How to recognise things that
How to catch things that don’t exist
How to deal with things that don’t exist
How to name things that
How to build things that
How to live with things that don’t exist
How to (...) things that don’t exist
How to document things that don’t exist
How to believe in things that
31st Bienal de São Paulo
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How to think about things that donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t exist
How to imagine things that donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t exist
Bienal and ItaĂş present
How to talk about things that donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t exist
At first sight, How to (…) things that don’t exist might seem like an abstract question. But perhaps we should think of the title of the 31st Bienal de São Paulo as a contemporary dilemma: how do we live in a world that is in a permanent state of transformation, in which the old forms – of work, of behaviour, of art – no longer fit and the new forms have yet to be clearly outlined? By choosing this curatorial project, the Bienal makes room for a fresh view of its building and its history, with a proposal that leaves the modernist heritage on the sidelines in favour of new approaches and considerations. The book you now hold in your hands is another piece of evidence of the vigorous work realised by the curators and the foundation’s permanent staff. Working in one of the biggest cities in the world, we are responsible for an event that attracts more than five hundred thousand people and is increasingly more committed to the cultural and social circles that surround us. For the past five years, the Education Department has been developing an unparalleled project in teacher training – which, by the end of 2014, will have reached 25,000 educators – and with the participation of new sectors of the public, involving communities and partner communities all over Brazil. At the same time, the Bienal’s travelling programme has brought recent editions of the exhibition to different Brazilian cities, drawing larger and larger crowds. This year, it has the potential to double the number of spectators, so that the 31st Bienal is seen by a total of one million people. Beyond the spectrum of instruction and the spread of culture, we also operate with increasing focus in the area of research. Since 2013, resources have been applied to revitalising the Bienal Archive, consolidating its place as a centre of reference and memory in modern and contemporary art. This process has already begun to bear fruit, which should become more visible in the coming years. Thus, transcending the exhibitions that it stages, the Bienal Foundation is today an institution dedicated to the production of content, the professional training of its personnel and the implementation of a consistent management model. Still, its activities would not be possible without the crucial support provided by the Ministry of Culture, the State Secretary of Culture, the Municipal Secretary of Culture, its partner in the event, Itaú, its sponsors, and a valuable cultural partnership with sesc São Paulo. It is this network of support that allows us to strengthen the bonds between art, the avantgarde and education in order to merit and maintain our place of prestige on the national and international scene.
Luis Terepins President of the Bienal de São Paulo Foundation 9
Itaú Unibanco believes that access to culture, in addition to bringing people closer to art, is a fundamental complement to education, developing critical thinking and transforming individuals, society and the country. This is why we invest in and support one of Brazil’s most important cultural manifestations. We are the official sponsor of the 31st Bienal: an event which transforms with each edition, welcoming more people, new ideas and variations of artistic expression which expand the horizons of those who participate in and visit the exhibition. With more access to art and broader horizons, knowledge grows and a variety of opportunities emerge to change the world for the better. After all, people’s worlds change when they have more culture. And the world of culture changes with more people. Investing in changes that make the world a better place is what it means to be a bank made for you. Investing in culture. #thischangestheworld
Itaú. Made for you.
••Art and the senses of the world In our contemporary context, rife with symbols and interpretations that blend and clash, questions remain about the possibilities of individuals finding their way. Each of us may feel, to a greater or lesser extent, the urgency of attributing meaning, under the penalty of being overwhelmed by images, texts and sounds that construct reality. Art participates in this symbolic circulation as a protagonist, with its often disturbing presence and commentaries regarding other presences. In this way, the approximation of contemporary visual art production can signify the expansion of its possibilities for reading the things of the world to various audiences. From the perception of this potential comes the partnership between sesc – the Social Service of Commerce and the Bienal de São Paulo Foundation, born out of the compatibility of their missions for spreading and fomenting contemporary art and which has been manifested in joint actions since 2010. The 31st Bienal consolidates this partnership with the development of educational efforts, such as open meetings and curatorial workshops, as well as the co-production of artworks, with selected pieces traveling to sesc locations throughout the state. This shared effort reaffirms the conviction that the fields of culture and art are geared for educational intervention – a real vector of collaboration and the transformation of individuals and society.
Danilo Santos de Miranda Regional Director of sesc São Paulo
pp.38-41 Agência Popular de Cultura Solano Trindade
Inside front cover-p.4 The Amazon Isn’t Mine! Text by Armando Queiroz
pp.42-44 Open Meetings
p.16 Meeting Point, 2011 Bruno Pacheco
p.45 A Toolbox for Cultural Organisation pp.46-47 Educativo Bienal
p.17 Untitled, 1975 Juan Downey
p.48 O que caminha ao lado, 2014 [Double Goer] Erick Beltrán
p.18 Não-ideia, 2002 [No-Idea] Marta Neves p.19 Dheisheh Refugee Camp, Bethlehem, West Bank Alessandro Petti and Sandi Hilal p.20 O que caminha ao lado, 2014 [Double Goer] Erick Beltrán pp.21-25 Baobab Connection Text by Alessandro Petti, Sandi Hilal, Grupo Contrafilé and others
p.49 Não-ideia, 2002 [No-Idea] Marta Neves p.50 The Map of Utopia, The Map of the City, 2012 Qiu Zhijie p.51 Wonderland, 2013 Halil Altındere
pp.26-27 Turning a Blind Eye, 2014 Bik Van der Pol
pp.52-57 Working with Things That Don’t Exist Text by Benjamin Seroussi, Charles Esche, Galit Eilat, Luiza Proença, Nuria Enguita Mayo, Oren Sagiv and Pablo Lafuente
pp.28-30 SIASAT – São Paulo ruangrupa
p.58 Untitled, 1988 Juan Downey
pp.31-33 Espacio para abortar, 2014 [Space to Abort] Mujeres Creando Text by Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz
pp.59-61 Ônibus Tarifa Zero, 2014 [Fare Free Bus] Graziela Kunsch
pp.34-37 Comboio and Movimento Moinho Vivo
pp.62-63 Voto!, 2012-ongoing [Vote!] Ana Lira pp.63-65 Save Roşia, 2013 Dan Perjovschi
pp.65-67 Wonderland, 2013 Halil Altındere Lyrics from Wonderland written by Tahribad-ı İsyan pp.68-69 Violencia, 1973-1977 [Violence] Juan Carlos Romero p.70 Sem título, 2013 [Untitled] Éder Oliveira p.71 Não é sobre sapatos, 2014 [It Is Not About Shoes] Gabriel Mascaro pp.72-73 A última palavra é a penúltima – 2, 2008/2014 [The Last Word Is the Penultimate One – 2] Teatro da Vertigem pp.74-75 Nada é, 2014 [Nothing Is] Yuri Firmeza Text by Ana Maria Maia pp.76-77 Invention, 2014 Mark Lewis pp.78-79 Small World, 2014 Interview with Yochai Avrahami pp.80-89 On Seeking Incuriously Text by Tony Chakar p.90 Dust Bowl in Our Hand, 2013 Prabhakar Pachpute p.91 Breakfast, 2014 Leigh Orpaz Text by Helena Vilalta pp.92-93 Those of Whom, 2014 Notes for Those of Whom by Sheela Gowda
pp.94-95 Céu, 2014 [Heaven] Danica Dakić p.96 Meeting Point, 2012 Bruno Pacheco p.97 Open Phone Booth, 2011 Nilbar Güreş Text by Santiago García Navarro p.98 Resimli Tarih, 1995 [Illustrated History] Gülsün Karamustafa Text by Helena Vilalta p.99 Landversation, 2014 Otobong Nkanga p.100 Kopernik, 2004 [Copernicus] Wilhelm Sasnal p.101 Art Education, 1999 Lia Perjovschi p.102 Video Trans Americas, 1973-1979 Juan Downey p.103 Tayari (Amazon Rain Forest), 1977 Juan Downey p.104 Fuego en Castilla, 1958-1960 [Fire in Castile] Val del Omar p.105 O suplício do bastardo da brancura, 2013 [The Hardship of Bastard of Whiteness] Thiago Martins de Melo pp.106-107 A última aventura, 2011 [The Last Adventure] Romy Pocztaruk Letter from Luísa Kiefer to Romy Pocztaruk
pp.108-109 Ymá Nhandehetama, 2009 [In the Past We Were Many] Armando Queiroz with Almires Martins and Marcelo Rodrigues Text by Almires Martins pp.110-111 MapAzônia Part of Dossiê: Por uma cartografia crítica da Amazônia [Dossier: For a Critical Cartography of the Amazon] pp.112-113 House/studio views, 2014 Vivian Suter p.114 Untitled, 2010 and Untitled (Mine), 2009 Wilhelm Sasnal p.115 Árvore de sangue – Fogo que consume porcos, 2014 [Blood Tree – Fire Devouring Pigs], Thiago Martins de Melo
p.126 A última aventura, 2011 [The Last Adventure] Romy Pocztaruk p.127 Life Coaching, 1999 Lia Perjovschi pp.128-135 Image Captions pp.136-137 Projects’ Credits pp.138-153 Biographies pp.154-159 Credits pp.160-161 Acknowledgments p.166 neoblanc, 2013 Yonamine
pp. 116-117 Cotton White-Gold, 2010 Anna Boghiguian
p.167 The Map of the Park, 2012 Qiu Zhijie
pp.117-119 Archéologie marine, 2014 [Marine Archaeology] El Hadji Sy Excerpt from Black Soul by Jean‑François Brière
pp.168-169 Of Other Worlds That Are in This One, 2014 Tony Chakar
p.120 Cities by the River, 2014 Anna Boghiguian pp.121-122 Handira, 1997 Teresa Lanceta p.123 Junction, 2010 Nilbar Güreş pp.124-125 Muhacir, 2003 [The Settler] Gülsün Karamustafa Text by Helena Vilalta
pp.170-171 Los incontados: un tríptico, 2014 [The Uncounted: A Triptych] Mapa Teatro – Laboratorio de artistas pp.172-174 The Excluded. In a moment of danger, 2014 Text Notes for the film The Excluded by Chto Delat pp.175-179 Errar de Dios, 2014 [Erring from God] Etcétera... and León Ferrari
p.180 Letters to the Reader 1864, 1877, 1916, 1923, 2014 Walid Raad p.181 Minimal Secret, 2011 Voluspa Jarpa Text by Santiago García Navarro p.182 Karl Marx, 1992 Lázaro Saavedra
pp.201-211 ‘All It Takes Is for Educators to Question Themselves’ Text by Graziela Kunsch, Lilian L’Abbate Kelian and invited educators p.213 Poster for the 31st Bienal Prabhakar Pachpute pp. 214-225 Architecture
p.183 Nogal (serie Perímetros), 2012 [Walnut (Perimeters Series)] Johanna Calle
pp.226-227 Balayer – A Map of Sweeping, 2014 Imogen Stidworthy Text by Helena Vilalta
p.184 Contables (serie Imponderables), 2009 [Countables (Imponderables Series)] Johanna Calle
pp.228-229 “… - OHPERA – MUET - ...” 2014 [“… - MUTE - OHPERA - …”] Alejandra Riera with UEINZZ Text by Alejandra Riera
pp.184-185 Apelo, 2014 [Plea] Text Speech for the film Apelo by Clara Ianni and Débora Maria da Silva
pp.186-187 Justice for Aliens, 2012 Agnieszka Piksa
pp.234-238 Loomshuttles, Warpaths, 2009-ongoing Ines Doujak and John Barker
pp.188-190 The Incidental Insurgents, 2012 Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme
Línea de vida | Museo Travesti del Perú, 2009-2013 [Life’s Timeline | Transvestite Museum of Peru] Giuseppe Campuzano
p.239 Untitled (Perú-Bolivia Journey), 1976 Juan Downey
pp.191-194 The Revolution Must Be a School of Unfettered Thought, 2014 Jakob Jakobsen and María Berríos
pp.240-241 Overhead, 2010 and The Grapes, 2010 Nilbar Güreş
pp.195-200 La Escuela Moderna [The Modern School], 2014 Files by Archivo F.X./Pedro G. Romero
pp.242-245 Dios es marica, 1973-2002 [God is Queer] Nahum Zenil / Ocaña / Sergio Zevallos / Yeguas del Apocalipsis Text by Miguel A. López pp.246-247 Counting the Stars, 2014 Text by Nurit Sharett and Carlos Gutierrez
