TERRA FIRMA

A single channel video. 28min. 2014.


Momenta Art Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, 2014

PioneerWorks Center for the Arts and Innovation, Brooklyn, NY, 2014

LODO Festival, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2014




Terra Firma is the return to the farm in Brazil where Couto grew up, accompanied by the two men who built it, now in their late seventies and nineties. Like her, both men carried thirty years of absence. Terra Firma explores displacement, ecology and memory. The artist captured the friendship between the two men, their mutual shared stories and the changes in the landscape.



Jovana Stokic, Art Historian and Curator, wrote about this body of work:


"I recognize clay, hands dirtied by earth, years passed in silence, nostalgia, saudade, inaudible melody for flute, conspirationally produced sounds, eternal stones resisting entropy. Pathetic human short-lived memories vis-à-vis all-knowing never-forgetting Nature.


Memento: I was taken by a sentence written by Couto: “The House was smaller than I imagined.” It encapsulates years of nostalgic longing and the final juxtaposition of fantasy and reality. In her dreams, the house of her childhood was big imposing building once revisited, a decade after seeing it for the last time, the house did not appear big. I was just an ordinary farm house. But this realization was not a disappointment. It was a peaceful epilogue. What is then the process of crystallization; Is it beauty beyond change? However, beauty should not be fetishized, commodified, mummified. What is a crystal if not a memento that captures longing for the past and future together, a stand against entropy? This event is about communal listening to the silence of the set of mementos."