Danilo Oliveira is an artist, curator and professor based in Sao Paulo, Brazil:
“The last 17 years I’ve been working in various mediums: painting, drawing, muralism, graphic arts, conceptual and community based works. Especially connected to the idea of collective practice, I founded the group Ocavalo in 1999, and Base-V (base-v.org) collective in 2003, working in a few groups since then. Besides the lonely work at the studio when I’m painting, it’s the social insertion that is always the final goal, even for the paintings. Every artwork is a form of relation. The muralism and other works which expanded in the given space, have played a central role in my production. Now, even my canvas paintings only exist when articulated in the space: glued, nailed, stretched, tied. My curatorial practice works the same way: collective, seeking inclusion and with no artistic boundaries. I’m interested both in contemporary and “popular”, folk or ancestral productions and views on culture and art.”
Visual diary f/ Danilo Oliveira in Barbados
If you don’t become the ocean
you’ll be seasick
(Leonard Cohen 1934 – 2016)
“Utopian Geology Services” – The Cultural Geology of the Caribbean.
When I arrived in Barbados for my Fresh Milk residency, my proposal was to research and study the borders and identity relations present in Barbados and in the Caribbean. It is my first time in this part of the world, and so it’s been great to learn from each person that I meet. Some things surprised me, some things had a huge impact on my visions around ideas of belonging, colonialism and ancestral identity. At some point, I began to see the geology of Barbados as an important aspect of its development (as it is in any country). And so, in spite of the fact that Barbados and Brazil endured slavery for centuries, the post-colonial periods are very distinct. Maybe some of that could be related to the geological differences. Here in the Caribbean, I have been looking for traces of identity: Bajan? Caribbean? Part of the Americas? Afro-Caribbean? British? Little England?
I began to wonder how it would be if we changed something that is unchangeable, like geological aspects of the region. I’m calling this “Utopian Geology Services” – The Cultural Geology of the Caribbean. How would it be if the Caribbean islands were closer? How would it affect the history, if it had always been like this? What are the real distances in a world controlled by routes?
‘The Bajan Chronicles’ consists of images generated during my residency at Fresh Milk, looking at Barbados’ history, everyday life and culture. Of course, one month is not enough to create any kind of deep reflection, but it’s time enough to realize some historical coincidences and explore some cultural and social issues, even in a superficial way. It’s about a foreign view, for a short time, touching on some restrictive issues, and trying to generate questions and reflections out of these.