PROPHECY – Agridoce series
Agridoce is a social intervention, an ongoing project born of the desire to affirm collaborative work as a response to disaster and injustice. On 5 November 2015 a tailings dam collapsed, spilling billions of litres of mud into the Rio Doce river, wrecking villages, causing immeasurable social impact in what is considered Brazil’s worst environmental disaster. The dam owned by Samarco Mineração - a joint venture between BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, and the Brazilian iron ore giant Vale, exemplify the consequences of environmental racism and state complicity. Two years later, a state of despair prevails, in ruins the affected live without recognition or restitution.
Created with Brazilian filmmaker and artist Aline Xavier, Agridoce is a dialogue-based collaboration with residents from districts of Mariana, that resulted in a body of work including the here exhibited installation titled Prophecy – Agridoce series.
The artwork consists of cross-sections of the Twelve Prophets, a group of soapstone sculptures completed between 1800 and 1805 by the artist Antônio Francisco Lisboa, commonly known as Aleijadinho. UNESCO has declared the site world heritage and it is an iconic sacred artwork of the baroque-period. Aleijadinho’s heritage is under constant threat of erosion due to mining dust and acid rain. Congonhas has a tailings dam bigger than the one that busted into the Rio Doce, located inside the city.
Prophecy – Agridoce series forecasts the destruction of the Twelve Prophets, presenting it in ruins, stained in mud. The figures of the installation have a ghosted presence imagined beyond the walls and floor of the gallery, reflecting the constant threat of those living beneath dams and exemplifying the consequences of environmental racism and state complicity.