Video room: Aline Motta

11.25.2022 – 3.5.2023

The artist Aline Motta (Niterói, 1974) works with drawing, writing, performance, photography, and video, taking her family’s history as a case study of Brazilian social formation, with its erasures, violence, and resistance. The video trilogy consisting of Pontes sobre abismos [Bridges over Abysses] (2017), Se o mar tivesse varandas [If the Sea Had Balconies] (2017), and (Outros) Fundamentos [(Other) Foundations] (2017–2019), personal files, official documents, and oral stories are shuffled and confronted with footage taken in Cachoeira, Bahia state, Lagos, Nigeria, Berlin, Germany, as well as different areas in Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Portugal, and Sierra Leone.

In Pontes sobre abismos and in Se o mar tivesse varandas, photographs and documents from Motta’s family archive are printed on fabric and paper, submerged in water, or exposed to the wind in different places the artist visited on her travels. (Outros) Fundamentos is crossed by a mirror that suggests the cultural connections among Lagos, Cachoeira, and Rio de Janeiro, as well as urban, religious and domestic scenes. Both videos are made of fragmented editions, building a narrative with no beginning, middle or end, and are projected on three screens. Narrated using multiple times, the works connect the past and the present, as well as project the future. In an intersectional approach to issues of gender, race, and class, Motta’s video trilogy interweaves public and private stories.

The image of water is seen throughout the trilogy and alludes to Congo-Angola cosmologies, in which the notion of “Kalunga” is a fine line that separates the worlds of the living and the dead. Photographs and cosmograms are reiterated in different points in the videos, as well as throughout the artist’s practice, in a ceaseless work of re-elaboration and resignification of these histories.

A descendant of black and white people, Motta seeks to understand how history is told, especially what is omitted or repressed and what she retrieves through research and speculation. Using fiction and poetry, the artist questions the relationships among structural violence, historical erasures, and memory preservation.

Sala de Vídeo: Aline Motta [Video Room: Aline Motta] is curated by Leandro Muniz, curatorial assistant at MASP.

Throughout 2021 and 2022, Video Room’s programming is part of the cycle of Histórias brasileiras [Brazilian Histories] at MASP and, in 2022, it includes works by Letícia Parente, Tamar Guimarães, Melanie Smith, Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca, and Aline Motta.


Aline Motta

Niteroi (RJ), 1974, lives and works in São Paulo

Bridges over Abysses, 2017

Vídeo 08’29”

Photography: Aline Motta

Additional camera: Bruno Elisabetsky

Editing: Fernando Lima

Graphics and post-production: Rafael Longo

Location sound and sound editing: Bruno Elisabetsky

Color grading: Caetano Brenga Bitencourt

Soundtrack: Aline Motta e Bruno Elisabetsky

Guest musician: Ari Colares

Research: Aline Motta

Genealogical research: Aline Motta e Marcos Machado

If the Sea Had Balconies, 2017

Vídeo 09’11”

Photography: Aline Motta

Additional camera: Bruno Elisabetsky

Editing: Aline Motta e Fernando Lima

Soundscape: Bruno Elisabetsky

Drone: Fernando Bastos

Color grading: Caetano Brenga Bitencourt

(Other) Foundations, 2017–19

Vídeo 15’48”

Camera, direction, screenwriting, editing, soundtrack: Aline Motta

Additional camera (Rio de Janeiro footage): Danilo do Carmo

Recording studio and mixing: Ori Lab (Caê Rolfsen e Bruno Prado)

Musician: Bruno Prado

Additional soundtrack (“Ogum”): Bruno Prado

Guest singer: Lenna Bahule

Music production and sound editing: Pedro Santiago

Finishing and color grading: Caetano Brenga Bitencourt


Joceane Soares, Jamiu Jimoh, Ajarat Jimoh, Jani e ShoyumI

The artist acknowledges:

Alusine Kamara, Alhaji Mustapha Koker, Ansu, Joseph Koroma, Claudia Mamede, José Luiz
Júnior, IPHAN Mariana/Minas Gerais, Arquivo Eclesiástico da Arquidiocese de Mariana/ Minas Gerais,
IPHAN Vassouras/Rio de Janeiro, Centro de Documentação Histórica Paroquial/ Paróquia de
Nossa Senhora da Conceição – Vassouras/Rio de Janeiro/ Diocese
de Valença/ Rio de Janeiro, Padre José Antônio, Família Elisabetsky