‘The Wealth of Nations’ is a duo exhibition by artists-filmmakers Ana Bravo Pérez and Bernardo Zanotta. The title is appropriated from Adam Smith's 1776 book, a classic in economics promoting theories for industrial progress in Europe and colonial exploitation of other parts of the modern world. Both Bravo Pérez and Zanotta present new film installations that juxtapose Smith's tale of European wealth with the perspective of the colonized nations, producing critical takes on the economic and fictional narratives that sustained European nation-building projects.
Ana Bravo Pérez presents her new work Mother Earth’s Inner Organs (2022), which is the result of a long-term artistic project in which she has been investigating the procedence of the coal used in The Netherlands, and the mining of coal in Colombia. The film is an attempt to stop seeing coal as a natural resource for industrial purposes, but to see this black sedimentary rock as one of the organs of Mother Earth. This artistic objective stems from the artist’s personal position as a Colombian artist in the Amsterdam diaspora working on film from a decolonial and feminist perspective.
Bernardo Zanotta presents his new film installation Pretty Pictures (2022). The work borrows words from a 1950s guide-book for cultivating tropical plants, as well as from the novel Les Belles Images (1966), written by French writer Simone de Beauvoir. The “beautiful images” in the film were shot in a semi-automated greenhouse in the Dutch countryside, where bromeliads, a plant native to Brazil, are artificially grown and prepared for sale. The gap between beautiful images and their production is addressed by exposing the industrial landscape in which these plants are cultivated.
The exhibition offers an encounter between these two new filmic works, which both employ a material and narrative approach. The films belong to longer-standing projects of each artist, exposing two parallel timelines: one of colonial wealth, and one of exploitation. Both works uncover how old narratives that divided the world into modern and underdeveloped find their repetition in contemporary processes of exploitation, aimed at maintaining colonial differences.
Re-tracing (Sunday 10th April, 15:00)
This public event will foster a conversation between different artists on the meaning and notion of retracing in their respective artistic practices. How can the retracing of colonial structures simultaneously offer the possibility to resist present-day exploitation. How can we retrace and reveal the history of resources and colonial wealth without repeating them? How can we challenge and reimagine histories departing from decolonial artistic practices, the environmental crisis, speculative fiction and queer survival strategies? The public conversation will be held between artists Ana Bravo Pérez, Bernardo Zanotta, Aldo Ramos and Anna Moreno.
Aldo Ramos is a griot, a traveller-poet, a storyteller, and an artist based in Amsterdam. He guards ancestral memories and his practice encourages relational ways of being with the Earth as re-existence overcoming consumption.
Anna Moreno, an artist based in Den Haag, is researching social progress, nostalgia and speculative futures. She is interested in the inconclusive nature of events as well as their documentation.
Ana Bravo Pérez and Bernardo Zanotta's work is currently on show at PuntWG.
First Nations’ Films (Tuesday 19th April, 19:00)
First Nations’ Films is an evening program with short films produced in the Guarani and Kaiowa Territory of central Brazil and in the Wayuu territory in Northern Colombia. The films from Brazil were made by indigenous youth and leaders in film workshop processes of the Imagem Canto Palavra Extension Program at the Guaiviry indigenous community. The films from Colombia were made by young Wayuu makers that are part of the Communication collective wakuaipa. Ancestral practices, displacement, and the defense of indigenous territories are some of the common threads between these highly original and very important films. This film program is presented in the context of ‘The Wealth of Nations’ and is curated by Ana Bravo Pérez and Bernardo Zanotta.
Films in this program
Pohã Re'yi (Family of Healing, 14min)
A film by Joilson Brites, Jhonathan Gomes, Wagner Gomes, Anailson Flores
The extended Kaiowa family includes not only blood relatives and households but relationships with sacred beings, animals and plants. In this short film, we see such family ties doubly affirmed: in the relationship with traditional remedies and in a relationship between grandmother (Crescencia Flores) and her granddaughter (Melojaine "Querida" Brites) searching for it. They face together the difficulties of their scarcity in the context of war for land in Mato Grosso do Sul and the difficulties of maintaining the experience of always-delicate family ties, in the face of the historical violence that affects these several forms of kinship.
Lapü E’ ikuusu / sueños enterrados ( Buried dreams, 16 min)
A film by Marcos Uriana and colectivo de comunicaciones wakuaipa
Different generations get together to talk about the past and the present in their territory. An elder, a mother and a young wayuu also share their stories of loss.
