20.04.2021-20.05.2021, Berlin. Artistic intervention on billboards at U1 Kottbusser Tor subway station (Kreuzberg - Berlin)

SÜDSTELLIUM is a project conceived by Matheus Rocha Pitta, Ana Hupe and Barbara Marcel, which proposes transmissions and collaborations with artists based in Brazil. As a fruit of these dialogues, three images will occupy billboards of the U1 subway at the Kottbusser Tor station in Berlin between 20.04 and 10.05.2021.

In a dialogue with Vândria Borari, Barbara Marcel wonders how it is possible to imagine the sky of Alter do Chão from the city of Berlin.

What if to see the fallen skies of the Amazon one had to look at the soil, look at the clay and ceramics found on the shores of the Tapajós River? On a visit to the Berlin Ethnographic Museum in 2019, at the invitation of Barbara Marcel, the also artist, lawyer and indigenous activist Vândria Borari had for the first time contact with the collection of pre-Columbian art located in Berlin. Amidst the museum's large collection of South Amerindian pieces, Vândria encountered Tapajonic vases, amulets and ceramic fragments, material culture of her ancestors. The collage resulting from the dialogues between the two brings together one of the vases from Berlin's collection; drawings by German-Brazilian ethnologist Curt Niemuendajú of one of the oldest cave paintings in the Amazon, located at the archeological site of Monte Alegre, Pará; and a photograph by Barbara Marcel of vultures sunbathing on Carauarí beach in Alter do Chão. According to Tapajonic cosmology, vultures are animals capable of connecting the immanent world with the transcendental realm. Regarded as funerary agents in some cultures around the world, they continue to be important interspecies caretakers in the ecological balance of the Amazon biomes, as well as sacred animals for the Borari indigenous people. In the Tapajonic ceramic vase acquired by the Berlin Museum in 1932 by the museum's former director, art historian Erich Wiese, we see female figures of caryatid women supporting the base of the vase and vultures on top of the piece. The collaborative project between Vândria Borari and Barbara Marcel is part of a long-term project on Tapajonic ceramics in European museums and a film to come.

© 2021 Barbara Marcel