One might say that, throughout the history of contemporary Brazilian art, nearly all exhibitions have tacitly self-appointed themselves “we’ve always all been white”, because the presence of blacks in the contemporary art world has always been the exception. The exhibition AGORA SOMOS TODXS NEGRXS?, or “Are we all black now?”, brings together several generations of black Brazilian visual artists: Ana Lira, Ayrson Heráclito, Dalton Paula, Eustáquio Neves, Frente 3 De Fevereiro, Jaime Lauriano, Jota Mombaça, Luiz De Abreu, Moisés Patrício, Musa Michelle Mattiuzzi, Paulo Nazareth, Rosana Paulino and Sidney Amaral and Zózimo Bulbul.
The phrase that gives the exhibition its title is contained in article 14 of the Haitian Constitution of 1805: “All citizens shall henceforth be known by the generic appelation of blacks.” A Constitution that was born of the only slave revolt to take power in the entire colonial world. A revolution that brings to mind the record of the maroon resistance. And a country that would remain the only nation in all of the Americas to have blacks in power and the only society to realize the ideals of the French Revolution: equality, freedom and fraternity. The first nation to abolish slavery in the Americas, while Brazil would go down in history as the last country to give up the use of slave labor.