Patrícia Werneck Ribas
South American indigenous women discuss the possibilities of conquering German Indians as the first step in their quest to save the planet.
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Première Brasileira, 4° Festival ECRÃ Art Rotterdam (NL), Feb 2020
dados da obra
Patrícia Werneck Ribas
"Patricia Werneck Ribas (BR/NL) is an Amsterdam based artist who works with mainly moving and still images. She photographs people, places, and create video installations. Her figurative work is often elusive, but it is never removed from a particular historical moment. It always belongs to and expands on the complexity of memory, time and location. She takes what is familiar and makes it strange and compelling through creating unexpected juxtapositions and collaging ideas from often very distinct sources. She invites a gaze that is quietly unsettling, but her work always remains suggestive and elusive. Questions of ‘identity’ run throughout her work, a word which is always predicated on defining what we are not as a way of thinking through who we are. She sees the artist as someone who is always making decisions that have strong cultural and social ramifications- whether this is explicit in the artwork or not. Her focus is on inviting the viewer to imagine themselves in the place of the other. She disrupts familiar perceptions by investigating how personal narratives connect with wider political and social debates and concerns. She studied Photography at the Fotoacademie in Amsterdam followed by an Audio Visual Arts degree at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. She has participated in several group exhibitions and screenings in The Netherlands and abroad including the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (NL); Museum DE Pont, Tilburg (NL); Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht (NL); Museum de Fundatie, Zwolle (NL); Museum Hilversum (NL); Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam (NL); Reykjavik International Film Festival (IS); National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavik (IS); Art Museum of Nanjing University of the Arts (CN); Manifesta, Amsterdam (NL)."
dados no Festival ECRÃ
4° Festival ECRÃ
data e hora
presença do artista
Since the 1800s German people have been fascinated with Native Americans. A rough estimate is that 40,000 to 80,000 people, all over the country, participate in ‘powwows’ where they dress up in traditional clothing, dance together and chant. Patricia Werneck Ribas traveled to a little village called Grimma close to Dresden to collect images of these gatherings and to research these phenomena. It may be a surprise to learn that dressing up as indigenous peoples is a thriving subculture in these cold lands. The artist wanted to go beyond looking at the absurdity of white people dressing up as Native Americans, however. So, for this artwork, she has added something else. She edited a conversation between two tribal women from South America looking at the video images of the Germans slow dancing in their ‘exotic’ costumes. The sound of the Europeans chanting can be heard in the background while the women speak. This unexpected combination is neither critical nor condoning these fascinating get-togethers, just opening up a space to reflect on what it means to be ‘the other’. In this video, women from the Baniwa tribe, heard that some people from the North have affinities with the Indian spirit and organize these powwows in huge tents. Watching this video is as if the two women are also observers of these scenes. The women from different areas of South America saw potential in a shared love of nature. They wanted to study the possibilities of contacting the Germans to see if they could be allies in the women’s quest to take over the world, finding solutions to global environmental problems. This fascinating video combines footage of native Germans dancing in a tent with audio and subtitled observations from the women of the Baniwa ethnicity. Here, they are viewers, too. Looking at these images is their ‘first contact’ with Northern Europeans. The women wondered – will people in the North be willing to abandon their comforts? What would they give up to help save the planet? The women’s’ plan is not yet known, but there around 40 million indigenous people in Latin America getting ready to organize themselves and investigating the possibilities of working together for a common cause. Will this encounter be a real possibility of enabling change or are the hopes of the Baniwa women just a fantasy?