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Por que somos e não somos tropicalistas: Moving image from Recife, Brazil

November 8, 2017 - November 19, 2017

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Opening Wednesday November 8th, 7-9pm
On View November 9th-19th, Weds-Sun 12-6pm

Because we are and we aren’t tropicalists presents recent moving image works by artists and filmmakers from Recife, Pernambuco, a city in the north-east of Brazil that is renowned for its film and art scenes. The works depict Recife and the surrounding Pernambucan interior to engage the material realities of its beaches, squares, churches, parks, tropical urban forests, and bridges and canals, as well as the sertão (the arid interior region of the State). These accounts produce fictional visions of the modern built environment, re-envisioning an urban space marked by rampant real estate speculation and the social movements that contest it. The city’s Other appears in the form of tropical forests and the sertão, proposing both the fecundity and aridity of these landscapes in jarring opposition to – but continually present in – Recife’s everyday imaginary.

Recife as a locale is a city of multiple crossings. Located at the confluence of the Beberibe and Capibaribe rivers before they flow into the Atlantic Ocean, its many waterways, islands, and bridges create a unique urban landscape. The works address inclusion in and exclusion from the city’s modernizing narrative (one that extends from Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese colonization) and the contemporary possibilities for decolonizing these cities and challenging the social codes that govern public space. These artists and filmmakers construct new narratives on the frontiers of the real space of the city with works that oscillate between the status of performance and document.

The exhibition takes its name from the Manifesto Tropicalista written by the poet and intellectual Jomard Muniz de Britto in Recife in 1968. This manifesto aligned itself with the 60s tropicalist movements in Rio and São Paulo, citing the desire to move away from what had become a controlling regionalist discourse. The manifesto identified “transit and trance” as key states of inventiveness, as well as advocating a creative stance of “madness against stupidity!”.

Curated by Zanna Gilbert

Jonathas de Andrade, O Levante | The Uprising, 2013
Daniel Santiago, O Velho Ernest Hemingway e o Mar do Recife | The Old Ernest Hemingway and the Sea of Recife, 2012
Cristiano Lenhardt, Guaracys, 2016
Irma Brown, Vadia | Bitch, 2016
Gabriel Mascaro, As Aventuras de Paulo Bruscky | The Adventures of Paulo Bruscky, 2010
Julio Cavani, Historia Natural | Natural History, 2014

Cristiano Lenhardt, Guaracys, 2016. Image © Cristiano Lenhardt.

Jonathas de Andrade, O Levante (The Uprising), 2013. Image © Jonathas de Andrade.

Gabriel Mascaro, As Aventuras de Paulo Bruscky (The Adventures of Paulo Bruscky), 2010. © Gabriel Mascaro
Julio Cavani, História Natural (Natural History), 2014. Image courtesy Pedro Sotero.
November 8, 2017
November 19, 2017
Human Resources LA
410 Cottage Home
Los Angeles, CA 90012