Claudia Andujar, Catrimani Region, 1972-76, mineral pigment print (from infrared film). Artwork © Claudia Andujar. Collection of the artist.
Hervé Chandès, Artistic Managing Director of the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain and Alex Poots, Artistic Director & CEO of The Shed, are pleased to announce the North American debut of The Yanomami Struggle, a comprehensive exhibition dedicated to the collaboration and friendship between artist and activist Claudia Andujar and the Yanomami people, one of the largest Indigenous groups living in Amazonia today. On view February 3 – April 16, 2023 at The Shed in New York, the exhibition is curated by Thyago Nogueira, Head of Contemporary Photography at Instituto Moreira Salles, São Paulo, Brazil (IMS) and organized by IMS, the Fondation Cartier, and The Shed in partnership with the Brazilian NGOs Hutukara Associação Yanomami and Instituto Socioambiental.
Following acclaimed presentations at the IMS São Paulo, the Fondation Cartier, and the Barbican Centre (London), among other venues, the exhibition will be expanded at The Shed to include more than 80 drawings and paintings by Yanomami artists André Taniki, Ehuana Yaira, Joseca Mokahesi, Orlando Nakɨ uxima, Poraco Hɨko, Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe, and Vital Warasi. Visitors will also discover new video works by contemporary Yanomami filmmakers Aida Harika, Edmar Tokorino, Morzaniel Ɨramari, and Roseane Yariana. These works will appear alongside more than 200 photographs by Claudia Andujar that trace the artist’s encounters with the Yanomami and continue to raise visibility for their struggle to protect their land, people, and culture. The dialogue established between the contemporary Yanomami artists’ work and Andujar’s photographs offers an unprecedented vision of Yanomami culture, society, and visual art. The contemporary Yanomami works will be shown in New York for the first time, building the most extensive presentation of Yanomami art in the U.S. to date.
I think the most important thing is the chance to introduce people to another aspect of our world. At the same time, this other aspect of our world allows us to recognize ourselves in other human beings who deserve to live their lives as they wish and according to their own understanding of the world. – Claudia Andujar
Claudia Andujar was born in Switzerland in 1931 and raised in Transylvania before immigrating to New York City in 1946 after escaping the Holocaust. She first moved to Brazil in 1955, where she started a career as a photographer. For over five decades, Andujar has been collaborating with the Yanomami people in defense of their rights. The Yanomami Struggle tells the story of Andujar’s relationship with the Yanomami people during Brazil’s military dictatorship (1964-1985), from their first encounter in 1971 to the transformation of her artistic practice into direct activism seven years later, when
Andujar and other activists created the Commission for the Demarcation of the Yanomami Park (CCPY). Through the voice and guidance of shaman and leader Davi Kopenawa, the exhibition also narrates the Yanomami’s mythological origins and maps their cosmovision, politics, and social organization.
Kopenawa’s friendship with Andujar since the 1980s is central to her ongoing relationship with the Yanomami. Alongside many other activists and organizations, they have worked with Yanomami communities and leaders against the invasion of Yanomami land, a fight that led to the homologation of the Yanomami territory by the Brazilian government in 1992. The protection of the land was followed by important health and educational programs and the creation of different Yanomami associations. Despite this progress, the activism depicted in the exhibition is not relegated to the past. The invasion of their territory by illegal gold miners continues, threatening both the Amazonian rainforest and Yanomami society.
Since the 2000s, a new generation of Yanomami artists have begun producing and showcasing their work outside of the territory, establishing a new perspective that is now incorporated into the exhibition. This multilayered story also includes the contributions of several other individuals and organizations, including Hutukara Associação Yanomami, Instituto Socioambiental, anthropologist Bruce Albert (Fondation Cartier ́s consultant and co-author of The Falling Sky), and Italian missionary Carlo Zacquini.
Those who do not know the Yanomami will know them through these images. My people are in them. You have never visited them, but they are present here. It is important to me and to you, your sons and daughters, young adults, children to learn to see and respect my Yanomami people of Brazil who have lived in this land for many years. – Davi Kopenawa, shaman and Yanomami leader
At a time when Amazonia is threatened once again by unbridled development, deforestation, and illegal mining, this exhibition presents a multilayered narrative of violence and resistance. It also uses art as a platform to amplify the Yanomami voices and expose our responsibilities in the humanitarian and environmental crisis threatening Indigenous societies worldwide. – Thyago Nogueira, curator
ABOUT THE FONDATION CARTIER POUR L’ART CONTEMPORAIN
The Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain is a private cultural institution whose mission is to promote all fields ofcontemporary artistic creation to the international public through a program of temporary exhibitions, live performances, and conversations. Created in 1984 by the Maison Cartier, the institution is based in Paris in a building designed by the architect Jean Nouvel.
