26 May - 2 October 2016, museum Beelden aan Zee
26 May - 21 August 2016, Lange Voorhout, The Hague
This summer Museum Beelden aan Zee presents Brasil, Beleza?! on the Lange Voorhout in The Hague and in its museum in Scheveningen as part of the annual Summer Sculpture Exhibition organized by Beelden aan Zee. The exhibition offers a colorful insight into the vast land of Brazil through a selection of historical, contemporary and newly commissioned works by more than 25 Brazilian artists, many whom have never exhibited before in The Netherlands.
The literal and most obvious translation of the Portuguese word 'beleza' is 'beauty', however nowadays the term is commonly used amongst youngsters and friends as a form of acknowledgement, both as a question and an affirmation. What’s up? Everything ok? Yeah, fine. All right. On social media, for example, its abbreviation “blz” is widely spread. With this new connotation in mind, the group exhibition Brasil, Beleza?! examines the current situation in Brazil which is at the height of an economic crisis and is dealing with political difficulties. Departing from a number of important historical works, the exhibition presents a network of interdependent topical themes such as consumerism, value circulation, trade routes, and also how these abstract notions influence the individual’s experience within a natural and urban environment.
Beauty as a façade
Brazil is well known as the country of the body and the beautiful. It is second to the United States when it comes to the amount of plastic surgeries and active health clubs. Beauty, vitality and health are essential elements ingrained into the country’s culture. This idea sheds new light on the athletic bodies performing in the Olympic Games taking place in Rio de Janeiro this summer. The national government has poured a disproportioned amount of money into this event, despite the economic and social problems the country is facing since last year. Like its iconic modernist architecture, Brazil’s ‘façades’ are in constant need of maintenance and renovation. Brasil, Beleza?! questions what lies beneath the beautiful surface and examines the precarious times the frontrunner of the BRIC countries is finding itself in today. By employing various materials, forms and concepts, artists in Brasil, Beleza?! discuss the fragility of a nation in constant flux, that perhaps now more than ever is being examined in the public eye as we continue to click away on our social media apps. Ultimately the exhibition makes a connection between the current economic and political instability, the preservation of modernism, and the beauty – that exists on many levels – that characterize this impressive country.
Adriana Varejão, Adriano Amaral, Alexandre da Cunha, Antonio Manuel, Carmela Gross, Cildo Meireles, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, Eduardo Coimbra, Erika Verzutti, Ernesto Neto, Héctor Zamora, Jarbas Lopes, João Loureiro, José Bento, Lais Myrrha, Laura Lima, Lucia Koch, Marcelo Cidade, Marcius Galan, Marcos Chaves, Marilá Dardot, OPAVIVARÁ!, Raul Mourão, Rivane Neuenschwander, Sonia Gomes, Tunga and Valeska Soares.
The exhibition includes newly commissioned and site-specific works by João Loureiro, Marcius Galan and Valeska Soares.
The exhibition is curated by guest curator Carolyn H. Drake and Alessandra Laitempergher, from the Beelden aan Zee Museum of Modern Sculpture.