Sobre - IA
Ouro Preto - foto de Germano Neto Ouro Preto - foto de Germano Neto

The Institute of Contemporary Art of Ouro Preto (iA) is a non-profit cultural institute that promotes social commitment through art. It was conceived so as to edify the universal dialogue between the communities in the region of Ouro Preto and Mariana (Minas Gerais, Brazil) with contemporary art.

Involved in research, education, development and design of short and long-term cultural projects, iA intends to grow as a collaborative platform for the conjugation and diffusion of knowledge, catalyzing the creative potential present in the associations between artists, artisans and the community.

It is based on the concept of “glocalization” — which refers to the presence of the local dimension in the production of a global culture — and fosters the constant connection between the local research and production in transit, as a national and international channel, constituted from an open network of relationships.

Being an innovative institution, it seeks to add values of social diversity, technology, sustainability and creative economy, articulating new languages and integrating knowledge. In this way, it encourages artists to explore the meaning and impact of these experiences in their own work, in the environment and in the exchange with other agents, generating a permanent and continuous legacy in the Brazilian material and immaterial heritage.


IA's mission is to facilitate the development of communities, initially in Ouro Preto, Mariana and region, fostering endemic artistic expressions — therefore extolling the African diaspora and the genesis of nationality — through artistic residencies that promote dialogues with art and world artists in their creative processes.


Promoting an understanding of the contemporary panorama, generating recognition and historical-cultural belonging through art and its dimensions.



Connection of the three bases of the sustainability tripod: integration of the historic citizen and his production with the environment, incorporating the expression of conservation and the valorization of natural resources into the artistic language.


Preservation and analysis of the historical-cultural context, mixing expressions and readings, in order to establish a symbiotic relationship with local communities.


Promotion of the relationship between historians, architects, artists, curators and other professionals, in order to debate with the community about heritage and heritage subjects, establishing the iA as a forum for dialogues about art.


Suitability of all administrative and financial processes. Honest management and commitment to the laws in force.

Maria Isabel do Amaral Gurgel

Conception and general coordination of the project

In the 1990s, she studied furniture design with Angélica Santi and started her activities as a designer. In 1995, she opened “Antagônica Design e Arte” in her hometown, Jundiaí (SP), a furniture design store and art gallery, and represented several national and international artists and designers, such as: Gustavo Rosa, Antonio Peticov, Ivald Granato, Roberto Aguilar, Gregório Gruber, Vera Café, Beccheroni, the Campana brothers, Moshe Gorban, Duílio Ferronato, Ingo Maurer, Rosenberg Ring, among others. Soon after, she traveled to Minas Gerais and, impressed by the wealth of the local handicrafts, opened a new point, “Viela Rica”, a street fair that mixed Italian design with handicrafts from Minas Gerais. In 2002, she started a social project in the district of Antônio Pereira, creating the brand “Preguiçosa”, a line of bedspreads, pillows, rugs and poufs made by low-income women in the district in Ouro Preto, based on the re-reading of traditional techniques from Minas Gerais. She has taught courses of cultural production at FAT and has given workshops related to culture and cultural management such as "The path of handicrafts in the Brazilian market" and "Urban maps: what is the path of the historic city?" at Winter Festivals in Minas Gerais. She has produced in Ouro Preto the first Concert of Bells, conducted by the Catalan maestro Llorenç Barber, a disciple of John Cage, via the company Comunicação Nacional. Invited by Prof. Dr. Oliver Tabares, she has given, at the University of Medellín (Colombia), the lecture “Project FAOP | Ouro Preto Art Foundation: art and heritage”. From 2007 to 2011 she worked as a communication advisor for the Art Foundation of Ouro Preto (Faop), a public entity linked to the State Secretary of Culture of Minas Gerais. She has developed projects at G11 | Association for the Development of Art and Culture, creating and supporting exhibitions and special projects in the state of Minas Gerais. She is currently president of the Institute of Contemporary Art of Ouro Preto (iA) and responsible for the “B*Art - a new path”, a project she has developed in Barbados, Caribbean. By vocation, she has dedicated herself to cultural policy, in order to understand and seek a sense of universalization, access and sustainable economic development as a way of understanding the collective self and valuing each individual in the artistic process.

