São Paulo Biennial, October-November 2014
15 November 2014
In October-November 2014 I visited the 31st São Paulo Biennial and some independent art spaces and artist studios in São Paulo. See here a photo review of the trip.
One of the first pieces you run into at the entrance of the biennial, a mural by the Chinese artist Qiu Zhijie that represents a huge map of an imaginary world full of philosophical and religious references.
Voluspa Jarpa’s Learning Histories displays documents related to the CIA’s involvement in the last dictatorship of Brazil and Brazil’s secret service dating from the dictatorship of Getúlio Vargas (1951-1954) and João Goulart’s government (1961-1964). A very intriguing installation, visually as well as conceptually.
Juan Carlos Romero’s installation Violencia (1973-1977/2011) exposes an archive of violent acts as they were published in the media in the seventies in Argentina.
A beautiful painting by Wilhelm Sasnal…(there were more but this one impressed me most)
Arthur Scovino’s House of Caboclo, a three months lasting performance based on caboclo culture from southern Brazil (caboclo refers to someone with mixed, Amerindian and European, blood).
And another part of the installation.
This is a detail of the famous installation piece Video Trans Americas from Chilean artist Juan Downey, made in the seventies. In 1973, right after Pinochet’s coup, Downey travelled from New York to southern South America while video taping his encounters with fourteen different indigenous tribes. When visiting a community he would show the recordings of his previous visits to create awareness of the variety and similarities between the regions. At the same time it was an attempt to connect them, bringing them out of isolation.
In the travelogue belonging the work the artist wonders if art should be political. “Art and politics do not mix, but look beautiful together, just like oil and water” he concludes.
A funny and refreshing constellation of works by Nilbar Güreş.
Fascinating drawings by Michael Kessus Gedalyovich…
Recent work by Jo Baer
While in São Paulo I visited some other interesting exhibitions and art spaces.
Some images of the exhibition Leonilson: Truth, Fiction in Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo.
José Leonilson (1957-1993) was a Brazilian artist who in his later career was influenced by the Brazilian autodidact artist Artur Bispo do Rosario (1909-1989). Especially in the last few years before his death (he was HIV positive) he dedicated himself almost completely to sewing and embroideries.
In Ateliê 397 I visited an audioperformance (in water) by Felipe Julian, Claus Lehmann and Edu Marin. Experimental in a very good way.
Overview of Sé, gallery space in down town São Paulo www.segaleria.com.br.
The famous Copan building (Oscar Niemeyer, 1952) where artist- and presentation space PIVÔ is located.
Inside the building are the artist studios (everyone works in one open space).
Still in the mysteriously curved interior of the building where an exhibition by Cildo Meireles and Mario Torres García was on show.
During my stay many exhibitions about the legacy of Lina Bo Bardi (1914-1992), architect, curator and museum director were programmed.
Rivane Neuenschwander at MAM, Mal-ententidos
Installation of scrabble game made by peeled and dried limes and oranges. Visitors were actually invited to make words with the letters.