Ana Beatriz Almeida

Ana Beatriz Almeida

b. Niterói, RJ (1987)

Ana Beatriz Almeida is a visual artist and art historian. Her work focuses on African manifestations and the African diaspora. Born in Niterói (RJ), in 1987, she holds a Master’s degree in History and Aesthetics of Art from the Museum of Contemporary Art of the University of São Paulo (USP), and is also the curator and co-founder of the art platform 01.01.

She was nominated for the Pipa Award 2021, is a curatorial consultant at MAC-Niterói and was a guest curator at Glasgow International 2020/2021. Almeida did a curatorial residency in Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria, through which she was able to reconnect with the part of his family that returned to Benin during a period of slavery. As an artist, she developed rites in honor of those who failed to survive the Atlantic journey of the slave trade. Her N’Gomku technique was developed during five years of research by UNESCO on the traditions of the Afro-Brazilian communities of Baba Egum and Irmandade da Boa Morte.

She presented performances at Centro Cultural São Paulo, Itaú Cultural, SESC Ipiranga and Casa de Cultura da Brasilândia, in São Paulo; and at the Bienal do Recôncavo, Bahia. Taught a summer course on her performance technique at Goldsmiths University,
in London, England, and participated in the Can Serrat Residency, in Barcelona, ​​Spain. Almeida’s work is part of the permanent collection of the Instituto Inhotim, in Brumadinho.

"Of ancestry as a singular existence", by Denise Ferreira da Silva, 2022

Ancestry, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, their stories, recipes and practices, goddesses and priestesses, orixás… and if they were not only guides to life, but reminders that what is called life is inseparable from what is it called death? What if we were reminded that existence is nothing more than an incessant movement: to exist/to cease to exist?

By removing the singular existence of space-time, by remembering it in bodies, soil, rivers, seas, trees and all living and non-living things that inhabit the woods and forests, ancestry returns the what we call the present to infinity, where indifference between everything and nothing spells fullness. This recomposes the memory, returning it to the moment from which it derives meaning, that is, to what happens. Not only to what already happens, nor to what is happening, but to the moment when what has not happened: the existence that does not come and, therefore, perhaps, has become another existence – mine or yours existence –, possible and significant in its singularity.

Stories and practices guided by the principle of ancestry bring back into being what memory, when guided by time, only retains as an image. In things and their components – in tattoos, marks, scars; in colors; in the sounds, rhythms, fabrics; in texture and smell, and even in the yellowing of the photos or in the haircut that reveals time –, ancestry displaces abstract time and returns to fullness each and every event and its moment. Where-when all and any existences reveal themselves beyond life and death and, in doing so, exposes how the separation between the two only serves the thought and the mode of existence guided by temporality, which needs measures, limits and everything that makes comparison possible here, of any instrument that establishes a difference, because the attribution of value depends on that.

The work of Ana Beatriz Almeida reminds us that there, beyond life and death, there is not a passage, the limit between one moment and another, but infinity itself. Infinity, I mean the all-nothing, the where-when all existences become nothing more than versions of (im)possible stories. There, I mean, any and all, no place or time, outside of space and time; where time and space meet the meanings we now recognize. There, where ancestral stories and practices remember, record and graph us not as unity and identity, but as the infinity of potentiality, virtuality and possibility, where each existent finds the meaning of its uniqueness.

All, there always and also, we are one + ∞ – ∞, one + one (or two) + ∞ – ∞, even when nothing more than reflecting who could have existed or never came to exist; if, on coming into existence, another composition becomes possible. In the face of ancestry, no one is just one, not always and only the same, but always himself and the other, himself as another: each one is itself the other. Also always all the others that have been, already are, will be and never, and therefore always, may or may not exist. In the work of Ana Beatriz Almeida, we find ourselves in the ancestry – of each one of us, in themselves and in each other person – the singular existence.

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