Souvenirs from Nhô Tim (Mister Tim)*
Tiago Gualberto, a finalist for the Bolsa Funarte de Fomento aos Artistas e Pesquisadores Negros (National Art Foundation Scholarship for Black Artists and Researchers) will launch his artistic project in a day full of activities and programming.
The production of “Souvenirs from Nhô Tim (Mister Tim)” is part of a project entitled Passagens sob(re) a Terra: lembranças, memória e territorialidade (Passageways Under/Over Ground: Souvenirs, Memory and Territoriality) authored by the visual artist Tiago Gualberto. This project won the prize for the Bolsa Funarte de Fomento aos Artistas e Produtores Negros (National Art Foundation Scholarship for Black Artists and Producers) in its principal category in the year 2015. The same project is tied to Gualberto’s Master’s Thesis at the School of Communications and Arts at USP (The University of São Paulo).
This year, the project will be launched with a series of activities on September 11, 2016 in the small town of Igarapé, Minas Gerais. The program will include the opening of the artist’s individual exhibit in the city’s “House of Culture” (Casa de Cultura); a dance circle and baptism (batizado) from the capoeira group Congo do Vale; forró dancing with live music from the group Renascer Terceira Idade, and a closing with the presence of the musician Gustavo Borges.
The artist grew up in the Resplendor neighborhood, at the edge of Route 381, in the city of Igarapé. For his proposal, more than 500 units of “Souvenirs from Nhô Tim (Mister Tim)” were produced. During this period, 15 locales in the city will be chosen to donate the souvenirs at the value of 4.99 reais and for their future commercialization. Each one of these places will be free to establish the final price to sell the souvenirs and the money collected will belong to the residents. The first place chosen is the well-known bar, Bar do Lepa, where one can have a good chat and drink cachaça typical to the region.
The “Souvenirs from Nhô Tim (Mister Tim) is an artistic object produced by joining two types of knowledge that are very popular in the artist’s neighborhood of Resplendor in Igarapé. The first involves the mixing of soil rich in iron ore with cement with the express purpose of building houses. This recipe, in addition to lowering the costs, gives the concrete a light red color, similar to the color left by the dust left behind by trucks transporting material for the mining companies in the region. The format of the souvenir is very similar to the home-made ice cream, called chup-chup, in Minas Gerais. Also known as geladinho (little ice) and sacolé (freezie) the sale of this ice cold sweet guarantees a slight increase in income for local families. The second type of popular knowledge refers, therefore, to knowing how to mix fruit juices, flavors, and to sell them domestically, which still brings the local children great joy.
A few years ago, the neighborhood Resplendor 2 was nothing more than a large pasture full of coconut trees and a few unplastered homes on earthen streets without asphalt. The supply of energy for electricity and piped water has come to the place recently with the process of urbanization. The name Resplendor (radiance) derives from a regional legend that, at nightfall, an enormous gold sphere went up to the heavens, taking the slaves dead from working in the mines with it. Perhaps for a similar reason, the neighboring area that is part of the city São Joaquim de Bicas, is called Vila Rica (rich village).
Tiago Gualberto is also a content researcher at the Afro-Brazilian musuem in Ibirapuera Park in São Paulo where some of his works of art have been part of the museum’s collection since 2006. He has done various individual and collective exhibitions and Brazil and abroad. The prizes he has won include the Bolsa Funarte de Fomento a Artistas e Pesquisadores Negros (National Art Foundation Scholarship for Black Artists and Researchers, 2015); 20° Programa Nascente-PRCEU-USP (2012); The Tamarind Institute Scholarship, United States (2012) and a finalist in the global competition “Contest for Creating of Patterning for the production of Furoshiki,” promoted by the Tokyo Japan Foundation and Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2010).
* Nhô Tim (Mister Tim) is the name for Inhotim, a contemporary art museum in the state of Minas Gerais close to Igarapé. The name Nhô Tim (Mister Tim) is the shortened version of Senhor Tim. Nhô is an abbreviation for Senhor, the latter means both Mister and Master. Thus, nhô is also the equivalent of the English “Massa.” It referred to the British engineer who owned the farm that became the art museum.
Tiago Gualberto (1983) is a visual artist and researcher at Museu Afro Brasil. He is currently working on his Masters Degree in Visual Arts at São Paulo University. Gualberto was born in Igarapé, a small city in the state of Minas Gerais and lives in São Paulo. Since 2007, the artist has esta- blished a strong presence at the Afro Brazil Museum, the country’s most prestigious organization dedicated to the exhibition of art focusing on the Black presence in Brazilian society. Outside of Brazil, he has participated in various collective exhibits, like the Bienal de Valença: Encuentro en- tre dos mares in Spain, in 2007, and AfroBrasil: Art and Identities at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, in Albuquerque, USA, in 2015. He did a residence at the Tamarind Institute, part of the New Mexico University, during the project Afro: Black Identity in America and Brazil, in 2012. During that year, he stood out as one of the nalists in Visual Arts category in the Programa Nascente, promo- ted by the Pró-Reitoria de Cultura e Extensão – São Paulo University (USP) and, in 2015, became one of the nalists of the Bolsa Funarte de Fomento aos Artistas e Produtores Negros, the biggest prize destined to Afro-Brazilian artists.
Program, September 11, 2016:
10:30am – Opening of the Exhibit “Passageways Under/Over Ground: Souvenirs, Memory and Territoriality”
11:00am – Capoeira Dance Circle and Baptism with the group Congo do Vale – Contramestre Jorge
3:00pm – Forró Dancing with the group Renascer Terceira Idade
5:00pm – Dj Gustavo Borges
Casa de Cultura Frater Henrique Cristiano José Mattos
Rua São Vicente, 1100, B. Três Poderes – Igarapé, MG