The Fondation Cartier’s singular artistic program explores a wide array of creative fields from visual and performing arts to architecture, design, fashion, philosophy, and the sciences. For nearly four decades, the Fondation Cartier has been
instrumental in revealing the talent of some of the greatest contemporary artists and has established its museum spaces as a platform where artists and scientists can meet and create projects to address major issues of today’s world. Its collection is made up of nearly 2,000 works from a rich and multidisciplinary program. It is a testament to the relationships forged with more than 500 artists from all over the globe.
As part of its ongoing observation of the relationship between human beings and nature, the Fondation Cartier has produced collective projects (exhibitions, individual works of art, publications, performances, and public talks) approaching contemporary environmental issues, such as climate change, biodiversity, deforestation, and the disappearance of Indigenous languages and cultures.
The Fondation Cartier travels the world, partnering with major art institutions, engaging new audiences to discover the works of contemporary artists and be challenged by their perspectives.
ABOUT THE SHED
The Shed is a new cultural institution of and for the 21st century, producing and welcoming innovative art and ideas across all forms of creativity in order to build a shared understanding of our rapidly changing world and a more equitable society.
In its highly adaptable building on Manhattan’s west side, The Shed brings together established and emerging artists to create new work in fields ranging from pop to classical music, painting to digital media, theater to literature, and sculpture to dance. It seeks opportunities to collaborate with cultural peers and community organizations, work with like-minded partners, and provide unique spaces for private events.
The Shed was designed to break with the traditions that separate art forms and audiences. By minimizing social and economic barriers to entry, it offers a warm, welcoming space for innovation and dialogue. Embracing technology, The Shed works with creative thinkers and partners to create transformational digital experiences on-site and online. Using its flexible infrastructure and operational capabilities, it can produce performances, exhibitions, events, and gatherings of almost any type in expansive, multiuse venues that allow for social distancing. Driven by its belief that access to new art and ideas is a right, not a privilege, The Shed presents engaging experiences and forges deep bonds between its artists and audiences.
As an independent nonprofit that values invention, equity, and generosity, The Shed is committed to advancing art forms, addressing the urgent issues of our time, and making its work impactful, sustainable, and relevant to the local community, the cultural sector, New York City, and beyond.
ABOUT THE INSTITUTO MOREIRA SALLES
The Instituto Moreira Salles (IMS) is a Brazilian non-profit art institution with venues in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Poços de Caldas. IMS was founded in 1992 and holds important collections in visual art, photography, music, literature, and prints and drawings. It is renowned for its exhibitions, highlighting artists and themes from Brazil and abroad. IMS also publishes exhibition catalogues and books on photography, literature, and music, in addition to the print magazines ZUM, dedicated to contemporary photography in Brazil and around the world, and serrote, a quarterly publication of essays and ideas.
The exhibition Claudia Andujar & The Yanomami Struggle was originally organized in Brazil in 2018 by IMS in partnership with Hutukara Associação Yanomami and Instituto Socioambiental, before its presentation at Fondation Cartier, Triennale Milano (Italy), Fundación Mapfre (Spain), the Barbican Centre (UK), and Fotomuseum Winterthur (Switzerland). In 2014, IMS also organized a retrospective of Claudia Andujar ́s early work titled In the Place of the Other. The Yanomami Struggle is part of IMS ́s long-term commitment to promoting the most important artists in Brazil as well as contemporary Indigenous art. The Shed will be its only stop in North America before embarking on a Latin American tour in 2023.
The NGO Hutukara Associação Yanomami is an Indigenous association founded in 2004 to represent the Yanomami andYe’kwana peoples of Brazil. It is presided by Davi Kopenawa, who has been fighting for almost 20 years for the protection of the Yanomami Indigenous land and the rights of its inhabitants.
The NGO Instituto Socioambiental (ISA) was founded in 1994 and works to defend the rights of forest peoples, supporting and strengthening their political participation, culture, traditional knowledge, and income generation projects. Since 2009, it has incorporated the legacy and activities of the Commission for the Demarcation of the Yanomami Park (CCPY).