Paisagem Banzo / Paysage banzo / Banzo Landscape
16.11.2019 - 21.12.2019
Memory-sound, memory-colour, memory-smell, memory-texture, memory-motion as speculative action: Paisagem Banzo - Paysage banzo - Banzo Landscape is a procedural experiment in time, affect and memory, a collective work in progress that understands banzo as a colonial trauma that vibrates and acts in the bodies and landscapes of Brazil.*
Paisagem Banzo - Paysage banzo - Banzo Landscape works to summon and create a multiple, paradoxical, complex landscape: sensing its memory, making its unheard sounds audible, listening to its voices and making visible the shapes of the movements of its forces.
Composing a landscape with these forces, through chanting magic sounds and words, Paisagem Banzo - Paysage banzo - Banzo Landscape aims to enchant the trauma-banzo and the world, and to create other sounds, new songs, and an invitation for banzo’s vibrational pattern to shift and to produce difference. It opens a field of listening to what colonization has separated us from: the knowledge of the body, the knowledge of the earth, and how their deep relationship exists as an opportunity to create other ways of living.
* Banzo is a historical psychopathology, most commonly present in enslaved African people and their descendents in seventeenth to nineteenth century Brazil. The concept of banzo has also been associated with melancholy and nostalgia, and to this day Brazilians refer to banzo as a nostalgic feeling (saudade). What could now be recognized as a deep depression, frequent symptoms of banzo were a state of mutism accompanied by inaction: people could not speak, could not act, could not eat, could not work. The most prevalent embodiment of banzo was a slow and forced erasure that often resulted in death.
Since 2012, I have been trying to discuss banzo more deeply as a product of the violence of the enslavement of both African and Indigenous peoples. From my perspective, banzo is not a modality of the tropical melancholia associated with the feeling of homesickness (saudade da terra), but a psychopathology directly linked to the first forms of racial capitalism that continue to manifest and to have ongoing effects. The question then arises: how to think of banzo today? My responses have therefore been exploring trauma-banzo as an affection that vibrates in bodies and in the body of the earth. If everything that vibrates produces sounds, I question how banzo could sound. Therefore, my artistic and somatic practices have sought to create the sounds of banzo to hear them and produce difference, a change in their vibratory pattern, summoning the power of these bodies and the earth.
Mariana Marcassa is Brazilian and currently lives and works in Tiohtià:ke / Mooniyaang / Montreal where she has been developing a new theoretical and practical approach to sound and voice explorations, and the creation of experimental listening techniques. It has been through voice and sound–as performance, as aesthetic proposition and clinical intervention– that Mariana has been asking how an engagement with sound as vibration and voice-without-language might facilitate new modes of experience, and new techniques for living. She's currently finishing her postdoctoral at Concordia University where she has been working with SenseLab, Acts of Listening Lab, Angelique Willkie and LePARC.
Philippe Battikha (Sound designer) holds a BFA in Integrative Music Studies and an MFA in Studio Arts (Intermedia concentration) from Concordia University. He received many grants and awards, such as the Montreal Arts Intercultural Mentorship Program. He co-founded the music label Samizdat Records (SZR), based in Montreal and Brooklyn. From 2008 to 2012, he was a founding member of the artist-run space L'Envers in Montreal.
Cadu Mello is a researcher-artist inquiring what else life can be in the midst of the neoliberal forces that institutionalize processes of creation and excludes minor modes of living. He develops practices in the interstices of art and aesthetical healing, inspired by the Brazilian artists Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica for the creation of modes of expression and minor languages, and studies Corporeity and The Production Subjectivity since 2010. He is currently doing research-creation and a Ph.D. in Humanities at Concordia University, addressing themes such as para-institutional practices, politics, mental health, and neurodiversity through practices of connection and radical pedagogies.
Maria Fernanda Novo is a doctoral student in Philosophy at Unicamp, Brazil. She completed a section of her research at Paris-X University in France and presented part of it in Dakar, Senegal. She is a philosophy teacher at Unesp, specializing in the philosophy of science and of education. She also teaches philosophy to children. She often collaborates with dancer and choreographer Ana Pi and performer Mariana Marcassa.
Vovô Saramanda, the charismatic percussionist from Bahia, arrived in Montreal in 1980 and was one of the first musical pioneers of the Montreal International Jazz Festival and was part of the "O" performance by Cirque du Soleil. He has also worked alongside many artists such as Carlinhos Brown, Kent Nagano, Margareth Menezes, Celso Fonseca, Mart N’Nalia, Monica Freire, Paolo Ramos, Luck Mervil, Harold Faustin and many others, and by succession, Rômmel Ribeiro, nominated Revelation of the Year by Radio-Canada (CBC) 2012 for his album Ecologico-Recycle.
Mitch Van Dusen's practice is built around improvisation, firstly on the piano, but also on the seprewa, a rare, buzzing Ghanaian harp, played by only a handful of musicians around the world. His musical experiences have pursued diversity, from smashing pianos with sledgehammers to singing baritone in a 300-person choir at Carnegie Hall.
MVD avows improvisation as a lifetime practice, both musically and experimentally. He created a series of workshops, Is It Just a Plastic Bag?, leading musicians and non-musicians to effortless improvisation through ordinary non-threatening objects.
MVD is an active board member of Creative Music Studio, founded in 1971 by Karl Berger, Ingrid Sertso, and Ornette Coleman. He is currently collaborating with Executive Director Billy Martin (of Medeski Martin and Wood) on a way to revolutionize how creative and improvised music is taught.
The exhibition space will be slowly created through a series of gestures and ritual-performances. Relationships of movements that will leave traces, marks, sounds, making the Banzo-Landscape a living matter in constant motion.
November 16, 2 pm
and invited artist, Vovo Saramanda
sweeping, cleansing, caressing, opening
Opening the Landscape - Herbal Sacudimento (ritual based on the practices of Umbanda Afro-Brazilian religion)
November 30, 2 pm
and invited artist, Cadu Mello
crawling, rubbing, mumbling, summoning
Evoking the Landscape, the movement of becoming: the earth and its sounds
December 7, 2 pm
Mariana Marcassa and invited artists,
Philippe Battikha and Mitch Van Dusen
breathing, spinning, singing, moving
Flying with the Landscape, co-composing with it: the spiral movement of creation
December 14, 2 pm
and invited speaker, Maria Fernanda Novo
listening, talking, sharing, spreading
Talking with the Landscape - Thinking-feeling and book launch
December 21, 2 pm
cleaning, wrapping, throwing, thanking
Closing the Landscape - ritual of singing and cleaning