Saulo Rios

Communication advisory

A journalist, graduated from the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV), Saulo Rios has a specialist's degree in Communication, Images and Media Cultures from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) and a master's degree in Communication and Temporalities from the Federal University of Ouro Preto (Ufop). Besides dedicating himself to researches on the crossings between art, culture and politics, he has been acting as a communication adviser for cultural and social projects for more than 10 years, having worked at the Ouro Preto Orchestra, at the Art Foundation of Ouro Preto (Faop), and also in concerts, theatre shows and artistic exhibitions.

Sirlene Ciampi

Administrative and financial advisory

Graduated in Business Administration from Anhembi Morumbi University, she has been offering consultancy in the use of tax incentive mechanisms to promote culture since 1994. She performs a study to find the most appropriate mechanism for the project and accompanies it up to the qualification in the agency in charge. Sirlene Ciampi is also specialized in accountability and financial execution of projects encouraged by federal and state laws.

Erika Dias

Digital communication

A university professor and doctoral researcher in the field of digital communication, she has a master's degree in language studies and is a specialist in strategic communication planning, social media and digital languages. For over a decade, she has developed courses, consultancies and communication and marketing projects for entrepreneurs and institutions. Erika Dias has received two journalism awards and has expertise in national and international corporations. She has digital content certificates by Hubspot, Rock Content and Google.

Traust it

Technology transforms audacious ideas into digital businesses, bringing state-of-the-art solutions into information technology. For their works, they have already been chosen and awarded by entities such as PUCRS, IBM and Apex Brazil. Since 2017, they have carried out several projects, including: digital identities, minimum viable products, search engines, virtual stores, marketplaces, and innovative and disruptive business platforms. is committed to the customer's vision and carries out planning in line with their needs. Web systems are thought, from the initial design, with a focus on the wide variety of screen sizes and devices and come out ready to be indexed, in the best format, by internet search providers.

The Recherche in Ouro Preto, where time is the subject

The Institutional Subject of Ouro Preto and his sensations:

Biological conceptual painting of life and art, politics and economics.

Rehydration of the dry vectors of the dormant rhizomatic cell in the city of Ouro Preto.

As I approach Ouro Preto, I visualize the rhizomatic spatialization of the RECHERCHE and I have an imaginary conversation with Gilles Deleuze.

A rhizome has no beginning or no end, it is always in the middle, between things, intermezzo.

“(…) the rhizome is made only of lines: lines of segmentarity and stratification as its dimensions, and the line of flight or deterritorialization as the maximum dimension after which the multiplicity undergoes metamorphosis, changes in nature” (DELEUZE; GUATTARI, 1987).

“Unlike the tree, the rhizome is not the object of reproduction: neither external reproduction as image-tree nor internal reproduction as treestructure. The rhizome is an antigenealogy. It is a short-term memory, or antimemory” (Ibidem). The rhizome operates by variation, expansion, conquest, it is the capture of the shooting, as opposite to the frozen record of the photograph, of the drawing, as opposite to the decals. The rhizome refers to the map that must be produced, built, always dismountable, connectable, reversible, modifiable, with multiple entrances and exits, with its lines of flight. The decals should be references on the maps, and not the contrary. To decal is to remove the sensations of matter and time.

I observe, in the design of Ouro Preto, its plateaus, as a region of continuous intensities, vibrating on itself, that develops avoiding any orientation towards an objective or an external purpose. By plateau I mean all the multiplicity that can be connected to other superficial underground stems in order to form and understand a rhizome.

In this rhizomatic landscape of Ouro Preto, there is a collective assemblage of enunciation, a machinic assemblage of desire: in each other; linked in the prodigious sensations that make multiplicity.

What sensations?

The Recherche is a machine.

The RECHERCHE that debates between art and life starts.

Contemporary art is whatever it feels like.

Contemporary art is a machine and works as such.

