A fifteen thousand kilometers border separates Brazil from other countries in South America, an experience of a remote proximity reinforced by the linguistic variations between Portuguese and Spanish. In Brazil, “Latin American” refers to a familiar otherness, a kind of distant neighbourhood. However, the same civilizing process of expansion, first imperialist, now globalizing, brings Brazil and other Latin-Americans countries closer.
Yet, if business and the economy move forward with political and financial treaties, a regional integration in culture and the arts is very slow. The discrepancy in the distribution and assimilation of artistic information refers to a colonial matrix of values and representations that is guided towards the Northern Hemisphere. The exhibition Distant Neighbours, curated by Cristina Freire, is a presentation platform of Latin American artists in the MAC USP collection. The heterogeneous, hybrid, plural and multicultural contingency of this continent stimulates a shift of the southern look to the south, in this critical geography of art. Brazilian culture and arts are present in the exhibition as latent counterpoints. That is, each repertoire, the individual collection of images can be mobilized when confronted with the Latin American art on display, in an exercise that stimulates horizontal approaches. The “Latin American art” category becomes insufficient to meet the diversity and cultural contexts of the region, as well as to contemplate the exile and migration of artists in transit around the world and the effects of globalization sensed in this side of the world.
The exhibition is organized as a constellation of thematic and non- chronological groups – Identity, Constructives, Onirical and Conceptual –, each of them presenting broadly the many profiles of MAC USP’s collection in paintings, sculptures, installations, objects, photographs, records and performance projects, videos and artists publications. The conceptual art practices have a privileged place in this exhibition, that features for the first time a specific set of Latin American artworks in dialogue with the Museum from the decades of 1960-70.
- Francisco David. Calendário, 1974
- Clemente Padin O Artista Está a Serviço da Comunidade