In Closer than Cafundó, Bethônico proposes an associative wandering through Brazil’s past and present in relation to mining operations in the state of Minas Gerais, located in the country’s southeast. The piece examines the conflicting relationship between the rights of Indigenous and Afro-Brazilian communities and the mining industry’s exploitative practices. The images belong to the photographic inventory of a semi-precious stones shop in Minas Gerais, capital of Belo Horizonte, presented alongside images of piles of beans and earth.

It includes a reference to both the reliance on African and indigenous slave labor, and the current possibilities for new agricultural practices to assist in remediating the environmental destruction brought on by its industrial extraction. The historical contents are presented in the form of free associations, not different from the way they are laid out in the piece Mineral Practice.

2015, Slideshow, narration, language: English, 15 min. Courtesy of the artist


Mabe Bethônico (Belo Horizonte/Brazil) is an artist, researcher, and professor at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, who lives between Brazil and Switzerland. She works within institutional structures to problematize issues related to memory, from documentaries to fictionalized narratives, using publications and speeches/narration, based on archives and field images as a means of transmitting her ideas. Since 2013, she initiated the Museum of Public Concerns, staged from collections, writings, meetings, and exhibitions. As her main topic of interest, she attempts to bring to public debate the social and environmental implications of the mineral industry in Minas Gerais, Brazil. She has shown in the Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo, has participated in the São Paulo Biennials of 2006 and 2008, exhibited at the Kunstverein Munchen, and is a member of the international group or artists and theoreticians, World of Matter (

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