The Brazilian artist Sallisa Rosa has created a new large-scale ceramic installation, Topography of Memory (2023), which will go on view later this autumn at the Collins Park Rotunda near the Bass Museum in Miami Beach (5-17 December), coinciding with Art Basel Miami Beach.
The installation consists of more than 70 handmade objects—created with clay collected from Brazil’s Itaboraí region near Rio de Janeiro—some of which will be suspended in the air while others rise from the ground in stalagmite fashion. An immersive environment also using amber light and soft mist, the project’s overarching theme is personal and collective memory, inspired by the artist’s experience (and those of many other Brazilians) of attempting to reconstruct her ancestry. The installation draws a connection between erosion in both the natural world and in memory, and the collected clay represents the symbolic storing of memory.
“Topography of Memory marks the first time I’ve worked with ceramics at such scale,” Rosa said in a statement. “Memory gives us an idea of who we are—and collected clay is a material that activates memory. I hope the commission will be an opportunity for audiences to reflect on their own memories and personal histories.”
Rosa’s practice incorporates photography, video, performance and installation, drawing on her Indigenous heritage in exploring the connections between humans and nature and often including clay.
Topography of Memory, Rosa’s first solo project in the US, was commissioned by Audemars Piguet Contemporary (working closely with the independent curator Thiago de Paula Souza) and will travel to Brazil’s Pinacoteca de São Paulo, where it will be on display at the new Pina Contemporânea wing next year (16 March-28 July 2024).
The Brazilian gallery A Gentil Carioca will host an exhibition of Rosa’s work in November. Her art will also be on view at the gallery’s stand at Art Basel Miami Beach (8-10 December).