press release

28.05.2022 - 30.09.2022

Isaac Julien, Abdias Nascimento, Jaime Lauriano, Arjan Martins, Laura Belém

At the end of May, Inhotim opens new artworks and temporary exhibitions. On May 28 the museum inaugurates the new season, which features Isaac Julien, an important artist in the fields of installation and cinema, invited to exhibit one of his most emblematic artworks at the Praça Gallery. Acervo em Movimento (Collection in Motion), a program designed to share with the public the artworks recently included in the collection, opens with artworks by the Brazilian artists Arjan Martins and Laura Belém, both located in external areas of the Institute.  

Jaime Lauriano also participates in the program, and opens the Inhotim Library, project, which each year will invite artists and researchers to create a conversation with the Institute’s library. The artist’s installation is directly related to the Second Act of the project Abdias Nascimento e o Museu de Arte Negra (Abdias Nascimento and the Black Art Museum), by proposing a curatorial approach for a new bibliography that includes black authors in the collection of the Inhotim library. 

Located at Mata Gallery, the project’s Second Act, jointly curated, like the First Act, by Inhotim and IPEAFRO, addresses the Black Experimental Theatre, a movement headed by Abdias Nascimento, which is at the origins of the Black Art Museum. 

The openings are part of Specific Territory, the research axis that guides the Institute’s program in the biennium 2021–2022, aimed at fostering debates and reflections on the role of art in territories at the local and global levels, as well as on the relationship of institutions with their surroundings, focusing especially on the developments of a museum and botanical garden like Inhotim. 

Praça Gallery: Isaac Julien 
In a artwork that blends poetry and images, Isaac Julien draws on a lyrical exploration of the private world of the African-American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright and columnist Langston Hughes (1902–1967) and his fellow black artists and writers who shaped the Harlem Renaissance—a cultural movement based on African-American cultural expressions and which took place throughout the 1920s. 

“In 1954, Langston Hughes exchanged letters with Abdias Nascimento, authorizing the Experimental Negro Theater to stage his plays. In this sense, Hughes, Nascimento and Isaac Julien, each at their own time, sought representation and recognition of black artistic and intellectual production,” explains Julieta González, Artistic Director of Inhotim. 

Collection in Motion: Arjan Martins and Laura Belém
There are latent concepts in the artwork of Arjan Martins, especially those involving migrations and other displacements of bodies and presences between spaces of struggle and power, as well as diasporas and colonial movements that took place in Afro-Atlantic territories.

“By fusing these two elements—windsocks and nautical flags—Arjan addresses the transit of bodies across the oceans, the trafficking of enslaved people, as well as the diasporas caused by the colonial movements,” explains Douglas de Freitas, Curator at Inhotim. 

Inhotim Library: Jaime Lauriano 
The research conducted by Jaime Lauriano, a São Paulo-based artist who lives between São Paulo and Lisbon, seeks to bring to the surface historical traumas relegated to the past and to confined archives, in proposals for the collective revision and re-elaboration of History. Marking the opening of the Inhotim Library, the artist showcases an occupation to activate the Institute’s library, establishing a direct dialogue with the Second Act of Abdias Nascimento and the Black Art Museum—a project carried out by Inhotim in partnership with IPEAFRO, on view at the Mata Gallery.  

  “The proposal is to try to imagine possible libraries and how a library can unfold,” reflects Julieta González. “And the occupation is a way of activating it, in addition to serving as a resource for thinking about the relationship with local communities,” she adds. 

Mata Gallery: Second Act of Abdias Nascimento and the Black Art Museum 
Jointly curated with IPEAFRO (Institute for Afro-Brazilian Research and Studies), Inhotim hosts a museum within its space and features, in a period spanning two years, the project conceived by Abdias Nascimento (1914–2011) in the early 1950s: the Black Art Museum.  

The exhibition offers audiences documents on the trajectory of the Black Experimental Theatre, paintings by Nascimento and artworks by such artists as Anna Bella Geiger, Heitor dos Prazeres, Iara Rosa, José Heitor da Silva, Sebastião Januário, Octávio Araújo and Yêdamaria, who are part of IPEAFRO’s Black Art Museum collection.