Triennale Milano and the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain will join forces for a period of eight years to present a rich and shared program of exhibitions and live shows in Milan. To inaugurate this partnership, both institutions have chosen to present, from October 17, 2020 to February 7, 2021, the exhibition Claudia Andujar, The Yanomami Struggle, dedicated to the extraordinary work of the Brazilian artist. Since the 1970s, she has been devoting her life to photographing and protecting the Yanomami, one of Brazil’s largest indigenous groups, who are now more than ever threatened by illegal gold minors and the Covid-19 pandemic. This landmark collaboration represents a new form of cultural partnership in Europe between public and private institutions.

A 1,300 m2 space within Triennale Milano will be devoted to the presentation of exhibitions conceived in close collaboration between the two institutions or inspired by the programming of the Fondation Cartier in Paris. Triennale Milano and Fondation Cartier share a common vision of contemporary artistic creation and are both dedicated to developing a resolutely multidisciplinary and international program open to all fields such as contemporary art, architecture, design, fashion, cinema, science and philosophy.

Their shared commitment to current major environmental issues has led in 2019 to the presentation of The Great Animal Orchestra by Bernie Krause and United Visual Artists, featured in Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival at Triennale Milano, as part of the XXII International Exhibition.

The Fondation Cartier has long had a close relationship with the Italian contemporary art scene, in particular with artists such as Alessandro Mendini, Enzo Mari, Andrea Branzi, Giuseppe Penone, and more recently Formafantasma. These encounters have given rise to major exhibitions introducing both Parisian and international audiences to the richness of their output. Many works by these exceptional creators are featured in the Fondation Cartier collection.

Today more than ever, idea circulation, sharing experiences and, developing cultural networks between European institutions is vital in supporting artists, publicizing their works, and providing a meaningful perspective on the modern world. Within this spirit, Triennale Milano and the Fondation Cartier have joined forces to create new dialogues in support of contemporary creation and thought.

This partnership will be inaugurated October 17, 2020 with the exhibition Claudia Andujar, The Yanomami Struggle, and will be followed in 2021 with Les Citoyens, Guillermo Kuitca on the collection of the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain. Revealing unprecedented links between the works of the collection, the Argentinian artist takes us on a journey in which he addresses with multiple voices the ideas of ensembles and constellations, groups and individuals. The exhibition becomes a creation in its own right and offers an immersion into the world of Kuitca as well as each of the artists on display.

Triennale Milano:

Triennale Milano is an international cultural institution that brings together all forms of art related to contemporary culture: design, architecture, visual arts, and performing arts. It is a place where art and design, creativity and technology, tradition and innovation meet. The institution, chaired by Stefano Boeri, exhibits works by major Italian and international architects, designers and artists. Exhibitions, encounters, conferences and performances punctuate its programming, and provoke reflection on the key problems of our society, which also occupy public debate.
Triennale Milano has its own theatre, with international and multidisciplinary programming, and presents a collection of Italian design, as well as a library, archives and a conservation laboratory specializing in contemporary design. Every 3 years, the institution organizes the International Exhibition of Triennale Milano, one of the most important events devoted to design and architecture. The next edition will take place in 2022. On April 2019, Triennale Milano opened the Museo del Design Italiano inside its spaces, highlighting part of its permanent collection: nearly 1,600 pieces amongst the most iconic and representative works of Italian design. Triennale Milano is housed in the Palazzo dell’Arte in Milan. Built in 1933 by architect Giovanni Muzio, it was designed as a flexible, modular space able to accommodate events as well as a museum, or theatrical performances.

Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris:

Founded in 1984 by Cartier, the Fondation Cartier offers a unique creative setting for artists from around the world and for the dissemination of works to all audiences. Located in Paris in the iconic building constructed by architect Jean Nouvel and directed by Hervé Chandès, the Fondation Cartier opens its doors to themes rarely dealt with in museums, ranging from the environment to the social sciences and mathematics.

