The Falling Sky

The Falling Sky
Claudia Andujar, Gisela Motta & Leandro Lima

Curated by Noor Alé and Claudia Mattos (AXIS Collective)

01 April – 21 May 2022
Trinity Square Video

Co-presented in partnership with Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

Leandro Lima and Gisela Motta adapt a black-and-white photograph of a burned Yanomami maloca (a lodging used by Amazonian peoples) into YANO-A, an installation that employs analogue technologies—red light filters, a fan, water—to render the illusion that the image is set ablaze. Originally taken in 1976 by Swiss-Brazilian photographer Claudia Andujar, whose humanitarian practice advocates for the Yanomami’s sovereignty, the photograph captures the ritual burning of the dwelling, a practice that marks periods of change and rebirth. Awash in red light, the burning image in YANO-A contrasts the Yanomami’s use of fire with forest fires that spread in the Amazon as a result of deforestation and land encroachment.


Gisela Motta and Leandro Lima began their collaboration in 1997. Their work has been presented in group and solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro; Ema Gordon Klabin Cultural Foundation, São Paulo; Brazilian Museum of Sculpture and Ecology, São Paulo; Museum of History, Nantes, France; National Museum of Arts, La Paz, Bolivia; Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro; LAXART, Los Angeles; Galeria Vermelho, São Paulo; British Cultural Center, São Paulo; Helsinki International Artist Programme Project Room, Helsinki; Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City, UT; Aloisio Magalhães Museum of Modern Art, Recife, Brazil; and the New Museum, New York, among many others. They have participated in international biennials and festivals including Beijing Photo Biennial, China; Guangzhou Image Triennial, China; Bienal Sur, Buenos Aires; International Festival of Contemporary Art SESC_Videobrasil, São Paulo, among others.

Swiss-Brazilian Claudia Andujar is a photographer and human rights activist, who is among the most significant artists working in documentary photography in South America. Since the 1970s she Andujar has produced more than 60,000 photographs in her efforts advocating for the Yanomami’s rights, Brazil’s largest Indigenous population. Andujar’s work has shown in solo exhibitions at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris; Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; and Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt. She has participated in group exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, New York; Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro; and The Third Beijing Photo Biennial.

AXIS is a socially-engaged curatorial collaborative composed of Noor Alé and Claudia Mattos. In their joint curatorial practice, Alé and Mattos are committed to producing exhibitions, projects, and screenings of contemporary art that respond to the pressing social, cultural, and political conditions of our time.

Noor Alé is a curator, art historian, and writer. She is the Associate Curator at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto. Her curatorial practice examines the intersections of contemporary art with geopolitics, decolonization, and social justice. She has served in curatorial capacities at the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington, Bowmanville; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. She recently curated Sasha Huber: YOU NAME IT, The Power Plant; this is not an atlas, Visual Arts Centre of Clarington; and Valentin Brown: Welcome to My Regulated Body, Art Gallery of Windsor; and Here Comes the Sun, Art Gallery of Burlington. She was awarded curatorial residencies at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and the Shanghai Curators Lab. She holds an MA in Art History from The Courtauld Institute of Art, where she specialized in photography, film, and video in global contemporary art.

Claudia Mattos is a curator and art historian based in Miami, FL. She currently serves as Director at the gallery David Castillo, Miami. Previously, she served as Assistant Curator of Media Arts and Live Events at The Baltimore Museum of Art where she curated exhibitions of works by Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin as well as the art collaborative DIS. She has contributed to exhibitions, curatorial research and writing at The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Independent Curators International, NY; Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; Performa, New York; Locust Projects, Miami; and the Rubell Family Collection, Miami, among others. She earned an MA with distinction in Art History from The Courtauld Institute of Art, London; and a BA in Art History and Visual Studies from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. In 2022, Claudia will be a Researcher-in-Residence at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea.

Image credit: Claudia Andujar, Gisela Motta & Leandro Lima, YANO-A (1976-2005) Video projector, overhead projector, photolithograph, color filter, fan, aquarium and water; Courtesy of Galeria Vermelho, São Paulo.

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