Episodes


Humboldt’s Parrot Foto: Pedro Victor Brandão

Humboldt’s Parrot

Exhibition

Ten percent of the languages spoken in the world are concentrated in Latin America. About 160 of them in Brazil alone, but it is estimated that more than 85 percent of the languages that originally existed in the year 1500 are already extinct. Some of the remaining languages, today at risk of disappearing, are to be rescued by 15 artists in the exhibition Humboldt’s Parrot.

The exhibition is inspired by the myth of the parrot that the German explorer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt acquired from the Carib tribe.
The exhibition is inspired by the myth of the parrot that the German explorer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt acquired from the Carib tribe, in the jungle of Orinoco, on one of his voyages between 1799 and 1804 that led him to the countries of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Cuba, and Mexico.

For the construction of this installation, a group of artists developed pieces related to indigenous linguistic heritage, working with 15 languages from South America. Of those selected, not only was the historic and cultural importance of a language and ethnicity crucial, but also the degree to which extinction is a threat and its aesthetic appeal were critical.

The exhibition will run in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Caracas, Lima, La Paz and Montevideo, as well as in Venice (2015), at the Mousonturm in Frankfurt, the Ethnological Museum of Berlin and at the Goethe-Institut New York.

Artists

Brazil: Adriana Barreto, Paulo Nazareth – Uruguay: Gustavo Tabares – Argentina: Sofia Medici & Laura Kalauz – Chile: Rainer Krause – Bolivia: Sonia Falcone & José Laura Yapita – Peru: José Huamán Turpo – Venezuela: Muu Blanco – Paraguay: Javier López / Erika Meza – Ecuador: Fabiano Kueva – Guatemala: Sandra Monterroso – Costa Rica: Priscilla Monge – Nicaragua: Raul Quintanilla – Panama: Orgun Wagua – Germany/Brazil: Ellen Slegers

Venice | May 9th– November 22nd 2015 | Venice Biennial
Porto Alegre | August 2015 | Goethe-Institut Porto Alegre
São Paulo | August 4th – October 4th 2015 | Oca, Cúpula, Parque do Ibirapuera, São Paulo
Dresden | October 2016 | Dresden-Hellerau
Conceived and organized by Goethe-Institut