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Under the title "The Great South", the 1st Montevideo Biennial was inaugurated on the 22nd November 2012 at four historical buildings in the Old City of Montevideo, Uruguay. General curator Alfons Hug, together with his co-curators Paz Guevara and Patricia Bentancur invited more than 50 artists and groups to participate intervening and transforming the Biennial spaces.
"There have been but two main points of orientation during the past few decades: West and East. … This exhibition now explores the South and its relationship with the rest of the world," writes Alfons Hug in his curatorial text. "The works on show will offer different interpretations of the South depending on the respective artist's place of origin - the southern or northern hemisphere, the West or the East. Some artists will take their orientation from geographical categories - e.g. the South's magnificent landscapes. Others will focus on political and social aspects. Some will examine the South as a real place, others as an allegory and a metaphorical projection… This event puts Uruguay back into the limelight, a country that was a beacon of modernity at the beginning of the 20th century, then got somehow sidelined, and has now regained its footing and developed a new self-confidence."
complete text by Alfons Hug
The 1st Montevideo Biennial takes place at different public spaces of the Old City, the historical center and port area of the country. The main venue, the former headquarters of the Banco de la República Oriental del Uruguay (BROU), stores a large part of the country's historical heritage. From the beginning of the 20th century, the BROU has registered with preciseness all the ups and downs of Uruguay. Further venues of the biennial are: the Anexo Veltroni, specially refurbished for this occasion, the Atarazana building, the city's first arsenal, and the church of San Francisco de Asís.
The 1st Montevideo Biennial is possible thanks to the support to the arts by the Banco de la República Oriental del Uruguay, patronage of the Funds for Cultural Incentive of Uruguay and Gerdau Laisa, together with important contributions by the State and the private sector, in a joint effort to launch such a cultural undertaking in Uruguay.
(From press information)
From 23 November 2012 until 30 March 2013, more than 50 participants (see the list of artists) will present their works at the following venues in Montevideo:
Great Hall, Main House, Banco República del Uruguay
Annex Building, Banco República del Uruguay
Church San Francisco de Asís
Solís 1469, entrance from Cerrito street