Chinatown, New York. Bel Falleiros is a Brazilian artist with an Architecture degree whose artistic research focuses on land identity. Starting with her hometown, São Paulo, she has worked to understand how contemporary landscapes, city tissue and its monuments (mis)represent the diverse layers of presence that constitute a place. Since arriving in the U.S., she has continued working closely with the land, creating space for grounding and exploring the stories and symbols that can unite us.
During our conversation—originally broadcast live as part of Montez Press Radio’s summer programming from their Canal Street studio in New York City—we dig into ideas related to identity, displacement and what it means to trace lines towards home in different ways: from movement to monument to music. What is revealed when tracing the line in these cities back even farther in an attempt to find their starting point - or as Bel describes, their navel? Hers is an artistic practice driven by the relationship established with the land when we investigate the stories that each place can tell us. Imagining all cities as born from a zero, a starting point, a navel, she envisions each arising from a primordial force that makes a piece of earth become a place.
This uncut interview also features a series of songs from Luedji Luna, a Brazilian artist that brings Bel “home”. The selections are from the artist’s latest album, Um Corpo no Mundo. Check out her video from Banho de Folhas.