Universes in Universe

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Definiciones de terreiros

The exhibition will unfold six issues relating to political thought and action through art within a unique and integrated curatorial space. Each of the issues, which order conceptual groupings in space, will have an ambient art project to be developed for activation and public use within a program of corresponding events. These projects can occupy a maximum area of 120 m2 and are denominated terreiros, spaces that refer to the squares, terraces, temples and yards, open air or enclosed areas, where throughout Brazil people dance, fight, play music and games, cry, talk or ritualize the country's hybrid religiousness.

The terreiros owe their presence, in part, to the song Brasil Pandeiro [Tambourine Brazil] by Assis Valente, in the version sung by Morais Moreira with the Novos Bahianos in the album Acabou chorare [The crying has stopped] (1972). They reaffirmed, together with the other works presented in the exhibition, the deep and diverse existence of art in life. In addition to serving as places for rest and reflection before continuing through the Bienal, they will be used for a variety of activities, such as speeches, film and video screenings, performances and readings.

The discussions that guide, and therefore denominate, the conceptual surroundings of each of these terreiros, are:


The skin of the invisible

Whilst some things are always out in the open, others are kept from view. Paradoxically, in some cases it is actually through a blocking of one's vision or the absence of images that something becomes visible, whilst in others, excessive visibility can "blind". Visibility is not natural; rather it is inscribed in precise social contexts, thus rendering it mutable.


Said, unsaid, forbidden

Operations in the field of discourse, of what can and cannot be said. Voice and writing as principles, or as refusals of engagement. Much like visibility, "sayability" is also a construct: what was once mere noise can be made into discourse, and vice-versa, in the same way that silence can be eloquent or verbiage fails to communicate anything. What is translated, and what is untranslatable.

In "Said, unsaid, forbidden", Said [Dito] could be a reference to a wise, young character from Manuelzão e Miguilim (1956), by João Guimarães Rosa.


I am the street

Expressions from places of shared lives, of meetings and breaks, whose physical and symbolic construction is by definition unfinished. The city as a field of collective action and the construction of individualities; as a decentralized network that links with no precise structure that which it shelters and that which seems to be outside it. The city as a means of expression or a metaphor of art.

"I am the street" comes from a canzonet verse by Montmartre, quoted by João do Rio, in A alma encantadora das ruas [The enchanting soul of the streets] (1908).


Remembrance and oblivion

References to memory and forgetfulness; history and its deletion. Confusion between the ideas of monument and counter-monument. Evocation of the writing of history, as well as of its gaps. Separation and approximation between individual memories and collective imaginations. Nostalgia as a way of finding in the past the means to invent the future.


Far away, right here

The creation of that which is still not but might one day be. Or, alternatively, the frustration and abandonment of that which was once in project. Utopian and dystopian feelings not necessarily presented as (historic) themes or (ideological) motives identifiable with clarity, that can be communicated using formal language operations.

Far away, right here a translation of the play Longe daqui, aqui mesmo, penned by Antonio Bivar in 1971.


The other, the same

Articulation of the views held of oneself and those held of others. Invention of identities that are responses to conflicts and that can also be their cause. The notion of borders, sometimes as an impenetrable barrier and sometimes as a permeable membrane. Landscape as the defining factor of a public instance and portraits as the defining factor of a realm that sees itself as private.

The Other, the Same is a translation of Jorge Luis Borges' El otro, el mismo (1969), a book of poems.


(Información de prensa de la Bienal de San Pablo)
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