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MINISTRY OF CULTURE, SÃO LUÍS CITY COUNCIL and

VALE CULTURAL INSTITUTE present

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Territoriality: belonging to a place

Artist: Marcos Ferreira

 

The installation is inspired by beaded necklaces, not just as a symbol of religiosity, but also as an element present in African aesthetics brought to Maranhão.

The work gives a new meaning to these ornaments, which represent resistance and diasporic affirmation based on the concept of scale. Although human trafficking removed people from their territories, depriving them from their belongings, identities and names, the reinvention of ornaments based on ancestral references shows that relations with Africa never ended. 

 On the contrary, it maintained itself over time through syncretism, material and immaterial memory. The installation is made with concrete spheres and finished with acrylic paint in shades of gold and brown, referring to the ceramics of quilombola territories, another important heritage of the diaspora. In the composition, the spheres of different proportions are presented in asymmetrical lines on the front of the panel.

 

Sculpture. Concrete, steel cable and acrylic paint.

 Assistance team: João Vinícius, Tayná Leite, Juliane Vaceles, Maria das Dores and Maria Helena.

 

Marcos Ferreira (São Luís, 1988) is a visual artist, stylist, set designer and creator of the Desalinho brand, a fashion company from Maranhão. Working for over a decade, he has won three awards at the São Luís Visual Arts Salon. His visual research investigates sculpture using crochet, textiles and clothing waste. His installation Desalinho (2015) toured capital cities through Amazônia Legal incentive (Sesc). It includes drawing, painting, mask-making and the production of textile objects used as performance devices.  

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking: affection and empowerment

Artist: Dinho Araujo

 

The preparation of food and the act of eating appear against a golden background in the painting inspired by the concise lines from Tadrart Acacus in Libya, North Africa. In an area delineated by lateral curves like a patio or yard, women tend okra and peppers, representing diasporic elements of the food in Maranhão.

Palm oil, the habit of eating with one’s hand, saint's foods and ebós show the presence of Africa in Brazil. Food is a principle of connection with the sacred and the spiritual world. Babaçual, the oil palm container and the ox portray ancestral relationships with the land, sustainable subsistence practices, from coconut breakers to oil production and grazing. 

In Yoruba, ajeum is the combination of the words awa (we) and jeum or jé (eat); it means to eat together. At Ilê (candomblé houses), sharing and offering food to the voduns and orishas is part of the celebration through axé (strength, power and desire for happiness), which keeps us alive.

Technique: Acrylic painting

Artistic assistance: Thiago Fonseca

 

 

Dinho Araujo (Pinheirou, 1985) Visual artist, Master in Anthropology (UFPB), cultural manager of Chão, researcher in IPHAN in the National Inventory of Cultural References of the Bumba-meu-boi Cultural Complex (2007). Had toured the country with the "Performance Preta no Brasil", with Elton Panamby, by Palco Giratório in 2019.  Artist nominated for the Pipa Prize 2021. His work was incorporated into the Banco do Nordeste Cultural Collection in 2022. Curator of the solo exhibition Caminho de Muriá para brocar a terra, 2021, by artist Gê Viana, at the Museu Histórico e Artístico do Maranhão - MHAM and the Sesc Confluências project, in Maranhão, in collaboration with curator Ricardo Rezende, between 2018 and 2019.

 Araujo also took part in the group exhibitions "Um defeito de cor", at the Rio Art Museum, Preamar - SP Art Rotas Brasileiras; "Mascara, Maré Montanha" (curated by Mateus Nunes), at Lima Galeria, and the Lab Suav residency, a training program held at Chão in partnership with Galeria Asfalto, in Rio de Janeiro.

