Re-measuring the Dry Land (palm tree). 2017
The Europeans were the first non-indigenous people to explore the Amazon forest: they came, studied and abused the natives with their objectifying gaze. The forest was often portrayed as exotic, magical and otherworldly by these colonizers. This symbolic depiction eventually dominated the imagination of foreign and local people, myself included.
In July 2017, while at the Adolpho Duck Reserve on the Amazon Forest for an artist residency, I began working on Re-medindo a Terra Firme, an investigation and reworking of the initial allusions and actual references that were employed by the Europeans explorers – those that have been absorbed as a genuine reality.
…Here I am. Two hundred years after Von Martius drew the depth and complexity of this forest. How do I decode the images and concepts embedded within me by an alien experience? I insert myself in this landscape – a place that has been object of subjugation for centuries – and use my body to experience real dimensions, to understand the impression of its size and to reassess memory through this, my own experience.
Each tree, I hold. Each tree, I measure with my hands. A repetition that facilitates my own corporal connection to the landscape and reveals a forest as fragile as my being.
Re-measuring the Dry Land (Buriti). 2017
Same as the above.
Note: The text above was written by the Artist. No modification was made by C.O.C.A.
Bia is a Brazilian born visual artist working mostly with photography, video and installations. Her work explores matters of colonization and environmental concerns by re-accessing and recreating new landscapes through the use of the body, architecture and historical references. Bia Monteiro was born in 1976, in Rio de Janeiro. Received a MFA degree from the International Center of Photography in New York where she was awarded with the Director’s Fellowship in 2015/16. Bia has exhibited her work in Brazil, Europe and United States and is part of the artist collective Studio Duo.