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9 October 2019 - 2 February 2020
Preview: 8 October 2019
São Paulo, Brazil
Title: Imagined Communities
Artistic director: Solange Farkas
Curatorial team: Gabriel Bogossian, Luisa Duarte, Miguel López
Associação Cultural Videobrasil and Sesc São Paulo announce the list of fifty-five artists and collectives selected for the 21st Contemporary Art Biennial Sesc_Videobrasil | Imagined Communities, an exhibition and public program of events dedicated to the production of the Global South, to be held from October 9, 2019, through February 2, 2020, at Sesc 24 de Maio, in São Paulo.
A total of 2,280 artists from 105 countries submitted works to the 21st Biennial Open Call. Formed by the artistic director Solange Farkas and the trio of curators Gabriel Bogossian, Luisa Duarte, and Miguel López, the curatorial team was in charge of both the selection and the choice of guest artists. Also part of the selection jury were the curators Alejandra Hernández Muñoz, Juliana Gontijo and Raphael Fonseca.
Participants will compete for seven awards granted by an international jury:
Three eight-week artist residencies (airfare, lodging, and per diem) provide support for the production of an original work at one of the partners of the Videobrasil Residency Network:
(Itaparica, Bahia, Brazil)
An international residency program on the island of Itaparica, providing each selected artist a room, a separate studio, meals and logistical support, hosting artists of all ages, nationalities and disciplines.
MMCA Residency Changdong
Run by the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA), a platform for experimentation and relationship among artists, curators, and scholars.
Sharjah Art Foundation Residency Programme
(Sharjah, United Arab Emirates)
Not only a place for reflection and exploration, but also a site of exchange and insertion into the contemporary circuit of the Middle East, the program expands the possibilities of dialogue between residents, the local community, and the region’s cultural scene.
State of the Art Award
Cash prize for best participating artist or group.
Sesc Contemporary Art Award
Two cash prizes for works by Brazilian artists. The works will become part of the Sesc Brazilian Art Collection
Cash prize offered by the Ostrovsky Family Fund to an artist with original research on the moving image.
From different shades of the political spectrum, nationalism has reemerged as a critical theme to understand the disputes that shape our time, raising questions about the duration and scope of this new regressive cycle. In this context, the 21st Contemporary Art Biennial Sesc_Videobrasil | Imagined Communities borrows the title of Benedict Anderson’s classic study of the rise of nationalism to investigate how poetics stemming from the South have been addressing the phenomenon. Without losing the geopolitical focus, the curatorial team of the 21st Biennial, composed of Gabriel Bogossian, Luisa Duarte, Miguel López, and Solange Farkas, intends to expand the repertoire of questions and broaden the diversity of the voices we hear. Thus, they consider stateless communities, indigenous peoples, religious or mystical communities, communities uprooted from their original lands, fictional, utopian, and clandestine communities, or those constituted in the subterranean universes of sexual experiences and dissident bodies.
Aiming at a more explicit positioning in the global art scene, and without neglecting current changes in its local context, the event has now 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.
From press information. © Images: Videobrasil. Image on top: Ana Carvalho & Jeguatá collective: Caderno de viagem, 2018