Ivo Mesquita, curator of the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo and professor at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annadale-on-Hudson, USA, has been appointed as the artistic director of the 28th edition of the São Paulo Biennial. The event will take place between October and December 2008 at its traditional venue, the pavilion Ciccillo Matarazzo in São Paulo's Ibirapuera Park.
Ivo Mesquita proposes to rethink the way in which the São Paulo Biennial Foundation has been producing the successive editions since 1951, opening up an interlude of reflection in the exhibition's history.
Considering the fact that there are almost two hundred biennials around the world working on similar issues, showing the diverse art practices which constitute the territories of the current visual language, it seems necessary to ask: How does the São Paulo Biennial evaluates this cultural phenomenon, propagated through the so-called peripheral countries or in regions of political or cultural tension? What is a biennial's role in the era of globalization? What role do biennials play for the cultural, tourism and event industry? What contribution to the discussion proposes the São Paulo Biennial based on its experience, being the third oldest organization of this kind and the first outside the hegemonic centers?
To systematize a reflection on today's biennials, re-evaluating their own qualities and goals, could mean for the São Paulo Biennial the possibility to define a new protagonist role among the many regular events of visual art that populate the world in the 21st century.
The 28th edition will be articulated around:
- A plaza or open space for meetings and events
- The exhibit of a void space at the pavilion's second floor, as a radical affirmative gesture of this moment of reflection
- A large library installed on the pavilion's third floor, consisting of an archive, an auditorium, a meeting room, a reading room, a computer hall with internet access, and a collection of catalogues, if possible, of all biennials of today's world. The library will be based on the collections of the Archive Wanda Svevo of the São Paulo Biennial's Foundation, and will frame and support the cycle of conferences to take place between October and November 2008.
- A series of publications as a conclusion of the programs organized at the plaza and the library during the period of the event, generating a systematized knowledge on the São Paulo Biennial itself, as well as on the biennial's model.
Extract from a press release.
© Translated from the Portuguese: Binder & Haupt
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