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Artist Talk: Júlia Pontés

August 30, 2022


2 images side-by-side. The left image is a blurred photo of a waterfall by Catherine Opie. The 2nd is a closeup of a woman with long dark blonde hair smiling and looking directly at the camera with greenery in the background.

Artist Talk by The Current's Artist-in-Residence, Júlia Pontés

Click here to view the recording.

Júlia Pontés is the recipient of the 2022 Artist-in-Residence Award for her longtime work on extractivism and mining explorations in Brazil.

The award is an invite-only opportunity selected by The Current’s Executive Director Rachel Moore and Visura founder Adriana Teresa Letorney to participate in a 2-week residency in Stowe, Vermont. Pontés will have a designated wing of The Current’s gallery space to continue working on a mining visual survey focused on extractivism and mining explorations in her home state of Minas Gerais in Brazil.

Pontés will also receive the 2022 Visura Grant for Visual Journalists, an opportunity for up to 5 individuals who identify as visual artists, journalists and/or storytellers working on self-funded long term projects to receive a $2000 grant cash prize to continue their work. The theme for this year’s grant is focused on climate change, environmental justice, gender equality, racial justice, and human rights.

"Júlia Pontés is one of the most impressive emerging artists of our time doing extraordinarily important work. Her practice is steeped in the research of mining, the political implications, and the resulting social and environmental devastation in Brazil. With a deep commitment to this field of study, she is not only presenting gorgeously haunting work, but transcending it to change through her practice of activism. She is truly an incredible and inspiring artist to pay attention to, and we are thrilled to support her in this residency and exhibition in partnership with Visura.” - Rachel Moore, Executive Director of The Current

For 2022, The Current and Visura partnered in an effort to enhance the human experience through the visual arts. Together, the art center and media tech startup will award an annual residency, announce the recipients of this year’s 2022 Visura Grant for Visual Journalists, and collaborate in a group exhibition. The partnership was in part made possible with the support of an anonymous donor, who in 2022 made a generous contribution to The Current.

About Júlia Pontés

Born in Brazil and based in New York—Júlia Pontés is a Brazilian-Argentinian investigative artist, photographer, researcher, and activist. Pontés' work focuses mainly on extractivism and mining explorations in Brazil. It entails a deep community engagement, where she develops strong ties, academic and investigative research, and documentary practices. She is currently a member of a group of Brazilian researchers studying mining impacts in her home country. Júlia uses performance, video, photography, and other media such as installation and sculpture in her practice. Pontés explores digital and analog media, especially challenging and often pushing the medium's physical limitations; some of her aerial images are produced with an adapted large format film camera.

Her mining visual survey, done mostly in her home state of Minas Gerais with the collaboration of a pilot, has been recognized by Harvard University's Planetary Health Alliance, Visura, and NYFA, where she has been a mentee twice. It has been published by Bloomberg Businessweek, Geo Magazine, Musée Magazine, and Zone Zero and, in Brazil, by Globo's G1 portal, Plurale, O Tempo, Estado de Minas, Folha, and Midia Ninja. In 2020 she was awarded a National Geographic Emergency Fund to document the effects of the pandemic in mining communities.

Pontés is one of eleven international artists visually exploring the interconnection of environment, climate change, culture, and community in our When the well is dry exhibition on view in our galleries now through December 10.

Image courtesy of Paul Rogers Photography


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