Instituto Inhotim opens a new permanent gallery dedicated to the work of photographer Claudia Andujar. Designed by Belo Horizonte-based Arquitetos Associados, the 1,600-square-meter building is the second largest in the park and Inhotim’s 19th permanent single-artist gallery. The inaugural exhibition displays over 400 photographs produced by the artist between 1970 and 2010. The images narrate Andujar’s lifelong relationship with the Brazilian Amazon and the indigenous Yanomami people. During the 1970s, Andujar lived in the region during several long sojourns. Over the decades, she documented Amazonian landscape and flora, Yanomami traditional life and the contact of the native people with the white man. Eventually, she became an important activist in the indigenous people’s cause, successfully advocating for the demarcation of the Yanomami Land in 1992.
The gallery’s opening show is the result of a five-year collaborative research project between the institution and the artist. Much of the material has never been shown before, and was edited, organized and printed for the first time for the Inhotim presentation, including the “Rio Negro” (1970–71) and “Toototobi” (2010) series, the latter being commissioned for the show and shot during a Yanomami assembly. The artist’s more known works, such as the portraits and shamanic rituals pictures shot during her long immersion periods, have been organized in broad series, creating an environment-scale installation in a space designed for this purpose.
The pavilion also includes photographs that witness the contact between the Yanomami and the white man, such as the series “Perimetral Norte” (1974), which documents the construction of the eponymous road during Brazil’s military dictatorship, and the largest ever-shown presentation of the “Marcados” series, a series consisting of photos Andujar made for health records, in an attempt to protect indigenous peoples from being decimated by epidemic diseases.
In addition to Andujar’s work, the exhibition shows Yanomami drawings that the artist commissioned and collected during the 1970s, with the help of researcher Carlo Zacquini. A documentary entitled A estrangeira (The foreigner), produced by Inhotim and directed by Artistic Director Rodrigo Moura, will premiere at the gallery. The film tells Anjudar’s biography through interviews with the artist, from her tumultuous childhood during World War II to her involvement with the indigenous cause.
The opening of the exhibition features a symposium on November 27, organized around Andujar’s trajectory. Speakers include indigenous leaders Ailton Krenak and Davi Kopenawa Yanomami, filmmaker Isael Maxacali and anthropologist Lux Vidal, among others.
- Claudia Andujar, Sem título, da série Catrimani, 1971-72
- Claudia Andujar, Sem título, 1974, da série Reahu
- Claudia Andujar, Arajani, 1981-83, da série Marcados
- Claudia Andujar, Untitled from the series “Retratos”, 1976. Silver, Courtesy of the artist and Instituto Inhotim.