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by Thiago Martins de Melo
September 1, 2018 – September 30, 2018

Every month Marginalia invites an artist, curator or project to provide a series of images that will serve as the background of Terremoto, in relation to their practice and current interests. At the end of each month, the identity of our guest is revealed and the whole series of images is unveiled.


Thiago Martins de Melo

Starting from an experiential and introspective experience within the context of San Cristóbal de Las Casas and its surrounding villages where the Zapatista communities are located in autonomous municipalities better known as Caracoles, the Brazilian artist Thiago Martins de Melo (1981, São Luis, Maranhão) conceived a series of works on paper using pastel and watercolor, taking as reference and inspiration the aesthetics of the rebel autonomy present in the Caracoles and the matriarchal system that predominates in that region. Creating a latent dialogue with the symbolism and the social context of the Zapatistas, the series of works was created by Martins de Melo with the intention of interpreting this identity through a narrative where the woman, who symbolizes Mother Earth and nature that she procreates and instinctively protects, plays the main role in different compositions that stand out for their radiant colors and the multiple metaphors where the notions of power and progress are approached from a post-colonial perspective that portrays a future liberated from the repercussions of capitalism and the industrialization that undermine the balance of the present. The narrative developed throughout the series is based on a metamorphosis where human nature is assumed in its entirety by animal instinct that is reflected in multiple compositions, this instinct is one in constant evolution that manifests itself in different forms and identities that resemble characters from the Zapatista imaginary, such as women with balaclavas and jaguars turned into humans. The concept of “utopia of absolute freedom” portrayed by Martins de Melo arises from a metaphorical conception where the character of the rebellious woman gives birth, in the middle of chaos and darkness, to the seed of hope that will fertilize the Earth for future generations. Despite being an idyllic setting, the universe created by Martins de Melo proposes an urgent reflection for society and its relationship with its own nature and that which surrounds them.


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