pp.248-249 Sergio e Simone, 2007-2014 [Sergio and Simone] Virginia de Medeiros pp.250-265 Towards an Art of Instauring Modes of Existence That ‘Do not Exist’ Text by Peter Pál Pelbart p.255 Pages from Les Détours de l’agir: Ou, Le Moindre Geste, Fernand Deligny p.261 Spear, 1963-1965 Edward Krasiński pp.266-267 Installation at Edward Krasiński’s Studio, 2003 Edward Krasiński pp.268-269 Agoramaquia (el caso exacto de la estatua), 2014 [Agoramaquia (The Exact Case of the Statue)] Asier Mendizabal pp.270-271 In the Land of the Giants, 2013 Jo Baer pp.272-273 Aguaespejo granadino, 1953-1955 [Water-Mirror of Granada] Text Dialogues by Val del Omar pp.274-275 Fuego en Castilla, 1958-1960 [Fire in Castile] Text Programme by Val del Omar pp.276-279 Caderno de referência, 1980s [Reference Notebook] Hudinilson Jr. Text Xerox Action by Mario Ramiro pp.280-281 Casa de caboclo, 2014 [House of Caboclo] Arthur Scovino
pp.282-285 Letra morta, 2014 [Dead Letter] Excerpt of the film script by Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa p.286 Vila Maria, 2014 Danica Dakić
p.314 Back to the Farm II, 2013 Prabhakar Pachpute p.315 Del Tercer Mundo Exhibition, Havana, 1968 [From the Third World]
pp.287-288 A família do Capitão Gervásio, 2013 [Captain Gervásio’s Family] Kasper Akhøj and Tamar Guimarães
pp.316-317 Index of Participants
pp.289-292 Terrible Deed Text by Michael Kessus Gedalyovich
p.325-Inside back cover The Amazon Isn’t Mine! Text by Armando Queiroz
pp.318-320 Index of Projects at the 31st Bienal
pp.293-295 Nosso Lar, Brasília, 2014 Jonas Staal pp.296-297 Nova Jerusalém [New Jerusalem] Text by Benjamin Seroussi and Eyal Danon pp.298-301 Inferno, 2013 [Hell] Yael Bartana pp.301-303 Capitol, 2009; Columbus, 2014; Untitled, 2013 Wilhelm Sasnal pp.304-309 Mind and Sense: On the Ambivalence in Noraic Husdrapa and Mind Singing. Text by Asger Jorn pp.310-311 neoblanc, 2013 Yonamine p.312 Knowledge, 1999 Lia Perjovschi p.313 Landversation, 2014 Otobong Nkanga 15
Bruno Pacheco, Meeting Point, 2011
Juan Downey, Untitled, 1975
Marta Neves, N達o-ideia, 2002 [No-Idea]
Alessandro Petti and Sandi Hilal, Dheisheh Refugee Camp, Bethlehem, West Bank, 2008
Erick Beltrรกn, O que caminha ao lado, 2014 [Double Goer]
Baobab Connection Text for the project Mujawara by Alessando Petti, Grupo Contrafilé, Sandi Hilal and others
From March 2014, the duo of Architects Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti and the Grupo Contrafilé held meetings in São Paulo, at the Centro Cultural Tainã, in Campinas, and at the Terra Vista settlement in southern Bahia, where they were joined by Milson Oniletó (a member of the Rede Mocambos), TC Silva and Joelson Ferreira de Oliveira, who are leading activists in the struggle for land. Through the educational platform Campus in Camps, Alessandro Petti and Sandi Hilal work with communities of Palestinian refugees to produce new forms of representation of the camps and of themselves – overcoming the static, traditional images of victimisation, passivity and poverty by promoting new political and spatial configurations. Contrafilé has been working with land issues by building ‘backyards’ within the A Rebelião das crianças [Children’s Uprising] project. Allowing the body to work the land, in the land and through the land, Contrafilé creates a collective space for imagining and playing, which is, above all things, the access to a spatiality of freedom. The Centro Cultural Tainã is a political centre for educational and cultural production. Created by TC Silva, it is the milestone of the Rede Mocambos, which connects quilombola communities (self-sufficient communities formed by activists affirming their African-Brazilian heritage) through the internet and the ritualistic planting of baobabs. Its horizontal and non-linear links subvert the rooted notion of an ancestral past, which no longer acts on the present, so that these other temporalities can emerge and awaken critical thought. Founded in 1995 in Arataca by workers related to the Movimento dos Sem-Terra [Landless Workers’ Movement] (mst), Terra Vista defines itself simultaneously as settlement and quilombo. A regional leader in organic farming, it has developed a comprehensive educational programme, from middle school up to professional education in agroecology.
Sunrise Terra Vista settlement, Arataca, 5 May 2014
Contrafilé […] After having a private talk with Joelson, TC brought us some new information: there’s a place where Joelson plans to build a temple for ‘chiefs’ meetings. We woke up at 5.30 a.m. and went to his house, where we were already expected. We went for a walk through the settlement, taking many pauses, in which Master Joelson, as he’s known there, gave us real lectures. Leaning always on a tree, he evoked the image of the ‘original school’.
Every young baobab we found was revered by TC. The symbolic and dynamic role of these trees within the movement became very clear. According to him: ‘Soon, every point in the network will have its baobab, which will become the “password” of this movement.’ When the walk ended, Joelson took us where the temple will be built: it’s the place where he watches the sunrise and makes his connections; he also intends to plant a baobab there. ‘It will be a temple for celebrating water, knowledge and the sun,’ he says, and adds: ‘always circular; the circle is the shape that guides us.’
We cultivate together Sandi Hilal: Does the word ‘quilombo’ identify a territorial term, like the word ‘camp’? What’s its source?
TC: Quilombo refers to the territory, and mocambos are the villages or families in the connected area within a common territory. All farming, feasts and childbirths are collective. The most important values of African heritage are nature, land and integration. 21
Sandi Hilal: You’re saying something like: ‘we cultivate together’, but if you have a community that eats, dances and plants together, how does it relate to other communities? Does the concept of quilombo imply a network? Sandi Hilal: One of the things Alessandro and I are aiming at is the Palestinian refuTC: It is very important to think in a global gee camp. These camps are neither private sense, in an exchange of struggles – a nor public property. They’re a community of people standing together fighting for ‘Baobafricanisation of the Americas’. And their right to return back home. Maybe new technologies are important for this. the real conflict arises from the question of how these communities can stay together Alessandro Petti: In 1948, when Israel was established, the beyond all this state construction.
first thing they did was to flatten all this collective land and put it in one single category of public land. In a way, this was a form of expropriation. We always think that public land is good for all. But we don’t realise that this is only good for the coloniser. Let me give an example: there were several categories of this collective land, one of them called Al Masha, which referred to ‘people together’. Everyone knew that it didn’t belong to you or me, it was a common land.
Alessandro Petti: The question for us now is, what is the Al Masha today? What is, for you, the quilombo today? We think Al Masha today is in the camps, because for sixty-five years, even though refugees have been living in very difficult circumstances, there is a total autonomy to how people organise themselves. It is the most political space you can imagine. I understand the desire to go back to memories and roots, but it was the colonial powers that invented the notions of the native and the authentic. This is a way of managing that recognises a subject, but disallows him or her from having influence or being contemporary.
Sandi Hilal: At the beginning of the seeding season, the farmers will divide and sort the land so each one has his place of land for seeding. It was important to support each other, it was a form of being together. And you have to seed. If you are not cultivating you cannot be there. The plot of land you are assigned is not fixed, especially so you don’t feel you own the land.
Alessandro Petti, Sandi Hilal and Grupo Contrafilé, Mujawara, 2014
Contrafilé: In the case of Brazil, the connection with Africa can definitely establish a different way of thinking today. It’s not necessarily a paralysing return, it can be more of a spiral than a linear link.
Sandi Hilal: When you look at a quilombo, what is very interesting is the consciousness of asking for collectivity. In camps, even when life is very collective in action, the request is to return to private property.
After the end of a certain world
Contrafilé: The refugee camps, the quilombos, the backyards, reconnect with an idea of existence on the land, that, when it gains visibility, is able to break away from hegemonic thought-forms. Just as the Zapatistas, who, according to Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, are the evidence of what can exist ‘after the end of a certain world’ the quilombolas and the refugees allow historically prohibited relations and connections to take place.
Alessandro Petti: That’s because by the simple fact that they exist they create a problem for those in power. If there are refugees it means that people have been expelled; if they return, Israel as it is today cannot exist. If one accepts this way of thinking one understands that this is not just about resisting, it’s an existential problem. This implies that, when you look at the situation through the lens of these existences, the only possibility is to dismantle the state as it is today. Sandi Hilal: Is this also the case with the quilombos? Is it a political battle for normalisation or decolonisation? One of the lessons I learned from Paulo Freire is that the only one that can liberate the coloniser is the colonised.
TC Silva: After all, who is the victim of what? We’re not simply resisting, we’re making proposals. Contrafilé: From the moment when the question is about existing and not integrating, what kind of existence is that?
Contrafilé: When we built the backyard in São Bernardo in 2013, we heard from a young man that by digging holes, planting trees, building things and touching the earth he had connected with a knowledge he did not know that possessed until then, because city life had never allowed him to access that, as if it had been invisible. He started to understand his black and indigenous heritage, he reconnected with his grandmother, his great-grandmother, as well as the aunt who had a candomblé temple, but where his mother, a Protestant, never let him go.
And the baobab comes in TC Silva: In school, everything I was told about my people was that we were slaves. As a young boy, I believed that black people are born already chained in the mother’s womb, not that they had suffered violence and been enslaved. The Africans who came here were colonised into getting used to that idea. And so were those who colonised, in order to believe that enslaving, denying and killing the culture of another was a good thing. Colonisation is a serious issue, it denies important human experiences. That’s where the baobab comes in. Why didn’t societies try to see what the world would look like, guided by these ancestral rites?
Fernand Deligny, drawings
TC Silva: I want to exist by myself, not according to the way someone else wants me to exist, or not to exist. When we’re talking about what oppresses us, we’re not accepting the position of victim, we’re looking for decolonised forms of thinking.
TC Silva (singing): ‘I can find myself anywhere in the world, if I carry my parents’ house within me, I’ll be alright.’ I am the territory, if I have the reference of the territory. If I don’t have this, then I don’t have anything. Nothing’s more than you, inside you there’s only you, and inside you nothing belongs to you.
Contrafilé: It seems that the body, when it touches the land, realises immediately that the land isn’t the property of anyone, that it belongs to all – it’s the incontestable proof of a common dimension. Joelson F. de Oliveira: When you look at nature, you see that singularities and collectivities get along TC Silva: (singing): ‘Come, living is easy as very well, they don’t fight. In the forest, the strong, flying. Flying beyond the reaches of light. the weak and the newborn live together. And all of a In our dark inner depths.’ We can all make a sudden, the strong have to die so the small can live. So too is the river. The spring flows into a stream, difference if we can realise who we are. We which flows into a river, which then flows into have to grow strong as people. Otherwise the ocean.
we’ll always be half-people.
