Note from BW of Brazil: I have to say that I am impressed with the myriad of ways that Afro-Brazilians are making use of to substitute their ongoing under-representation in Brazil’s mainstram media. Whether it’s theater, musicals, YouTube, photography (see here and here) or art exhibits the black community continues to make Brazilian society take notice of their presence. In a new exhibit, the ancestral forces known as Orixás (Orishas, or African deities) are brought to life through representations of the human body. So, if you’re in Rio or will be there between today and the first few weeks of May, you may wanna check out the exhibit at the Centro Municipal de Arte Hélio Oiticica.
“ÌTÀN” photographic exhibition traces histories of the orixás through the corporal relations of 33 black artists
Courtesy of Notícia Preta; photos by Leandro Cunha
Seeking to enhance the contemporary experience of the black body in Brazil and the culture of African matrix, the photographic exhibition “ÌTÀN”, by photographer Leandro Cunha, is at the Centro Municipal de Arte Hélio Oiticica, and continues until May 11, every day from noon to 6:00 pm The photographic exhibition that goes back to the ancestral stories of the candomblé orixás (African deities) from the performance of 33 black artists. Admission is free.
Fully linked to this tradition, this work emerged from the desire to associate photography research with the research of the black body, starting with an understanding – inherited from Yoruba culture – of the body as the abode of ancestral forces of nature, popularly known as Orixás. In this perspective, the photographer Leandro Cunha proposes to a group of black artists – with diverse corporal structures – a search for these ancestral forces in their bodies, especially in the relations that they could create in collective, having the Ìtàn as the background to contact such forces.
As a critical instrument, it is proposed to raise the debate on the pejorative and unequal historical treatment of black people, of the Afro-diasporic culture, resistance by cultural representations, as well as the crimes of religious racism.
The photographs that make up the exhibition are digital and were taken by Leandro Cunha in long exposure technique. Leandro points out that the performers were photographed naked, so that only the experimentation and mobilization of energies from the body, without additional elements, could be explored. According to him, “The artists photographed are members of the artistic and cultural scene of Rio de Janeiro and deeply committed to the affirmation of black culture in the city, which in all instances understands artistic practice as, above all, a political practice, diversity and representativeness,” he says.
“ÌTÀN” – A Nagô word, designates the set of myths, songs, stories and recitations of Yoruba culture that have circulated for millennia in the African continent. In the Afro-Brazilian Diaspora, the Ìtàn are transmitted fundamentally through oral tradition within the religious expressions of the African matrix.
The Centro Municipal de Arte Hélio Oiticica (Hélio Oiticica Municipal Art Center) is located at Rua Luís de Camões (street), Praça Tiradentes, 68, Rio de Janeiro.
Oyá – Photo: Leandro Cunha
PHOTOGRAPHER: Leandro Cunha
ORIENTATION: Babalorixá Adailton Moreira
DIRECTORS OF MOVEMENT: Valéria Monã and Elton Sacramento
PERFORMERS: Allef Bernardes, Alessandro Fêrcar, Ana Cê, Blue Oliveira, Cassia Narciso Cridemar Aquino, Cynthia Rachel, Fagner Santos, Gaby Makena, Genesis Cavalheiro, Humberto Moreira, Henna Melo, Jessica Castro, Laiz Souza, Layza Rocha, Leco Lisboa, Luan Gustavo, Luana Arah, Luciano Rufino, Marcela Gobatti, Marcio Dellawegah, Mayombe Masai, Negus Edu, Sabrina Chaves, Simone Machado, Tula Pereira, Verônica da Costa, Victor Feitosa, Vinícius Andrade, Rubens Barbot, Yza Diordi.
CURATOR: Daniel Nascimento and Layza Rocha
EXPOGRAPHIC PROJECT: Daniel Nascimento, Felipe Caetano, Manuela Müller, Mariana, Nascimento, Thiago Ortiz
PRESS CONSULTANCY: Laís Monteiro
PRODUCTION: Layza Rocha and Tereza Milagres
Source: Notícia Preta