Terras do sem fim (The Violent Land) is the title of a work by Chilean artist Gonzalo Díaz that will be shown from April 26 at Johann Jacobs Museum.
The title is taken from the eponymous novel (published in 1943) by Brazilian writer Jorge Amado, which gives a wrenching description of violent conditions endured on cocoa plantations. With it, Díaz also touches on the Johann Jacobs Museum’s stated program, which comprehends art history as global history of economic, cultural and political interdependencies through the lens of commodities such as coffee and cocoa.
Díaz is not the kind of artist to trot out or wallow in social misery (partly as a way of fattening up their work); instead he addresses social misery and its causes in a fundamental way: What exactly does it mean “to cross a horizon”? – whether in the sense intellectual development, tapping new resources, conquering distant lands? And where is the dividing line between expansion and encroachment?
All of these questions are relevant – for understanding the unbridled energy contained in the pursuit of profit, for regulating interpersonal human interaction and for striking an ecological balance between human beings and the environment.