Milson Oniletó: This will be the symbol of this century’s change. Because we were ‘europeanly’ taught to be a dependent part of the other. ‘You are my part and together we’re complete.’ No, African societies teach that we have to be whole. This doesn’t mean being selfish. I am God, I grow with myself; then I’ll merge with you who are also God and are whole; then with you and with you, and we grow in a circle.
TC Silva: The territory is your place, where you plant, where you eat, where you work the land. It’s something charged with meaning, involving ancestral values, from which we have been disconnected. We spend our whole lives without ever touching the land, but nothing exists without it. Therefore, I don’t have to carry anyone’s territory. The territory is ours, therefore we can move inside it to connect with other territories and realities. (Showing the baobab fruit.) This is the baobab’s house. It’s like a womb, a temporary shelter. All that comes out of it will expand.
Alessandro Petti and Sandi Hilal, Dheisheh Refugee Camp, Bethlehem, West Bank, 1955 /2012
I am because we are.
Having a fixed identity or the right to transform oneself?
Alessandro Petti: How can the quilombo stop being an identity project and become one where all the people can join in? The conflict would be between having a fixed identity and having the right to transform oneself. This is also valid for Palestine. You first have to have a Palestinian state identity. But then it’s a national state like any other. This is where camps and possibly quilombos could be different; they could be places where people are not fixed in one identity.
Sandi Hilal: After being expelled in 1948, the refugees lived in tents for four years. When they eventually built four walls, they wondered whether or not to build a roof. They feared that if they built the roof, this would prevent them from going home. Once I heard some women in the camp ask one of the leaders: ‘When will we return home?’ He said: ‘We don’t have enough transportation to take you home’. This is a core question for them: how can we take our present life back to our history? That is the life of exile.
TC Silva: Since the beginning the colonising process has tried to deconstruct the quilombola and indigenous identities. Remembering doesn’t mean being stuck in the past. It’s important not to forget one’s own history, because if you do you’ll be submissive to churches, political parties, the media...
Campus in Camps, Campus in Quilombos Alessandro Petti: In order to talk about these places today and not just about the past, we felt it was very necessary to build a university inside it, and we called it Campus in Camps. This has to do with what you have been doing at Rede Mocambos, by connecting quilombos.
Sandi Hilal: The principle of Campus in Camps is not simply to move the structure of a university as it is inside the camp, but to actually think of the camp as a source of knowledge. This is actually how a university should be: a place to give names to things, to problematise our own lives. Joelson F. de Oliveira: Our greatest dream is to build a school that awards graduate diplomas or a Masters degree. The idea is, together with neighbouring communities, that the child starts from kindergarten and has a full education here. If we can get communities to work together, we’ll combine knowledge.
Alessandro Petti: I think we definitely have a good starting point, talking about the refugees, quilombos and education. But we have to secure some distance, or we may risk just describing the thing and not adding anything or even problematising anything. We must bring this discussion back to the idea of metropolis, to the Bienal itself. This is also the world that we inhabit.
What does it mean to be contemporary? Contrafilé: You don’t have to be in a city in order to be contemporary. Conversely, urbanity does not necessarily mean a city. It means that many scales operate at the same time. If, for instance, you are in a refugee camp, there are people connecting through many different layers and levels on local and global scales, they are creating institutions and knowledge.
Grupo Contrafilé, preparation for baobab planting ritual, 2010
Alessandro Petti: Maybe the question is: what can we do together now? This has political power. Just being fascinated by the other is not enough and it’s not worth just showing things in the museum.
Contrafilé: Exactly. If we define that we are working with these realities not only in theory we need to step forward and truly do away with representation. For this, we believe in another kind of image, which is a dense-image, a land-image. That is, we use land-support as the means for the materialisation of an image that has realised itself inside us with urgency. Then, a body acting on urbanity through this image wouldn’t be a machine, and here is where its power lies. Because it’s a body that carries an image at the same time as it is carried by it: it is a born image.
Joelson F. de Oliveira: So thinking about this, how will liberty be built? The work towards liberty is harder than that towards being a slave. We have to produce good experiences for the eyes of the world. But it’s necessary that they be concrete. Then they will flourish by themselves. During one of the occupation processes, we marched from Feira de Santana to Salvador. When we finally got there, we went to a place where there was only concrete and on the buses there was only space for the women and children. Then it started to rain and only stopped the following morning. We, the men, stood for twelve hours in the rain. We asked ourselves ‘Why are we doing this?’ Now we know why: to protect Mother Earth to have a plot of land, to have another perspective.
Turning a Blind Eye Admiral Nelson was a British flag officer in the Royal Navy, famous for his leadership, sense of strategy and unconventional tactics, which resulted in a number of decisive naval victories. He was wounded several times in combat, losing one arm and the sight in one eye. During the Battle of Copenhagen (1801) his cautious overall commander Parker sent a signal to Nelson’s forces giving him discretion to withdraw. At that time, naval orders were transmitted via a system of signal flags. When the more aggressive Nelson was given attention to this signal, he lifted his telescope up to his blind eye and said ‘I really do not see the signal!’, and his forces continued the attack, resulting – after a lot of destruction – in a victory for the British fleet. We may all be blind to what is in front of us; we might also be willfully blind. Turning a Blind Eye (2014), a programme of public workshops, events, lectures and walks by Bik Van der Pol, explores different notions of the ‘unseen’ (the non-visible and the non-existent), and the ways in which we look at things or choose what we look at. The programme seeks to investigate the idea of ‘publicness’, as well as to generate a public for its own activities. A live, large scoreboard animated live follows the developments of the projects and invites the publics to become participants. We understand that artistic practice is a form of learning, and a space of experience and encounter. Art can be a strategy for emancipation and a potential response to public issues. The recent occupations of public squares worldwide, or the increasing commercial exploitation of private information, demonstrate the urgency of public space as a site of conflict over rights, information, relations and objects. Debates over forms of common property such as knowledge and culture show that public space is to be understood in the broadest possible terms – as that which holds the fabric of experience-as-community together. Yet it is threatened by exclusions, privileged access and disinformation to the point that it becomes invisible. Public property needs to be re-articulated time and again, and is just as precarious as the natural environment, threatened by a predatory economy.
Turning a Blind Eye investigates recent events in Brazil and worldwide, departing from tensions around the exploitation of urban and natural space. The programme has been created with the participation of the general public, students of the School of Missing Studies, universities and organisations in São Paulo. The 31st Bienal acts as the site for the project’s creation and research, implementing the educational model of ‘the school’ as a form of mental theatre that may create new horizons of action, production and reflection. Bik Van der Pol
Bik Van der Pol, [accumulate, collect, show], 2011
BOUNDARIES, BORDERS AND ACCESS
Abstract Possible is a research project exploring notions of abstraction, taking contemporary art as its starting point.
ABSTRACTION Islandkeeper: Maria Lind
Communi(ci)ty’, the societal, cultural and moral issues of a boletsi radical liberation of planning.
FREELAND Islandkeeper: Jeroen Zuidgeest
Public rhetorical strategies and the ways they give a shape to (and restricts) public space.
BARBARIZING PUBLIC SPEECH Islandkeeper: Maria Boletsi
URBAN SPACES AND SPACE OF NATURE AS SITES OF CONFLICT
Think Tank Aesthetics reflects on art and its relations to current debates about the political and the social against the backdrop of neoliberalism.
THINK TANK AESTHETICS Islandkeeper: Pamela M. Lee
Collective activities contributing to the crossdisciplinary exchange between several nodes of knowledge production: network and participatory technologies; sensorial media and public space; environmental remediation design and spatial organization; and alternative planning design integration
IN PROGRESS Islandkeepers: Gediminas and Nomeda Urbonas
ABSTRACTION AND FRAGMENTATION
Comparison of different urban ideologies from different perspectives, analyzing the effect of current (global) developments in (former) new towns, observing new towns of today and speculating on the future.
BLUEPRINT NL (NAGELE) Islandkeepers: Bik van der Pol
This island is about living in a world in which the doing is separated from the deed, in which this separation is extended in an increasing numbers of spheres of life, in which the revolt about this separation becomes ubiquitous. In collaboration with Casco Projects, Utrecht
COMMONING TIMES Islandkeepers: Rene Gabri and Ayreen Anastas
What does it mean to engage in ‘the missing’ and to acknowledge the unknown?
A MISSING VOCABULARY writing & discussion sessions Islandkeeper: Moosje Goosen
Bik Van der Pol, School of Missing Studies, 2013 - ongoing
THE COMMONS, PRIVATIZATION AND ACCESS ECOLOGY AND TECHNOLOGY
Interactions between forests and atmosphere, mapping and economics, mutual learning as forms of exchange, lost knowledge and megaprojects in the Amazone, displacement, participatory architecture, lost sights, lost sites, walking tours, invisible rivers concrete jungle, unseen and turned away, participatory forms of staging.
Turning a blind eye [or: ignoring an undesirable information] or I really do not see the signal!
URBAN SPATIAL POLITICS
Scenarios for an intervention as a response to tenderness in the daily life and a challenge to that what is near.
DIVINE INTERVENTION Islandkeeper: Samira BenLaloua
The main question that runs through the thesis is what does it mean to situate one's work "in institution," while at the same time rubbing against official (and institutionalised) ways of knowing?
IT'S TIME MAN. IT FEELS IMMINENT: POLITICS AT THE MOMENT OF EXPOSITION Islandkeeper: Sarah Pierce
LANGUAGE AND RHETORIC
“The borders of new sociopolitical entities (...) are no longer entirely situated at the outer limit of territories; they are dispersed a little everywhere, wherever the movement of information, people, and things is happening and is controlled” (Etienne Balibar).
THE BORDERS ARE NO LONGER AT THE BORDER Islandkeeper: Ernst van den Hemel
Exploring the contemporary landscape of Palestine in particular urban environments.
FRAGMENTED CARTOGRAPHIES Islandkeeepr: Tina Sherwell
1. The elements On context – the mobility experienced by people with different social, economic and cultural backgrounds has created diverse behaviours and communities. There are cartographies of hybrid behaviours and social realms that influence one another. On histor y – write… On the social – deploy well-tested formulas and strategies in using the urban space as locus for social intervention, while exploring new means and methods.
ruangrupa, RURU.ZIP, Decompression #10, National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta, 2010
SIASAT – São Paulo Text for the project RURU by ruangrupa Our latest payroll statistics show that ruangrupa regularly involves more than twenty people, and works with about ten project-based additional people. Being an organisation of such small scale, having survived for nearly fifteen years cannot be considered as a small feat. In addition, being an organisation born in a post-crisis context – at the time when Indonesia was struggling with the lingering effects of the 1998 Asian economic depression – crisis has always been an omnipresent factor that forever haunts the consciousness of ruangrupa. In 2011, a little shortly after we celebrated our tenth anniversary, we composed an always-in-beta document entitled SIASAT: a short tactical guide for artist-run initiatives, an ‘dense’ eighty-page binder, a how-to manifesto-like survival kit. SIASAT – São Paulo can be considered as a prototype, born out of SIASAT. What is forced relocation (whether following touristic, economic or the basic survival impetus) but a form of crisis? What follows are some statements taken from the document, which served as our starting points in formulating SIASAT – São Paulo.
On politics – discover some channels to fill in the gaps. Speak from our own position to complete or otherwise enrich the structure by offering more spaces for exploration, without boring attempts to directly oppose whatever establishment there is – while at the same time avoiding co-option. On culture – engage with the widest possible landscape of arts and cultural production and involve the public within the arena of production. On interdisciplinarity – set up a group of people who produce spontaneous and sporadic ideas. On collaboration – it is about giving everyone a remote control. On process – a direct opposition, an antithesis, a resistance, or a direct reaction against the mainstream. Multiply-Integrate-Viral On platform – the space should also be imagined as a continuous effort towards a better dissemination. On working style – love and other demons… jokes and play… music and alcohol and cigarettes. Distraction is bliss.
