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9 Oct. 2019 - 2 Feb. 2020. Curatorial team: Gabriel Bogossian, Luisa Duarte, Miguel López, Solange Farkas. Title: Imagined Communities.
3 Oct. 2017 - 14 Jan. 2018. Chief curator: Solange Farkas. Guest curators: Ana Pato, Beatriz Lemos, Diego Matos, João Laia. 50 artists.
6 Nov. 2013 - 2 Feb. 2014. General curator: Solange Farkas. Curators: Eduardo de Jesus, Fernando Oliva, Julia Rebouças. 94 participants.
30 Sept. - 11 Dec. 2011. General curator: Solange Farkas. More than 100 participants. Olafur Eliasson, curator: Jochen Volz.
Founded by Solange Farkas in 1991, Associação Cultural Videobrasil is the result of the desire to institutionally host the growing collection of works and publications gathered since the first Festival Videobrasil, held in 1983. Since then, the association has been working systematically to activate its collection, which brings together pieces from the Global South, video art classics, in-house works and a vast collection of publications on art. In addition to the Sesc_Videobrasil Biennial, the Association also carries out important activities of research, diffusion and mapping concerning its collection: national and international exhibitions; touring shows; publications; TV programs; documentaries; seminars; workshops and meetings with artists and researchers; and artistic residency programs, in connection with a worldwide collaborative network.
With 75 years of experience, Sesc – Social Service of Commerce has a network of 45 operational units in the state of São Paulo and develops activities aimed at promoting well-being and quality of life for workers in the fields of commerce, services, tourism, as well as for a wider audience. Maintained by business owners from these sectors, Sesc is a private entity that promotes a wide range of activities that includes sports, environment, health, dentistry, social tourism, arts, food and food security, inclusion, diversity and citizenship. The initiatives by the institution are based on a cultural and educational perspective for all age groups and aimed at contributing to lasting, meaningful experiences. Per year, around 30 million people are served at Sesc’s centers situated in the state of São Paulo. Today, around 50 national and international organizations in the fields of arts, sports, culture, health, environment, tourism, social services and human rights have representatives from Sesc São Paulo in their advisory and deliberative bodies. For more information, click here.
In its first edition, held in 1983, the Festival drew together a pioneering group of Brazilian artists and video makers, becoming the first major effort in fostering the production and screening of works in this language. In the years that followed, the Festival kept breaking new ground by incorporating electronic art creations and configuring itself as a space for experimentation and risk-taking.
Beginning in 1992, the first year of its partnership with Sesc São Paulo, the Festival expanded and affirmed itself as a landmark international event, setting its geopolitical focus on countries of the Global South.
In 2011, the 17th edition of the Festival underscored new and important changes, as its open call embraced artworks in all visual arts languages, with no restrictions regarding medium or technique.
The Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil also played a key role in fostering dialogue between Southern art productions and the works of established artists from different parts of the world, having featured exhibitions by Olafur Eliasson (Denmark); Bill Viola, Gary Hill and Coco Fusco (USA); Peter Greenaway (United Kingdom); Marcel Odenbach (Germany); Akram Zaatari (Lebanon); Fabrizio Plessi (Italy); Robert Cahen (France); Eder Santos, Chelpa Ferro, Waly Salomão (Brazil), among others.
From its 19th edition in 2015, onwards, Videobrasil innovated again by launching two separate open calls. In a previously unseen initiative, the Festival sponsored the development of four art projects, with oversight from the curators, to be shown during the event.
Conceptual changes since 2018
Aiming at a more explicit positioning in the global art scene, and without neglecting current changes in its local context, the event adopted the name Contemporary Art Biennial Sesc_Videobrasil. With its usual dynamism and originality, the Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil enters a new stage, aligned with the purposes and international calendar of Biennials.
Such changes do not alter the Festival’s encouragement of art production outside the market, the creation of reflective content through seminars, debates, and publications, the initiatives to educate audiences, and the incentive for concrete exchange among artists.
(From press information
© Cover photo on top: 19th Sesc_Videobrasil, photographer: Everton Balladin)