Maria Thereza Alves. Seeds of Change

A platform on migration, trade, dynamics of transformation

The first solo exhibition in The Netherlands by Maria Thereza Alves,
curated by Claudia Zanfi (director aMAZElab, Milano).
Seeds of Change is an investigation based on original research to unearth historical ballast sites and ballast flora in European ports.
For hundreds of years, stones, earth, sand, wood, and bricks were used as ballast to stabilize merchant sailing ships according to the weight of the cargo. Upon arrival in port, the ballast and seeds, which accidentally came along for the ride, were unloaded.  These seeds can be from any of the ports and regione around the Mediterrnanean area (and their regional trading partners) involved in trade with Europe. Seeds contained in ballast soil may germinate and grow, contributing to the development of the European landscape and potentially bearing witness to a far more complex narrative of world history than is usually presented by orthodox accounts, what Alves calls ‘borderless history’. Although they have the potential to alter our notions of the identity of place as belonging to a defined bio-region, the historical importance of these seeds is rarely acknowledged.
Seeds of Change Port Cities:

The exhibition presents photographs, drawings, maps, interviews, video. The event is part of the international platform Port City Safari, initiated in collaboration with Arnolfini (Bristol) and  represents one exhibition, an international network, a geographical tour, a series of publications and panels involving artists, architects, theoreticians.
The project highlights diverse projects and trajectories dedicated to trade, mobility
and productivity. A 250 pages publication documents the artists' works, theoretical essays, images and maps, concluding in Rotterdam the long and articulated journey of  the Port City Safari. The project is awarded by the EU Culture 2007 Grant and it’s one of the parallel events at the “International Architecture Biennial Rotterdam”.

OPENING: Saturday 17th October 2009 - 4 pm to 7 pm
Mirta Demare Gallery Space, Bergsingel 176, Rotterdam  

Maria Thereza Alves (1960, Brazil) lives and works in Berlin. She attended the Cooper Union School of Art in New York and was awarded a DAAD scholarship (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdients/German Academic Exchange Service) in 2000. She has had shows across Europe and North America and has recently exhibited at: Manifesta 7 (Trentino – Alto Adige), 2008; Greenwashing (Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin), 2008; Port City. On Mobility and Exchange (Bristol), 2007; Quanahuac (Kunsthalle, Basel), 2006; Liverpool Biennial, 2004; Rest in Space (Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin), 2003; Venice Biennial (2001). She was co-founder of the Green Party in Brazil.

Maria Thereza Alves researches social and cultural phenomena; working particularly with situations which question social circumstances about what we think we know and who we think we are instead at where and how we actually are at this time.