2. The empire of love
3. The shelter
4. The centre of the storm
Grow and work as a platform (foundation/vessel) that can continue to hold ideas, passion, excitement, imagination and dreams, and, of course, friendship.
Participants should be able to disperse or even hide easily. In this sense, warehouses and government buildings are not an option.
Things to consider as survival kit: Laptop (as long as there is electricity) Sleeping bag Medical kit Military survival guidebook
Build a structure that has the adaptability/flexibility to change based on the realities of the society around it. Build a structure that can acknowledge the speed of change in society.
Social/cultural context and class – the question of using domestic, commercial, abandoned space or even of becoming spaceless should be raised. Budget – budget-less is also possible.
Do not trust any existing structure. Invent your own.
On how to build an architectural character:
Do not pay too much attention to the structure. Let the content define its structure.
Facilitate personal and collective ideas in the auto-creation of spaces.
It always good to be disorganise. (sic)
On models and programmes:
On networking – make friends not art. On local/international partnershit (sic) – build a decentralised network, based on collaboration and horizontal partnerships. Silaturahmi. On conflict – it’s overrated.
On how to choose a space:
Large – meeting/working/archive and library; exhibition/screening/ party; toilet/kitchen; sleeping area/ artist residency/shops; parking space; storage approximately 100 sqm; above-average for large property house/large size apartment/ large warehouse, etc.
On sustainability – ongoing negotiation.
Things to consider as sur vival tricks: Reduce programmes Reduce expenditure Friends or family loan Pawnshop Inheritance (maybe) Charity Last but not least: busking, scrounging and begging for money Internal constraints/domain disaster: a. Conflict management b. No membership c. Loss of space d. No ideas/motivation, boredom e. No funding/money f. Social conflict On dealing with points (a) (b) (d) – DO NOT try to be wise. One rule to settle all: DO NOT BE A SMARTASS. DO NOT TRY to reach any conclusion. On dealing with points (c) (e) (f ) – DO NOT TRY to place yourself as negotiator. Negotiation is not an important matter. DO NOT PURSUE justification. Injustices arise only after justice is defeated.
ruangrupa, RURU.NET Decompression #10, National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta, 2010 29
5. The anatomy of numbers
6. An affair to remember
Money is not everything. Time is…
On space and public – intervene and cooperate by entering spaces of public consumption, such as malls, shops, neighbourhoods and streets. Operate through daily and social events. Let people participate. Let them become a part of everyday life, where the public is free. Develop new approaches to see tensions in and functions of the public, domestic and private spaces. Negotiation and interaction with the surroundings are important aspects which influence artistic practice and other activities of the organisation.
On local resource – it is NOT advisable to choose donors that intervene within the programme platforms. On how to self-raise income: donations and fundraising – if you think setting up a business unit is a good idea, make sure that it does not corrupt your artistic integrity. This decision would only be strategic if it was integrated with your programmes or activities. On shops/creative works/ projects/micro-transaction, etc. – make a small shop filled with various artworks from the young artists that frequently collaborate with you. Set up a second-hand market or cooperation with small-/street-level businesses in order to generate and support the micro-economic system. On commercial/selling/buying – only sell your works to your ‘friends’. On how to work without a budget – find people to work with who are young, or who are looking for experience, and are willing to work pro bono publico. Create a programme that allows you to work off-budget. Money is not necessarily the only form of support. On how to find and work with sponsors – creating a proposal is unlike writing a poetry anthology: avoid using sentences that are too flowery and rhetorical. A good proposal, most of the time, comes from a good project. On how to work with government support – be careful with corruption and manipulation: they are the experts. Trust no one.
On public affairs – the space becomes a public domain: dispossession of space, open to the public, meeting point, noninstitutional. On how to make your space public: Put the ‘WELCOME’ rug at the front door Don’t lock your door Open the space up to support your friends, then to anyone else Open it 24/7 Treat your space as a meeting point Serve the public with a friendly approach.
ruangrupa, RRREC Fest, Jakarta, 2010 - ongoing
On how to deal with the neighbours – always buy your daily needs in the surrounding area. On how to create basic public involvement – make a programme that relates to your surroundings. On how to communicate with the public – publish your character. If you don’t need to, you don’t have to. ruangrupa, Toko Keperluan, Anggun Priambodo’s solo exhibition, RURU Gallery, Jakarta, 2010
Mujeres Creando, Graffiti, undated
Espacio para abortar (2014) [Space to Abort] starts with an urban intervention, a public and participative procession-performance against the dictatorship of patriarchy that is exercised over women’s bodies. A giant mobile uterus is paraded and then tem-porarily placed in the Bienal Pavilion. Once inside the Bienal, the idea for it is to open a space for debate and dialogue. In other words, the project creates a platform for discussing the meaning of abortion, the colonisation of the female body and what free choice, the right to decide and freedom of conscience actually mean in contemporary democracies – especially those in South American countries where abortion is illegal and penalised. Founded in La Paz in 1992, Mujeres Creando is an internationalist movement of working women (prostitutes, poets, journalists, market sellers, domestic workers, artists, dressmakers, teachers, etc.) fighting against sexism and institutionalised patriarchy in Bolivia and the rest of the world. With this goal, the members of Mujeres Creando operate like guerrilla fighters, opening spaces of visibility and uncovering others with their bodies, in the street, in the mass media, and in international contemporary art spaces, inserting iconic slogans in its ideological circuits, for instance: ‘You can’t decolonise without depatriarchising!’, or ‘There is nothing more similar to a right-wing sexist than a left-wing sexist!’
Mujeres Creando, Útero ilegal, 2014 [Illegal Uterus] 31
Mujeres Creando, Graffiti, undated
Yeguas del Apocalipsis, Casa particular, 1989 [Private Home]
Mujeres Creando, Ă&#x161;tero ilegal, 2014 [Illegal Uterus] 32
IN THE CITY OF SÃO PAULO, THERE IS A PLACE WHERE THE COURSE OF THE TRAIN LINES BISECTS, ONLY TO COME TOGETHER AGAIN FURTHER AHEAD. THIS UNION-SEPARATION-UNION CREATES A WALLED SPACE SHAPED LIKE AN EYE, AND INSIDE THIS EYE STANDS THE LAST FAVELA IN DOWNTOWN SÃO PAULO, FAVELA DO MOINHO. FOR ABOUT THIRTY YEARS, IT HAS OCCUPIED THE RUINS OF THE OLD MOINHO MATARAZZO (‘MATARAZZO MILL’) AND WAS ONCE HOME TO OVER 1,200 FAMILIES. A DIRECT TARGET OF REAL-ESTATE SPECULATION AND ‘GENTRIFICATION’ PROJECTS, THE COMMUNITY OF MOINHO CONTINUES TO RESIST IN ONE OF THE MOST HIGHLY VALUED AREAS OF THE CITY, THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF CAMPOS ELÍSEOS.
THE HEART IS BELOW AND TO THE LEFT.
IN DECEMBER 2011, THE FAVELA DO MOINHO BECAME KNOWN NATIONALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY BECAUSE OF A LARGE FIRE THAT AFFECTED AROUND FIVE HUNDRED FAMILIES AND CUT THE OCCUPIED AREA IN HALF. THIS FIRE OCCURRED DURING THE SAME YEAR IN WHICH SEVERAL OTHER FAVELAS IN SÃO PAULO – ALL LOCATED IN AREAS OF GREAT INTEREST TO THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY – WERE ALSO STRUCK BY FIRES.
ON 31 DECEMBER 2011, THE CITY HALL GOT A PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION TAKING POSSESSION OF PART OF THE LAND, ALLEGING THAT THE BUILDING HAD TO BE DEMOLISHED BECAUSE IT WAS IN DANGER OF COLLAPSING. THE AREA WAS THEN SECTIONED OFF BY WOOD SCAFFOLDING THAT CUT THE FAVELA FROM END TO END AND MADE IT HARD FOR RESIDENTS TO RETURN TO THEIR PLOT. NOT ONLY WAS THE BUILDING NOT ON THE VERGE OF COLLAPSE, BUT THE SIX HUNDRED KILOGRAMMES OF DYNAMITE THEY USED TO TRY TO DEMOLISH THE HUNDRED-YEAR-OLD STRUCTURE DID NOT KNOCK IT DOWN. BUT STILL, CITY HALL DECIDED TO CONTINUE THE DEMOLITION MANUALLY. THE SCAFFOLDING WAS REPLACED BY A CONCRETE WALL THAT WAS EIGHT METRES TALL TO DEFINITIVELY PREVENT RESIDENTS FROM REBUILDING THEIR HOMES AND, ACCORDING TO A REPORT FROM THE FIRE DEPARTMENT ITSELF, LEFT THE COMMUNITY WITHOUT AN ESCAPE ROUTE IN CASE OF ANOTHER FIRE. AFTER SEVERAL ATTEMPTS TO ESTABLISH A DIALOGUE WITH THE MUNICIPAL ADMINISTRATION, ON 4 AUGUST WE DECIDED TO TAKE THE WALL DOWN WITH OUR OWN HANDS AND CLEAR AN ESCAPE ROUTE OURSELVES. THIS ACT BECAME KNOWN AS THE ‘FALL OF THE WALL OF SHAME.’
‘THE FIRE STARTED AT THE SAME TIME IN DIFFERENT PLACES AND IN LESS THAN TEN MINUTES IT HAD SPREAD. THE BUILDING WAS MADE OF BRICK. THERE’S NO WAY IT WOULD HAVE CAUGHT FIRE THAT WAY UNLESS THERE HAD BEEN SOME FLAMMABLE LIQUID THERE. THE FIRE DEPARTMENT TOOK OVER AN HOUR TO GET THERE AND WHEN THEY DID THEY HAD NO WATER. ALL OF A SUDDEN, WE SEE THE MAYOR ON TELEVISION SAYING THAT IT HAD BEEN AN ACCIDENT CAUSED BY A DRUG ADDICT. WE SAW AT LEAST THIRTY CHARRED BODIES WRAPPED IN PLASTIC BAGS BEING CARRIED OUT THE BACK OF THE FAVELA BY POLICE. LOTS OF THEM WERE CHILDREN AND VARIOUS RESIDENTS TALKED ABOUT A FAMILY THAT DIED HUGGING ONE ANOTHER. I SAW THE FIRE CHIEF BURST INTO TEARS, EVEN THEY COULDN’T TAKE SEEING WHAT WAS GOING ON. THIS FIRE WAS NO ACCIDENT, IT WAS A CRIME, MOST LIKELY COMMITTED BY PEOPLE IN POWER WHO HAVE INTERESTS IN THAT AREA. ON TOP OF ALL THESE INDICATIONS THAT THE FIRE WAS PLANNED, WHAT HAPPENED NEXT ONLY SERVES TO SUPPORT THIS THEORY.’
CASA PÚBLICA (‘PUBLIC HOUSE’) IS AN URBAN INTERVENTION RESULTING FROM AN ARTISTIC RESIDENCY AND RESEARCH IN FAVELA DO MOINHO, WHICH COMMENCED IN SEPTEMBER 2012. SINCE THEN, WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO EXPLORE THE AREA’S ISSUES AND PROBLEMS MORE DEEPLY, AS WELL AS GET TO KNOW LOCAL FIGURES. AFTER A LONG PERIOD OF DAILY COHABITATION AND OBSERVATION OF THE DYNAMICS OF USERSHIP IN THE SPACE, WE BEGAN THE CONSTRUCTION OF CASA PÚBLICA, BUILT IN PARTNERSHIP WITH RUBBISH COLLECTORS AND RESIDENTS, UTILISING LOCAL TECHNOLOGY, THE RESOURCES AVAILABLE IN THE COMMUNITY AND MATERIALS DISCARDED THROUGHOUT THE CITY. SINCE JUNE 2013, THE SPACE HAS SERVED AS AN IMPORTANT SPACE FOR UNITING, ARTICULATING AND FACILITATING VARIOUS CULTURAL AND POLITICAL AGENTS INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE COMMUNITY.
