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Jorge Menna Barreto

Assistant Professor

Environmental Art

Jorge Menna Barreto, Ph.D., is a distinguished Brazilian artist and educator who has dedicated over two decades to the practice and research of site-specific art. In 2014, he embarked on a postdoctoral research project at Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina, Brazil, where he collaborated with a biologist and an agronomist to delve into the intricate relationship between site-specific art and agroecology, with a particular focus on agroforestry. His commitment to advancing the field of site-specific art led him to complete a second postdoctoral research fellowship at Liverpool John Moores University, England, in 2020. The fruits of this research formed the basis of his work presented at the Liverpool Biennial in 2021. Menna Barreto brings a critical South American perspective to his investigation on site-specificity, backed by a record of teaching, lecturing, and extensive writing on the subject. His dedication extends to the translation of various authors from English into Brazilian Portuguese, including authors such as Miwon Kwon, Rosalyn Deutsche, Hito Steyerl, and Anna Tsing. Presently, he is actively involved in translating Rupa Marya and Raj Patel's "Inflamed: Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice." Throughout his career, Menna Barreto has participated in numerous art residencies, projects, and exhibitions worldwide. In 2016, he participated at the 32nd São Paulo Biennial with his award-winning project, "Restauro," which created a complex system of environmental restoration in collaboration with settlements of Brazil's Landless Workers' Movement (MST). The project further traveled to the Serpentine Galleries in London in 2017, where the artist collaborated with a wild edibles expert, a botanical illustrator, and local organic growers. During his residency at the Jan van Eyck Academie in the Netherlands in 2020-21, he co-launched a periodical named "Enzyme" in collaboration with fellow artist Joélson Buggilla. In Geneva, Switzerland, Jorge has been an active collaborator in the MFA in Socially Engaged Art at HEAD - Haute École d'Arts Appliqués, where he is presently engaged in a research project focused on eco-pedagogy. Before joining UCSC in 2021, Menna Barreto was an associate professor in the Art Department at UERJ - Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro. 

Office Hours: 
Winter 2024: Mondays 4pm - 6pm by appointment (via email)