Chosen Memories: Contemporary Latin American Art from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift and Beyond

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*Antropologia do Negro II*

Paulo Nazareth. Antropologia do Negro II. 2014

High-definition video (black and white, sound): 7:21 min. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Latin American and Caribbean Fund

Artist, Paulo Nazareth: I am Nazareth. Paulo Nazareth.

Antropología do Negro is part of the right to having a funeral. This piece took place inside the Bahia State Police Museum. The museum had all these skulls of people who had been racialized—people of African descent, indigenous people, natives to South America and Brazil.

And the project was to perform a funeral for these people who didn't have one. Because my mother's mother suffered something similar. For questioning and not agreeing with what was happening around her, she was marked as crazy, insane, and sent to the psychiatric hospital, which was like a prison. People died there and their bodies were sold and packed inside this Police Museum.

So when my grandmother disappears, there's no telling what happened. She could be there. She could be one of these bodies inside this museum.

So when I am in there, it's like I’m connecting with my grandmother, and all the people that came before her. I think we owe debts to many. Those who come before us, who prepare this world. I do a ritual where I cover my head with these skulls and bones, and carry these many souls on my head.