Atenção Área Indígena, 2021

by Xadalu Tupã Kejupé

Metal sign, wood carvings and wicker baskets, 190 x 200 cm

Courtesy of the artist

Ph. Aurélien Mole

Xadalu Tupã Jekupé is an artist using elements of silk screen printing, painting, photography and objects to address in the form of urban art the tension between Indigenous and Western culture in cities. His work, and the conversations with wise men around the campfire, has become one of the most powerful resources of the visual arts against the erasure of Indigenous culture in Rio Grande do Sul. The dialogue and integration with the Guarani Mbyá community allowed the artist to rescue and acknowledge his own ancestry. Born in Alegrete, Xadalu’s origin is linked to the Indigenous people who historically inhabited the banks of the Ibirapuitã River. The waters that bathed his childhood in the ancient land called Ararenguá carry the history of the Guarani peoples – the Mbyá, Charruas, Minuanos, Jaros and Mbones – as well as of the great-grandfathers and great-great-grandfathers of the artist. Of unknown ethnicity, they were part of an Indigenous fragment that resisted in houses of mud and grass on the banks of the Ibirapuitã River, dedicated themselves to fishing and living around the fire even after the extermination of the villages in the region.