The Brazilian German artist duo of Bárbara Wagner (born 1980) and Benjamin de Burca (born 1975), formed in 2011, counter the impulse to categorize culture in terms that are fixed--or deemed "folk" by organizations such as UNESCO--by exploring cultural change across generations and geographies. Their work celebrates and reframes vernacular cultural forms as they have manifested through time; as popular traditions become pop culture, for instance. Through their films, the artists examine a space in between, where cultural forms of the past adapt in response to changing economic conditions--particularly in emerging economies or postcolonial geographical contexts--and where popular genres persist through cultural mixing and diasporic refashioning. The artists look to how performative forms of colonial cultural resistance in Brazil's northeast, in particular, continue today but in revised expression. This book, designed by Lisa Kiss, leads a discussion about their films, including the work that premiered at the 2019 Venice Biennale.
Paperback, 128 pages
Published December 23rd 2019 by Art Gallery of York University/The Power Plant