'Vermelho como Brasil [As Red as Brazil]' is a commissioned work for the biennial exhibition 37th Panorama of Brazilian Art at MAM São Paulo, named "Under the Ashes, Embers". The piece, a fabric installation, made with brazilwood, the tree that gives Brazil its name (and a colonial good).
“Red* marginals will be banished from our homeland.” - Brazilian Presidential Candidate Jair Bolsonaro on the campaign trail in 2018 (*Red here refers leftist/communism, but more broadly refers anyone with liberal thoughts that oppose his far right politics)
As an act of both grieving and remembering, “Vermelho como Brasil [As Red as Brazil]” is a series of fabric dye drawings made in the aftermath of Jair Bolsonaro’s inauguration in 2019. Brazil is named for a tree, the “brazilwood.” This ancient, monumental tree was a commodity valued for its red pigment and logged to near extinction in colonial times. The word Brazil relates directly to the color Red, the same one the president-elected pledged to banish.
As a slowgrowth tree, that almost went extinct due to its extraction (by europeans that wanted the valuable red for their royal robes and paintings), brazilwood is a tree that encapsulate many lessons. During the pandemic the biggest brazilwood tree alive was founded in one of self-organized settlement in the so-called ‘discovery coast’ (where the Portuguese first landed in Brazil), aging around 600 years. The piece for Panorama das Artes has the same diameter of this ancient tree and invite the visitors of the museum to be part of this force, entering the tree and being in touch with this color (so rare for us to have the opportunity to relate to, as Brazilians).
The show opened in 2022, a few months before Bolsonaro lost his 2nd trial for presidential elections.
+ More about [in portuguese]: https://youtu.be/_LSBQWUbQXc