Inhotim is a mix of botanical and creative exuberance in Brazil.
In a green area of 97 hectares, ornamented with rare tropical species, is a contemporary art collection of global relevance. Inhotim is located 60 km from Belo Horizonte, the capital of the State of Minas Gerais in Brazil. One of the country’s best kept secrets, Inhotim is home to paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, videos and installations by renowned artists, both Brazilian and foreign.
Altogether there are 11 permanent galleries and four other temporary exhibitions (which change every two years), as well as various artworks scattered through the site’s gardens. Artists such as Tunga, Cildo Meireles, Adriana Varejao, Doris Salcedo, Victor Grippo, Matthew Barney, Rivane Neuenschwander, Valeska Soares, Janet Cardiff & George Miller and Doug Aitken sign the installations displayed in the galleries.
At the end of last year, nine new large-scale works were incorporated into the permanent collection of Contemporary Art. The Beam Drop installation, by Chris Burden, with huge beams of steel stuck in a pool of concrete, has a video that shows how the piece was created, step-by-step. Another highlight comes from Doug Aitken, who created a round, glass-enclosed pavilion high upon a hill, with a 200-meter deep hole at its center, where he installed highly-sensitive microphones to capture different sound frequencies from the Earth’s inside. The installation, called Sound Pavilion, provides the visitor with a refreshing sensorial experience.
Many of these new projects were developed under the site-specific concept, in which artists design their work by incorporating the natural backdrop and scenery, like the top of a mountain, a dense forest or a large lake.
As to the Botanical Gardens, more than four thousand plant species are preserved from the forest remnants belonging to the Atlantic Forest and Cerrado biomes. The stunning landscaping project was created by Roberto Burle Marx, so one can expect to find blue plants, various species of orchids hanging from the trees and many other curious examples of the country’s fauna diversity.
Text contributed by Nara Bianconi