Curated by Agustín Pérez Rubio, the new director of Malba (Argentina), the show Unerasable Memories – A Historic Look at the Videobrasil Collection looks back on controversial and conflictual episodes based on the personal perspectives of renowned artists from Brazil and abroad, including Jonathas de Andrade, Rosangela Rennó, Akram Zaatari, Bouchra Khalili, Coco Fusco and Leon Ferrari.
From the “discovery” of Brazil by the Portuguese to the military coup d’état in Chile, including the September 11 attacks in the US, the Tiananmen Square Massacre in China, and the civil war in Lebanon… There are many ways one could recount—or attempt to erase—stories that are kept alive through the sensitivity and the art of myriad artists from those areas. The show Unerasable Memories – A Historic Look at the Videobrasil Collection features pieces that help retrieve events and conflicts often interpreted based on the official versions of those who came out the victors, yet still resist in personal narratives made public through art. The show is curated by Agustín Pérez Rubio, recently appointed as art director for Malba (the Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires, Argentina), who has pored over the institution’s collection to handpick 18 pieces of strong political and social content, at the invitation of Solange Farkas, curator, founder and director of Associação Cultural Videobrasil.
Following a guests-only opening on August 30, Unerasable Memories – A Historic Look at the Videobrasil Collection will remain open from August 31 to November 30 at Sesc Pompeia (São Paulo, Brazil). Enabled by a 20-year-plus partnership between Associação Cultural Videobrasil and Sesc São Paulo, the show is a continuation of the major international exhibits held in São Paulo in-between Festival editions, featuring pieces by artists of the likes of Joseph Beuys, Olafur Eliasson, Isaac Julien, Peter Greenaway and Sophie Calle. However, Unerasable Memories is a watershed event, since it is the first major exhibit based on the Videobrasil Collection, currently consisted of over 3,000 titles, including publications, documents and approximately 1,300 video works produced from the 1980s onwards, by artists from the Geopolitical South of the world—Videobrasil’s curatorial focus, comprised by countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, South and Southeast Asia, and Oceania. From an immersion into this complex and assorted universe, Agustín Pérez selected works sharing themes such as state violence, political borders and prejudice.
For the duration of the exhibition, meetings with artists, curators and researchers will also take place as part of the Public Programs, a set of strategies employed by Videobrasil to boost and extend the show’s reach.
About the curator:
Agustín Pérez Rubio is a historian, art critic and curator. He has recently been appointed as art director of the MALBA – Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (Argentina) and is a former director of the MUSAC – Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (Spain). Agustín has curated over 70 shows for leading institutions such as the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Spain), and the Venice Biennale. He is a member of the CIMAM – International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art, of the AICA – International Association of Art Critics, and of the IKT – International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art. He also creates public and educational programs, delivering lectures and seminars for organizations such as the Centre Georges Pompidou, in Paris, and the Independent Curators International (ICI), in New York.
Artists and artworks:
Akram Zaatari, In this House, 2004 (Lebanon)
Ayrson Heráclito & Danillo Barata, Barrueco, 2004 (Brazil)
Aurélio Michiles, O Sangue da Terra, 1984 (Brazil)
Bouchra Khalili, Four selected videos from The Mapping Journey Project, 2008-2011 (Morocco)
Carlos Motta, Letter to My Father (Standing by the Fence), 2005 (Colombia)
Coco Fusco, Bare Life Study #1, 2005 (USA)
Dan Halter, Untitled (Zimbabwean Queen of Rave), 2005 (Zimbabwe)
Enio Staub, Contestado, a Guerra Desconhecida, 1985 (Brazil)
Jonathas de Andrade, Projecto Pacifico, 2010 (Brazil)
León Ferrari & Ricardo Pons, Casa Blanca, 2005 (Argentina)
Liu Wei, Unforgettable Memory, 2009 (China)
Luiz de Abreu, O Samba do Crioulo Doido, 2013 (Brazil)
Mwangi Hutter, My Possession, 2005 (Kenya)
Rabih Mroué, Face a Face B, 2002 (Lebanon)
Rosangela Rennó, Vera Cruz, 2000 (Brazil)
Sebastian Diaz-Morales, Lucharemos Hasta Anular la Ley, 2004 (Argentina)
Vincent Carelli & Dominique Gallois, A Arca dos Zo’e, 1993 (France/Belgium)
Walid Raad, The Loudest Muttering is Over: Documents From The Atlas Group Archive, 2003 (Lebanon)