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Bienal de São Paulo

September 6, 2014 - December 7, 2014

31st Bienal de São Paulo

How to talk about things that don’t exist

6 Sep – 7 Dec 2014

Charles Esche, Galit Eilat, Nuria Enguita Mayo, Pablo Lafuente and Oren Sagiv

Among the artists: Agnieszka Piksa, Edward Krasiński, Wilhelm Sasnal


The focus of the 31st Bienal will be on contemporary conditions and how art projects can engage with and activate histories, individuals and communities today. The Bienal was shaped by a series of talks in different open meetings organized by the curatorial team across Brazil and other cities in Latin America and the world.

The use of the word ‘project’ is intended to create a distance from the traditional idea of an autonomous artwork made in a studio by an artist. By using this word, it is possible to introduce a broader range of contemporary cultural practices and include people working in other disciplines, such as educators, sociologists, architects, performers. The term also serves to encourage collaboration and trans-disciplinary ways of working amongst the Bienal participants. Each project is an independent contribution, but may consist of many artworks by individual or collective authorship. More than half the projects have been made specifically for this Bienal, many by international artists who have produced work in response to a residency in the city and the opportunity to travel further in Brazil.

Architecture: the pavilion divided

A crucial aspect of the 31st Bienal is the way the Ciccillo Matarazzo pavilion is understood as divided into different areas, each with its own architectural logic and particular qualities. The ground floor is called Park, and is connected and opened up to the surrounding landscape, to become a space for reception, events and meetings. The Ramp adapts to the verticality and the circulation of the pavilion’s main access route (the ramp) to create a series of curvaceous spaces linked by a monumental spiral. Here, the artworks and projects are shown without enclosing rooms, and are related to each other both vertically and horizontally. The Columns articulates the largest continuous space of the pavilion on the second floor, dividing it into densities with areas of light and shadow, or sound and silence, that create an interplay of experiences. A small, central area isolates some singular artistic statements and the three different areas from each other.

Facing the present

While the Modern Movement has an affective and vital history in Brazil, it is no longer representative of a living present. Therefore the aesthetic criteria of modernism and the striving towards progress are not prominent in the 31st Bienal. While some projects will reference the period, in most cases the modern is simply not a force that is at stake for the artists’ research and work. This approach to the recent past means that a different hierarchy of sources and inspirations can be established, one that recognizes the possibilities in the pre-modern and the non-modern, or in the spiritual and popular culture, to offer different readings of contemporary conditions. It also means that the influence of collective imagination, social activism and political conflict is as significant as the heritage of artisticpractice to the artists in the 31st Bienal.

List of artists and projects:

Agnieszka Piksa • It’s Just the Spin of Inner Life
Alejandra Riera and UEINZZ • “… – MUTE – OHPERA – … ”
Ana Lira • Vote!
Anna Boghiguian • Cities by the River
Archivo F.X. / Pedro G. Romero • The Modern School
Armando Queiroz with Almires Martins and Marcelo Rodrigues • Ymá Nhandehetama
Arthur Scovino • House of Caboclo
Asger Jorn • 10,000 Years of Nordic Folk Art
Asier Mendizabal • Agoramaquia (The Exact Case of the Statue)
Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme • The Incidental Insurgents
Bik Van der Pol • Turning a Blind Eye
Bruno Pacheco • Meeting Point and other works
Chto Delat • The Excluded. In a moment of danger
Clara Ianni and Débora Maria da Silva • Plea
Dan Perjovschi • Wall, Work, Workshop. The São Paulo Drawing
Danica Dakić • Heaven / El Dorado / Vila Maria
Éder Oliveira • Untitled
Edward Krasiński • Spear and other works
El Hadji Sy • Marine Archaeology
Erick Beltrán • Double Goer
Etcétera… and León Ferrari • Erring from God
Gabriel Mascaro • It Is Not About Shoes
Giuseppe Campuzano • Life’s Timeline / Transvestite Museum of Peru
Graziela Kunsch • Fare Free Bus • with Lilian L’Abbate Kelian Urbânia 5 Magazine
Gülsün Karamustafa • Illustrated History / The Settler
Halil Altındere • Wonderland
Hudinilson Jr. • Tension Zone
Imogen Stidworthy • Balayer – A Map of Sweeping
Ines Doujak and John Barker • Loomshuttles, Warpaths
Jakob Jakobsen and María Berríos • The Revolution Must Be a School of Unfettered Thought
Jo Baer • In the Land of the Giants and other works
Johanna Calle • Imponderables / Perimeters
Jonas Staal • Nosso Lar, Brasília
Juan Carlos Romero • Violence
Juan Downey • The Abandoned Shabono / Video Trans Americas
Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa • Dead Letter
Kasper Akhøj and Tamar Guimarães • Captain Gervásio’s Family
Lázaro Saavedra • Under Pressure
Leigh Orpaz • Breakfast
Lia Perjovschi • A Research
Mapa Teatro – Laboratorio de artistas • The Uncounted: A Triptych
Mark Lewis • Invention
Marta Neves • No-Ideas
Michael Kessus Gedalyovich • The Name Giver / The Placebo Scroll
Mujeres Creando • Space to Abort
Nahum Zenil / Ocaña / Sergio Zevallos / Yeguas del Apocalipsis (Organized by Miguel A. López) • God is Queer
Nilbar Güreş • Open Phone Booth / Black Series / TrabZONE and other works
Nurit Sharett • Counting the Stars
Otobong Nkanga • Landversation
Prabhakar Pachpute • Dark Clouds of the Future
Qiu Zhijie • Map
Romy Pocztaruk • The Last Adventure
ruangrupa • RURU
Sandi Hilal, Alessandro Petti and Grupo Contrafilé • Mujawara
Sheela Gowda • Those of Whom
Teatro da Vertigem • The Last Word Is the Penultimate One – 2
Teresa Lanceta • Bert Flint / Granada / Handira
Thiago Martins de Melo • Martyrdom
Tiago Borges and Yonamine • AfroUFO
Tony Chakar • One Hundred Thousand Solitudes / Of Other Worlds That Are on This One
Val del Omar • Water-Mirror of Granada / Fire in Castile
Virginia de Medeiros • Sergio and Simone
Vivian Suter • Untitled
Voluspa Jarpa • Learning Histories
Walid Raad • Letters to the Reader (1864, 1877, 1916, 1923)
Wilhelm Sasnal • Capital
Yael Bartana • Hell
Yuri Firmeza • The Fortress / Nothing Is
Yochai Avrahami • Small World


September 6, 2014
December 7, 2014
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31st Bienal de São Paulo, Fundação Bienal de São Paulo
Parque Ibirapuera, Portão 3, Pavilhão Ciccillo Matarazzo
São Paulo, BR - 04094-000 Brazil
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