Hélio Oiticica Municipal Art Centre
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
1 June to 31 July 2019
Sasha Huber (CH/FI) is a visual artist of Swiss-Haitian heritage, born in Zurich, Switzerland and currently based in Helsinki, Finland. Huber’s work is primarily concerned with the politics of memory and belonging, particularly in relation to the colonial residue left in the environment. She is known for her artistic research contribution to the «Demounting Louis Agassiz» campaign, aiming at dismantling the glaciologist’s lesser-known but contentious racist heritage. This long-term project (started in 2008) has been concerned with unearthing and redressing the little-known history and cultural legacies of the Swiss-born naturalist and glaciologist. Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) was an influential proponent of “scientific” racism who advocated segregation and “racial hygiene”.
These issues were also the guiding thread of the «Nome Próprio» (Proper Noun) exhibition that was shown at the Hélio Oiticica Municipal Art Centre, in Rio de Janeiro, from 1 June to 31 July, 2019 curated by Sabrina Moura. To date, Sasha Huber’s actions constitute a vast body of performances, videos, photographs, books and installations dedicated to the questioning of the scientific neutrality in the field of racial theories.
The exhibition was accompanied by a series of public programs devised by Lorena Vicini. In the form of discussions, laboratories, guided tours and workshops, the activities expanded the understandings of history and memory based on Sasha Huber’s work, and also discussed how the narrative layers can be visibilized and challenged by art.
«Nome Próprio» was supported by Pro Helvetia in the context of the program COINCIDENCIA – Cultural Exchanges between Switzerland and South America, in partnership with Frame Contemporary Art Finland and Capacete. The public programs had the support of the Goethe-Institut Rio de Janeiro.