Graffiti text on the walls of the Hospital Matarazzo complex.
The artist connected the history of this emblematic family with Brazilian history in general and her own in particular. The idea was to reveal the Matarazzo family’s influence on the construction of streets, roads, and sewage systems, and on such issues as class struggle, indigenous rights and feminism. The artist’s personal history overlaps with the Matarazzo’s at several intersections. Francisco Matarazzo Sobrinho, known as Ciccillo Matarazzo, one of the founders of the São Paulo Bienal and of the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art, was mayor of Ubatuba, where Alves’ family lives and works. She was born at the legendary Matarazzo Hospital and her father worked for the family’s companies.
Maria Thereza Alves researches social and cultural phenomena, especially in situations that question the social circumstances underlying what we think we know and who we think we are, rather than looking at the actual facts.