indigenous Art in Brazil”, by Naine Terena. Editora Oracle, 2022. Photo: Reproduction
indigenous art in Brazil, by Naine Terena

From passages lived and heard around the world, the artist, teacher and curator Naine Terena writes her new book. As the author explains, the publication does not seek to list important names in the art scene, but “invite us to have a cup of coffee and talk about indigenous art and everyday life [...] without intending to be a reference, but just a compilation of shared thoughts. This text is born from the desire to answer some questions that people ask me, when talking about indigenous art seems to become an imbroglio. For that, I bring some mental 'images' as interesting keys to think about the actions of local and global subjects”. Thus, it walks through the ideas of mediatization, erasure of indigenous cultures, rites of passage and invites us to reflect on the relationships between art and artifact, artist and craftsman, artistic canons and other structures of knowledge. The publication was produced by Oráculo Comunicação, Educação e Cultura, created in 2012 by Naine Terena with the aim of being an enterprise that generates opportunities and commitment to issues that impact society. The e-book is available free of charge, Click here to download Indigenous art in Brazil: mediatization, erasures and rites of passage.

Poetics of theater-revelry, by Larissa de Oliveira Neves
“Poetics of revelry-theater”, by Larissa de Oliveira Neves. Unicamp Publisher, 2022. Photo: Reproduction

What is in common between a play written by Martins Pena in 1842 and one written by Luís Alberto de Abreu more than a century and a half later, in 2010? In addition to being two Brazilian playwrights, both observed and projected the spectacularity of the Folia de Reis in their works. “Such a creative perception, that of combining popular performativities with theatrical writing, has been used by Brazilian authors since plays began to be written in Brazil”, highlights Larissa de Oliveira Neves. In her new book, the researcher and professor at the Department of Performing Arts at Unicamp discusses the poetics of revelry theatre, bringing to light the possibility of thinking about such scenic formalities as a Brazilian poetics. “It is the first poetics that observes the particularities of national scenic writing from a parameter that is freed from foreign concepts and demonstrates how a series of pieces gain a new aesthetic level when analyzed from this new perspective”, highlights the description of the Unicamp publisher. know more about Poetics of theater-revelry.

monkeys, by Clayton Nascimento
“Monkeys”, by Clayton Nascimento. Cobogó, 2022. Photo: Reproduction

Publisher Cobogó launched MONKEYS: Monologue in 9 episodes and 1 act, by Clayton Nascimento. The book consists of the dramaturgy of the play, considered one of the best of the year by Folha de S.Paulo and winner of several awards. Based on episodes of racism, the performance addresses prejudice against black people based on the story of a man who seeks answers to the racism that surrounds his daily life and the history of his community. In a flow of thoughts, outbursts and elucidations, the play brings scenes based on Brazilian history, as well as situations experienced by great black artists: Elza Soares, Machado de Assis and Bessie Smith, until reaching reports and statistics of young black people arrested and executed by the military police in Brazil from yesterday and from 2022. “The dramaturgy of this work starts from self-fiction to structure a narrative with epic elements organized scenically by the figure of a powerful narrator, who traverses times, traveling through the hidden, perverse, non-heroic part of history” , analyzes playwright Dione Carlos in the preface. know more about Monkeys.

“Abdias Nascimento: a Panamanian artist”, organized by Adriano Pedrosa and Aman Carnero. Masp, 2022. Photo: Reproduction
Abdias Nascimento: a Panamanian artist

Organized by Adriano Pedrosa and Amanda Carneiro, this is the largest book dedicated to the artistic production of Abdias Nascimento – a fundamental figure in recent Brazilian political and cultural life and recognized for his fight for racial equality – covering the artist’s most prolific phase, from 1968 to 1998, and accompanies the exhibition of the same name at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand: Abdias Nascimento: a Panamanian artist. The title refers, on the one hand, to Pan-Africanism, and, on the other, to the expression “Ladino-Amefricano”, coined by the Brazilian anthropologist Lélia Gonzalez (1935-1994) to refer to black culture in Latin America. Richly illustrated, the publication includes six texts specially written for the occasion and two historical texts, reproducing 102 paintings and drawings, as well as posters, documents and photos. This is an indispensable book for those who wish to know and deepen their understanding of the exceptional artistic production of Abdias Nascimento and for those interested in the interlocution between politics and visual culture of black, Afro-Brazilian and African diaspora movements. Learn more about Abdias Nascimento: a Panamanian artist

“Pier Paolo Pasolini”, by Maria Betânia Amoroso. Editora Nós, 2022. Photo: Courtesy Editora Nós
Pier Paolo Pasolini, by Maria Betânia Amoroso

The book is a collection of texts by Maria Betânia Amoroso, a researcher who for decades has focused on the work of Pasolini, an artist often remembered as a filmmaker, but who was also a poet, novelist, playwright, journalist, editor, translator, painter and critic of art. The initial text of the collection focuses on the life and work of Pasolini, relating them to the effort to update Italy in relation to advanced capitalism. In subsequent texts, the author focuses on his writings. The approach is characterized by the sober articulation between life, work and history. For Brazilian readers, the book is of special interest: in addition to highlighting a poem about Brazil, it also introduces us to the reception and interpretation of his books here, showing us in which aspects it is pertinent to relate the center and periphery of capitalism , with regard to Pasolini's work. Learn more about the book Pier Paolo Pasolini, Published by Us, and read the article by Miguel Groisman on the artist's centenary.

“Raphael Galvez: Autobiography”, Publisher WMF Martins Fontes, 2022. Photo: Disclosure
Raphael Galvez: Autobiography

Memories of family members, with descriptions of the stories of Italian and Spanish immigrants who arrived in São Paulo at the end of the 20th century and committed themselves to survival, raising children and integrating in the new city, open Raphael Galvez's autobiography. The book offers a detailed account of the artist's training at the Professional School and the Lyceum of Arts and Crafts, with a special focus on learning sculpture techniques. Through these memoirs, information can be found about the more traditional artistic teaching in São Paulo, in the first half of the 20th century, its methods and masters, predominantly of Italian origin and attached to the classical legacy. He gives an account of his professional activity in funerary art and monuments, and also recounts the pleasant intervals with companions in the various ateliers he attended and the incursions to bucolic corners to paint. It evokes memories of different eras, from the meetings with Tarsila, Ramos de Azevedo and Enrico Vio, in youth, passing through the coexistence with colleagues in the Sindicato dos Artistas Plásticos and Grupo Santa Helena, until the coexistence, in maturity, with young people who approached. Learn more about autobiography by Raphael Galvez by clicking here and read the column by Tadeu Chiarelli about the book.

“Jair Glass – Introduction to Debris”, by Olivio Tavares Araújo, 2022. Photo: Reproduction
Jair Glass – Introduction to Debris, by Olivio Tavares Araújo

The book rescues and registers the work of Jair Glass who, for more than five decades, has been dedicated to the exploration of drawing, with the creation of a universe and imagery of extreme originality. In addition to containing a critical text about his production, it presents a careful selection of works and a statement by the artist about his history. Curator, collector, journalist and art critic, Olívio Tavares de Araújo traverses important moments in the history of Western art, mentioning philosophers, musicians and thinkers who have focused on the subject, to build a compelling path that leads us to the work of Glass in the field of fantastic art. In this journey through key moments in the arts, the author mentions fundamental techniques and masters such as Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Beethoven to Picasso; objects to the mythification of artists and the materialization of the arts by the power of the market, in order to then highlight Glass' uniqueness – both in terms of his artistic set and in the way of being in the world, even mentioning his social shyness. know more about Jair Glass – Introduction to Debris.

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