In the museum’s recently opened wing dedicated to contemporary art, the Pina Contemporânea, the Pinacoteca de São Paulo will present the ceramic installation titled Topography of Memory by artist, Sallisa Rosa, from 16 March to 28 July 2024. Commissioned by Audemars Piguet Contemporary in 2023 and guest curated by Thiago de Paula Souza, the monumental installation is the artist’s largest all-ceramic work to date and marks the first time Audemars Piguet Contemporary will exhibit a commission in Brazil. The exhibition of Topography of Memory at the Pinacoteca will notably be on view during SP-Arte from 3 -7 April 2024.

Sallisa Rosa has created an immersive landscape that invites mediation and a physical encounter by the viewer. Composed of collected clay sourced by hand from Rio de Janeiro’s surrounding area, each sculpture was fired in an 800 degrees Celsius kiln housed in an underground pit. Rosa’s process invites visitors to reconsider their relationship to memory and land, and to the environment as a site of culture and of identities. This commission is an exploration into the collective ways of remembering, drawing a connection between the erosion of the earth and the erosion of memory.

Rosa’s use of collected clay, in recognition of traditional practices, is important to the commission as she believes ceramics have a symbolic capacity to store memory which can help us to remember. Like many Brazilians of her generation, Rosa faces questions and confusion in trying to piece together her own ancestry. The fading memory of her grandmother, a core figure in bringing together the threads that make up her fragmented family history, is one of the main inspirations for Topography of Memory.