Tonico Lemos Auad and Rivane Neuenschwander in 'Soft Power, Arte Brasil'
Tonico Lemos Auad and Rivane Neuenschwander feature in 'Soft Power. Arte Brasil', a major exhibition at Kunsthal KAdE in Amersfoort, The Netherlands. Featuring 35 contemporary Brazilian artists and artists' groups working on issues currently facing their country, the exhibition is prompted by the prospect of the Rio Olympics: the second global sporting event to be hosted by Brazil within a few years, following the FIFA World Cup in 2014. In 'Soft Power. Arte Brasil', Kunsthal KAdE asks what sort of country chooses to showcase itself in this way. Part of the answer to that question can be found in the work of the visual artists and artist collectives currently active in Brazil. Their art addresses a wide variety of issues, from the position of indigenous peoples in the north of the country to the water shortages in São Paolo and government economic policies.
The exhibition will include ‘Reflected Archaeology (Iemanjá)', 2009, a room-sized installation by Tonico Lemos Auad. The viewer is invited to 'scratch off' a silver surface of wallpaper to reveal a collage of images hidden beneath. As more people scratch and draw on the wall, their drawings are beautifully overlaid with the colours and images contained in the artist's collage underneath. The collage depicts offerings made to the ‘Candomblé', Goddess of the Sea, a figure in Yoruban religion. Followers of this Afro-Brazilian religion bring gifts of food, perfume and jewels to the beach on New Year's Eve and bury them in the sand in pots and vases for the goddess. Drawing on the rich fabric of his native Brazil, Auad creates work that is sensory, evoking the sounds, sensations and impressions of his country.