Marine Hugonnier:
'Travelling Amazonia'

Fri 27 January – Sat 25 March, 2006. Barcelona


Travelling Amazonia

Nogueras Blanchard presents a new production of Marine Hugonnier, Travelling Amazonia. This project consists of a film and several photographic series that arise from their research on the geography and history of Brazil. Travelling Amazonia closes the trilogy formed by Ariana, 2003 and The Last Tour, 2004 where Hugonnier explores the relationship between landscape and history.

After a trip to Afghanistan with a film crew (Ariana) and a balloon trip over the Matterhorn (The Last Tour), Hugonnier delves into the heart of Brazil’s Amazon jungle to film Travelling Amazonia. The narrative axis of the film focuses on the construction of the Trans-Amazon Highway, a Teutonic work conceived by the Brazilian government in the seventies to establish a trade route linking the Atlantic and the Pacific. This ambitious plan to re-colonize the Amazon forest was abandoned after a few years, having displaced the indigenous communities which were located near the path of building and assuming a great social, economic and environmental failure. Hugonnier proposes a vision of this history through the testimony of several characters and their portrayal of the landscape surrounding the deserted highway.

Travelling Amazonia is strongly informed by the Hugonnier interest in the historical moment when the arts of memory disappear from the Middle Ages and in the sixteenth century Florence, a new system of representation with the invention of perspective is made. In the Middle Ages the pictorial space was conceived as an imaginary place that remained homogeneous among the bodies and created a unity with them. The invention of perspective representation imposes a system that streamlines and measure the space by dividing lines, isolating the individual in a new fragmented reality. Hugonnier analyzes the perspective in the context of the great territorial discoveries, the invention of cartography and printing, and the Western determination to impose its own rules and streamline the universe.

In Travelling Amazonia, the objective of Hugonnier and his team it is to rebuild a perspective by building rails and a “traveling” with the same materials used in the construction of the highway. The linearity of traveling reconstructs the line tracing the highway in the jungle and claimed the hegemony of the political operation perspective for the representation of power and the effect of this on the individual and his relationship with nature. The speeches of the characters in the film Hugonnier revolve around a description of the landscape in which they live: a fragmented and infinite line that appears and disappears, which is almost not real. The contrast between the desolation of the characters and the exuberant beauty of the landscape even more evident fragmentation between space and subject. The final decision from the traveling is done in the evening when you no longer see the landscape, making the attempt to Hugonnier to rebuild a viewpoint in an absurd gesture. As noted in the catalog Carlos Molina Uses image: Photography, film and video in the Jumex collection: “The visual structure of his films puts the viewer into his narrative by two visual strategies: the rhythm and contrast. The images come with apparent ambiguity and takes no background or foreground, depicted is rather the circumstance No details or main objects. It is to recreate the atmosphere of a reflection on the observed Despite pretending to offer. an objective look panoramic devoid of political discourse and aesthetic preconceptions, the film could not be committed to a review of colonialism and a critique of globalization. ” The exhibition also features three photographic works whose narrative complements the film. Wednesday and Thursday seek to reproduce the exact time of the discovery of Brazil by the Portuguese navigator Pedro Alvares Cabral. Cabral saw the Monte Pascoal on Wednesday night April 22, 1500 and had to wait until morning to confirm his vision. Beach of the new world shows the exact geographical location where Cabral and his crew landed. Hugonnier refers to the temporary space in history when the ideals, beliefs and imaginary landscapes of the New World útlima once captivated by Western consciousness. In Hugonnier Travelling Amazonia shows how the embodiment of these ideals in the contemporary world is consolidated to serve imperial purposes.

 

Marine Hugonnier (Paris, 1969) has an internationally renowned and has participated in the following exhibitions: T1 Torinotriennale, Castello di Rivoli Contemporary Art Museum / GAM Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna, Turin / Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Italy; Universal Experience: Art, Life and the tourist eye, MCA Chicago, USA / Hayward Gallery, London / MART, Trento, Italy; British Art Show 6, Hayward Gallery touring exhibition; Utopia Station, 50th Venice Biennale, Italy (2003); Film and almost cinema, MNCARS, Madrid (2003). His solo exhibitions include: Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York (2005); Kunst-Werke, Berlin (2004); Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, Scotland (2004); CGAC, Santiago de Compostela (2001).
Marine Hugonnier currently lives and works in London.

The film Travelling Amazonia is a co-production: Max Wigram Gallery (London), NoguerasBlanchard (Barcelona), Marthe Hummer Bradley and The Arts Council, England. The exhibition also has the support of the British Council, Barcelona and the Institut Français, Barcelona.