MAR will present from April 13, 2019 through August 25, 2019 the exhibition Rosana Paulino: The Sewing of Memory. Curated by Valéria Piccoli and Pedro Nery, this is the largest individual exhibit of Paulino’s work in the country. Renowned for tackling social issues arising from the position black women occupy in contemporary society, the artist will present over 140 works she produced over the course of twenty-five years. Going back to her own personal story, Paulino saw that the problem with the way blacks are represented translates to their almost complete absence from a wide range of activities and history, especially when it comes to visual arts, in Brazil. Beginning as an artist in the 1990s, Paulino quickly distinguished herself, having found a unique voice among her contemporaries with her bright takes on social, ethnicity, and gender issues, all troubling in the context of the Brazilian society.
Samba is a cultural complex. As well as music, it is a way of life and resistance of people against the violence of colonisation and the structural inequalities of Brazil. Of black origin, samba was born poor, mulato in the poetry and in the heart, and grew with the fate of joining together pieces of the dreams broken in the “great crossing”. Here, even in the hardships of forced labour, it expanded into the periphery of the federal capital — the Rio de Janeiro of the start of the 20th century — against all the marginalisation and criminalisation that was imposed upon it and became a national symbol; and one of the most powerful images of the country in the world and of the African diaspora in the Americas.
An exhibition from a feminist perspective should not only give value to the production of female artists, but also destabilize the traditional process of curation and seek new ways of producing meaning. In the elaboration of this project, over the period of two months we brought together collaborators from all sectors of the museum – security guards, receptionists, producers, administrative assistants, lawyers, journalists, designers, museologists, librarians and managers, among others – in a series of meetings to think about place of women, based on their private experiences. The problems, contradictions and difficulties were exposed in exercises and narratives and provided, bit by bit, support for the curatorial choices.