Color image. Alessandra Munduruku, one of the main indigenous leaders in Brazil, during the II March of Indigenous Women: Reforestation, Bodies and Hearts for the healing of the earth. Brasília, 2021. Photo: Edgar Kanaykõ Xakriabá
Alessandra Munduruku, one of Brazil's main indigenous leaders, during the 2021nd March of Indigenous Women: Reforestation, Bodies and Hearts for the Healing of the Earth in XNUMX. Photo: Edgar Kanaykõ Xakriabá

The São Paulo Art Museum (MASP) has finally reached a satisfactory agreement with the curators of the nucleus resumptions, Sandra Benites and Clarissa Diniz (who created an exhibition for the institution that would form part of the collective exhibition Brazilian Stories, opened on July 1). In May, Sandra and Clarissa were surprised by the unusual disposition of Masp to delete a snip from your art selection, refused to continue without the material because they thought they were being censored and resigned on May 17.

To reverse the situation, Masp agreed as follows: the exhibition will again have the presence of all photographers who had previously been banned from the exhibition, and whose works portray the Landless Movement (there were six MST photographs by André Vilaron, Edgar Kanaykõ Xakriabá and João Zinclar). These records, previously vetoed, will now have enlargements distributed to the entire public (in poster format), and the exhibition will extend free access to the museum and its activities also on Wednesdays (traditionally, free admission is only on Tuesdays). ). The institution also recognizes the intellectual property of the curators' work and will give the curatorial argument the character of Copyleft.

Masp also agreed to hold an online seminar dealing with the exhibition's production process, with commissioned guests, with the aim of debating the challenges and developments of the curatorial proposal, in addition to producing (through the publisher Expressão Popular, of the MST) a magazine that deals with the processes of social struggles. At the opening of the exhibition, on August 26, the Landless Movement (MST) and social and indigenous movements will convene a cultural act that will be hosted by the exhibition, and the museum is also committed to holding new editions of the nucleus resumptions in schools and training spaces for the struggle for land.

The museum will also promote the readmission of anthropologist Sandra Benites as assistant curator, once again having in its body of curators the first indigenous woman to integrate the desk of Masp. Sandra and Clarissa released a paper open as a way of reacting to a nod of reconsideration from Masp, made in an official note a week earlier. On May 20, the institution publicly manifested itself announcing “a new position” on the issue, claiming that it sought to learn from the episode. There were painful edges to be smoothed over – the museum attributed the cancellation to the negligence of the two professionals, and they found it outrageous.

“The institution publicly regrets the cancellation of the nucleus, so important for the exhibition, and the departure of the project's curators,” the note read. “Intending to move forward so that similar episodes do not happen again in the future, we are open to listening to Benites and Diniz, in order to learn from this experience and improve processes and work models”.

real involvement

Sandra and Clarissa were willing to dialogue, but established six main conditions for them to return to the project. These conditions, now partially accepted by Masp, seek to illustrate the possibility of creating a new level of relationship between museum institutions and society. Instead of affirmative and social movements lending themselves to shine the prestige of museums (which need this resonance), a relationship of real involvement in the diagnoses and movements that art promotes in its exhibitions is now proposed. The museum that temporarily housed becomes also the museum that participates, that activates, that gets involved, that goes beyond representations and assumes commitments. Something that shakes the desirability of the old neutralities.

Officially, after these concessions on both sides, Masp then confirmed in a note that the nucleus resumptions will be part of the exhibition again and that the show is confirmed for the period from August 26 to October 30. Masp's dialectical experience, although imposed against the will of the museum, is a challenge that opens up to all museology in the new international order. resumptions is part of the series Stories, which included Stories of Sexuality (2017) Afro-Atlantic Stories (2018) Feminist Stories (2019), among others. A “diverse, inclusive and plural” museum, which seeks to “establish critical and creative dialogues between the past and the present through the visual arts”, as the series is presented, cannot resort to subterfuges that mask attitudes of censorship and genuflections. to the established political power.

This crossroads is being faced across the planet right now. The incorporation of anti-colonial and anti-racist criticism, the amplification of gender issues, the debate on the maintenance of power systems in society, the urgency of transmuting form into process. It is an even greater challenge in the current context of democratic regression in Brazil, a country in which the president of Brazilian Institute of Museums (Ibram) publishes an ordinance approving the bylaws of museums in the system on March 30 and, 47 days later, revokes the text that the government itself had approved without further explanation.

CIMAM 2022

It is because of the contemporary debate that the theme of the congress of the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art, the ABOVE 2022 (annual conference of museums around the world, which celebrates 60 years of achievement), is precisely the following: The Atento Museum – Permeable Practices for a Common Ground. It will have 12 speakers from all over the world, including directors from institutions such as Reina Sofía, in Madrid, and will be held in Spain from 11 to 13 November, dealing with the proposition of different models that can offer a new vision of governance, narratives, decolonial discourse and a vision of the global museum in the face of new narratives and new institutional models, in addition to the sustainable future.

CIMAM will address issues that concern the entire movement of contemporary society. Changing from the Inside: How We Should Rule Ourselves, with Mami Kataoka, president of CIMAM, is the conference that opens the first day of debates. Another reflection front is the theme Learning from the Community: Collective Actions in the Face of Emergency. Unlocking History and New Narratives, with the Brazilian philosopher Denise Ferreira da Silva, a researcher at the Social Justice Institute at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada (with other debaters on the panel), is the next topic.

Denise is one of the main thinkers to address with greater energy the most burning topic of our time: “In addition to post-colonial criticism as an intellectual exercise, the art of confrontation is an anti-colonial intervention precisely because it transforms the space between the artist and the audience. in a trench," she wrote, in the text Reading Art as Confrontation. “By staging a confrontation, anti-colonial art forges an aesthetic experience that exposes the very violence that is modern thought precisely because of the in/difference between the stage and the museum as exhibition spaces.”

Leave a comment

Please write a comment
Please write your name