COMBOIO (‘CONVOY’) IS AN INDEPENDENT AND AUTONOMOUS PROJECT OF RESEARCH AND URBAN INTERVENTION, WHICH HAS BEEN OPERATING IN ‘INFORMAL’ SPACES IN CENTRAL SÃO PAULO SINCE 2010.
‘VERMELHÃO’ (‘REAL RED’) IS THE NAME GIVEN BY INHABITANTS TO A SPACE LOCATED NEXT TO THE OVERPASS USED MAINLY BY THE CHILDREN OF MOINHO AS A LEISURE AREA. AFTER THE LAST BIG FIRE THAT RIPPED THROUGH THE FAVELA IN SEPTEMBER 2012, THIS SPACE BECAME A DUMPING GROUND FOR GARBAGE, SCRAP METAL AND ASHES. WITH THE RECONSTRUCTION OF NEIGHBOURING HOUSES, THE SURROUNDINGS WERE ONCE AGAIN OCCUPIED. THUS, THE DESIRE TO REBUILD AND RECLAIM THIS IMPORTANT PUBLIC SPACE EMERGED. PARQUE VERMELHÃO (‘REAL RED PARK’) IS A DIRECT EXTENSION AND DEPLOYMENT OF CASA PÚBLICA’S EFFORTS.
EVEN WITH THE LACK OF SPACE BEING A SERIOUS PROBLEM AND WITH HOUSES BUILT ON TOP OF ONE ANOTHER, THERE IS STILL ONE SPACE WITH THAT HAS BEEN MAINTAINED AND PRESERVED BY THE COMMUNITY FOR THE PAST THIRTY YEARS: THE SOCCER FIELD. FOR THE 31ST BIENAL DE SÃO PAULO, WE PROPOSED AN ACTIVATION OF THIS SPACE THROUGH OPEN MEETINGS AND EDUCATIONAL WORKSHOPS.
Agência Popular de Cultura Solano Trindade The agency’s mission is to foment popular culture by making artistic production viable in the outer city limits of São Paulo, building strategies for self-funding and economic sustainability. Through this initiative, we seek to understand more about the relationships of production, consumption and commercialisation of services, products and cultural knowledge, and thus contribute to the development of the local creative economy. In the following pages there are details of a few of the cultural groups and activities we work with.
Sarau Verso em Versos One of the cultural manifestations that take place every third Friday of the month at Espaço Comunidade, Sarau Verso em Versos is a meeting of poets, musicians, actors, visual artists and all parties interested in expressing their art through poetic, musical, graphic or performance-based interventions.
Sarau da Kambinda Held at Teatro Popular Solano Trindade in the city of Embu das Artes, its mission is to promote poetry and meetings between poets and artists that are part of the cultural movement in the city’s periphery and of African origin.
Sarau do Binho With a history of over eight years, O Sarau do Binho unites poets, singers, actors and other popular artists and people from the periphery, establishing itself as an important feature on the city of São Paulo’s cultural calendar. The sarau started in a bar. At that time, there were no cultural spaces in the periphery where encounters of this kind could take place. To this day, it is difficult to utilise public spaces for cultural
activities at night. The sarau gave way to many ideas and actions such as Postesia and Postura, an artistic practice which sets up signs with poetry and visual arts in public areas of the city; the installation of a
O Praçarau O Praçarau has been held in São Paulo’s south zone for the past four years. Today, it is the only outdoor sarau, attracting a vastly diverse audience to its performances. Music, dance, poetry, performances, all blended together in a space open to the public. The sarau features the support of several partner groups as well as the local residents.
community library, also in the Campo Limpo region; or the activities of Bicicloteca, which has so far distributed over 5,000 books in houses and bus stops in the neighbourhood. Poetas Ambulantes Inspired by the street vendors who circulate among the collectives, offering their merchandise, Poetas Ambulantes (literally ‘Wandering Poets’) offer passengers spoken and written poetry, in exchange for attention, emotion and interaction. Each month the poets follow a different itinerary.
Sarau Preto no Branco Comprised of a group of young people from Jardim Ibirapuera, it was created in 2012 specifically to encourage young people, poets and artists from the region to express themselves. The group’s members are all under 21, making the event a way to demonstrate that the youth has something to say, addressing such themes as inequality, corruption and prejudice in their poetry and music.
Batalha TSP Founded in Taboão da Serra in August of 2012, TSP is a collective for the dissemination of culture. TSP’s main mission is to foment the culture of independent hip-hop in São Paulo’s periphery.
Bonde Sak Funk MC Spyke and MC Preto have been rapping together since 2007. With a repertoire of lyrics that deal with everything from social issues – such as daily life in their community – to the reigning style of baile funk in São Paulo, ‘funk ostentação’, they stand out for their sociallyconscious funk.
Sarau A Plenos Pulmões Organised by Marcos Pezão and Dona Otília, it is held at a variety of venues in the city of São Paulo, featuring the participation of the many poets that have followed the sarau movement for over fifteen years. Marcos Pezão believes in a literature that builds bridges between the city’s inhabitants and breaks down territorial prejudice.
Treme Terra Escultura Sonoras For 22 years Aderbal Ashogun has been promoting actions that bring together visual artists, masters of popular culture and religious leaders from traditional communities and peoples. His best-known work is O Treme Terra Esculturas Sonoras. The intervention combines percussion, rhythm, poetry, urban culture and candomblé culture in an ‘Ancestral Flash Mob’.
O Menor Sarau do Mundo A poetry intervention that involves one poet and an audience of up to three people beneath an umbrella. With a duration of one minute and twenty seconds, the poet recites three short poems of his or her authorship with a high factor for stunning the public.
Coral Guarani Xondaro It is a performance of religious chants for children, taught by the village elders, which mainly speak of the religious myth of the Terra Sem Mal (‘The Land of No Evil’), a sacred place for the Guarani people, symbolically located on the other side of the ocean, and the moral values which should guide the lives of each of the community’s members.
Narra Várzea In Brazil, football emerged as futebol de várzea (‘field football’), back when the fields weren’t regulated and didn’t have set rules. The organisation of this amateur sport gave way to the first Clubes de Várzea, basically informal associations and meeting places for friends from the city’s ghettos and outlying communities. Balé Capão Cidadão The project offers workshops of different dance styles (classic ballet, theatre-dance and street dance) to children and teenagers from the Jardim Valquíria’s community, through the Capão Cidadão ngo.
Círculo Palmarino Círculo Palmarino is a national political chain of the black power movement that emerged in 2006 to combine the efforts of those who believe in a new, fair and egalitarian society in which black people can be subject to their own history. Present in the states of Bahia, Espírito Santo, Rio de Janeiro, Sergipe and São Paulo.
Comunidade Cultural Sambaqui Since 2003, the collective has been dedicated to the research and maintenance of Afro culture in São Paulo. Its practices intensify the public contact with traditional masters inside the communities and at the Sambaqui terreiro, and also to promote this culture through presentations, workshops and the transmission of knowledge.
Sarau Poesia na Brasa Since 2008, Sarau Poesia na Brasa has been regularly holding saraus inside a bar (first Bar do Cardoso and then Bar do Carlita), as well as schools and cultural centres. They have released six books and the historical book Tambores da Noite by the great black poet Carlos de Assumpção. In their meetings, drumming and oral expression are the main vehicles for communion, thus reclaiming traditions that are thousands of years old.
Sarau O que Dizem os Umbigos?! Today, the mass culture of television and technology rules, human relationships are more and more limited to the individual realm, and we end up distancing ourselves from dialogues, exchanges of experiences and the exercise of listening; let us stop ‘gazing at our navels so much and start dialoguing with other people’s navels’.
Núcleo de Dança Pelagos The Núcleo was created in 2010 by the hands of Projeto Arrastão and the nowadays-professional ballet dancer Rubens Oliveira. The project has the purpose of initiating teens between fifteen and eighteen years of age in their corporal development and of promoting a deepest connection between art and general culture.
LIMA, Peru 22 NOV 2013 – El Galpón Espacio in collaboration with: Miguel A. López report: Florencia Portocarrero and Horacio Ramos LONDON, England 10 JUN 2014 – Whitechapel Gallery in collaboration with: Sofia Victorino report: Helena Vilalta MADRID, Spain 20 FEB 2014 – Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (mncars) in collaboration with: Jesús Carrillo reports: Francisco de Godoy and Laura Vallés BOGOTÁ, Colombia 31 JAN 2014 – FLORA ars + natura in collaboration with: Jose Roca HOLON, Israel 20 FEB 2014 – The Israeli Center for Digital Art SANTIAGO, Chile 12 MAR 2014 – Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (MAC), Facultad de Artes, Universidad de Chile
BRASÍLIA, Brazil 14 AUG 2014 – Beijódromo – Universidade de Brasília (UnB)
SÃO JOSÉ DO RIO PRETO, Brazil NOV 2014 – sesc São José do Rio Preto
SÃO CARLOS, Brazil 24 MAY 2014 – sesc São Carlos in collaboration with: Sandra Frederici and Sandra Leibovici report: David Sperling
SOROCABA, Brazil 26 APR 2014 – sesc Sorocaba in collaboration with: Katia Pensa Barelli and Sandra Leibovici report: Ellen Nunes
BELÉM, Brazil 19 DEC 2013 – Instituto de Artes do Pará (iap) in collaboration with: Orlando Maneschy report: Maria Christina Barbosa
FORTALEZA, Brazil 7 NOV 2013 – unifor in collaboration with: Adriana Helena report: Luciana Eloy
RECIFE, Brazil 13 NOV 2013 – Espaço Fonte in collaboration with: Cristiana Tejo reports: Olívia Mindêlo and Paulo Tarso
SALVADOR, Brazil 23 JAN 2014 – Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia (mam-ba) in collaboration with: Marcelo Rezende reports: Ludmilla Britto and Rosa Gabriela de Castro Gonçalves BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil 6 FEB 2014 – Museu Mineiro in collaboration with: Júlia Rebouças report: Francisca Caporalli
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil 6 JUL 2014 – Largo das Artes in collaboration with: Consuelo Bassanesi report: Icaro Ferraz Vidal
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL 6 AUG 2013 – Bienal de São Paulo Curatorial Perspectives
SANTOS, Brazil OCT 2014 – sesc Santos
20 AUG 2013 – Bienal de São Paulo The Art Market 30 NOV 13 – Casa do Povo Art and Education reports: Daniela Gutfreund and Sabrina Moura 22 MAR 2014 – sesc Pompeia The City and Its Spaces in collaboration with: Daniela Avelar and Sandra Leibovici reports: Joana Zatz Mussi and Ligia Nobre
PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil 11 OCT 2013 – Santander Cultural in collaboration with: Bernardo de Souza reports: Luísa Kiefer and Michelle Sommer
26 JUL 2014 – sesc Belenzinho The Production of Discourse in Brazil in collaboration with: Mauro Lucas report: Isabella Rjeille
The Open Meetings are a series of encounters organised by the 31st Bienalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s curatorial and Educativo Bienal teams in collaboration with individuals and institutions throughout Brazil and other international locations, in which people involved in art, culture and activism gather to discuss fundamental concerns and urgencies of their own. These meetings, structured as an open dialogue, work both as a research tool and a critical assessment of the curatorial process, engaging artists, critics, curators, cultural organisers and others in a process that renders open the process of organising the 31st Bienal. Each of the meetings adopts different formats in order to explore the diverse possibilities of public discussion forums, and in response to contrasting urgencies. They formulate diverse questions and expose the intentions, workings and developments within the development of the 31st Bienal. All the meetings have been critically assessed by commissioned reviewers, with the resulting material made available through the 31st Bienalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website, providing access to the curatorial process as an open pedagogical process.
