Nomas Foundation presents Hiaitsiihi, a solo show by Julien Bismuth. The artist accompanied the anthropologist Marco Antonio Gonçalves for two stays with the Hiaitsiihi people in 2016 and 2017 in their land, on the banks of the Maici river in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. Named Pirahã by their neighbors, this semi-
International ongoing exhibitions
Julien Bismuth, Hiaitsiihi (production still). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Emanuel Layr, Vienna-
Working primarily within the mediums of photography and video, Bismuth interventions are marked by a similar discretion of means. The footage is shown without narration or explanation, and with minimal editing. Excerpts from interviews with Marco Antonio Gonçalves are shown separately, alongside photographs and texts by the artist. The interviews and texts engage with the ethical, political, and cultural questions raised by their encounters with the Pirahã, working to address them in all their complexity. How does one communicate across a cultural divide so as to maintain and safeguard it? How have the Pirahã been able to preserve their way of life in the face of increasing attacks on indigenous lands and the Amazon rainforest? What can we learn from them, and how can we work to defend their culture and way of life, as well as the environment on which they rely for their survival?
These questions have only become more urgent and vital in the latest months, in light of the disastrous policies of the Bolsonaro government. As the recent spate of fires has shown, the consequences of deforestation are not just a threat to the survival of the Pirahã and other indigenous groups; we are all equally endangered by the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. Frenetic deforestation inching towards a point of no-
How then to defend the Hiaitsiihi’s rights to their material and immaterial otherness? Counter-
Julien Bismuth (b. 1973 Paris, France) lives and works in New York. Working in the mediums of collage, installation, and performance, Bismuth straddles a wide range of critical and cultural interrogations. His often practice intertwines language and image to call both into question, probing the ways in which our representations of the world shape and inform our decisions and interactions.
Hiaitsiihi is curated by Raffaella Frascarelli, in collaboration with the Research Unit Aesthetic in the Social, Department of Social and Economic Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome.
Exhibition October 24, 2019 -
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