Patricia Werneck Ribas
The Possessed (2022)
English, German, Portuguese and French with English subtitles
In The Possessed, Patricia Werneck Ribas alludes to the resilience of the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomble in the face of colonial and modernist imposition. The artist juxtaposes fragments of influential texts from European thinkers over footage of practitioners of Candomble carrying out rituals on a deserted Brazilian beach. But they are not invoking demons that horror films and Christianity would have us believe. Candomble arose through a process of syncretism between traditional religions of West Africa, particularly that of the Yoruba, and the prevalent Roman Catholicism in Brazil when it was still a colony of Portugal.
Patricia Werneck Ribas (b. 1972) is a Brazilian-born artist based in Amsterdam, working mainly with moving and still images. Questions regarding identity and power relations in a post-colonial society form the basis of her research.