Juan Downey, Untitled, 1988
A Toolbox for Cultural Organisation A Toolbox for Cultural Organisation, part of the 31st Bienal education programme, is a three-week workshop extended over 10 months in 2014. This workshop gives sixteen young curators, artists, writers, educators and/or cultural activators (selected after an open submission call) the chance to engage in a critical exchange about organisation and intervention in artistic and cultural contexts. The aim of the workshop is to provide, share and compare tools for critical engagement today; it intends to be an intervention, questioning existing modes of relating and operating, and investigating the applicability of diverse strategies in different contexts. The participants in the workshop are Ana Maria Maia, Andrés Ennen, Carolina Vieira, Caroline Menezes, Daniel Jablonski, Florencia Portocarrero, Gabriela Motta, Júlio Martins, Lígia Afonso, Lorenzo Sandoval, Lucas Oliveira, Michelle Sommer, Mónica Amieva, Renan Araujo, Rodolfo Andaur and Sabrina Moura. The workshop includes the participation of the 31st Bienal’s curatorial team and guests, both Brazilian and international.
Week One: Writing Histories
Week Two: Conflict Zones
Dates: 27–31 January Monday to Friday, 14h–20h Location: Centro Cultural São Paulo and visit to Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo Guests: Ana Longoni, Ivo Mesquita and Walid Raad
Dates: 13–17 May Tuesday to Saturday, 14h–20h Location: sesc Vila Mariana Guests: Cauê Alves, Daniel Lima, Luisa Duarte, Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz and Ricardo Basbaum
Monday: Introduction First part: Introduction to the workshop, aims and structure Second part: Short presentations by the participants Tuesday: Exhibitions Histories/ Biennial Histories First part: Charles Esche and Pablo Lafuente – On Writing the History of Exhibitions: What Does It Mean, How Can It be Done? Second part: Charles Esche – On Writing the Histories of Biennials Wednesday: Between Art and Politics: Argentina First part: Ana Longoni – Between Art and Politics in Argentina Second part: Planning for May week. Thursday: Narrating the Collection (visit to the Pinacoteca do Estado) First part: Ivo Mesquita – A History of Art in Brazil: The Pinacoteca Second part: Charles Esche – Three Museum Experiences outside of the Museum Friday: Art, Disaster and Fiction: Case Studies from Arab Lands First part: Walid Raad – Scratching (Arab) Art Second part: Goodbye drinks at Praça Roosevelt
Tuesday: First part: Galit Eilat – Ethical Codes in Conflict Zones Second part: Presentation of group projects Wednesday: First part: Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz – Progressive Institutions Second part: Presentation of group projects Thursday: First part: Luisa Duarte and Cauê Alves – Negotiating the Brazilian Context Second part: Presentation of group projects Third part: Oren Sagiv – Questions of Architecture Friday: First part: Ricardo Basbaum and Daniel Lima – Collective Dynamics Second part: Presentation of group projects Third part: Monica Amieva and Erick Beltrán – Surplus of Oblivion Saturday: First part: Nuria Enguita Mayo – On Contemporary Arab Representations Second part: Presentation of group projects Week Three: Dates: 7–11 October Tuesday to Saturday Location: sesc Vila Mariana and 31st Bienal de São Paulo Schedule of activities to be decided by the participants.
Educativo Bienal Human relationships, thinking about life and art, experiencing concepts, questioning, rethinking... these are Educativo Bienal’s duties in expanding the possibilities of education. With its management driven by poetic pragmatism, Educativo works, at once, on a large scale and with small group immersions – strengthened by partnerships – but always striving
How to relate ...
in order not to lose the delicate nature of human contact. Educativo works closely with teachers, students, social educators and professionals in the field of culture, inside and outside of the Bienal, in different spaces and on visits to other cities – continuously seeking an exchange with different audiences. With a structure based on encounters,
shared planning and continuity
expanded field and exchange
research, crossover, production and renewal of content
in the logue · Di a
n of Int er atio orm F ·
E x h ib i
t io n duca E · n io
r of A ing y n
t is t s
poetics e Me
dialogue and construction of meaning
autonomy, the creative process, relations between the permanent body and the permeable body
taff lS na
n d by · Itinerancies · Accomp a
shared experiences, meeting, eye to eye, intersections between formal and informal education
o r m a tio n
overlapping and construction of new perspectives
in al en
ti o · Ac ool s
concepts frontiers ... to things that do exist?
financial / material / immaterial / human
points of view
experience educational material
make it happen
continue accompanying alignment
public / private power
dialogue and experience, our work is organised along different axes of action. Educativo’s place is found in this area of pendular movement between the micro and the macro. And this place is never static, but instead dynamic – always in transit. In order to answer the question of ‘How to relate to things that don’t exist?’, the Educativo staff first considered the question of ‘What exists?’, thus constructing a body for the study and creation of different actions. The dynamic is dialectic – between the how and the what
– actions are invented every day that correspond to each one of the participants’ questions. These paths are drawn by staff members on the conceptual maps presented here. The maps are drawn through intense exchanges of experience, resulting in a network of relationships that make the work real and partially visible in an attempt to map out the various connections present in an art biennial: in live contact with the artwork, with other individuals, as well as the inner connections that take place inside of us. 47
Erick Beltrรกn, O que caminha ao lado, 2014 [Double Goer] 48
Marta Neves, N達o-ideia, 2002 [No-Idea]
Qiu Zhijie, The Map of Utopia, 2012
Qiu Zhijie, The Map of the City, 2012
Halil Alt覺ndere, Wonderland, 2013
Working with things that don’t exist This text is necessarily written well in advance of the opening of the 31st Bienal. Therefore, it must be read as a collection of thoughts that outline where the development of the 31st Bienal is at the moment, what has led our decisions and actions until now, and as a statement of intentions for the project – a project that is grounded on the belief in art’s ability to reflect and intervene in the ongoing processes of social change today. As a team, we have witnessed the transformations that São Paulo and Brazil are going through, as the economic and political developments of the last decade translate into demands for greater equality and inclusion. The waves of social, political and cultural actions that began in June 2013 have influenced our understanding of what is urgent for an event like the one we are engaged in. The ambition of the 31st Bienal is to address our contemporary condition (in São Paulo, Brazil and elsewhere) through an articulation of artistic and cultural projects that have a specific relation to the current moment – a moment that, together with a deep feeling of disappointment about existing modes of social, economic and political organisation, is seeing the emergence of many initiatives in response. It is, however, still not possible to identify a shared imagination about how things could be different. In the face of this, art might well have a particular responsibility to address things that this political landscape doesn’t allow us to recognise or do, and make them part of a new public imagination in order eventually to conjure them into existence. These ideas provide the fundament for the 31st Bienal’s title: How to (talk about/learn from/struggle with/transform/etc.) things that don’t exist. The title is both a question and a proposition. Its changing formula entangles, through art, the mystical and spiritual side of life with political and social ideals. What the existence of things that don’t exist might mean can be grasped if we recognise that human understanding and action are always partial, limited by expectations and beliefs. Some ideas or experiences fall outside the dominant frames of thinking or doing – those which are commonly used to relate to what we consider reality – even when these excluded ideas or experiences could be recognised by many. Embracing the necessarily partial nature of understanding, the 31st Bienal focusses on those things, leaving a range of possibilities for action and intervention open to participants and visitors. It is our hope that by setting up an event in which existence can be collectively rethought, together we might be able to relate the creations of artists to the wider context in which they appear. In doing so we intend to highlight a dynamic social interaction – one in which art plays a part in the reshaping of possibilities for the future and contributes to the unfolding of new ‘natural’ orders that might challenge the current, dominant one.
Collecting images, transforming thought Today, contemporary art activity extends to virtually all the spaces where life occurs. The constitution of life – often a phantasmagoric process – and the presentation of reality – often behind the veils of fantasy – are two of the most fruitful areas for artistic reflection and action. And although the expansion of art practice to every realm is perhaps overwhelming, this has also opened up spaces for experimentation that suggest or incite other modes of intervention in our present. The spaces of the political, of public policy and of the police, with their official narratives, their mechanisms of control, their disciplinary institutions and their norms, have been privileged fields of action for art for some time now. But there is a difference today: the practices of transgression of the old artistic avant-gardes have transformed into practices that are essentially activist. They are not just a critique of the system; instead, they try to interfere, resist, instigate insubordination and undo the codes of representation and action imposed from the centres of power. The goal of these practices is to identify the processes and apparatuses that define these codes and norms, and to undermine them. Art today, in short, presents proposals that deconstruct and replace any truth regarded as natural or transcendent: it unmasks the learned meanings and techniques of the disciplinary apparatuses and the hegemonic discourses, and proposes new understandings, new ways of thinking and doing. Art can make present certain images and stories that might astonish those who witness them, that question our grip on reality, that stimulate our critical faculties, or put a seed of conflict in our expectations. These images and processes, constructed through various techniques (drawn, recorded, digitised, slowed down, stopped, repeated, cropped, etc.) are not new in themselves, but can still be striking in their effectivity. They permit connections between diverse and distant contexts that are usually held apart, allowing new constructions of the present and offering meanings that are not foretold in advance. The use of images from our extensive cultural archive or from our hyper-technological present – interpellated through words or other images in diachronic montages – is one of the most productive areas of practice today. Dealing with memory as well as observation, works that perform such operations can achieve transformative potential, especially in places devastated by wars or dictatorships. In these post-catastrophic spaces, images no longer represent, nor are they a reflection of what is around, but rather an insurrectionary force that helps to express what cannot be said or what does not yet exist within common sense. The potential for such insurrection is generated today more easily in collectives – a way of organising and conducting work that is often the choice of the 31st Bienal, from the curatorial team to many of the artistic projects.
