Brazil Week: Aline Motta
This week once again we will dive into the diverse Brazilian Photography presenting incredible works by Aline Motta and Eustáquio Neves, both at the current 35º Bienal of São Paulo, Claudia Jaguaribe, José Diniz and Celina Portela, addressing various themes such as environment issues, ancestry, racism, dance and movement, through instigating approaches.
Today we feature Aline Motta.
With her artistic practice, Aline Motta (b. 1974, Niterói, Brazil) seeks to point out and fill in the gaps in her own family history as a result of colonial erasure. Her videos, photographs, installations, and performances are based on speculative studies that mix archival research, field trips, and oral history reports that she uses to access, nourish, and reveal parts of the past that were previously thought to be lost. Refusing the linear organization of time and instead understanding the past as part of the present, Motta creates works that reorient memories and construct new narratives. Reflecting on notions of diaspora, belonging, and identification she reconfigures Afro-Atlantic relations in her own ways, positioning herself as the author of her own history. Blurring the boundaries between what is known and what is imagined, Motta’s works demonstrate how envisioning new pasts can free us from old narratives and manifest new futures.
Lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil. Aline earned a bachelor degree in Communication Studies at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and a Certificate in Film Production at the New School University/New York. She has received the Rumos Itaú Cultural 2015/2016 grant, earned the ZUM Photography Scholarship of Instituto Moreira Salles in 2018 and the prestigious “Marcantonio Vilaça Award for the Arts” in 2019. She recently participated in groundbreaking exhibitions such as “Feminist Histories: artists after 2000″ – São Paulo Art Museum/MASP, “Afro-Atlantic Histories” – MASP / Tomie Ohtake, “When the world changes”- Centro Cultural Kirchner, Buenos Aires, Argentina and “Rethink everything”, Les Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles, France. Her solo exhibition “Aline Motta: memory, journey and water” opened at the Rio Art Museum/MAR in 2020. In 2021, her video work was exhibited at the New Museum (NY) as part of the “Screen Series” program. In 2022, she released her first fiction book “Water is a time machine”, and had solo shows at Sesc Belenzinho and MASP in São Paulo. In 2023, exhibited in the Sharjah Biennial 15 (UAE), at MoMA Museum of Modern Art (NY) in “Chosen Memories: Contemporary Latin American Art from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift and Beyond” and is currently on the 35th São Paulo Biennial.
Follow Aline Motta on Instagram: @1alinemotta
(Outros) Fundamentos – (Other) Foundations
“(Other) Foundations” (2017-2019) is the last installment of a trilogy that began in 2017 with “Bridges over the Abyss”, followed by “If the sea had balconies”. The film talks about the consequences of the journey that the artist undertook in search of her roots and questions the sense of belonging to a place that might not acknowledge its seemingly evident kinship. It brings together Lagos in Nigeria, Cachoeira in Bahia and her home state Rio de Janeiro in Brazil through the waters and bridges that connect the three cities and their common ancestral background.
Filha Natural – Natural Daughter
Based on a unique analysis of historical iconography and oral traditions from her own family, Brazilian born visual artist Aline Motta brings up possible hypotheses about the origins of her great great-grandmother. There are indications that she was born around 1855 on a coffee plantation in Vassouras, a rural area in Rio de Janeiro, considered the epicenter of enslavement in 19th century Brazil.
Pontes sobre Abismos – Bridges over the abyss
This is a project about life.
If all we do in life is to cross abysses, this project is about bridges. Bridges of words and images, bridges in search of understanding. Bridges over the Atlantic.It is a project that talks about my family, but it could also talk about yours.
The story unfolds as a secret surfaces. A grandmother’s secret to a granddaughter. What in someone’s life story should be remembered and what should be forgotten? How do we heal personal, family and collective trauma?
I once heard in a lecture by São Paulo intellectual José Fernando Peixoto de Azevedo that “the trance can be experienced as a form of coexistence between the present and the past. A presentification of the past, which takes place as a conversation that traverses bodies. When you live a trance experience, you hear voices from the past that come back, because they
A secret carries within something unspeakable, but if I am the bearer of it, should I reveal it? Under which circumstances?
Se o mar tivesse varandas – If the sea had balconies
“If the sea had balconies”, a 2-channel video installation, was built around an impossibility. Creating new verses for a well-known Portuguese rhyme, the piece reaches out from one end of the Atlantic to the other, bridging Brazil and the African continent, both metaphorically and spiritually, as the artist’s own family pictures flow in and out of the water. A mirror of the unconscious and our own inner self, water is seen as a vehicle for stories that are often hidden, and needs to be invoked in order to make themselves present. By bathing the portraits of her ancestors in water, it intends to bring them back to their places of origin, where everything begins and ends in constant cycles of renewal and transmutation
Coming from a patriarchal family in the Northeast of Brazil, Ana Leal began her path in the art world when she decided, almost at age 50, to dedicate herself fully to her old passion: photography. With a female gaze and perspective, Leal focuses her research on psychological themes.
Born in Recife and based in São Paulo, Leal is an artist who works primarily in photography exploring themes of fragility, temporariness, and impermanence. Inspired by impressionism and minimalism her images share an abstract aesthetic.
Leal is a Gold Award winner at the 2020 TIFA and the 15th Julia Margaret Cameron Award Winner in the abstract category. She also received a Bronze Medal at the ND Awards 2021 and Honorable Mentions at the IPA 2021, Rotterdam Photo 2021, Prix de La Photographie Paris 2019, and The 15th Pollux Awards. She completed her MFA at the Miami International University of Arts and Design (2018) and the Professional Photography Course at the Pan-American School in São Paulo (2013). Her work is part of the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts – FMoPA collection. She works also as a content editor for South America at Lenscratch.
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