Umapo. a, Salinai, ewidacta, waaya (Umapo where elders teach us, 7min)
A film by Pablo Vladimir Trejo Obando and Ramon Martínez Manchay
Elders talk about the worlds above and below and the different spirits in nature. How are different worlds affected by extractive industries such as oil?
Guahuí Guyra Kuera (Enchantment of Birds, 13min)
A film by Anailson Flores, Beibity Flores, Cledson Amarília Ricarte, Jhonlailson Gomes Almeida, Jhon Malison, Jomalis Franco Gomes, Wagner Gomes
In this short film, a bird hunt is an opportunity to show, on the one hand, the situation of scarcity in the tekoha, where the small forest surrounded by the monoculture of agribusiness does not provide for the species. On the other hand, it is an event that breaks out into the sacred logic of everyday life to reveal the enchantment, respect, poetry and the art of life affirmation by a group of young people who insist on trying to experience risk from the point of view of birds.
Historias de Shiriwa y Muñí (Shiriwa and Muñí’s stories, 33min)
A film by Amado Villafaña Chaparro and Confederación Indígena Tayrona
The authorities and communities of the Wiwa people of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta share their ancestral thoughts about water in a painful expedition through the Ranchería river basin. Water, their spiritual fathers and mothers, are being killed by a dam and a coal company, also affecting the Wayuu people. Urgent actions of spiritual work are required to mitigate the damage caused by the younger brothers.
Ava Marangatu (15 min)
A film by Jhonathon Gomes, Joilson Brites, Genito Gomes, Jhon Nara Gomes, Dulcídio Gomes, Edina Ximenez, Sarah Brites, Valmir Gonçalves Cabreira
In Guaiviry, traditional Guarani and Kaiowá land, two young men go out to hunt in the part of the forest that still remains.
Provincial - Lamentos y Exigencias (8 min)
A film by Marcos Brito Colectivo de Comunicación Wayúu Wakuaipa.
What are the consequences of coal mining in Wayuu territory? A group of women expose the danger they are facing for defending their territory and their culture.
Siziwa - Danzar para que el planeta siga girando (To dance so the earth keep spinning, 7min.)
A film by Rafael Roberto Mojica Gil and Bunkuaneyuman Comunicaciones
The Sagas or wise women of the Wiwa people of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta show and explain why singing and dancing is a form of communication with the spirits of the universe and a way of giving back to them so that there are no imbalances or illnesses.
Yvy Pyte (Heart of the Earth, 7min)
A film by Genito Gomes and Johnn Nara Gomes
This experimental short film proposes a lyrical plunge into the sacred words of the shaman Valdomiro Flores, about the original territory and the traditional way of being Kaiowá indigenous people (Mato Grosso do Sul/Brazil) elaborated from a set of images of the phenomenon of kuarahy jeguaka (head ornament of the Sun).
Born in the city of Pasto, southwest Colombia, Ana Bravo Pérez’s inter-disciplinary and multimedia work revolves around migration, memory and decoloniality, for which she uses her own migratory and diasporic experiences. Those experiences have been crucial for building an artistic practice in which personal, (de)colonial, and geopolitical spaces merge while at the same time the materials of the chosen artistic methods are questioned. Ana’s studies, publications and work in film and the visual arts have taken her from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, to Caracas, Venezuela; and from the International Film School (EICTV) in San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba, to the National University of the Arts in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She holds a Master's degree in Film (MA) from The Netherlands Film Academy. Her work has been shown at Burg Hülshoff, Münster; Eye Film Museum; Museum Willet Holthuysen, Amsterdam; Museum of Contemporary Art, Bahia Blanca; Cinemateca de Bogotá, among others.
Bernardo Zanotta is a Brazilian visual artist and filmmaker based in Amsterdam. His films deal with the friction between personal and collective history, often departing from fiction in order to produce alternative realities, or delving deep into reality in order to expose its fictional origins. He earned his BA degree in Moving Image from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in 2018. His projects span disciplines, ranging from film and theater to installation and writing. His films have been screened and awarded internationally at various festivals, including Locarno, Queer Lisboa, and Vilnius. His film Heart of Hunger (2018) was awarded the Pardino d’Argento at Locarno Film Festival.
Photography by Ilya Rabinovich