Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Brazil Initiative

Kleber Amancio - Conformities and Silences: The Representation of Blacks in the Brazilian Visual Arts (1637-1930)

Monday, March 19, 2018

12:00pm – 1:30pm

Joukowsky Forum, Watson Institute, 111 Thayer Street.

This talk intends to be a narrative about the Black presence in the Brazilian visual arts. My purpose is to identify “if”, “when” and “how” these subjects appear in art works. To achieve this target it is necessary to investigate this presence/absence without losing sight of the respective historical context. From Franz Post to Di Cavalcanti, passing through other artists like Jean Baptiste Debret, Antonio Rafael Pinto Bandeira, Henrique Bernardelli, Tarsila do Amaral, etc., the moments of silence and representations are both revealing to historians. Dissimilar works like Alegoria da lei do ventre livre (1878) by Miguel Navarro y Cañizares, Redenção de Cam (1895) by Modesto Brocos and Retrato de Preto (1906) by Arthur Timotheo da Costa show us that these pieces, more than reproducing discussions that take place in society, are rather a type of thought that through material means gains concreteness; creates patterns of behavior, postulates interpretations and effectively acts upon reality.