35th Bienal de São Paulo
6 Set to 10 Dec 2023
Free Admission
35th Bienal de
São Paulo
6 Set to 10 Dec
Exhibition view of the work of Gabriel Gentil Tukano during the 35th Bienal de São Paulo – choreographies of the impossible © Levi Fanan / Fundação Bienal de São Paulo

Gabriel Gentil Tukano

The finger of creation touches me and pulsates. Such is the light of the Yepá Mahsã, People of the Earth. Between the worlds they draw the mouth of time in seminal explosions and primordial spirals. My heart escapes and lives again. It stares at the unverifiable, inhabits the invisible. Everything happens in the instant now, half moving and in bursts. Body, drive, friction, union. It is the cosmos occurring fertile on earth’s health.

Here the body of the world is in gestation, transmuting and updating itself in each and every gaze that spies the presence, the writ – ing, and the drawing of my kin Gabriel Gentil Tukano. It is a nod that happens. It is a warm breath. The sweltering of the forest speaks. Swirls draw the forewarning on the ground: there is not a square meter under our feet that is not the sacred creation of ancestral territory. What is created in lines is perpetual.

A body draws.

And the line is traced when the light reveals it. A light that walks between worlds creating other worlds in the center of the beginnings of all times, of the risks and the first rites. In the next light, my eyes will reach the hands of my kin, for the point is demarcated in both worlds, and the risk of our love is high, the stuff of strong medicine.

A body writes.

Letters are heaped drawings that become senses and bodies, but once organized on the basis of old-world universalizing thought, they operate an infertile, infantile, worn-out, poisonous, and cadaverous inhabitation.

Strong medicine will not cure a body that is born dead.

Gabriel Mira. He draws the aim. He aims and draws. He is the aim. His body is the drawing and the continuity of dreamed gestures here and now, it is in sight, it is in the very ancient visions and breaths. He continues to draw and aim at the connection of the ancestral bodies that are in the future of the world.

These are living works!
Gabriel Gentil is the drawing taking place between worlds.

déba tacana
translated from Portuguese by philip somervell

Gabriel dos Santos Gentil, also known as Gabriel Gentil Tukano (São Gabriel da Cachoeira, AM, Brazil, 1953 – Manaus, AM, Brazil, 2006), was an author and a professor at the Universidade Federal do Amazonas (UFAM). His books talked about the traditions of Indigenous people. Of the Tukano ethnicity, a population that inhabits part of the Amazon territory bordering the Uaupés River, he dedicated his life to safeguarding his people.