In her first exhibition in the United States, Brazilian artist Marilá Dardot premiered a large-scale installation of flags created by immigrant and refugee community participants during a series of public workshops. The flags, which represent in text or visual form something their maker misses about the country where they were born, were raised on Montalvo’s grounds on Sunday, July 15 at a communal flag-raising ceremony. With this work, Dardot seeks to amplify the voices of our varied diaspora communities, and honor the complexities and challenges of their experience in the midst of a divisive national conversation about immigrants and the nature of American identity.

In Portuguese, saudade refers to melancholic longing or yearning and is a recurring theme in Portuguese and Brazilian literature. Dardot states, “At a time when immigrants around the world are increasingly scapegoated and the complexity of their identities and experiences are often overly simplified, Saudade (Our Flags) is an opportunity to celebrate immigrants and the richness of their memories, and contributions, making them present and visible in the here and now.”

Saudade (Our Flags) was made  in collaboration with Factr’s Footprints Guild, Santa Clara County Office of Immigrant Relations, Sacred Heart Community Service, County of Santa Clara Library District, Chopsticks Alley Art, and community friends and patrons.

Watch the making of Marilá Dardot’s Saudade (Our Flags) by videographer Brandon Hanson below.

Meet the Artist

Marilá Dardot’s expansive and interdisciplinary oeuvre, which includes video, installation, sculpture, photographs, prints, paintings, actions, and large-scale and site-specific installations, often involves language, literature and the written word as a visual or conceptual element. Her work explores many themes but often examines the relationship between language, memory and loss. In recent projects she has explored the failure of political rhetoric and the erasure of speech through censorship. Dardot’s work is held in the permanent collections of such institutions as Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo in Brazil, as well as the Madeira Corporate Services Contemporary Art Collection (MCS Collection) in Madeira, Portugal and The Sayago & Pardon Collection in Los Angeles.  ​

Partners and Sponsors

Saudade (Our Flags) was commissioned by the Lucas Artists Program at Montalvo Arts Center, 2018 and made possible through the generous support of the following program partners, exhibition sponsors, and Friends of the Lucas Artists Program:
Anonymous • Philip & Jennifer DiNapoli • William and Flora Hewlett Foundation • Wanda Kownacki • Sally & Don Lucas • George & Judy Marcus Family Foundation • National Endowment for the Arts • David and Lucile Packard Foundation • Charmaine & Dan Warmenhoven

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