Barbara Marcel: Tropic Matters

10 – 22 February 2017 Opening: 10 February 2017, 18:00 – 23:00

V240 proudly presents Tropic Matters: a solo show by artist Barbara Marcel, curated by Vita Evangelista.

Tropic Matters forms part of an ongoing research project, along with "Victoria Amazonica" (2015-16), Marcel's early film essay, and "The open forest" (2017), a compost of found and produced images of the Amazon Forest as a landscape of imperialist and developmentalist imagination. By conceiving landscape as a cultural medium, which not only symbolizes power relations but is also an instrument and agent of power itself, the video installations reflect on stories of accessing, framing and consuming the forest as well as its complex entanglements of human technologies and ‘natural’ resources.

After an artist’s residency in the Adolpho Ducke Reserve of INPA, one of the most important spaces for scientific research in the Brazilian Amazon, Marcel's encounters in the forest echo the attempt to demystify a colonized imaginary and its haunting consequences. By mobilizing local and global knowledge, the work decodes expectations, shifting scales in search of erased legacies.

Tropic Matters traces a trajectory from the phosphorous in the Saharan desert to the barren soils of the Amazon, from greenhouse effects and their architectures to the origins of European biological expansion in the tropics of the ‘New World’, from the rubber trade navigation lines to the shaky brega pop music in the streets of Manaus, a tax haven close to the forest that houses large poles of technology production built during the Brazilian dictatorship.

In a processual assemblage installation made of hands and machines, data and dust, the exhibition space unfolds environmental connections of multiple perspectives, investigating how and with whom can we enter, see and know the Amazon forest, its interconnected beings and its histories of resistance.

Barbara Marcel (Rio de Janeiro, 1985) is an artist and filmmaker based in Berlin, whose works reflect on the relationship between artistic and scientific research. In her PhD at the Bauhaus-University in Weimar, Marcel investigates the essayfilm as a historiographical tool for decolonial thinking with and through images, with the Botanical Garden Berlin-Dahlem and its plants being her current material of study.

Recent exhibitions include: Omonoia, Athens Biennial (2016); There will come soft rains, GMK Berlin (2016); Vision and Fear Station, Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig (2015); On Projection, Kühlhaus Berlin (2015); Through the looking screen, 175 Gallery Seoul (2015); Desvenda, Galeria Marta Traba - Fundação Memorial da América Latina, São Paulo (2013); Return to Forever, TZB Gallery of the Czech Centre Berlin (2013).

Special thanks to the artists who collaborated on the project:
cinematography (Arara chapter) RODRIGO LEVY
cinematography (Sahara chapter) QUITO
performers LIANA LESSA and QUITO

‘TROPIC MATTERS: THE OPEN FOREST’ by Barbara Marcel is supported by the IFA – Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen.

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