”I’ve already started doing the next 10 years. New lakes, expansion of the visitor area, expanding the hotel network to accommodate more visitors in the region. Inhotim has played a very important role in the training of professionals, since its inception, and will continue to do so”
Bernardo Paz, creator of Inhotim
Creator of Instituto Inhotim, businessman and collector Bernardo Paz is already planning the next 10 years of the contemporary art space in Brumadinho, which opened to the public in 2006. “New lakes, expansion of the visitor area, expanding the hotel network to accommodate more visitors in region”, he enumerates. To ensure the future, there is a new governance system with the contribution of the deliberative council chaired by him, with the participation of entrepreneurs Guilherme Teixeira, Betania Tanure, Ricardo Guimares and Rubens Menin. Lucas Pessa is the new president-director of the Institute, working in partnership with vice-president director Paula Azevedo and artistic director Julieta Gonzlez. “Inhotim is the only Brazilian museum known worldwide”, says Bernardo Paz. “More than a museum or a botanical garden, a place in the world”, he emphasizes. In this interview, he explains the changes he has implemented.
What makes you believe that this is the right moment for the donation that opens a new stage in the history of Inhotim?
How does the O Inhotim de Todos e para Todos project intend to democratize access and expand the space’s artistic and socio-educational programming?
”To ensure Inhotim’s future, strong and contributory governance is needed, society needs to embrace Inhotim”
Bernardo Paz, creator of Inhotim
Did you expect the Inhotim Institute to follow the path it has followed since its opening to the public, sixteen years ago, until the present moment?
Inhotim has been a dream cultivated for many decades, I just didn’t tell anyone because if I did, they’d think I was crazy. I had an idea from the beginning that I was doing something very different, working with the various areas of culture and the environment, that it would be something unique. And that really happened, people come from all over the world to come to Inhotim. This makes us very proud.
Its contemporary art collection is considered one of the largest and most important in the Southern Hemisphere. When and how did it start to be formed?
25 years ago. Inhotim was still in its infancy when I met Marian Goodman, an American gallery owner who is an icon in the art world. She advised me to have assistance for the formation of a collection, and she referred me to Allan Schwartzman, co-founder of Inhotim, who joined in 2002. Together we started to bring artists to the construction of works here. The first work that Allan indicated was by Matthew Barney (“De lama a lmina”, 2009), then “Beam Drop Inhotim” (2008), by Chris Burden, and so on.
What was the role of the plastic artist Tunga in the construction and idealization of the collection formed at Inhotim?
Tunga is at the origin of Inhotim, following its creation from the beginning. I met Tunga in 1999, I consider him the smartest artist I’ve met in my life, despite his madness. I remember going to his house, in Rio de Janeiro, he attended me in his pajamas, scared and suspicious, he didn’t understand anything. On that first date, I bought some of his works. Inhotim was just starting, True Rouge (2002) was the museum’s first artist gallery and later came the Tunga Psicoativa Gallery (2012). Tunga was a complete artist. He was a great friend.
The collection that you are donating includes unpublished works, never exhibited at Inhotim. Which works and artists are part of this list?
I donated everything I have to the Institute, the galleries, the botanical garden and my entire collection, including unpublished works, which have never been shown in exhibitions. Many of these works were recently acquired with the intention of making the Inhotim collection more diverse and plural, with artists such as Arjan Martins, Arthur Jaffa and Rosana Paulino, among others.
How will the new governance of Inhotim impact the visiting public? What changes, in practice, for this contingent?
”I donated everything I have to the Institute, the galleries, the botanical garden and my entire collection, including unpublished works, which have never been shown in exhibitions. Many of these works were recently acquired with the intention of making the Inhotim collection more diverse and plural.
Bernardo Paz, creator of Inhotim
What changes in Inhotim’s relationship with the Brumadinho region and surrounding communities?
Since the beginning of Inhotim, we have had a very close relationship with Brumadinho and the surrounding communities. We trained a lot of people from the region and today around 80% of the Institute’s employees are from Brumadinho, many of whom have been with me since Inhotim started. We have a huge impact on the environment. This movement to strengthen Inhotim ends up benefiting the entire community, either through our direct action with socio-educational programs that integrate the local community, or indirectly through the increase in the flow of visitors, which expands through a more active program that impacts tourism. and a whole network of services in the region. Inhotim is a story in which many people were and are a part: employees, collaborators, visitors. And that more and more people should do.
What guided the formation of the new deliberative council? How did you choose the names that make it up?
Inhotim is an institution with national and international relevance. Counselors reflect this. They are representatives of society from different areas of activity and regions in Brazil, who will collaborate and strengthen Inhotim based on their experiences and relationships, helping to build its sustainability in the future. Despite the presence of representatives from different regions, we insisted on maintaining a strong presence in Minas Gerais. I continue as chairman of the deliberative council, with Minas Gerais businessman Eugnio Mattar as vice-chairman, in addition to other miners such as Guilherme Teixeira, Betania Tanure, Ricardo Guimares and Rubens Menin, among others. a group that embraced Inhotim and will act as its guardian. They represent the participation of civil society and will help us to make Inhotim even more a place for everyone and for everyone.
How do you envision Inhotim 10 years from now?
I have already started doing the next 10 years. New lakes, expansion of the visitor area, expanding the hotel network to accommodate more visitors in the region. Inhotim has played a very important role in the training of professionals, since its inception, and will continue to do so. Another measure that has just been taken for the future of Inhotim is the establishment of this new deliberative council. There are many heads, of very relevant professionals, who will, together, guarantee the continuity of the project.
What does Inhotim represent for Minas Gerais and Brazil?
Inhotim is the only Brazilian museum known worldwide. Out there, in any country, everyone dreams of visiting us. That’s for the public. For artists, Inhotim is the possibility of creating the most incredible works, which are not possible in other museums. Inhotim is more than a museum or a botanical garden, it is a place in the world.