“Across a chasm of time”—Jeffrey Bussmann on Rosângela Rennó’s cinematic conversations

Videoarte Brasil: Rosângela Rennó

Rosângela Rennó, Febre do Sertão (Savannah Fever), 2008, two-channel video, 21:04. Photo: Courtesy of the artist & Galeria Vermelho.

Jeffrey Bussmann, ICA’s Associate Director of Development, followed up on his ICA@50 exhibition Videoarte Brasil with an in-depth essay on one of the artists in the show, Rosângela Rennó.

Published on the website AMISSINGBOOK.COM, Bussmann’s essay analyzes Rennó’s two-channel video work Febre do Sertão (2008), which weaves together two filmed versions of João Guimarães Rosa’s classic novel Grande Sertão: Veredas (The Devil to Pay in the Backlands).

Bussmann writes:

Rosângela Rennó typically works with found materials such as photographs, video, and ephemera. For Febre do Sertão she culled scenes from the film and miniseries, weaving them into a direct dialogue between Riobaldo and Diadorim [the novel’s main characters]. No other character appears onscreen. There is a distinct peculiarity to the interaction of the two characters. Diadorim (always on the left screen) from the 1965 version only ever speaks to Riobaldo (always on the right screen) from the 1985 version, and vice-versa. The conversation takes place across a chasm of time, lending a feeling of impossibility that underlines the enforced chastity of Diadorim’s and Riobaldo’s seemingly taboo relationship.

Read more.

Learn more about Videoarte Brasil and the accompanying program Videoarte Brasil 1970s.
Curating Videoarte Brasil: an interview with Jeffrey BussmannVideoarte Brasil / Video Art (1975)