Belo Horizonte (BRA)

Paulo Nazareth

* 1977 in Governador Valadares, Brasil

lives and works around the world

Paulo Nazareth studied art and linguistics, and took month-long hikes through Africa and the Americas. Impressions and documents, videos, drawings and photographs of these trips are included in his artworks. In 2011 he travelled by foot and bus from Minas Gerais to Florida to the Art Basel Miami art fair, where he caused a controversy with his interactive installationBanana Market/Art Market, selling fresh bananas from a VW bus. The simple and yet effective ideas and images of his artistic practice are inspired by his interest in questions of ethnicity and identity. He makes appearances as a performer, mediator and philosophical filmmaker. His interest in language is revealed in his current work on the Kaiwá language as part of the Latin American Pavilion at this year’s 56th Biennale di Venezia. His quests for images and stereotypes during his travels have been shown as Notícias de América and Notícias de África in numerous exhibitions throughout the world.

AGUDAH, 2013

MARIA AUXILIADORA, 2014

PAMPHLETS (°1 –°9), 2015

Until today, more than 200 indigenous groups live in Brazil, with some remaining as yet “uncontacted.” Before the Portuguese colonial times, there had been more than 1,000 peoples, many of which fell victim to introduced epidemics and slave labor in the decades after colonization around the year 1500. In the mid-16th century, the first (of a total of three million) Africans where shipped from the colonies to meet the demand for human labor, especially in the mines and on the sugarcane plantations. In 1888 Brazil abolished slavery as the last country in the world. With more than 70 million Afro-Brazilians, it ranks among the countries with the largest African descent. The class relations imposed in earlier times are still in place in the economy, politics and culture. The artist Paulo Nazareth examines the historical and present-day subjectivizations as an Afro-Brazilian in his works. The videosAugudah and Maria Auxiliadora retrace symbols of Catholicism, exposing their omnipresent “otherness” in the mirror of the passing landscape in a missionized country. In his Pamphlets, Nazareth examines historical and present-day forms of black subjectivization and their imagery. On hikes through the Americas and Africa, he followed the territorial occupation of the continents by the Europeans and explored the traces of his ancestors. They resulted in series of photographs, a weblog and the Pamphlets, in which he ironically questions his identity in different social contexts.