The Paulista Museum, better known as the Ipiranga Museum in São Paulo’s capital, reopened a year ago during the celebrations of the 200th anniversary of Brazil’s independence. It brings concerns to curatorship that you become more pluralistic and critical of your work.
Monuments that pay tribute to controversial figures and situations, such as the Bandeirantes statue, continue to be installed in the exhibition space, but today they are historical documents, i.e. to convey the thinking of the time. It is seen as a work that reflects. time. Added to those are new visions that help rethink the historical process of building Brazil, including its independence celebrated this Thursday (7).
One of the 11 long-term exhibits that make up the new museum is just about reimagining Brazil’s historic monuments.call to Brazilian historyThe exhibition covers the three old spaces of the building monument registered by the Heritage Conservation Society: the entrance hall, the monumental staircase and the Hall of Nobility with its famous paintings. Independence or death!by Pedro America.
Exposure Brazilian history presents the decorations designed for the building by then director Afonso Taunay (1876-1958) to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Brazil’s independence in 1922.
“(Then) the Paulista Museum sought to establish itself as a national symbol, precisely to justify its political role for the elite of São Paulo in the early 20th century. The construction of this monument was planned to include “Pioneers and São Paulo as a hero of national history once sought to uphold the legitimacy of the current situation (of the coffee economy),” said the educator. said Isabella Ribeiro de Arruda, Auditor of Education and Museum Studies.In an interview with the cultural activities team of the Paulista Museum Brazil distributor.
Carousel – Ipiranga Museum, Rethinking Independence
Inscription required the monument to retain its original composition, including works honoring the colonists, the bandeirantes, and persons and events associated with independence. Even with these symbols, the Ipiranga Museum is not the same as it was then. “The Ipiranga Museum in 2022 is very different from the Paulista Museum earlier in the century. The collection has also changed and expanded over time. I think one of them is a museum that works with the memory of constructing this concept of independence,” explained Isabella.
“The title[of this exhibition]itself seeks to challenge the idea that there is a single, or true, story, and this is a story, history, done for people more than 100 years ago. They used to look at the story of Brazilian history with a kind of prejudice, but today museum curators are trying to question this structure.” added the educator.
An example of this is the painting depicting the Bandeirante installed in the stairwell area. In the work, the Bandeirante is supported by weapons, highlighted in the foreground and surrounded by indigenous figures.Above the painting is an inscription indian hunting cycle.
“We debated (within the curatorship) whether we could change or change this title, and also whether we should put it on the list. We understood that the permanence of the documentary images and titles would help us remember the social impact of this story over time,” Isabella said. Told.
“Thus, when we talk about conflicts over the demarcation of indigenous lands, temporal frameworks, and the preservation of public monuments on the same theme, the permanent presence of these elements within museums ensures debate and We can have this as a subject of discussion.” Memories that bring reflection about the present. Clearly, this is not a simple argument. Because it clashes with the subjectivity and right of both remembrance and oblivion. However, as a public forum, we propose to continue the discussion so that it does not disappear from the national memory. ”
Plurality and counterpoint
Unable to change the exhibition space for the exhibition, a strategy devised by the curators of the new museum to question the narrative was to use multimedia resources. “Exposure Brazilian history Other axis exhibits to understand society They have a resource that we call counterpoints, which are multimedia and interactive resources that bring perspectives on the exhibition’s theme from the perspective of other social groups,” said Isabella.
Counterarguments are made, for example, through the recorded testimonies of indigenous leaders and social movements. “The idea is to really see the themes that we are working on in this museum from the outside. It is important not only to do this, but also to welcome other perspectives on these systems.”
One of the aims of the new Paulista Museum is to make visible parts of the Brazilian population that have been silenced over the course of history, such as blacks, indigenous peoples and women. “One of the main purposes in questioning this narrative is to identify which characters are inserted or selected into these narratives, which characters are not inserted, and which characters are absent. Of course, there are also problematic entities, such as the painting of a black person (installed on the right wall near the ceiling of the grand staircase in the museum). The representation is highly problematic because it is distorted and clearly submissive in relation to another person, the white man, who is upright,” the curator said.
In the exhibition, in addition to the representation of a single black character, Brazilian history “There are only three women in the nearly all-white male temple,” added Isabella. One of these women is Leopoldina, the first wife of Emperor Don Her Pedro I. There is also a painting depicting Maria Quithera, who fought for Brazilian independence in the state of Bahia. And Joana Angelica, a nun who was murdered during the independence process. “There are some indigenous figures in the film, but the emphasis is on colonial submission and assimilation.”
“The purpose of the museum is to understand how these representations were created, what they brought as information and objectivity at the time they were produced, and how these images spread over time in textbooks and in movie theaters. It is to question what kind of influence it had,” and various media, etc. meme. Museums are places that encourage thinking, not necessarily ready-made answers,” he added.
Independence or death!
The Paulista Museum’s most famous works are paintings. Independence or death!, produced by the Paraiba painter Pedro América. “This painting was made in Florence, Italy, almost simultaneously with the construction of the building itself.
According to the educator, Pedro Americo deliberately inserted elements in the work that identified the episode of independence as an event in São Paulo, which took place in the Ipiranga area where the museum is now located. . “He painted a wonderfully dramatic Riacho do Ipiranga on canvas, with a horse’s foot glancing over the water. The unevenness of the land is also on this slope. And the Casa do Grito, named after this painting.” I also inserted a building called , but what we always have to remember is to paint Independence or death! This work was produced many years after this event, more than 60 years after the events of September 7, 1822. The Grithouse itself did not exist in his 1822. ”
After restoration, the painting continued to occupy the space for which it was originally intended. Now, however, new elements have been inserted into the main hall, allowing visitors to learn more about Pedro America’s canvases. “We have inserted here in the main hall a multimedia resource showing part of the (painting) production process, with sketches and text records. is a representation, and that the painting was almost conceived as a celebration of this memory of independence, rather than an alleged representation of reality,” said Isabella.
Using these multimedia elements, counterpoint and reflections on their historical role, the Paulista Museum envisions a new curatorship and invites the public to question the symbols and images in the museum’s collections. Masu. “We tried not to play a prophet of the past here to retroactively revise this story, because there are always problems with this story, and it becomes a whole picture of an era in itself. , a little bit about what other stories we can build today, how we choose actors, heroes and highlights, and what impact that might have over time. I would like to think about it, and I propose that the museum be a forum for this discussion.”