Invisibilities and other exclusions The actions of many artists today can best be understood by contrasting their images with those created by the media. The presence of media agencies in a place is typically the symptom of a situation of crisis or the onset of a catastrophe, in which the agencies are fundamentally transient. They attempt to capture iconic images of situations considered urgent and depart when order is restored or the media attention is exhausted. The reports and images are regularly made from a personal perspective, humanising the collective catastrophic experience. The privileged human subjects who make and receive these images not only misrepresent those who are represented, they also silence and distort their voices, their stories. In contrast, many works in the 31st Bienal deal with conditions in which the harm that affects a population is presented as a chronic disaster, one with no end in sight, one for which there are no plans for mitigating the effects. The crisis of representation that the inadequacy of media images so accurately illustrates points at, first and foremost, a struggle for representation, a struggle to be present in the world and to exist within it with full legitimacy – a legitimacy that is not granted to many, in Brazil or elsewhere. Those who are invisible are excluded from the negotiation about how our world should be organised, from democratic representation, even from statistical analysis. They simply do not exist within the ‘key’ discourses: the dominant forms of articulation that lead to decisions about life and death at governmental or corporate level. The cultural field, and its popular forms in particular, are sometimes the only way for them to secure a public voice. Modern art’s impulse to question the protocols of visibility has not made itself available as a tool to these communities. But contemporary art might do this, and some of the art projects in the 31st Bienal constitute attempts to create presence for individuals, ways of life or communities that are marginalised from the main thrust of news media and public debate. These attempts bring art into relation with other struggles, as a lever to transform the status quo, the ‘natural’ order of things. Turning the ‘natural’ order of things The story of the false messiah, Sabbatai Zvi, might be instructive here. A Jew living in the Ottoman Empire in the seventeenth century, he developed a Judaism that overturned the order of rituals and piously refused to follow the sanctions about women’s roles, activities on the Sabbath or consumption of certain foods. Forced to convert to Islam, he was joined by some of his followers, who would be known as the ‘Dönmeh’, or ‘Turned’. They constitute today, we think, an exemplary condition, one in which the ‘turn’ is a mode of existence, in which change is always, essentially present. The figure of Sabbatai also highlights the capacity of belief to instigate a turn. Beyond all scientific or economic arguments, recognition of the power of faith and ritual to change normative responses runs throughout the 31st Bienal. The notion of turn brings with it the idea of transformation. The turn, as a process, is a moment when there is a change in conditions, yet a moment in which
the exact mechanisms and consequences of such change might not be clear. A turn is often irreversible, but, an on-going process, it does not have a definite direction. There is something disorderly about the turn and perhaps dishonest too – it relates also to a certain feeling of inconstancy that has appeared when cultures encounter each other. If transformation might seem profound and absolute, the turn brings it down to earth and allows it to be human. The turn also works against fixed representation and legitimating structures, it emerges as an urgent response to specific situations rather than universal truths. It does not shy away from conflict and confrontation, but sometimes avoids them to carry on turning. The conflation of political, social, religious, economic and ecological crises we are experiencing, the increasingly uneven distribution of power and resources, and the feeling that we lack clarity about the means to enact real change, have resulted in such situation of turn, a situation that might have the power to upset existing orders – not by merely opposing or submitting to them, but by manoeuvring through and beyond them. Art can help articulate the idea of such turning as a disruptive force; it can create situations where the disallowed is recognised and valued. This is the condition we also call the trans-: trans- for transgression, transcendence, translation, transgender, transit, transsexuality, transformation… Such crossing of borders (a crossing that might also be part of a journey) can happen through literal bodily (gender) change or different mental states (systems of belief) – sometimes, even often, they come together. Being in São Paulo, coming into conflict Even if art is, as it seems, an effective tool to pursue such transformations and to manifest the presence of new directions and alternative paths, this doesn’t mean that an art event such as the 31st Bienal will eventually manage to enact a turn itself, and function as an effective tool for transformation outside of its institutional walls. Can the Bienal, as an event and institution, add to the spirit of active, critical transformation present in São Paulo, a city very capable of blocking any process of imagination? A simple overview, an aerial photograph of the city, might reveal an urban mass without horizons, difficult to navigate or to understand in its totality; an autophagic megalopolis, undergoing uncontrollable, often terrible transformations, but at the same time with solid, fixed social structures of discrimination and domination. The city’s capacity to immobilise is well exemplified by the frozen form of the monument to the Bandeirantes by Ibirapuera Park. Erected in tribute to those who undertook the violent mission to occupy Brazil from the seventeenth century onwards, it is visible to many contemporary Paulistanos as they struggle from home to work and back. Its tortured symbolism has been a site of struggle for native peoples, and it remains a sculpture of intense confrontation, revealing the multiple beings that coexist uneasily, fused together in a light, often powerless collectivity. The various manifestations of conflict that have been leading to violence in São Paulo in recent months are in part the consequence of an inability to deal with the trauma of a turbulent history, whose birth is symbolised by the Bandeirantes. This conflict resonates throughout the world, and many of the artworks in the 31st Bienal take it as their inspiration or point of departure. Conflict often takes the form of a his-
torical condition that carries consequences for the present, such as slavery or general oppression – yet contemporary forms of violence are often read in isolation from their historical or social roots. One of the goals of a number of projects in the 31st Bienal is to make apparent the causal links that are being ignored, with a view, perhaps, to transform the perpetual cycles of violence into situations that can be changed through collective action. However, there is nothing inevitable in the relationship between the violence of our age and the conflicts that might have caused it. Conflict itself, an essential part of any agonistic system, can be a tool to modify those sequences. It is to be welcomed, as a way to raise the alarm, as a way to reveal, as a way to intervene. A chance for transformation The Bienal de São Paulo, originally a showcase for national and bourgeois cultures, has also been, especially since its 27th edition in 2006, a platform that allows for experimentation with the format itself. The 31st Bienal is taking place, almost exclusively, within the Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavilion at Ibirapuera Park – a decision taken with an experimental spirit, in order to test to what extent the pavilion can be opened to the city that it has been a part of since 1957. But despite its very large size, the building has its limitations – its glass walls communicate a transparency that also excludes. Like the park where it is located, fenced to the north and east by a series of highways (an island that seems untouched by public transport), its apparent openness emphasises that the opportunities it offers are only accessible to some. Logistical impediments contribute to a symbolic isolation from many parts and people of the city – an isolation that follows the lines of a class divide. In the face of this, an awareness and defence of art’s ability to imagine things differently, to suspend the state of things and point towards different ways of thinking, seeing, feeling and doing, is essential. This does not imply a simple understanding of art as an instrument for social improvement, but rather a focus on art’s ability to also do something, or many things, beyond itself. Thus, a significant number of projects in the 31st Bienal dwell on the possible futures – utopian or dystopian visions – that become possible when those things that don’t exist come into potential existence. Some artists enact a material transformation that shifts the nature of ‘matter’ so that its shadowy, magical, alchemic properties can emerge from the pre-modern period and allow for an experience that transcends the conditions we inhabit. Using more directly interventionist tools, community-based or educational, others articulate collective initiatives with a mission to rethink their responsibility in the social sphere and to construct collectivities that do not yet exist. But if art can be used in this way, could the Bienal be thought of as operating in the same manner? The notion of tool has been recurrent in our words and actions, in an attempt to reflect on and enact ways of working in contemporary culture today. Tools are implicit in our title, in the ‘How to’ that we are proposing as a way of understanding what we might do with art, and what art can do with and for us. Tools also provide a structure to our education material, a set of lenses and exercises that might be put into practice by schoolteachers and students throughout Brazil, and in our workshop ‘A toolbox for Cultural Organisation’.
If the Bienal is to be a tool, it should not be one at the service of a few. From the hands of the curators, artists, the Bienal de S達o Paulo Foundation, state bodies and sponsors, it can pass into the hands of people and organisations who might also want to use or develop it, amplifying actions in which they are already engaged. These actions are often of a political nature, targeting at direct social change. They are usually interventions in the processes that shape what we are and how we live together, such as transport (how can mobility be available for all?), development (how should the places where we live be constructed?) and education (how do we teach and learn, and for what?). A tool available for all would perhaps echo the ways in which cultural production is made and disseminated in the periphery of S達o Paulo and other Brazilian cities through cultural associations and centres, and through saraus, cultural events in which poetry, music, dance and various activities come together, performed by individuals and groups during one evening, in a radically democratic manner. Working in egalitarian and collaborative ways, these cultural agents from the periphery show that art is much more than what is presented in the official cultural centres of the city. The Bienal, one of these official centres, cannot and should not claim this activity as its own, but it is capable, we believe, of pointing towards the enormous capacity and diversity of the cultural scene of S達o Paulo, and perhaps of suggesting new articulations that connect different ways of making and, by doing so, imagining how we can make and share culture together. The Bienal cannot be an aim in itself: the eventual participation of many individuals, groups and cultural forms, all of them with different degrees of visibility and ways of understanding cultural and political agency, should remind us that this event, big as it might be, is just one step towards something much bigger. We hope that new ideas, initiatives, conflicts and collective modes of organisation will result from it, and that they might contribute to an ongoing critical transformation of the world in which we live. Benjamin Seroussi, Charles Esche, Galit Eilat, Luiza Proen巽a, Nuria Enguita Mayo, Oren Sagiv and Pablo Lafuente
Juan Downey, Untitled, 1988
Popular bus line Mambu – Marsilac, 2014
Popular bus line Mambu – Marsilac, 2014
Ônibus Tarifa Zero The images on the previous pages illustrate an experiment with a tarifa zero (‘Fare Free’) bus that was conducted in the São Paulo neighbourhood of Mambu on 11 April 2014. Mambu, while being part of the city, has no city bus or school. Those who live there need to walk 14 kilometres to reach the nearest bus stop and a basic healthcare post. For over a year now, they have been fighting for improvements in their streets and for two bus lines in the area. The creation of these lines was approved by the townhall, but they were never implemented. Organised in the Rede Luta do Transporte no Extremo Sul (literally ‘Network Fighting for Transportation in the Extreme South’), a part of the Movimento Passe Livre (‘Free Pass Movement’), Mambu residents were able to raise funds by organising bingo games and created their own temporary bus line. The expenses for this were shared collectivelly and the bus circulated without charging set fares to passengers. Those who had more money contributed more, those who had less contributed less, those who had no money didn’t have to pay at all. In this way, in a single action, Mambu residents reinforced the necessity for public transport in their region and demonstrated how public transport could run in the entire city: Fare Free, with popular participation in the decisions about its organisation. The expression ‘tarifa zero’ was proposed by engineer and musician Lúcio Gregori in the early 1990s, when he was São Paulo’s secretary of transport under Luiza Erundina, the city’s first mayor from the Partido dos Trabalhadores. The Fare Free bus project envisaged a small increase in IPTU – the progressive tax charged on property – as a form of financing. Due to political interests, the project was never presented for voting and was dismissed by the media, despite the fact that polls showed that a large majority of the population was in favour of tarifa zero, even if it implied raising the IPTU tax. Almost twenty years later, the expression was reclaimed by Movimento Passe Livre and during the June 2013 events it could be heard in the most varied corners of São Paulo, spoken by people from all walks of life. Despite the fact that, in São Paulo, the objective of the large demonstrations that month was to revoke the 20-cent increase in bus, train and metro fares, the public became aware of the movement’s long-term struggle against the very existence of these fares, and the idea gained in popularity. For Movimento Passe Livre transportation is an essential right, which has the potential of articulating urban spaces and struggles in progress. For years now, the movement’s pamphlets have featured the sentence ‘A city only exists for those who can move through it,’ suggesting that circulation itself is what shapes cities, or that turnstiles stop many people from getting to schools, hospitals, cultural centres, parks and other so-called public spaces. Transport could be funded indirectly, through a system of progressive taxation. The taxation of wealth is necessary for the redistribution of income and to decrease social inequality. Furthermore, it is the elite that most benefits from the everyday commute of millions of workers. To contribute to this process, as an artist, one of my projects at the 31st Bienal is the proposal to São Paulo city hall for an experimental bus line that is free, circular and with no set destination, to run during the three months of the exhibition. In the place where the bus’s destination is normally written, it will read ‘tarifa zero’ (‘Fare Free’). The bus won’t stop at the Bienal building, because the intention here is not to discuss access to the Bienal. It is, above all, to suggest displacement itself is place, and to encourage a different way for people to move around. Realising this bus in the context of Bienal will not have the same beauty as the ‘popular line’ organised by the residents of Mambu. But these actions, combined, may well, little by little, institute a new imaginary. Graziela Kunsch, May 2014.
Ana Lira, Voto!, 2012-ongoing [Vote!]
Dan Perjovschi, Save Roşia, 2013
Ana Lira, Voto!, 2012-ongoing [Vote!]
