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​Cultural workers, healers of art

Artistic Interventions
© Taylla de Paula

"Bahia is an excellent space to exercise decolonization and to discuss the place and concept of art, due to its non-European influences - indigenous and African ones. The concept of what is culture in there distinct influences is not Western”, affirms the artist, curator, and professor Ayrson Heráclito, in the lab “Artistic Interventions,” realized in the Conference Echoes of the South Atlantic, in the Goethe Institute in Salvador. 

Heráclito says that, to the indian, the museum is a terrible space full of zombies, full of objects from dead people. In this way, when we think about an artistic intervention to be realized in a nation in the South, the very concept of art needs to be rethought out. In indigenous cultures, for example, religion, art, and philosophy fuse together. In this context, the curator is also a healer, a caretaker of the artistic patrimony. 

Nanette Snoep believes that an artistic intervention that tackles these matters needs to happen outside of the museum, with local curators and artist. “It is necessary to explore public spaces, radios, plazas, and other places that are accessible and that can mediate discussions in a non-violent form,” echoes the Lebanese curator Amanda Abi Khalil.

According to Patrick Pessoa, another premisse for this artistic intervention that needs to be conceived of is the political question, seeing as the Country goes through a critical social moment. “Yes, we need to touch on conflicts that exist in Salvador and in Brazil. Every 23 minutes a black person is killed in Brazil” reinforces the anthropologist and curator Hélio Menezes.

In responding to these considerations, the artist Yoland Chois proposes a walk in some iconic place in the city, which is accepted with enthusiasm by the group. The chosen place is the São Joaquim Feira, and the objective of the experience is to get in contact with people and the city, before thinking of and creating an intervention that is capable of approaching the raised reflections.

Although the group does not have a final product, the testimony of the integrants is that the process made out of them researchers, intellectuals, and artists who were internally richer. “From this reflection emerge many matters. We are cultural workers, more than curators or artists. We want to create projects that are political and social tools, such as a school museum, for example,” says Patrick Pessoa. “As Brecht said, an artist who does not create other artists does not create anything,” he completes. 

Participants of the talk:  Amanda Abi Khalil, Anita Ekman, Iya Adedoyin Talabi Faniyi, Ana Hupe, Nanette Snoep, Mark Nash, Patrick Pessoa, Emi Koide, Selene Wendt, Tatewaki Nio, Jane de Hohenstein, Detlef Diederichsen, Hélio Menezes, Ayrson Heráclito, Akinbode Akinbiyi, Emeka Ogboh, Sarojini Lewis, Yoland Chois

by Iara Crepaldi