CAM in Motion: Yto Barrada

Tree Identification for Beginners, 2017

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Between January and May, a shipping container located in the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation's Garden will play host to a cycle of films from the CAM Collection, which is divided into four moments.

Commissioned for the Afroglossia event, curated by Adrienne Edwards, this video portrays the artist’s mother’s visit to the USA in 1966. Aged just 20, the Moroccan socialist student was one of 50 ‘Young African Leaders’ invited on a cultural excursion sponsored by the Department of State. Through archives, reports, newspapers and textiles, Yto Barrada interweaves historical and political events (Pan-Africanism, the movements for decolonisation and against the Vietnam War, Black Power) with episodes and myths related to her family.

Dialogues and information in voiceover are accompanied by animated geometric shapes, objects and pictorial surfaces, the pulsing of which defines the rhythm of the representation and of the narrative.  

In this cycle, we are presenting four films from the CAM Collection that allow us to evaluate and reflect on the structuring role of geometry, both in the precise drawing of its known and derivative forms – fixed in architecture, painting, sculpture and drawing, disciplines that lend themselves to animation and film composition – and in its capacity to symbolically embody characters and narratives.

We will link these four films to the following four modes of the work of geometry, varying in the degree of explicitness and, in some cases, more or less subterranean in nature:

It is important to note that geometry, as an ancient and banal concept of art, is far from being the main topic of these films, all of them containing a great wealth of historical, anecdotal, sociological and artistic concepts.



Leonor Nazaré


CAM in Motion is an ‘outdoor’ programme that brings together a series of site-specific interventions by artists and exhibitions with works from the Collection in different spaces in the city of Lisbon and its surroundings.

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