Killian Rauline – Time Discrepancies and Returns to Painting in Brazilian Art
Between the late 1960s and 1980s, doubts about progress and the means of modernization had grown in Brazil. The consolidation of the dictatorship after 1968, the failure of revolutionary movements and the difficulties to challenge international structures of power introduced a significant shift in the way time was thought and experienced. Paradoxically, the 1980s also led to a phase of Brazilian art being integrated in international artist circles through the phenomenon of the “return to painting”, which was very strong in Brazil.
This paper aims to examine the development of new practices of painting among Brazilian artists between the late 1960s and the late 1980s. It considers painting as a locus for rethinking modernity and the political projects that were tied to it, taking into account a variety of actors and sources. Trajectories of artists are confronted with those of art critics, intellectuals, and political activists, in order to apprehend the networks in which artists develop and the conflicts from which their practices emerge. Those trajectories also highlight the role of exile and displacement in the career of many Brazilian artists of the period and invite us to think circulations of practices and knowledge from a transnational and transregional perspective.
The functioning of the categories of centre and periphery should then be questioned in the light of a changing cultural context and what Jean-François Lyotard called “the end of grand narratives”. If teleological narratives have lost their legitimacy, what becomes of the questions of “backwardness”, “inequal development” or marginalization? This paper would like to launch some leads on the political dimensions of historicity regimes from a transnational perspective.
Killian Rauline is a PhD candidate at the Ecole normale supérieure (Paris, France). He studied social sciences, history and art history at Sciences Po and the Ecole du Louvre. His research focuses on practices of painting between Europe and Brazil since 1960, with an emphasis on the way artists reflect on their own practices and engage with political issues. His dissertation studies the trajectories of Brazilian painters after 1968 in the context of exile and failure of revolutionary movements, and the question of memory and oblivion in the so-called return to painting in the 1980s. He participated in several editorial projects and co-organized the international conference « Désoeuvrer / Unwork » at the Ecole normale supérieure, Ecole du Louvre and Beaux-Arts de Paris in 2021.