The Instituto Tomie Ohtake recently opened their newest exhibition Histórias Mestiças, or Mestizo Histories. While the word history in English mostly refers to past, factual events, in Portuguese história has a more broad meaning to include both factual and fictional, public or personal accounts.
This exhibit is based on the notion that there are multiple histories that occur, not just a singular narrative. These histórias are shown through a variety of paintings, textiles, photographs, sculptures, historical documents and other objects. The organization of these objects is key: instead of being grouped by culture or time period, they are grouped by theme. There are seven in total: trails and maps, encounters and dis-encounters, masks and portraits, cosmologies and national emblems, rites and religions, work, weavings and graphic inscriptions. The result is seeing, for example, the myriad of ways work has occurred in Brazil, with torture devices used on slaves displayed next to indigenous peoples’ hunting tools.
Histórias Mestiças are marginal and subaltern, anthropophagic and post-colonial, multiple and inconstant, fractured and transversal histories; they are histories of flow and reflux, full of segregation, prejudice and discrimination. As we reestablish connections with other matrices, we rewrite histories of the past and propose new ones for the future.
-Adriano Pedrosa, curator
The exhibition runs from August 16 to October 5.