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Contemporary Art Biennial Sesc_Videobrasil

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About Videobrasil

Videobrasil is a contemporary art biennial, an art venue, and a cultural association that researches and disseminates art produced in regions of the world’s geopolitical South - Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Chaired by Solange Farkas, it is part of a network of initiatives that includes exhibitions, displays, publications, documentaries, meetings, and artistic residencies. Galpão VB, a research, exhibition, and meeting space, houses and activates the collection of works and publications gathered by Videobrasil since the Festival’s creation in 1983.

About Sesc

The Sesc – Serviço Social do Comércio (Social Service of Commerce) is a private nonprofit institution, established in 1946 by entrepreneurs of the goods and services market all over Brazil. In the state of São Paulo, Sesc has 39 centers that encompass its areas of activity in fields of Culture, Education, Sports, Leisure and Health. Sesc São Paulo activities are guided by their educational nature and the pursuit of social welfare based on a comprehensive understanding of the term culture. In this sense, by offering full accessibility to its spaces and contents, the institution aims at the democratization of cultural assets as form of individual autonomy.


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.

Opening in October 2019, the 21st edition unfolds into three curatorial platforms — exhibition & film program, public programs, and publication — each one in the charge of a guest curator.

Associação Cultural Videobrasil
Av. Imperatriz Leopoldina, #1150
Vila Leopoldina
05305-002 São Paulo - SP
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Press contact:
Comunicação Videobrasil
Tel.: + 55 (11) 3645 0516

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