Larissa de Souza in Histórias Brasileiras

Museum of Art of São Paulo, Brazil

August 26 - October 10, 2022


Brazilian histories are complex, contradictory, multiple, fragmented, incomplete histories. The exhibition is presented in the year that marks the 200th anniversary of the Independence of Brazil and the 100th anniversary of the Week of Modern Art. But it is also the 100th anniversary of the death of writer Lima Barreto, 100th anniversary of the birth of artists Judith Lauand and Rubem Valentim. In addition, today there is an intense revision of the histories of Brazil – expressed in books, exhibitions, conferences, films and documentaries. What are the themes, narratives, events, and characters to be celebrated, studied and questioned in this long and conflictual process? Which ones have been deliberately forgotten? 

Since 2016, MASP has organized a series of exhibitions and projects around different stories –Stories of childhood (2016), Stories of sexuality (2017), Afro-Atlantic stories (2018), Stories of women, Feminist stories (2019), Stories of dance (2020) and, now, these Brazilian stories (2022). The programming for the year or biennium – as is the case for 2021-22 – in which these group exhibitions are held is dedicated to these same stories and is complemented with individual shows that connect to the theme. Not by chance, they approach the contents, images and agendas of social, cultural and political history, being more related to contemporary agendas and everyday life, than strictly to the history of art - as indicated by the succession of our series ofStories . 

Brazilian Stories is divided into eight nuclei organized by themes (and not by chronology or means), each located in a room: four on the first floor of MASP ( Flags and maps; Landscapes and tropics; Land and territory; Retakes ) and four on second basement ( Portraits; Rebellions and revolts; Myths and rites; Festivities ). The exhibition includes more than 400 objects: paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, videos, installations, newspapers, magazines, books, documents, flags and maps. It is organized by 11 curators, which underlines the polyphonic character (with many voices) of the project. Each core is curated by a pair of curators, and among the cores we identify overlaps, complements, connections and contradictions. 

In schools, we still learn that history is one. But it is not. Our Histories (plural) indicate that this is an open process, which does not contemplate only one narrative (definitive, coherent, monolithic and evolutionary), but includes many (open, diverse, inconstant, insurgent, preliminary and in conflict).

August 26, 2022