17 de August de 2023

Editorial | 1st Amazon Biennial, by Victor Gorgulho

On August 4, 2023, in Belém do Pará, the opening of the first edition of the Amazon Biennial took place, bringing together the work of 121 artists from “pan-Amazonian” territories, that is, where the forest is present in its multiple layers; whether concrete, semantic, or even immaterial. Titled “Bubuia: Waters as Sources of Imaginations and Desires,” this inaugural edition chooses as its broad curatorial theme the question of water and its diverse flows through these territories, naturally contaminating each other in their cultures, natural riches, and, of course, sharing the complexities that involve the Amazonian complex as a whole. The curatorial team is composed exclusively of women: Vânia Leal, Flavya Mutran, Keyna Eleison, and Sandra Benites.

Work by Adriana Varejão on display at the 1st Bienal das Amazônias

In their research, the quartet sought to highlight the desire and even a certain concern to create a portrait of the deep Amazon, respectfully blending local artists with artists slightly “outside” this axis; individual narratives possibly becoming vibrant collective investigations throughout the exhibition. Spread over three floors of a building renovated for the occasion, located in the Historic Center of Belém, visitors are invited to get to know (or recognize?) the cultural pluralities and various other aspects that – like a wide and sturdy umbrella being raised by the curatorial team – reveal the constant effort to tie together practices, productions, and artistic works naturally distinct in their roots – generational, geographical, material, and beyond.

Above any kind of similar nature, however, a clear desire for recognition hangs over the exhibition, from its entrance to the last corridor. This desire is not only for processes of individuation that have long been lagging behind (for the rest of the country), but also in the resistance cries of diverse ethnic groups of indigenous peoples, and in the Amazonian identities that are as plural as they are connected by the desire to draw attention to the glaringly obvious: the Amazonian complex itself, a fundamental topic in today’s ecological, socio-economic, cultural, and other global-scale agendas. Let’s listen to the waters, let’s dive in, let’s be summoned to the struggles that the present imposes on us. Onward!

The Inclusartiz Institute is pleased to announce names whose prior participation in its Artistic Residence and Research Program are spread out in number, works, and diverse practices: Marcela Cantuária, Nay Jinknss, Xadalu Tupã Jekupé, Rafael Bqueer, and Hal Wildson, among some of these. Furthermore, names that have recently collaborated with our exhibition program are also featured in the 1st Amazon Biennial, presenting historical works and others commissioned for the occasion, as is the case with artists like Adriana Varejão, Dayara Tukano, Panmela Castro, Joelington Rivers, Thiago Martins de Mello, and many more. We take pride in being in unison with a project as vast as it is fundamental, as we continue with the exhibition “The Sacred in the Amazon” at the Inclusartiz Cultural Center, curated by Paulo Herkenhoff and Lucas Albuquerque, as well as with the program of talks, conversations, and audiovisual presentations linked to the Amazon Laboratory, curated by Victor Gorgulho and co-curated by the researcher Henrique Rondinelli.