What the urban eye can no longer see

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posted on 04/17/2017
Caravana Farkas documentaries will be shown on April 29 at 5 p.m. on the public program of the exhibition Nada levarei quando morrer, aqueles que me devem cobrarei no inferno

In the late 1960s, a group of filmmakers left São Paulo for the sertão—the outback in northeastern Brazil—intent on registering the region’s inhabitants. These films comprise what would later become known as Caravana Farkas, a set of more than thirty documentaries produced between 1964 and 1980 by the photographer and entrepreneur Thomaz Farkas.

The works that resulted from this expedition innovated for showing parts of Brazil that had never been recorded before, giving voice and face to characters who were nearly unknown to the general public. The films present, portrayed as protagonists of their stories, men and women of the people that did not fit in the ideals of order and progress of the Brazilian State, further strengthened by the 1964 coup.

This is what is shown, for instance, in rastejador, s. m. [stalker, masculine noun], by Sergio Muniz, one of the films to be shown at Galpão VB (synopses below). After concluding that the descriptions of the crawler in dictionaries and books were insufficient, the documentary meets with two men who dedicated their lives to the task of following footprints and traces of lost animals or wanted cangaceiros (outlaws). A vast knowledge about the landscape and the ways of the sertão—ignored by Brazil’s urban and modernizing eyes—is thus revealed.

On April 29 at 5 p.m., Galpão VB will show three films that resulted from this journey, on the first public program of the exhibition Nada levarei quando morrer, aqueles que me devem cobrarei no inferno [I will take nothing when I die, those who owe me, I will charge in hell]. Afterwards, the exhibition curators, Solange O. Farkas and Gabriel Bogossian, will mediate a debate with the public. Admission is free.

Learn about the films that will be shown

Visão de Juazeiro (View of Juazeiro, 1970, directed by Eduardo Escorel)

Pilgrims, merchants, students, and soldiers gather in Juazeiro do Norte, one of the main religious centers in the country, for the inauguration of the 27-meters-high statue of Padre Cícero. Archival footage shows the city in the early twentieth century, and the honored priest interacting with the worshipers. These two moments make up the view of a community involved by the figure of the religious man.

rastejador, s. m. (stalker, masculine noun, 1969, directed by Sergio Muniz)

Dictionaries fail to adequately define the stalker’s job. The camera, then, interviews two men who have dedicated their lives to the task of following the tracks that people and animals left on the caatinga. Joaquim Correia Lima recalls the sertão wars and his combats with Lampião and Maria Bonita. Also a cangaceiro bounty hunter, Batista shows how to make use of and take advantage of the agreste. Both connect the old to the contemporary, and cannot be reduced to mystifications.

Jaramataia (1969–1970, directed by Paulo Gil Soares)

Jaramataia, in Paraíba, is a typical farm in the sertão of the Brazilian northeast. From the anatomy of the bull, the proud narrative of the farm owner, and the daily life of workers, with their techniques and instruments, the film outlines a panorama of cattle farming and the life of cowboys in the sertão.

Learn more about the mediators

Solange O. Farkas

Curator and director of Associação Cultural Videobrasil. In 1983, she created the Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil, where she is also the chief-curator, and which has become a reference for the artistic production in the Global South. She brought to Brazil the exhibitions Cuide de Você, by Sophie Calle (Sesc Pompeia, São Paulo, 2009), A Revolução Somos Nós, by Joseph Beuys, (Sesc Pompeia, São Paulo, 2010), and Geopoéticas, by Isaac Julian, (Sesc Pompeia, São Paulo, 2012), which she also curated. As a guest curator, she participated on the 10th Sharjah Biennial (United Arab Emirates, 2011), on the 16th Cerveira Biennial (Portugal, 2011), and on the 6th Jakarta International Video Festival (Indonesia, 2013), among others. With Gabriel Bogossian, she curated the Akram Zaatari’s exhibition Tomorrow Everything Will Be Alright (Galpão VB, São Paulo, 2016).

Gabriel Bogossian.

Editor, translator, and associate curator at Associação Cultural Videobrasil. In his practices, he examines the representations of indigenous territories and its peoples, often creating links between artistic production and documental archives. He worked as a curator in the exhibitions Nada levarei quando morrer, aqueles que me devem cobrarei no inferno (Galpão VB, São Paulo, 2017), with Solange O. Farkas, Cruzeiro do Sul (Paço das Artes, São Paulo, 2015) and Corpo Estranho (Oi Futuro Flamengo, Rio de Janeiro, 2014), with Luisa Duarte, among other shows. As an editor and translator, he has collaborated in works released by the publishing houses Rocco, Hedra, the Federal University of Pernambuco Press, and the Videobrasil Festival.


WHAT: Caravana Farkas, with Solange O. Farkas and Gabriel Bogossian. Public program of the exhibition Nada levarei quando morrer, aqueles que me devem cobrarei no inferno [I will take nothing when I die, those who owe me, I will charge in hell]

WHEN: April 29, Saturday, at 5 p.m.

WHERE: Galpão VB | Associação Cultural Videobrasil (Av. Imperatriz Leopoldina, 1150, São Paulo, SP)

Free admission