It asserts an eclectic and multidisciplinary dimension crossing all areas of contemporary creation and spurring unexpected meetings between artists, scientists, philosophers, musicians and architects.
From commissions to exhibitions, the Fondation Cartier supports artists over the long term and establishes a privileged relationship with them. From these exchanges, a unique collection has come to life and grown over time, today including more than 1,600 works by 400 artists of 50 different nationalities.

The Fondation Cartier’s exhibitions and collection radiate all around the world: in Europe, especially through the partnership with Triennale Milano, and beyond, notably in China, where the Fondation Cartier maintains privileged links with Shanghai Power Station of Art.

Claudia Andujar, The Yanomami Struggle:

October 17 – February 7, 2021 Triennale Milano

Triennale Milano and the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain are pleased to present the largest exhibition to date dedicated to the work and activism of Brazilian artist Claudia Andujar. For over five decades, she devotes her life to photographing and protecting the Yanomami, one of Brazil’s largest indigenous groups. While their territory is more than ever threatened today by illegal gold mining aggravated by the propagation of Covid-19, the exhibition Claudia Andujar, The Yanomami Struggle has taken on renewed relevance in the context of the humanitarian and environmental crisis exacerbated by the pandemic.

The exhibition:

Based on four years of research in the photographer’s archive, this new exhibitioncurated by Thyago Nogueira (head of the contemporary photography department at the Instituto Moreira Salles in Brazil), will focus on her work from this period, bringing together over three hundred photographs, her audiovisual installation as well as a series of Yanomami drawings and a movie. The exhibition will explore Claudia Andujar’s extraordinary contribution to the art of photography as well as her major role as a human rights activist in the defense of the Yanomami. It is divided into two sections reflecting the dual nature of a career committed to both art and activism. The first section presents the photographs from her first seven years living with the Yanomami, showing how she grappled with the challenges of visually interpreting a complex culture. The second features the work she produced during her period of activism, when she began to use her photography as a tool among others for political change.

Claudia Andujar:

Claudia Andujar was born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, in 1931 and currently lives and works in São Paulo. She grew up in Transylvania, which at the time had recently been incorporated to Romania after years of Hungarian domination. During World War II, Claudia’s father, a Hungarian Jew, was deported to Dachau where he was killed along with most of her paternal relatives. Claudia Andujar fled with her mother to Switzerland, immigrated first to the United States in 1946, then to Brazil in 1955 where she began a career as a photojournalist, before becoming an activist.

I am connected to the indigenous, to the land, to the primary struggle. All of that moves me deeply. Everything seems essential. Perhaps I have always searched for the answer to the meaning of life in this essential core. I was driven there, to the Amazon jungle, for this reason. It was instinctive. I was looking to find myself.”Claudia Andujar

Interpreting Yanomami Culture:

Claudia Andujar first met the Yanomami in 1971 while working on an article about the Amazon for Realidade magazine. Fascinated by the culture of this isolated community, she decided to embark on an in-depth photographic essay on their daily life after receiving a Guggenheim fellowship to support the project, and thanks to the presence of the Italian missionary Carlo Zacquini in the region. From the very beginning, her approach differed greatly from the straightforward documentary style of her contemporaries. The photographs she made during this period show how she experimented with a variety of photographic techniques in an attempt to visually translate the shamanic culture of the Yanomami. Applying Vaseline to the lens of her camera, using flash devices, oil lamps, and infrared film, she created visual distortions, streaks of light, and saturated colors, imbuing her images with a feeling of the otherworldly.

Claudia Andujar also developed a series of sober black and white portraits that capture the grace and dignity of the Yanomami. Focusing closely on faces and body fragments, she tightly frames her images, using a dramatic chiaroscuro to create a feeling of intimacy and draw attention to individual psychological states.

Alongside the many photographs taken during this period, the exhibition will also present a selection of rare Yanomami drawings. After years photographing the Yanomami herself, Claudia Andujar felt it was important to provide them with the opportunity to represent their own conceptions of nature and the universe. She thus initiated a drawing project, equipping members of the community with markers and paper. A selection of these drawings representing Yanomami myths, rituals, and shamanic visions will be presented in the exhibition.