 

BAOBÁ: Diasporic origins

Artist: Tassila Custodes

 

“Ori Baobá" means "baobá head" in Yoruba. "Old African baobás, with huge trunks, give the impression of having witnessed time immemorial. A recurring theme in Yoruba myths and magical-religious rituals is the symbolism of trees. It is the dwelling place of the oldest spirit on earth, of the ancestral memory". In the work, the image of the baobá takes the form of a head through the representation of the ngady a mwash mask, from the Kuba ethnic group (Democratic Republic of Congo). African masks, made ritualistically, possess a spirit. The work has a hybrid format; wood, mask, tree and spirit emphasize the Yoruba tradition that teaches us that "baobá is the oldest spirit on earth - the spirit that has a memory of everything and a head for everything."

 

Technique: Acrylic painting

Assistant: Dumá

 

 

Tassila Custodes (1999, São Luís, Maranhão) is also known by the Yoruba name Emi Ajé Dudu, which means "the breath of the black spirit", a force that transmutes itself through the streets. Through painting, lick technique and digital collages, the artist connects aesthetic expressions with ancestry and territoriality. Based on her connections with African traditions, and with her ancestors linked to the Terecô of Maranhão - also known as Tambor da mata, an Afro-Brazilian religion from the Codó region - her creations revisit archetypes and spiritual rituals.  She took part in group exhibitions like Um Defeito de Cor, 2022 (Museu de Arte do Rio de Janeiro - MAR, Rio de Janeiro); PREAMAR, 2022 (Chão, Lima Galeria, Casa do Sereio, São Luís); Afrofuturismo: Las Caras Lindas de mi gente Negra, 2022 (Centro Cívico Cultural Domenicano, New York), X Mostra de Performance da Escola de Belas Artes da UFBA, 2021 (virtual event) and Festival M. U.R.A.L Festival, 2019 (Murillo La Greca Museum, Recife).

 

 

 

 

Art and culture: expressions,

memories and legacies

Artist: Inke

 

In the diaspora, art, culture, music and dance are elements that highlight the diversity and richness of African heritage. In graffiti, the image of a black woman, a tambor de crioula drummer in a central position, with a floral skirt glistening on her skin, represents memory and a strategy to overcome erasure. Capoeira, the tambor de crioula and the coreira spinning represent memories that expand through movement, like waves of the Atlantic from the African coast. The maraca, a common symbol in many bumba-meu-boi groups is an element that represents the authority of the singer and it stands out calling everyone to celebrate.

 

Technique: Graffiti 

 

Graffiti artist for 20 years, member of the Graffiti Artist Collective Efeito Colateral Crew, Graphic Designer from the Federal University of Maranhão and 3D Artist Lead at the game studio Famous For Nothing.

Interventions and events: Liberdade Para Pintar, Maranhão (2023), Cores da Vila, Maranhão (2019), Sur-fest, Bogotá/Colombia (2018), 8th RECIFUSION, Pernambuco/Brazil (2018), UPFEST, Bristol/UK (2017), Meeting of Styles Mexico, Mexico (2014), Festival Concreto, Ceará/Brazil (2013).

 

 

Black Intellectuals

Artist: Telma Lopes

 

The work portrays Maria Firmina dos Reis (1822-1917), a black writer from Maranhão born in the 19th century in São Luís, as a jewel inside a cameo. Different layers of crocheted and embroidered ornaments stand out against a multicolored background of patchwork fabrics.  An educator, musician and creator of the first mixed school in the country, Maria Firmina also received bumba-meu-boi groups to perform at the doors of her house, and left many songs written. The author of Úrsula, an abolitionist novel published in 1859, Maria Firmina is very important in the work of Telma Lopes, whose skill and detail reflect the complexity of craftsmanship in black art, such as the leather embroidery of the bumba-meu-boi.

 

Technique: Free embroidery, crochet and patchwork.

Artistic assistance: Tayná Leite, Glauber Pinto, João Almeida

Cooking panel. Thiago Fonseca

 

Telma Lopes was born in the village of Pedras, in the municipality of Humberto de Campos. She has lived in São José de Ribamar and São Luís, where she worked at Laborarte, the Laboratory of Artistic Expressions. She works with urban art, graffiti, sculpture, ceramics, woodcuts, set construction and painting. In Rio de Janeiro, she studied at the Bella Artes Brazilian Association and worked for more than 20 years at Rede Globo's Set Factory. She returned to Maranhão in 2017 and has held solo exhibitions at the Sesc Art Gallery (2018) at Chão (2022), and also in The XVII International Festival of Iberian Expression Theater, in Portugal (1994).

