Photo: Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk





Photo: Henk Nieman

2012 - 2013

project (Indianen Verhalen) and installation, solo presentation São Paulo, Brazil
and parking garages Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht and Museumplein, Amsterdam

ONÇA PINTADA is supported by the Mondriaan Fund.

Thanks to
Central de Cultura, Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk, Henk Nieman and Mariangela Tinelli.

Ever since my first visit to Brazil in 2009, I have been fascinated by the life and culture of the indigenous people. With the history of European colonialism and the destructive contemporary global agricultural network in mind, however, I decided against visiting them. Nevertheless, I engaged in the Indianen Verhalen (Indian Stories) research project (2012) in an attempt to get as close as possible to their culture through and with artists and experts from São Paulo, a modern metropolis of concrete, brick and stone. With the help of anthropology and sociology I created the installation and a publication: Onça PIntada [Jaguar].

After an inspiring visit to the Pantanal region and intense conversations with experts, I focused on the relationship between humans and animals, especially the hunt. Two words became key: Ifutisu and transformation. Ifutisu; a lack of public aggressiveness and the practice of generosity, is the way the Kalapalo people try to live. It involves transformation from human to animal and the other way around and sometimes via a spirit. This phenomenon is frequently practiced when preparing for a hunt, for example by painting the body. The jaguar figures prominently in indigenous mythology and cosmology. Some Indigenous people call white people jaguars, because they live a solitary life.

The installation made during a work period in urban São Paulo consists of a car, covered with a car cover, and dogs wearing jackets. A composition of drawings is printed on the fabric, with seeds of fruits and vegetables I ate there sewn onto it. The drawings were inspired by the drawing methods of the indigenous people of Brazil. With a white piece of paper in front of me I realized that they do not draw on flat surfaces, but onto their bodies. My drawings were based on various fences and walls that I saw in São Paulo. The composition is graphic, in black and white, with orange as a reference to the urucum used by the Indians to colour and protect their bodies.

The small art publication is a compilation of text by Thais Rivitti (PDF - EN), images of my research drawn by two artists (Bruno Kurru and Renan Cruz), plus images from the work process and the installation.
Photo: Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk