Night of Uncertainty

Night of the Forest with artists from Paraguay’s Gran Chaco

Late-night Opening

Location: Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, View access map

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Night of Uncertainty – Screening and encounter

The Fondation Cartier is pleased to welcome Efacio Álvarez and Clemente Juliuz, Nivaclé artists from the Gran Chaco region of Paraguay whose works feature in the Trees exhibition, for a special evening. A screening of the documentary Como pez en el monte [Like a fish in the forest], directed by Fernando Allen and Fredi Casco, providing a portrait of these artists, will be followed by an encounter led by the anthropologist and exhibition curator Ursula Regehr and the photographer Fernando Allen. Travelling outside of Paraguay for the very first time, Efacio Álvarez and Clemente Juliuz will speak for their community in sharing with us the richness of their culture, and bearing witness to irreversible transformations of their environment and their traditional ways of life.

The Gran Chaco forest in Paraguay draws less attention than the neighboring Amazon, despite its rate of deforestation—the highest in the world. The indigenous communities that live here today dwell on the outskirts of small local towns. Men are generally employed by large landowners as agricultural workers. This is the case of the artists Efacio Álvarez and Clemente Juliuz, whose extraordinary black and white drawings for the most part depict the memory of a vanished world in which all living beings coexist.

I love trees and animals, and I love the forest, because this is where I learned to observe and draw. When I feel like drawing, I simply search for places in my memory. I think of trees and animals and I start to make some sketches. Without trees, animals cannot survive—they die. Deforestation causes us to suffer as well.

Efacio Álvarez

Humans cut down trees and drive bees away, and there are fewer and fewer animals. We dread their extinction. It worries me to see how trees are being chopped down, the massive deforestation undertaken for livestock farming. Animals need the forest; it is their natural environment. Now they have no choice but to flee—but they have no place to go.

Clemente Juliuz

Citations from the catalogue of the exhibition Trees, Éditions Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2019

Photo: © Vincent Baillais