São Paulo – Sculpting hearts in the middle of an Egyptian desert for 20 days was the task of 45 artists, including Brazilian Catiuscia Dotto. Born in Rio Grande do Sul, she’s the only Brazilian artist to have a work exhibited at the Reviving Humanity Memorial, a project of the World Youth Forum. The space’s goal is bringing together works with a “heart” theme from every country of the world, amounting to 195 sculptures in a permanent exhibition.
To choose sculptors, the forum opens an online selection every year. Adding together 2018 and December 2019 editions, 115 artists have participated. The organizers intend to finnish the memorial in Sinai, Egypt next year.
The event, including the artists’ stay, is founded by the Egyptian government. The idea is not creating a competition but a sense of cooperation between people from different nations. In addition to the coexistence between artists, there was a close contact to Egyptian sculptors hired to support the foreigners.
“I feel privileged and very honored. I know there are great artists in our country. My responsibility is huge, not just in making the sculpture but showing the people there what our country is about,” said she, who’s also an arts professor at the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Rio Grande do Sul.
Dotto, who has 15 years experience, developed her work together with the other professionals in an open-air studio that was built by the organizers and is a five-minute drive from Sharm El Sheikh. “Each sculptor will make a heart from their own concept. I decided to bring some of my own work from organic shapes, female elements, and nature,” the artist told ANBA.
With a degree in Visual Arts from the Federal University of Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, Dotto always saw sculpture as her language. To create her work in Egypt she used polyester resin, glass fiber, and took silicone moulds of Brazilian seeds, including pine nut.
After finishing her work in the event, the artist stayed longer. “I experienced the country with a non-tourist perspective. I went to Cairo and Alexandria with the Egyptian artists I became friends with. I already had a pretty deconstructed view compared to what we see in the media, but still I was amazed. I was delighted with the Arab and Islamic culture and came back with materials to study. In my education, we almost didn’t study Islamic art,” she said.
“It’s probably lined to a political project of prejudice, which we know some countries have an interest in implementing. This relation the media and the United States make between the Arab world and terror. I had already defended that we should deconstruct that, and after meeting those people I came back with a goal as both an educator and an artist,” she added.
The dialogue with the Egyptian the welcomed here even in the New Year’s Eve made her think on religion and artistic freedom and also served for her to share her story with them. “Around Brazil, there’s that stereotype of Carnaval, beaches. Since I live in the South, I have to explain it’s cold here, we drink mate, which is a reality of a different Brazil. I like to take images from the original peoples. I tried to talked a lot about our relation with Africa and what happened during the slavery, the historical reparation measures we’ve implemented in the last few years,” she pointed out.
Para Dotto, ter sua obra no memorial é um ato de resistência. “Nosso país não valoriza a produção artística. Para mim, participar desses eventos não é só ir fazer escultura, mas representar o Brasil, falar de uma sociedade e estar agindo”, declarou a escultora.
De volta ao Brasil, Dotto quer fazer valer a experiência que teve no país. “Comprei um monte de material sobre islamismo e arte islâmica e a minha ideia agora é reconstruir esse pensamento e essa imagem do Egito. Trabalhar junto aos meus alunos para mudar essa péssima imagem que a mídia de massa passa”, revelou a escultora e professora gaúcha.