Marlon Amaro
16/03 - 18/05/24

Someone willing to embrace life, to dive deep and explore who they are, who is building themselves, perceiving and swimming in the ambiguities of life. Seeking a balance. And with an open body. Perhaps this was not my first impression upon contact with the series "Dawn, Dusk, Nightfall," produced by Marlon Amaro between 2023 and early 2024. But it certainly was the most persistent impression. This series points to some paths taken by Marlon in other series, such as what simmers on the surface and how his body records and reacts to contemporary racial issues, but at the same time, the crossing of hours and days points to an annunciation of changes, subtle, minute, but that will lead to turning points.

Maralto, an exhibition open at Nonada ZN in March 2024, speaks of this trajectory and the fine line between ambiguities and balances. There are 25 unprecedented works that carry in their core the narrative of someone who has left and continues to search. Maralto, High Sea, Full Sea or even Open Sea. By open sea, we understand the maritime condition distant from national territorial limits, a place where sovereignty (of oneself) prevails, where one is in free sea, full sea and, therefore, cannot be legitimately subjected to another. At the same time, it is in its synonym High Sea, maralto, in this exhibition, that we find the biblical meanings of being cast, metaphorically or literally, into this condition: the net is cast, faith is not lost. Do your work and trust. An important metaphor for works in which young black men (mostly) and to some extent Marlon himself, are in permanent contact with the conditions of being black in Brazil, of being a young black man in Brazil.

In Dawn, with feet planted on the ground and head in the clouds, what is established is the right to dream, to make wishes on shooting stars and hope that they come true. The dream takes care of the feeling and from them, we create order in the world. At the same time, there is a perception that things, whatever they may be, exist to be transformed.

Dusk is the moment when we are on the high sea. Crossing the sea, without a nation, on our own and sovereign of oneself, and at the same time, subject to the dangers of time, the world, the elements, the wreckage of shipwrecks. It is possible to survive on the high sea even in the face of all precariousness and difficulty. A place where faith and trust are tested. On the high sea (or open sea), the day takes a long time to pass... Dusk, in this series, points to the place of discomfort and displacement, of the black man and his subjectivity, of black masculinities and how to refuse the world and the images that whiteness and racism have built of themselves, of us. White supremacy and racism and the winds that blow. Here, in this subseries, we also find four paintings that represent urgent racial issues: the dominance and power of the word and objectification, the attempt to subdue and stereotype, the theft of life and dreams, and the attempt to, in the face of anti-black racism, anti-black man and all the violence imposed, to stay standing, to try to cope and be in balance and well. In crossing, one seeks to silence or answer questions that do not quiet down.

If the afternoon points to what is to come, the darkness speaks of the weight and the borders between conscious and unconscious. How do we feel when night falls? What would we be forced to do if it were always night? How to deal with what surfaces when we are adrift? Anxiety, fear, melancholy also emerge as an encounter: of self-discovery, of self-representation. It is in Nightfall that one finds the muse again, hope, the dream and mainly that, living and existing fully, one finds oneself. Between Dawn and Nightfall, there is a cycle that repeats itself, continuous and slowly.

At the same time, it is good to remember, not everything in black life is displacement, alienation, and pain, or a permanent reaction to what is established. This black life, in between the lines or not, and in all its colors is immense, vibrant, and brilliant. And recognizing what affects us is part of the same continuum, of this ambiguity, of what we are.

The series 'Dawn, Dusk, Nightfall,' produced for this exhibition, points to a process in permanence, to the body in action, in motion. It is not about morning, afternoon, or night in themselves. It is High Sea. It is the process of dancing with time and training the breath to resist. To cross. To arrive at. And to be able, if desired, when the time comes, to return.