In this electoral period in Brazil, the Ilian Rebei gallery presents an exhibition gathering Brazilian artists researching the theme of body and politics. All the invited artists, from different generations, have reflected on their relationship to the political situation in Brazil.
Ulisses Carrilho is a Brazilian curator and art critic. He is curating the Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage from 2018 to 2022. He also produces numerous exhibitions in collaboration with museums including “Arte Naïf: Nenhum museu a menos” for the Museu internacional de Arte Naïf do Brasil in 2019 and “Hope” for the Museu de Arte Sacra de São Paulo in 2021.
The starting point of the exhibition is the year 1968, a pivotal year in the political history of Brazil. Marked by public demonstrations by students and workers – linking its very history to that of France – it was also the year of the AI-5, known as Institutional Act Number 5, which served to institutionalize the generals’ practices of torture, repression and censorship. This was the fifth of seventeen major decrees issued by the military dictatorship in the years following the 1964 coup in Brazil.
From this starting point to the present day, this exhibition brings together historical works from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s and continues to the contemporary through a history of struggle for freedom.
through a history of struggle for the freedom of its citizens and for the recognition of the country as a democratic state. This democracy was
affirmed itself only in the decade of the 1980s, when the 1988 Constitution, Brazil’s current Constitution, was drafted in reaction to the period of military dictatorship, and sought to guarantee individual rights and restrict the State’s ability to limit freedom, punish crimes and regulate individual life. In the current context of a clear return to extreme right-wing or right-wing extremism on a global scale, the exhibition aims to consider democracy as an important outcome of popular movements, but also as a concept. The latter is limited to the challenge we face in taking the path from the global South, marked by colonial violence and militarism.
To broaden the discourse and not only understand democracy as a limited concept, derived from Theodor Adorno’s thinking on the far right and confronted with the malleability of words and norms, the idea of the body itself can also be questioned through the feminist and queer poetics of the works exhibited in this project.
Through a wide range of visual strategies employed by the contemporary artists selected for You Open Your Arms to Me and We Make a Country, this curatorial project aims to make the idea of Brazilian art more complex and exciting for the European audience. This exhibition disobeys certain prejudices about Latin American art, inscribing Brazil in its national history but also interweaving these aesthetic productions in a broader context: the urgency of transforming biopolitical technologies that produce bodies and sexualities, constructed by patriarchal and colonial capitalist history.
Ilian Rebei Gallery – You open your arms to me and we make a country: Brazil, body and democracy
Curator: Ulysses Carrilho
From October 15 to December 18, 2022
50 rue Chapon, 75003
Opening on October 15 from 5 to 9 pm
Exhibition from October 15 to December 18
Tuesday to Saturday from 11am to 7pm
Galerie Ilian Rebei
50 rue Chapon, 75003 Paris
October 15, 2022 to October 18, 2022