Christiano Mascaro, Gdańsk, 2013, photo: MCK
In 2016, two artists, a Brazilian and a Pole – a photographer and a filmmaker, worked together to create images of contemporary cities in Poland and Brazil. Their work was later showcased in Kraków as part of the Polish cultural programme in Brazil organised by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute. This year, The Traces of People will be presented in São Paulo.
Brazilian photographer Christiano Mascaro and Polish visual artist Sławomir Rumiak visited each other’s countries to look at them through their respective lenses and their outsider’s perspectives. In collaboration with the curator and creator of the Traces of People initiative, Stephan Stroux, they created a series of black-and-white photographs, a film and book, summarising the project, which premieres 9th May 2017 at the Instituto Tomie Ohtake in São Paulo.
The book opens with the curatorial text by Stephan Stroux. As the project initiator, and the person responsible for the meeting between Mascaro and Rumiak, Stroux presents the essence of the work of each of the artists and reveals the idea behind this artistic attempt to establish new perspective on Poland and Brazil. A section dedicated to Cristiano Mascaro contains a selection of black and white photographs that the artist took in four Polish cities: Warsaw, Krakow, Gdańsk and Łódź. Without journalistic intentions, through the prism of his cultural baggage, Mascaro photographed the public and the intimate space of the inhabitants of the Polish cities, but without showing the people themselves. Instead, he used vestiges of human coexistence - personal objects, decorating elements - to build stories about the lives of his absent characters. From the asceticism of the photos of Mascaro we move to the cinematographic narration of Sławomir Rumiak.
The part of the book dedicated to the Polish artist focuses on the artistic film Macunaíma Returns to São Paulo that Rumiak shot during his artistic residency in the largest Brazilian metropolis. The São Paulo of Rumiak is free from the crowd. The citizens of São Paulo disappear from the image leaving the space for a group of subaltern residents – the invisible ones who failed to realize the dream of wealthy life in the city. Referring to the myth of the Macuanaíma, Rumiak observes his characters and reveals their strategies of taming the city that is compared by the artist to wild and hostile nature.
9th May 2017, Instituto Tomie Ohtake
10th May 2017, Instituto Tomie Ohtake
The event is organised by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, under its flagship brand Culture.pl, with the assistance of Casa Sanguszko de Cultura Polonesa.
Source: promotional materials; compiled by MKD, May 2017, translated by WF, May 2017
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