The curators Sandra Benites and Clarissa Diniz proposed this Thursday (26) to the Museum of Art of São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand (MASP) free access to the exhibition Brazilian Storiesafter the museum proposed postponing the opening of the show and reorganizing the schedule to include the core resumptions.
Benites and Diniz had canceled the resumptions in protest against the non-inclusion of photos, images of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) and the indigenous struggle. Masp justified the absence by saying that its internal deadlines for processing the photographs were not met.
The proposal and five others were addressed through a letter to MASP directors: the president of the deliberative council, Alfredo Egydio Setúbal, the president director, Heitor Martins, and the artistic director, Adriano Pedrosa.
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“We suggest that, during the period of this exhibition, the Museum may suspend its usual ticket collection as an exercise of one of the ethical-political principles of the resumptions: the redistribution of territories, capitals and privileges historically concentrated in the hands of the elites”, say the curators in a note.
“If you can stop charging tickets or, alternatively, extend the free days during Brazilian Storiesby safeguarding free access to its spaces, exhibitions and other activities, Masp will certainly reinforce its commitment to democratization, inclusion and diversity.”
The curators accepted the proposal to resume the nucleus, which also includes the inclusion of the six photographs by André Vilaron, Edgar Kanaykõ Xakriabá and João Zinclar that had been vetoed by the museum, which resulted in the cancellation of the nucleus. In addition to free access, Benites and Diniz even propose the purchase of six photographs.
::See photos from the MST collection that were vetoed from the Masp exhibition, and understand the case::
Benites and Diniz also proposed legal changes that had been established in a previous contract. According to the curators, Masp has the intellectual property rights for the work carried out so far, which prevents the realization of the resumptions elsewhere, being inevitably linked to Masp.
In this sense, the curators propose that Masp does not “hold the patrimonial copyrights referring to the resumptionsensuring that, as its curators, we have our intellectual property recognized by MASP in our dissolutions and/or contracts”.
In a second proposal, Benites and Diniz ask that, “with the recognition of the patrimonial copyright”, Masp removes any barrier to use, disseminate or modify the work. “As this is a collective struggle, we are not interested in submitting the resumptions to intellectual property protection rules”, they defend.
remember the case
In early May, Masp vetoed six photos from the exhibition resumptionspart of the exhibition Brazilian Stories, scheduled to take place in July. Four of the photos depict moments of struggle of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) and another two of the indigenous struggle, by João Zinclar, André Vilaron and Edgar Kanaykõ, respectively.
According to Sandra Benites and Clarissa Diniz, Masp claimed that the photographs could not be exhibited, as the deadline stipulated for including the works would have been extrapolated. The curators, however, say they were not notified by the institution about the deadline. “MASP never sent us the schedule. We thought everything was fine, because we didn’t have a schedule,” Benites told Brazil de facto.
In a note, the curators also reinforced the lack of a deadline. “We reiterate: we were never informed of a timetable for Brazilian Stories and we never delay the definition of the list of works of the resumptionsas MASP alleges, trying to give us an image of incompetence.”
For them, the show revealed “the urgency of reviewing the ethics and colonial policies of our territories, languages, bodies, representations and museums”. For this reason, Benites says that the “colonial system”, whose values are still present in institutions and norms, is “oppressive”.
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With the negative of the six images, the curators decided to cancel the show. “Accepting the exclusion of images from the retakes in the name of the permanence of the nucleus would lead us to be disloyal to the subjects and movements involved in our curatorship – a contradiction that we are not willing to negotiate for not agreeing with such irresponsibility”, say the curators, in a note. . “We couldn’t move forward,” Benites said.
The MST also positioned itself on the case. In a note, the movement said that “by making the insertion of all these documents unfeasible”, Masp puts into practice “the exclusion of one of the largest social movements in contemporary Brazilian and Latin American history”.
They also state that the decision “points to a construction of distorted historical knowledge and committed to a culture that misrepresents the real complexity of Brazilian political history”.
In turn, Masp informed the press that it received the works about three months in advance, whereas the standard deadline for Masp is four to six months, therefore, after the deadline that would have been stipulated.
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“However, the museum did manage to meet one of the curators’ requests, in an exceptional way, to include the works belonging to the Movimento Sem Terra collection, a total of seven posters and documents. What was not possible to include were six photographs of three photographers. Although this material represented the central axis of the nucleus, it was delivered to the museum after the deadline”, the institution wrote in a note.
See the new Masp note in full
“The Museum of Art of São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand comes to the public with a new position on the cancellation of the nucleus resumptionswhich was part of the collective exhibition Brazilian Stories, to be inaugurated on July 1st. The exhibition is part of a series of storieswhich included Stories of Sexuality (2017), Afro-Atlantic Stories (2018), Feminist Stories (2019), among others.
The Museum has reflected a lot on the current moment and, as a living museum, seeks to learn from this episode, including observing procedural flaws and errors in the dialogue with the curators Clarissa Diniz and Sandra Benites, responsible for the nucleus resumptions. The institution publicly regrets the cancellation of the nucleus, so important for the exhibition, and the departure of the project’s curators.
Intending to move forward so that similar episodes do not happen again in the future, we are open to listening to Benites and Diniz, in order to learn from this experience and improve processes and work models.
In this sense, if the curators agree, we propose to postpone the opening of the exhibition and reorganize its schedule so that we can include the core resumptions on mostra.
Another measure that we are proposing is to hold a public seminar during the exhibition on the nucleus resumptions with the participation of curators.
Finally, we will propose the incorporation of the 6 photographs by André Vilaron, Edgar Kanaykõ Xakriabá and João Zinclar into the Museum’s collection, if it is of interest to the artists, as a record of the importance of these images for the history of MASP and recognition of the work. developed by the curators together with the Movimento Sem Terra—MST.
MASP is committed to opening new spaces for listening, in the certainty that what we want is a more plural, inclusive and democratic Brazil – which can only be built collectively, based on open, empathetic and collaborative dialogue.”
Editing: Rodrigo Durao Coelho