 

 

 

 

African matrices: religiosities

Artist: Jesus Santos

 

The rituals of African terreiros is represented by artist Jesus Santos as three sets of images or scenes. It is inspired by the worship of voduns at the Casa das Minas Jeje and the Casa de Nagô, both founded by African women in the 19th century. The tiles, a technique of Egyptian origin brought to the Iberian Peninsula by the Arabs and widely used on the façades of São Luís, show moments of incorporation and worship. They also contain references to the terreiros, such as the Querebentã de Zomadonu sign from the Casa das Minas.

 

Technique: Mosaic.

Project execution: Estúdio Cena

Assistants: Diones Caldas, Renan José, Vanessa Serejo, Monique Vitória. Production: Fabio Pereira.

 

Jesus Santos (São Luís, 1950) studied at the School of Visual Arts in Rio de Janeiro. During his studies, he improved his techniques with artists Antônio Almeida, Maia Ramos and Newton Pavão, developing a vast production of paintings and mosaics, notably on public monuments in São Luís. He has held national and international solo exhibitions: 1st Northeast Salon at the 2nd Bahia Biennial (1971); Salão Brasileiro de Arte Fantástica (1979); Três Artistas do Maranhão, in New York (2003), with tours in Brasília and São Paulo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Re)Existences: historicity and activism

Artist: Origins

 

The geometry of Origes' work, in its varied figuration of cazumba faces and other elements of black culture in Maranhão, takes on the historical narrative of Negro Cosme (Cosme Bento das Chagas), in the Balaiada revolt (1838-1841), a uprising led by the black and poor population in search of better living conditions. Through graffiti, the artist's work aims to encourage young black and peripheral people to tell their own story.

 

Technique: Graffiti

Artistic assistance: Carlos Over 

 

Origes is a graffiti and visual artist, born in the neighborhood of Alemanha in São Luís, Maranhão. He started producing in 2009, making urban interventions, paintings, tattoos and the creation of the Origestyyle brand in 2018. His artistic identity is marked by one of the most emblematic and symbolic figures of Maranhão's popular culture, the Cazumbá.

Projects and interventions - "O GRITO" (Funarte Murals Award for the Centenary of the Week of Modern Art), a 300-meter mural paying homage to Marielle Franco, George Floyd and João Pedro, victims of racism and police violence.

 

 

 

 

African technologies: building Maranhão

Artist: Gê Viana

 

Ancestral technologies: prayers and blessings is a collage and painting that emerged from research into an iconographic collection of French painters exhibited in a publication by the Museum of the New World. Radically breaking with the racist discourses of art history, the work proposes resistance and shows healing technologies through blessings, prayers and herbs; the knowledge of midwives, pajoas, doctors from the woods, the nourishment of forces through ancestral cosmologies. The straw coffers bear drawings of fishing corrals, characteristic of Maranhão and Ceará, a technology based on tidal movement. Healing, blessing and smoking practices, as well as the making of utilitarian objects such as pots, bowls and baskets are also present, and demonstrate how knowledge in black and indigenous hands is central to the construction of the country.

 

Assistants: Kaká Farias and Mônica Durans (Negonica)

 

 

Ge Viana (Santa Luzia do Tidi, 1986) has a degree in Visual Arts from the Federal University of Maranhão. She works between her backyard and the streets, making digital and manual collages and inserting paintings based on research into archive images and her family's oral memory. Confronting the colonizing hegemonic culture, its art and communication systems, she recreates the Afro-diasporic and indigenous daily life of Maranhão from the history of the Anapuru people, from whom she descends. Her aim is to present other narratives that show happier and more dignified possibilities, because happiness has always been at risk in the colonial context.

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Cartilha
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Patrocínio

Produção

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Realização

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