In light of the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic has imposed on the world, Fundação Bienal de São Paulo announces that the group exhibition of the 34th Bienal de São Paulo – Though it’s dark, still I sing will take place from September 4 to December 5 2021, at the Bienal Pavilion. Therefore, the current edition of the Bienal, which launched its public activities in February 2020, will extend until the end of next year.
By modifying this edition’s format, expanding it even further over time, the Fundação Bienal recognizes the profound impact of the pandemic and the health, economic, political and social crises it has intensified, while, at the same time, understanding that the encounters with art and culture are fundamental to society collectively processing and expressing its grief, anxiety, fear and trauma.
The change was proposed by the Board of Directors after careful deliberation with the curators and members of...the Governing Board and the International Advisory Board, and then approved by the Governing Board in a board meeting held on June 30, 2020. On the same occasion, it was also decided that the Bienal timeline would resume it’s biannual programming from 2021, meaning that exhibitions will be held in odd-numbered years, so that the 35th Bienal de São Paulo will take place in 2023 and bi-annually thereafter.
In compliance with the institution's bylaws, the extension of the 34th Bienal exhibition calendar leads to the automatic extension, until December 2021, of the mandates of the president of the Fundação Bienal de São Paulo, José Olympio da Veiga Pereira, as well as its Board of Directors. The election for the presidency of the Fundação, initially scheduled for December 2020, is therefore postponed until the end of next year. As José Olympio da Veiga Pereira is serving his first term, the current president will still be able to run for re-election.
Adaptations in the project
The alteration of the 34th Bienal program, which had already aimed to expand beyond physical and temporal constraints, furthers its original approach by extending the edition’s timeline an extra year. An intermediate program is being developed, including educational and digital activities, as well as public programming, and will be announced in due course. As part of the activities carried out since the beginning of the period of imposed social isolation, the 34th Bienal website was launched in May, and, in June, the edition’s educational publication, titled Primeiros ensaios [First rehearsals] was launched over the course of a three-day sequence of online events with more than 3,000 views.
Furthermore, the network of partner institutions remains as one of the central curatorial axes for the 34th Bienal. Just as the network's initial programming was originally conceived, rearrangements will be carried out on a case-by-case basis in order to reach – as and if applicable – new arrangements that take into account the needs and potential of each partner institution and exhibition. In this way, any eventual adaptations will depart from a new curatorial dialogue between the Bienal and each of these organisations. To this end, June saw the opening of the solo show Centropy by US photographer Deana Lawson at the Kunsthalle Basel in Switzerland, one of the international collaborations established by the 34th Bienal de São Paulo. Deana Lawson – Centropy is on view at the Kunsthalle Basel until 11 October 2020.
The curatorial team of the 34th Bienal de São Paulo – Though it’s dark, still I sing is composed of Jacopo Crivelli Visconti (chief curator), Paulo Miyada (adjunct curator) and Carla Zaccagnini, Francesco Stocchi and Ruth Estévez (guest curators). Together, the team has conceived the 34th Bienal as a “processual” exhibition, which aims to present and problematize works, artists and issues central to contemporary art production and contemporary society, while also reflecting on the process of the conception and realization of an event of such a scale. In line with the methodology of an exhibition which is built and strengthened in steps, the need to rethink rhythms and models is now incorporated into the curatorial process, which will be further detailed soon.
In face of the challenges faced by the whole world at this delicate moment, and as a result of intense dialog between the various governance bodies of the Fundação Bienal and the curatorship of the exhibition, we have adjusted the calendar of the 34th Bienal de São Paulo to protect the safety of visitors, artists and collaborators.
The opening of the group exhibition of the 34th Bienal, initially planned for September 5, will be postponed to October 3 2020, and the closing date will be moved to December 13. In addition, the exhibitions by Clara Ianni and Deana Lawson, as well as the performances authored by León Ferrari and Hélio Oiticica, which were to take place between April and August, will be incorporated into the group show.
We are in dialog with the partner institutions of this edition with the aim of maintaining, as much as possible, the network of exhibitions that was planned together with these venues . More information about this calendar will be shared as soon as possible.
