Next Level: Jonathas de Andrade Staging Resistance

Foam presents the 6th edition of the series Next Level, this time with artist Jonathas de Andrade (Maceió, Brazil, 1982). Andrade’s work is visually attractive yet highly critical. It creates a space for communities who are less visible in the socio-economic landscape, and less heard in the contemporary social debate. De Andrade is able to playfully draw attention to major themes such as social and economic inequality and unbalanced power relations. Issues that are deeply rooted in his native Brazil, but are also at play in the world at large.

About the work

The work of Jonathas de Andrade is firmly rooted in the Nordeste, the north-eastern region of his native country Brazil. The region is fertile and the capital port of Recife has been an important trade hub since colonial times. The Nordeste is also home to many indigenous communities and has a great biodiversity, but the land is often exploited and its bounties are unequally distributed.

De Andrade addresses issues of social, economic and racial inequality that are – and have historically been – at the core of Brazilian politics. Collaborating with communities who populate the region, he amplifies the voice of those less heard. By focusing on local stories of identity and belonging, De Andrade playfully challenges the skewed global power dynamics that affect marginalised communities in Brazil, and the world at large.

Fome de Resistência – Mulheres Kayapó Menkragnoti (da série Infindável Mapa da Fome). Hunger of Resistance - Kayapó Menkragnoti Women (from the series Endless Hunger Map), 2019 © Jonathas de Andrade
Jogos Dirigidos (Directed Games), 2019 © Jonathas de Andrade
Jogos Dirigidos (Directed Games), 2019
Jogos Dirigidos (Directed Games), 2019 © Jonathas de Andrade
Jogos Dirigidos (Directed Games), 2019
Jogos Dirigidos (Directed Games), 2019 © Jonathas de Andrade
Jogos Dirigidos (Directed Games), 2019
Jogos Dirigidos (Directed Games), 2019 © Jonathas de Andrade
Jogos Dirigidos (Directed Games), 2019

Exploring power dynamics

De Andrade typically stages social experiments on locations where such power dynamics are at play. For the works in this exhibition, he collaborated with labourers from a sugar refinery, as well as a community of deaf-mute people in rural Brazil, and indigenous women from the highly contested Kayapó Menkragnoti territory. For his latest work, which premieres at Foam, he collaborated with the women of Tejucupapo, who continue to re-enact the battle against the Dutch colonizers that took place in their village in 1646.

Fome de Resistência – A Mão Kayapó Menkragnoti (da série Infindável Mapa da Fome). Hunger of Resistance - Kayapó Menkragnoti Hand (from the series Endless Hunger Map), 2020 © Jonathas de Andrade

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Jonathas de andrade

Learn more about Jonathas' creative practice as he takes us along Recife, introducing us to the various people he collaborated with. Meanwhile, Curator Hinde Haest explains her point of view during the build-up of the exhibition in Amsterdam.

The Power of Play

How can art effect change? Foam curator Hinde Haest reflects on the exhibition Jonathas de Andrade Staging Resistance, alongside the methods and multiple dynamics within the artist's work. By collaborating with local communities, the artist questions the power relations that are at play in his native Brazil, and in the world at large.

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Heroínas de Tejucupapo (Tejucupapo Heroins, 2022) © Jonathas de Andrade, courtesy of the artist

Try out the ABC da Cana typewriter

ABC da Cana typewriter is a browser-based application that allows you to type a short message with the photograhps of the ABC da Cana series by artist Jonathas de Andrade. The performance of the letters of the alphabet can also be seen as a commentary on the level of illiteracy in rural Brazil.

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ABC da Cana Typewriter © Jonathas de Andrade | Foam Amsterdam

Podcast with Jonathas de Andrade

In conversation with performance scholar Diana Taylor, Jonathas de Andrade gives us an insight into his creative process, his work and the way his practice has led him to better understand and intervene with his present reality in Brazil.

About Jonathas de Andrade

Jonathas de Andrade lives and works in Recife, in the Nordeste-region of Brazil. In 2013 he was selected as Foam Talent. In 2019-2021 his work O Peixe (The Fish) was part of the international travelling Foam exhibition On Earth – Imaging, Technology and the Natural World. De Andrade has had solo exhibitions in many prominent institutions, among them the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (2016-17); The Power Plant, Toronto (2017); New Museum, New York (2017); and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2019). His work will be presented at the Brazilian pavilion of the 2022 Venice Biennale.

About Next Level

Since 2015, Foam presents the exhibition series Next Level with the support of Ammodo. The series is aimed to introduce innovative art by relatively young artists who are making radical new use of the medium of photography. Foam has invited Jonathas de Andrade to create new work for the exhibition.

For more information or press requests, please see here or contact our press office at pressoffice@foam.org.

This exhibition is made possible by Ammodo and the Gieskes-Strijbis Fonds.

Foam is supported by the VriendenLoterij, Foam Members, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, the VandenEnde Foundation and Gemeente Amsterdam.

In 2022 Foam receives additional support from the Mondriaan Fund.

ABC da cana (Sugarcane ABC), 2014 © Jonathas de Andrade

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Next Level: Jonathas de Andrade Staging Resistance