Sculptural object developed at the Belojardim Residence. Photo: Jadiel Silva

O project Phonosophia bodies, by Camila Sposati, concluded the third edition of the Belojardim residence, in the countryside of Pernambuco - which, after being interrupted for two years, due to Covid-19, returns in semi-digital format. Throughout the work, led by curators Cristiana Tejo and Kiki Mazzucchelli, there was no lack of surprises triggered by the dialogue between music and ceramics, in addition to body movements worked with a group of 14 residents of Belo Jardim. Local cultural references were the starting point to arrive at a project impregnated with memories and affective stories around clay, an original element of Brazilian culture, whose ancestry comes from indigenous and African matrices. The residences emerged in the context of the Instituto Conceição Moura, from a conversation between Cristiana Tejo and Mariana Moura. Both took the first steps to publicize their desire to work with the community of Belo Jardim, a city contaminated by the region's poetics. Professionals in cinema, theater, dance and music were called in and Tejo took over the curatorship of the visual arts. “I had been talking to Kiki for some time about popular culture, Lina Bo Bardi, Aloísio Magalhães, and invited her to share the curatorship.” From these dialogues, the first two editions were born, with projects by artists Marcelo Silveira, in 2017, and Carlos Mélo, in 2018, both born in the region and familiar with Belo Jardim for several years.

Directing a project of this magnitude corresponds, in a realistic way, to opening up to new horizons. For this third edition, the curators extended the invitation to other locations and invited Camila Sposati, whose project Phonosophia bodies brings together a delicate and complex reflection on wind instruments and the possible connections with human organs, a topic she has been researching for a long time. "Since 2015 I work with instruments. I got excited about the possibility of working in Belo Jardim, I went to see the place and made a proposal”, she says. Anyway, he wanted the context to influence the work, so he readapted the work to the wild. Camila only stayed in Belo Jardim for two months, but she worked three years to reconfigure the project. When the pandemic arrived, the artist had to return to Vienna, where she lives, but she had a trusted team. on the spot to help you move the project forward. “I followed everything virtually and had the coordination of David Biriguy, a poet and cultural producer from Belo Jardim who knows the local artists well and knew how to choose the participants. He became a co-curator.” Early on, he made it clear to the participantss that there would be no interference in the works and everyone agreed to join the project, which is far from simple, recognizes Camila.

Each of them was the protagonist of an instrument, which is actually a sculptural object that could be shaped as they wished, even in the shape of a triangle, square or hexagon, it didn't matter. EExperimentation is one of the challenges of this residency that gave the participants wings to choose what kind of sound they wanted to make. When asked, they chose the political sound. “People want to make the sound for society, the sound of the street, of anger, of anguish, of breathing, of fear”, argues Camila. The choice is not surprising, since the Legislative Theater (1996) by Augusto Boal, is one of the conceptual pillars of Phonosophia bodies. It consists of one of the techniques of Theater of the Oppressed that unites theater and politics, in a kind of active citizenship.

Camila met the residents at the beginning of the works when she stayed in the city and, as it was not possible to return for another immersion because of the pandemic, David Biriguy bridged the gap between the curatorship and the residents. Cristiana Tejo remembers that he was identifying people and arrived at a fine-tuned team. The 14 participants were divided into three groups for health reasons. Camila invited Amália Lima, who is a choreographer, from Paraíba who has lived in Rio for years and is a body coach for dance, theater and TV Globo shows.. They had digital dates twice a week. “I would teach the sound exercises and Amália the body exercises. Gradually the groups began to unite the body, the clay and the sound. “Amália's activities propose body exercises that maintain desires, from the body to the elaboration of the instrument. Desire can be a sentence, a word, a note. Each instrument plays a note, a sound.” Elaine Lima, leader of the quilombola community of Barro Branco, in the Belo Jardim region, was another important person in the project that extended to that area.

With the work completed, one of the ways to make the exhibition possible, which takes place digitally, was to record the sound in a studio, separate from the instruments. For budget reasons, the clay was not burned, which should happen later, according to Tejo. “We had the urgency to speak from the Legislative Theater, from Boal, this was important in this context and it was our prerogative. Each member of the team lives in a different place, with their training, deconstructing the role of the curator. Everything was designed in a network, each one with their knowledge”, comments Tejo.

Horizontal, color photo. A young man, sitting on the floor of the studio at Residência Belojardim, brings his hands, with clay, to his eyes. Cena is part of the Phonosophia Bodies project.
Creativity, freedom and experimentation guided the workshops involving clay and music, with 14 residents of Belo Jardim. Photo: Jadiel Silva

The instruments are ready, some with a voluminous curve that multiplies into mouthpieces, others with a curvilinear exterior that resembles a vase of flowers. All of them hide their secret sound that corresponds, in a subtle way, to the different moods, rhythms and objectives of their authors. The objects/instruments externalize the formal aspects of learning and have now become digital prototypes. Residents chose the three places where the instruments will be shown in contrasting spatial situations: in the city of Belo Jardim, in the Mariola factory and on the banks of a waterfall, all in video showing works, spaces, people, directed by Ruda Cabral. Tagus considers the final scene a bit surreal: an instrument alone appearing in a space and the recorded sound echoing digitally. Remembering Jean-Paul Sartre, these musicians/potters were able to give their material the only truly human unity: the unity of the act. This is what differentiates a structured project from others exposed to tourist exoticism, attracting foreign artists in transit. The Belojardim Residence may not take place next year, it all depends on the current government. The hope is that in 2023 everything will return to normal and culture will find its place, where it should never have left. ✱

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