The public program activities, which have been taking place since last October, will be resumed when possible. In the meantime, contents of the 34th Bienal will be shared on our website, social networks and via newsletters.
Art, with its capacity to establish connections and move us, is necessary now more than ever. Our teams are working (remotely) for the institution to contribute somehow, within its scope of action, during this difficult time.
We appreciate your support and understanding, and are looking forward to welcoming you in October.
Fundação Bienal de São Paulo
Conceived as a polyphony of voices and viewpoints on contemporary artistic production, the 34th Bienal de São Paulo – Faz escuro mas eu canto [Though it’s dark, still I sing] asserts the right to both complexity and opacity, in expressions of art and culture, as well as in the identities of individuals and social groups. To this end, the 34th edition has adopted a new format, aimed at creating a multiplicity of distinct situations in which the encounter between artworks and the public can take place. The curatorial team, which consists of Jacopo Crivelli Visconti, Paulo Miyada, Carla Zaccagnini, Francesco Stocchi and Ruth Estévez, hope to highlight how the interpretations and meanings attributed to artworks are elastic and influenced by a number of factors, including possible dialogues with other artworks shown around them.
In addition to being extended in time, with solo shows and performative events being held in the Bienal Pavilion starting February 8, the 34th Bienal will also expand in space, by working with more than 25 institutions, mainly across the city of São Paulo, but also internationally. The Fundação Bienal de São Paulo’s broad network of institutional partnerships – cultivated for years and motivated by dialogue and collaborations – is explored in more depth in this edition, and will involve, a network of artistic and curatorial relationships, as well as institutional relationships.
In most cases, the partnerships consist of solo shows held at institutions across São Paulo, but also internationally. These shows offer the public an opportunity to construct deeper readings of artists who will also participate in the large group show to be held in the Bienal Pavilion starting in September – where the artworks will come together in a dialogue with works of other artists and debates. A quarter of the participating artists in the group show will be featured in this network of exhibitions, the outcome of months of dialogue between managers and curators. There are also cases in which the collaborations assume other formats, such as a video program or an international seminar.
“Located in the cultural complex of Ibirapuera Park and with its origins interlaced with that of other institutions within the same complex, including MAM (Museum of Modern Art) and MAC (Museum of Contemporary Art), since its inception the Fundação Bienal has been committed to the establishment of connections. The 34th Bienal is therefore taking place as the outcome of joint effort and leverage between the curatorial project and the institution’s activity. Due to the recognition that today, more than ever, it is necessary to underscore the importance of dialogue and relations between different individuals and groups,” states Fundação’s President, José Olympio da Veiga Pereira.
The 34th Bienal is structured on the basis of the multiple relationships that arise among artistic and institutional questions in an event of this size. “ While all of the artists shown in the partner institutions will also be present at the Bienal Pavilion starting in September, the experience the visitors will have upon encountering the works will be very different in each case. It is in this multiplicity of possible relationships in constant transformation that this edition of the Bienal finds one of its central bearings,” says Jacopo Crivelli Visconti, chief curator of this edition.
Adjunct curator Paulo Miyada adds: “São Paulo is a complex metropolis in which many publics live together. By mobilizing this network of partnerships, the Bienal gains an opportunity to approach other urban contexts and publics that each institution cultivates on a daily basis. The visitors of a wide range of spaces will be spurred to visit the Bienal to re-encounter the work of an artist in an expanded dialogue, or, inversely, the visitors of the Bienal could be inspired to visit a new cultural space if they wish to delve longer into an artist’s production.”
In addition to the shows taking place in São Paulo, the 34th Bienal also includes international partnerships. Two of these take place prior to the large group exhibition in September: Deana Lawson’s solo show at Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (27 March – 24 May 2020), as well as Neo Muyanga’s performance ‘A Maze in Grace’ at the 11th Liverpool Biennial, UK (9 – 11 July 2020), while others extend until 2021, the solo exhibitions of Clara Ianni at the CCA Lagos Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos, Nigeria and Ximena Garrido-Lecca at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, US.
Entrada actualizada el el 27 may de 2021
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