Brazilian artist Ana Vaz often uses video, installation and performance to explore her physical, subjective experiences of reality. Her filmic works land somewhere between ethnography and speculation, never presenting clear answers, characters or narratives, instead creating discontinuities and disorientation. In ‘Occidente’ (2014) and ‘Há Terra’ (2016), both of which are currently screening at Berlinische Galerie‘s IBB video space, she explores two different facets of political Brazilian history.
Through a montage of 16-mm film, HD video and various found footage, ‘Occidente’ traces the remains of Portugal’s colonial rule in Brazil and how the effects forever bind the two countries. The 15-minute video work depicts peacocks, tigers and tourists, and also sheds light onto Lisbon’s maritime life, extreme surfing and decorative dinnerware sets. In ‘Há Terra,’ on the other hand, the artist investigates Brazil’s Sertão region, which is known for its political resistance. The colonial era is once again reflected with the recurring call of “There is land! There is land!” alongside the depiction of the landscape’s inhabitants who shift between being the predator and prey, taking turns in the roles of the hunter and those being hunted.