The contemporary work of art has no problem of meaning, it has only one problem: of use, of systemic functionality

The work of art as a producer of truths, with aspects of the same production: creating, remembering, interpreting, deciphering and translating.

The work of art generates the spiritual equivalent of memory and expression.

The Recherche repeatedly deviates from observations of things and from the creative imagination. It produces and differs from discovering and creating.

It decodes and recodes all of our social languages for reading ourselves.

Why not build an Institute of Contemporary Art in Ouro Preto as a provocateur of the involuntary memory that produces resonances from historic cities to the mountains within Minas Gerais?

The Institute of Contemporary Art of Ouro Preto comes as a collective agency that forms the plateau of the national and international cultural community resonances.

The resonances in time extract their own pieces and make them resonate according to their specific purpose, but not totally, since it is always a "hand-to-hand", a "fight" or a "combat". And what is produced by the resonance process, in the resounding machine, is the singular essence, the point of view that is superior to the two resonating moments, in rupture with the associative chain that goes from one to the other: the historical cities in their essence, as it has not been experienced; The city of Ouro Preto as a point of view, as it has never been seen before. This is the invitation of the Recherche that the iA is proposing

A resonance of the Institute that produces an aesthetic and artistic effect with style that brings us the subject of this speech: THE TIME.

What the project proposes is to rediscover time as it is born and involved in the essence: identical to eternity

Involuntary memory is the essence located in time as a reflection of the crystallized voluntary memory of the current understanding of historic cities, especially Ouro Preto and Mariana.

Voluntary memory is understood as going from an actual present to a present that “has been”, that is, something that was once present, but is not anymore. “The past of voluntary memory is therefore doubly relative: relative to the present which it has been, but also to the present with regard to which it is now past. Which is to say that this memory does not apprehend the past directly” (DELEUZE, 1964/1999) — it recomposes past as present. Voluntary memory “proceeds by snapshots” and escapes the being-in-itself of the past, with its mechanisms that make past to be constituted as such after having been present, so that the precedent would pass or become past.

“(…) the joint demands of conscious perception and of voluntary memory establish a real succession where, more profoundly, there is virtual coexistence” (DELEUZE, 1964/1999).

We do not return from a current present to the past, we do not recompose the past with the presents, but we immediately see, in the past itself, that past does not represent anything, but it was something that is and coexists with itself as a present; that the past cannot be preserved in anything other than itself, because it is one in itself, it survives in itself, and remains in itself. This being-in-itself of the past, which is the virtual coexistence of time in memory.

On the other hand, involuntary memory has, however, a specific characteristic: it interrogates the context of the city, turns the past context inseparable from the present sensation that the Recherche provokes. Because involuntary memory is the essence located in time

The essence that is incarnated in involuntary memory does not reveal the original time; it makes us rediscover a new time — the lost time itself. It appears abruptly in an unfolded, developed time, and at the heart of that passing time, rediscovers an involvement center that is nothing more than the image of the original time. That is why the revelations of involuntary memory are extraordinarily brief, they could not prolong without harming us.

“Involuntary memory gives us eternity, but in such a manner that we do not have the strength to endure it for more than a moment nor the means to discover its nature. What it gives us is therefore rather the instantaneous image of eternity” (DELEUZE, 1964/1999). Because involuntary memory is a death, a loss. And it is through it that we renew ourselves.

In the context of the fixity of memories, of the alteration of universal deaths, the movement of time arises. From a past to the present, it is duplicated in a forced movement with a greater magnitude in the opposite direction, which sweeps the two moments, highlights the gap between them and makes the past retreat (these are the flows of quantum movements in memory).

Time shapes the “horizon”, universal deaths expand time, resonance contracts to the utmost in the body. It is not the cadaverous rigidity of the forms, it is the fixity of the sensations of death and loss, it is the contracted and brief perception of eternity. And it is the work of art sign that provides us with this eternity.

In this passionate astronomy, the instrument of the Recherche is the telescope, not the microscope (the Recherche subject's viewpoint), which governs the fragments of collapsed universes: from what is seen in the distance, the clash between the worlds and the parts that unfold in each other. The subject of the Recherche is an astronomer.

