Jorgge Menna Barreto, Ph.D. is a Brazilian artist and educator, whose practice and research have been dedicated to site-specific art for over 20 years. In 2014, he did a postdoctorate at UDESC, Brazil, where he collaborated with a biologist and an agronomist to study relations between site-specific art and agro-ecology, centering around agroforestry. Presently living in Europe, he has engaged in a second postdoctoral research at LJMU, England, which will lead to the work he will present at the Liverpool Biennial in 2021. Menna Barreto approaches site-specificity from a critical and South American perspective, having taught , lectured, and written extensively about the subject. He translated related authors from English to Brazilian Portuguese, including Miwon Kwon, Rosalyn Deutsche, Hito Steyerl and Anna Tsing. Menna Barreto has engaged in multiple art residencies, projects and exhibitions worldwide. In 2016, he participated in the 32 São Paulo Biennial, where he showed his award-winning projectRestauro : a restaurant set up to work out a complex system of environmental restoration in collaboration with settlements of the landless people movement of Brazil [MST]. The project traveled to the Serpentine Galleries in London in 2017, where the artist worked with a wild edibles expert, a botanical illustrator and local organic growers. In 2020, as a resident at the Jan van Eyck Academie, Netherlands, he launched a periodic called Enzyme, created in collaboration with his partner Joélson Buggilla. In Geneva, Switzerland, he has collaborated with the MFA in Socially Engaged Art at HEAD - Haute École d'Arts Appliqués, with whom he is building a cooperation agreement focused on ecopedagogy. Since 2015, Menna Barreto has been a professor at the Art Department of UERJ, Rio de Janeiro, and will join the Art Department and MFA in Environmental Art and Social Practice of the University of California Santa Cruz in 2021.
Site specific Green Smoothies
The Site-specific Green Smoothies [Sucos Específicos, 2014] are part of a research involving food activism, agroecology and site-specificity in art. The smoothies started to show up as part of the food offered at the Café Educativo since 2013. In 2014, the Smoothies take this name during the intervention performed at the project Ações Curatoriais [Curatorial Actions] in Florianópolis. In it, wild edibles specific from the Anhatomirim Island, in the coast of Santa Catarina, Brazil, were identified (with the help of agronomist Jefferson Mota) and used as an ingredient in a fruit and vegetable drink. Bottle labels were drawn by artist Bill Lühmann.
This project is part of a discussion about the relationship with a specific place and its nutritional resources, which was further developed in the Restauro project.
The Site-specific Green Smoothies were also featured as part of the workshop Café Educativo: Blind Taste, part of the program Turning a Blind Eye (by artists Bik Van der Pol) during the 31st São Paulo Biennial.