Everything I Know | Mariagrazia Pontorno
Everything I Know is a project by Mariagrazia Pontorno that retraces the voyage by boat that Leopoldina of Austria undertook to Rio de Janeiro in 1817 to marry Don Pedro of Bragança and become empress of Brazil. The trip was also attended by artists, scientists, botanists who had the task of conducting research in the new homeland of the noblewoman. Pontorno made the same voyage, on the bicentenary of this first trip, on a cargo ship that sailed off the Belgian coast on December 28, culminating in a series of seminars and talks in Rio De Janeiro.
Pontorno dedicated the time spent on the ship to deepen the figure of Leopoldina, plan and carry out workshops and artistic performances, and developing a parallel journey, sentimental this time, which involved critics, artists, curators, journalists to share Leopoldina’s spirit of adventure. In fact, what most of all unites the two voyages is the importance of the crew: the retinue of the future empress of Brazil is made up of intellectuals who accompany Leopoldina to her new homeland, so Pontorno also shares her journey with friendly minds who virtually participate to the company.
The artist has also created a visual diary for the Moleskine Foundation: every day in her notebook, Pontorno creates two monochrome drawings to fix on paper the chromatic variations of the sky and the shades of ocean water between day and night.
Everything I Know is an intermediate chapter of a larger project Pontorno carried out, driven by that cognitive impulse that is the basis of scientific and artistic research. For the artist, the relationship with space, time and the community around her becomes an instrument for weaving a double narrative: one is the account of what is happening, the other is made up of references.
©Mariagrazia Pontorno, Everything I Know, 2017
Courtesy the artist and gallery Passaggi