In the astronomical view, the lost time introduces distance between things, the opposite rediscovered time establishes a contiguity between distant things, complementary, according to what is operating — whether forgetting or remembering — between the fragmented and irregular poles of the works of art signs

TLost time, oblivion.

Time rediscovered, the power of remembrance.

In the language of signs, there is truth only in what is made to deceive. May our Recherche hero be a detective, with his connections. There is a pulverization of the self, in the construction of the Recherche, because the subject is time. The hero of the Recherche is the visitor. And this subject's view is astronomical, it's the universe, it's the firmament.

The Institute of Contemporary Art of Ouro Preto (iA) project seeks “resurrection” through the transversals of time, rediscovered in opposition to the incommunicative transversals of signs, provoking the multiplicity of the Recherche hero's self: the lie belongs to the language of signs

Jealousy is the transversal of the multiplicity of love.

The journey is the transversal of the multiplicity of places.

Sleep, the transversal of the multiplicities of the internal and external time moments.

The Recherche and its three types of machines:

  • Partial object machines (Pulsions – work of art sign)
  • Resonance machines (Éros – curation's concept)
  • Forced motion machines (Thanatos – subject's body)

Location management:

Ouro Preto - Time lost due to fragmentation of partial objects.

iA - Time rediscovered by resonance.

Inhotim - Time, due to the amplitude of the forced movement of time rediscovered by resonances, echoing roads through the mountains of Minas Gerais.

On the basis of the three automation mechanisms of the Recherche machine, the visitors' insights are built:

  • iA intends to echo time, with its lines prevailing against the resonances of life, the Eros as a loss of the past crystallized in the way of understanding the city of Ouro Preto
  • It makes rediscovered time a condition of connection, proposing a communication that is not taken as a principle, but results from the game of mechanisms
  • With focused lighting towards the presentation of the cultural proposals of the signs, the works of art.
  • They will be insights about time, for the understanding that time is not a whole, for the simple reason that it is the instance that prevents the whole and provides us with the multiplicity of signs, clues to be deciphered by the astronomical view that we intend to provoke in the visitors.

I follow the clues that lead us to the gold preserved in Ouro Preto:

  • Where is the gold from Vila Rica's former wealth?
  • With the time subject and its lines of segmentarity and stratification as its dimensions, but also the lines of flight or deterritorialization, as the maximum dimension of the procedures of “variation, expansion, conquest, capture and offshoots”, with their multiple entrances and exits (principle of contamination).

In this transversal of time, the Institute of Contemporary Art of Ouro Preto will build, within its multiple local connections, and towards other places, the internationalization of culture and its regional political development.

In this pictorial and systemic creation of the Recherche, the institutional profile of iA arises: the principle of the spider web as a contemporary sign of the rhizomatic view spatialized in the old colonial urbanism of Ouro Preto

With this rhizomatic vision, the iA intends to open escape points that generate metamorphosing deterritorialization, changing the nature of the city. The Institute is constantly in a pursuit.

Time lines against stagnant time.

Escape lines against the limits of the surrounding urban walls, opening gaps.

The whole Recherche is a loving pursuit of the involuntary memory that Ouro Preto awakens in this conception of the iA. (The Institute brings a new gestation to the city of Ouro Preto).

This is the web-project that arises from the resonance of the rhizomatic spatialization over the 17th century project (Ouro Preto), when the globalization of the planet began; this is the Recherche that the Institute is going to weave: when making, when weaving each thread, when moving through this or that work of art sign.

The web is the spider, the web and the body are the same machine.

Involuntary sensitivity +

Involuntary memory +

Involuntary thoughts =

Body - Spider

Arachne will be the rhizomatic short memory, the decal in the colonial cartography of the distant memory of Ouro Preto. It is only necessary to recharge the cellular batteries of the web — which is Ouro Preto, the mother cell — and to fuel it molecularly with the present time, that will virtually bring past and future together.

Vera Café
Plastic artist and founder
of the iA - Institute of Contemporary Art of Ouro Preto
In Memorian