I spend months moving those images from one point of the narrative to the other, creating stories in my head. None of them are the real story to tell; there is no such story. If anything, there is a set of conditions of possibility for the exhibition to emerge; the sum of a myriad of conversations aiming to build up moments, tenteios. (…)
Speculation is, indeed, its own kind of wonder.
The Fundação Bienal de São Paulo announces today the complete list of artists participating in the 34th Bienal – Faz escuro mas eu canto [Though it’s dark, still I sing] and releases Tenteio, a free digital catalog, made from graphic contributions of the exhibition’s 91 participants. In her text, which is more an open reflection than an afterword, the editor Elvira Dyangani Ose warns the reader that there is no logic to be looked for in the publication. Based on drawings, photographs, poems and texts shared by the artists, the editor and Vitor Cesar (designer and author of this edition’s visual language) have put together a catalog that reflects the poetics of the open rehearsal and of “relation,” guiding principles for the curatorship of this Bienal.
I would be misleading you if I wrote that there was a pre-existent narrative that I had in mind, a pre-established alliance of pursuits surrounding the suspended relationships between the images. Or that I had found a trace, a unique imperceptible trace, made apparent through aspects of the works – colors, sizes, themes, motives; elements – at times, distinct, other times subtle, sometimes puerile. There was something more powerful than that, yet more elusive. Something I strive to grasp with words, which for that very reason made a more compelling case for it to be just visual. I hoped for more than mere associations – and if you find them, then doubt yourself.
This content of this publication will be incorporated into the 34th Bienal printed catalog, to be released in September 2021, coinciding with the opening of the exhibition. Read here.
The announcement of 35 new names concludes the final list of artists that will participate at the 34th Bienal. This edition will feature the largest representation of indigenous artists in the history of the Bienal de São Paulo (approximately 10% of participating artists), and has representatives from all continents. There is a balanced distribution between women and men, while about 4% of artists identify as non-binary. More than a hundred years separate the dates of birth of Lasar Segall (Vilnius, Lithuania, 1889 – São Paulo, Brazil, 1957) and Sebastián Calfuqueu Aliste (Santiago, Chile, 1991), this edition’s youngest artist.
On the website of the 34th Bienal de São Paulo, you can see images of works and read exclusive texts written by the curators about each of the artists. Know more about the artists here
The 34th Bienal – Though it’s dark, still I sing, which begun in February 2020, has been unfolding in space and in time with both physical and online programming, and will culminate in the group show that will occupy the entire Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavilion starting in September 2021, concomitantly with dozens of solo shows at partner institutions in the city of São Paulo.