Political Activism:

By the late 1970s, Claudia Andujar had reached a turning point in her career. The construction of a transcontinental highway in the Amazon, initiated by Brazil’s military government, opened up the region to deforestation as well as invasive agricultural programs, bringing epidemics to the Yanomami and leading to the annihilation of entire communities. This situation reminded her of the genocide in Europe, and its impact on her was such that she decided to deepen her commitment to the Yanomami struggle. In 1978 she founded, with the Italian missionary Carlo Zacquini and the French anthropologist Bruce Albert, the Commissão Pro-Yanomani (CCPY) and began with the Yanomami leader Davi Kopenawa fourteen-year-long campaign to designate their homeland. At this point in her career photography, she put her artistic project aside and used photography primarily as a means to raise awareness and support her cause.

In the early 1980s, Claudia Andujar took a series of black and white portraits of the Yanomami as part of a vaccination campaign. They are wearing numbered labels to help identify them for their medical records. The artist was struck by how these labels recalled the numerical tattoos of those “branded for death” during the Holocaust. She later revisited these portraits and created the Marcados series, which reveal the ambiguity inherent in this act of labeling even if it is ultimately for their survival. In the exhibition, we will present previously unseen photographs from this series.


Thyago Nogueira (head of the contemporary photography department at the Instituto Moreira Salles in Brazil), assisted by Valentina Tong.
This exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Instituto Moreira Salles (Brazil) and is supported by the Hutukara Associação Yanomami (Boa Vista) and the Instituto Socioambiental (São Paulo and Boa Vista).

Exhibition catalogue:

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue in French, English, and Italian, presenting the artist’s photographs as well as excerpts from her notebooks and Yanomami drawings. With texts by Claudia Andujar, Thyago Nogueira, and Bruce Albert, it will feature a map of Yanomami territory as well as a timeline documenting the artist’s life and the history of the Yanomami people.

The exhibition's future venues:

The exhibition Claudia Andujar, The Yanomami Struggle has been presented in 2019 at the Instituto Moreira Salles (Brazil) and in 2020 at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain (Paris). After its presentation at Triennale Milano, it will travel in 2021 to Fundación MAPFRE (Barcelona) and in 2022 to the Fotomuseum Winterthur (Switzerland).

The Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain has supported the Yanomami cause and the work of Claudia Andujar for over twenty years. Claudia Andujar and Yanomami artists such as Taniki, Joseca, Ehuana, and Kalepi have participated in several exhibitions and are amongst the artists present in our collection. The Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain presented her work for the first time in 2003 in the exhibition Yanomami, Spirit of the Forest. Claudia Andujar renewed her collaboration with the Fondation Cartier in 2012 with the exhibition Histoires de voir: Show and Tell, in which she presented the work of Taniki, the first Yanomami artist to work on paper. In 2013, she participated in the exhibition América Latina, 1960-2013with Marcados, a moving series of id photographs she took during a vaccination campaign she led between 1981 and 1983 throughout Yanomami territory.
Thanks to this exhibition dedicated to the work of Claudia Andujar, Triennale Milano has joined forces with the Fondation Cartier through its commitment to the Yanomami and hopes to bring the history, struggles, and daily life of these people to the attention of the Italian public.

For many years, the Fondation Cartier has explored the major issues of our times, including the environment, climate change, the destruction of the animal and plant world, deforestation, and the disappearance of indigenous populations and cultures. Accompanied by artists, intellectuals, and scientists, the Fondation Cartier addresses these issues in exhibitions presented in Paris or in cultural institutions around the world.

Triennale Milano has devoted numerous projects to some of the key themes of contemporary society, such as the relationship between humans and nature, the environment and urban life. The XXII International Exhibition of Triennale MilanoBroken Nature: Design Takes on Humans Survival (March 1 – September 1, 2019) opened up a space for critical reflection on the present and future of our planet. The seminars in preparation for the XXIII edition of the International Exhibition, to be held in 2022, and the support for urban forestry activities are an example of Triennale Milano’s dedication and commitment to these urgent concerns of our times.