Musa Michelle Mattiuzzi

Musa Michelle Mattiuzzi, <i>Experimentando o vermelho em dilúvio</i> [Experiencing the Flooding Red], 2016. Video still 7'53''. Courtesy of the Artist
Musa Michelle Mattiuzzi, Experimentando o vermelho em dilúvio [Experiencing the Flooding Red], 2016. Video still 7'53''. Courtesy of the Artist
Musa Michelle Mattiuzzi, <i>Experimentando o vermelho em dilúvio</i> (2016). Video still. Photo: Matheus Ah. Courtesy of the artist
Musa Michelle Mattiuzzi, Experimentando o vermelho em dilúvio (2016). Video still. Photo: Matheus Ah. Courtesy of the artist
Musa Michelle Mattiuzzi, <i>Experimentando o vermelho em dilúvio</i> (2016). Video still. Photo: Matheus Ah. Courtesy of the artist
Musa Michelle Mattiuzzi, Experimentando o vermelho em dilúvio (2016). Video still. Photo: Matheus Ah. Courtesy of the artist
View of the work <i>Experimentando o vermelho em dilúvio</i> (2016), by Musa Michelle Mattiuzzi at the exhibition <i>Vento</i>. Photo: Levi Fanan / Fundação Bienal de São Paulo
View of the work Experimentando o vermelho em dilúvio (2016), by Musa Michelle Mattiuzzi at the exhibition Vento. Photo: Levi Fanan / Fundação Bienal de São Paulo

Musa Michelle Mattiuzzi (1983, São Paulo, SP. Lives in Berlin, Germany) is a performer, visual artist, film director, writer and researcher of black radical thought. Musa Michelle Mattiuzzi investigates the marks of sexist, racist and colonial violence left on her own body, and the social and historical stigmas that constitute the subjectivity of black women in Brazil. In her performances, she appropriates the mechanisms that objectify and exotify the black female body, and subverts them: they become instruments of visibility and recognition of a body that is, at the same time, an object of desire and dehumanization in the white cisnormative imagination. Mattiuzzi is interested in the power of the monstrified, disproportionate and non-symmetric body. Her actions, in the artist's words, "are micro-political acts of resistance" which free her "from the rejection of her own body, which means going towards it at full speed in the will to live, to re-exist". In her poetics, the artist seeks strategies of reinvention and reenactment of race, gender and sexuality.

Experimentando o vermelho em dilúvio [Experiencing the Flooding Red] (2016) is part of the trilogy Memórias da plantação [Memories of the Plantation], which includes two other works (Merci beaucoup, blanco! [Thank You Very Much, White Person!], 2017, A dívida impagável [Unpayable Debt], 2018), where Musa Michelle Mattiuzzi deepens her meditation on what she defines as "a radical black Brazilian female poetic construction". If authors like Grada Kilomba and Denise Ferreira da Silva are explicit references in the preparation of these works, they also allude to historic performances like Interior Scroll (1975), by Carolee Schneemann. Mattiuzzi thus inserts the fight for racial affirmation into the expanded lineage of performance as a privileged platform, within the contemporary art world, to demand change in society as a whole. The film shown here is a violent and painful, but also poetic and somewhat cathartic, reworking of a performance piece carried out by the artist in Rio de Janeiro, in which she walked, in a kind of ritual or Via Crucis, the path leading to the Zumbi dos Palmares monument, in an allegorical reenactment of the suffering and violence that the black Brazilian population has been subjected to for centuries.

  1. Caroline A. Jones, Eyesight Alone: Clement Greenberg’s Modernism and the Bureaucratization of the Senses (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005).
  2. Greenberg’s Modernism and the Bureaucratization of the Senses (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005).
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