Dan Perjovschi, Save Roşia, 2013 63
Every week since 1990, I have made drawings about politics in a Romanian newspaper. For the Istanbul Gezi Park Resistance I posted drawings on Facebook. People shared my drawings. Later, students from Romanian universities occupied their schools. They downloaded my drawing-comments and displayed them around the occupied space. In September 2013, thousands of young people took to the streets against a catastrophic gold mine exploitation. People I don’t know downloaded my drawings, clipping them to their shirts or redrawing them on larger banners, and went to protest. For some months I was a ‘drawing provider’ with a clear function and mission. It was fantastic. Dan Perjovschi
Dan Perjovschi, Save Roşia, 2013
Halil Altındere, Wonderland, 2013
Dan Perjovschi, Save Roşia, 2013 Halil Altındere, Wonderland, 2013
Halil Altındere, Wonderland, 2013
Wonderland Fuat: they’re at the gates to knock down our neighbourhood today it’s Sulukule tomorrow Balat, Okmeydanı Tarlabaşı, Gezi Parkı time’s running out they’re taking from the poor and giving to the rich knocked down the shanties to build up expensive apartments let art and music be your armaments dissent for destruction stop the demolition c’mon yo. Veysi: I carry that blood I’m not settled in Sulukule but I live there people here are anxious, cause it is
Juan Carlos Romero, Violencia, 1973-1977 [Violence] 66
reprise x 2
gloomy it’s all because of TOKİ and I present my case we are only players and there’s art on the streets the famous couldn’t do nothin’ but be a groupie stop listening now, just go back to your work we pissed on the footings of the newly built blocks cause I was pissed at TOKİ sister Funda why don’t you introduce us. who’s that? Sulukule couldn’t be destroyed with a dozer all these efforts of yours will be useless people come out and look at my hood live here and never be bound by the world singing dancing shanty happy you just stay at your villa and thank God.
what’s comin’ up now I wonder what’s cookin’ up now? without the music. this band will question and they’ll cover up again as it always is. Asil: my home will be torn down too Sulukule now belongs to bourgeoisie the times have changed, those looking down on Romani are not called racist they’re called mustafa you call it urban regeneration it’s the downfall of the city the corpse of my quarter in front of me for five years raise to our footing and do start fighting easy to move the ones with money what did you do for those in poverty instead of restoring the past TOKİ you should repair the mind of the state cause the damage I do is nothing in comparison
Halil Altındere, Wonderland, 2013
I’m not frightened only water could flood into my home mustafa… your words can’t convince me hire a rapper with the dirty money that you exploited. reprise x 2 what’s comin’ up now I wonder what’s cookin’ up now? without the music. this band will question and they’ll cover up again as it always is.
Zen-g: I ain’t saying come out and play just hear me out you say you understand the worries so give me an answer life is blood and one day you have no bread I don’t wanna ask you what I see are all answers they have their ghettos we live in slums here my words are an avalanche that come down pouring never hoped good could come from your dime all your talk is nothing until you come and live here
one day you supply electricity the next day you demolish with a single curse of mine you won’t know your day from night TOKİ turned it upside down where’s my home you mean rascal with a single beat of darbuka the whole hood cheers up Sulukule’s home to mad I’m sorry but you’re not welcome. reprise x 2 what’s comin’ up now I wonder what’s cookin’ up now? without the music. this band will question and they’ll cover up again as it always is. [lyrics by Tahribad-ı İsyan]
Juan Carlos Romero, Violencia, 1973-1977 [Violence]
Juan Carlos Romero, Violencia, 1973-1977 [Violence]
Juan Carlos Romero, Violencia, 1973-1977 [Violence]
Éder Oliveira, Sem título, 2013 [Untitled]
Éder Oliveira, production process
Serviço Estadual de Informações ao Cidadão
Serviço Estadual de Informações ao Cidadão
Register of Solicitation of Information Gabriel Mascaro Seabra de Melo, your solicitation was registered on 5/20/2014 and you can expect an answer shortly. Note the number of your de protocol: 74862146865 Registro de Solicitação Informação
Gabriel Mascaro Seabra de Melo, of solicitation: Received Date of Consultation: 5/20/2014 Protocol: 74862146865 Status 8:47:43 Sua solicitação foi registrada em 20/05/2014 e em breve será respondida. Anote seu númeroSão de Paulo protocolo: Agency/Entity: State74862146865 Military Police Protocolo: 74862146865 da solicitação: Recebida Data da Consulta: 20/05/2014 SIC: São Paulo State Military Situação Police 20:47:43 Form of response: Electronic correspondence (email) Date of Solicitation: 5/20/2014 Órgão/Entidade: Polícia Militar do Estado de São Paulo Solicitation: SIC: Polícia MilitarGeneral do Estado de São Paulo To the honorable Commander of the Military Police of São Paulo,
Gabriel Mascaro, Não é sobre sapatos, 2014 [It is not about shoes]
Correspondência eletrônica da Solicitação: 20/05/2014 Forma deMascaro recebimento I, Gabriel Seabrada deresposta: Melo (bearer of CPF 045.746.294 – 95(email) and RG Data 6.355.778), based on item XXXIII of article 5 and item II of § 3 of article 37 of the Federal Constitution and in articles 10, 11 and 12 of Law no. Solicitação: 12.527/2011 – the Freedom of Public Information Law –, respectfully address Your Honor with the objective of Excentíssimo Comandantegeral Polícia Militar Sãoofficers Paulo, film protestors, who themselves film the police presenting some questions and ada solicitation. The de police officers. From the dual, ‘apparently’-mirrored interplay of filming the other who is also filming, each one in their Eu, Mascaro Seabra de Melowe (portador do an CPFimportant 045.746.294 – 95 esurrounding do RG 6.355.778), comofbase no in the wayGabriel and with their own intentions, embark on discussion the statute image inciso XXXIII do art. 5º e no inciso The II do § 3o doofart. da Constituição Federal e nos artigos sovereignty 10, 11 e 12 (just da context of a street demonstration. analysis the 37 exception is essential for understanding Lei nº law), 12.527/2011 – a Lei the Geral de of Acesso a Informações Públicas –, dirijo mdecision e respeitosamente a Vossa as all since it reveals locus its essentially political foundation: the regarding the value of the Senhoria, com o submitted objetivo detoapresentar alguns e uma solicitação. O policialoffilma o lives of subjects the sovereign. Thequestionamentos relationship of sovereignty is a relationship abandonment of manifestante, que tambémoffilma o policial. Entre este jogo com ‘aparente’ espelhamento que éexercised filmar o subjects. The counterpart exceptional sovereignty is duplo constituent power. Constituent power is power outro também filma, cada Therefore, um a sua maneira desejo, partimos parapower uma importante discussão by theque people to self-organize. both theepeople and constituent are dual concepts thatacerca need to do da imagem no hand, contexto de is uma manifestação rua.legitimizes A análise da essencial a in an be estatuto scrutinized. On the one there constituent powerde which theexceção existingéorder with para a basis compreensão da the soberania de todo o direito), pois revela o lócus de sua fundamentação abstract people, political(bem entitycomo of a community (violence that places the law); on the other hand, we have an essencialmente a decisão sobre o valor da vidawhich dos sujeitos ao soberano. relação deset of anti-constituent política: power that contests the existing order, breaks submetidos with the system and is ledAby the real soberania é uma relação abandono dos súditos. A contraparte da soberania excepcional é o poder subjects victimized by thede injustices propagated by this system (violence that displaces the law). These political constituinte. O poder constituinte é o poder by exercido pelopower povo (violence para se autoorganizar. Porém, actions, in turn, are not handled peacefully the ruling that enforces the law), tanto whichpovo oppresses quanto poder constituinte conceitos duais precisam ser esmiuçados. De um of lado, háand o poder them through the state of são exception/law. This que system is not embodied by a complex legal political constituinte que legitima ordem vigente com as base em um povothe abstrato, sujeito de uma The history of categories alone, but alsoa economic categories it exists within capitalist modepolítico of production. comunidade (violência que põe under o direito); de outro, há um poder desconstituinte history que contesta a ordem the development of democracy capitalism is essentially an anti-democratic which uses democracy to vigente, rompe com o sistema e é protagonizado pelo this conjunto concreto de sujeitos vítimas das of injustiças sustain itself, repudiating any action that goes beyond democracy constructed under penalty repression. propagadas por esse sistema (violência que depõe o direito). Essas ações políticas, por sua vez, não sãoand the Today, we cannot speak of constitutional law without addressing the permanent tension between politics tratadas pacificamente pelo poder (violência mantémfundamental o direito), que por meio estado de legal system that permeates it. Weconstituído have reached here anque important, debate of thedo contemporary. exceção/direito aspolicy reprime. ainda, the nãogreatest se resume a um de categorias e How to articulate and Esse law? sistema, This is perhaps drama in complexo modern political theory: jurídicas how to articulate políticas, mas também econômicas está inserido capitalista de produção. A história do (theory of – if articulation is indeed possible – pois democracy (theorynoofmodo absolute government) and constitutionalism desenvolvimento da democracia no capitalismo é uma história essencialmente antidemocrática que se utiliza limited government), constituent power and ruling power, potency and action, auctoritas and potestas, policy and da democracia para se manter, repudiando qualquer ação para além dessa democracia construída sob pena law. In the political and ontological the people whosem are se represented in a transcendental de repressão. Não se pode falar emrealm, direitounlike constitucional hoje tratar da permanente tensão manner, entre o the multitude established a collective social action an active socialdebate agent for self-organization and inherent político e oisjurídico que oinpermeia. Chegamos aqui as a um importante constitutivo do contemporâneo. expression. It does not act a whole, but is configured multiplicity, creative articulation singularities. Como articular a política e oasdireito? Tratase, talvez, doin maior drama in dathe teoria política moderna:ofde articular the face essa of thearticulação Empire, the multitude, the immediate actor bio-political production and reproduction is the –Inse é que é possível – democracia (teoria doofgoverno absoluto) e constitucionalismo (teoria one who acts – always from the inside – on this reality with the weapons that are provided them in their inventive do governo limitado), constituinte e poder constituído, potência e ato, auctoritas potestas, política e capacity. The creative,poder communicative and inventive dimensions systematically recruitedeto serve the capitalist direito. e of ontológica, diferente do povo que éit. representado dethe maneira transcendente, a system Na aredimensão the same política weapons the multitude that rebels against We can see in non-homogenous multidão se estabelece na açãothe social coletiva como agente ativo e expressão characteristic of the multitude, activity of minorities, whosocial do not seekdetoautoorganização unite to gain strength but whose imanente. Nãointende ao uno, mas se configura na multiplicidade, na articulação criadora de singularidades. power resides the networks of differences in cooperation. It demonstrates the centrality of information, of Face ao Império, a multidão, atorinimediato de produção e reprodução biopolítica é quem agelogic – sempre de communication and of languages the processes of resistance that function according to the of swarming dentro – sobre essa realidade, as armas que se games constituem sua própria capacidade inventiva. As intelligence. The creation in thecom streets, the symbolic that na operate to negate the submission of people’s dimensões comunicativas e inventivas convocadas a serviço do of capital, são as lives to the criativas, market, operate in the same system sistematicamente that creates subjectivities. When we think the relationships mesmas dapower multidão investe contrawe ele. enxergar naissues característica não between armas imperial and que mass resistance, arePodemos confronted with the that guide thehomogeneizante central problem of da a açãothe dasrealms minorias, que não buscamand fundirse parathe se bio-political fortalecer mas cuja força thismultidão, text. Spanning of communications aesthetics, dimensions of reside urban nas production redes de questions diferençasabout em cooperação. a centralidade da informação, da comunicação e das open up the tensionsEvidenciase between power and resistance. We must consider that popular aesthetics linguagens nos funcionam em umawith lógica inteligência de enxame. A criação are co-opted byprocessos agents of de theresistência hegemonicque media, but that even the de continuous attempts at co-opting and nas ruas, os jogos simbólicos que operam a and negação da subsunção vidas no mesmo commodifying creativity, life always escapes reinvents itself. Thisdas power ofao themercado, multitudeoperam is constituent in that sistema de criação pensarmos as relações entre poder imperial which e resistência it is constructed outde ofsubjetividades. its tempestuousAo and random actions, as well as its movements rebel against the multitudinal, colocam as questões que direcionam a problemática central deste texto. Perpassando ruling power.se The distanced representation practiced by the ruling powers is opposed by the constituentospower in campos comunicacional estético, as dimensões biopolíticas da produção urbana abrem the questões sobrethe as very an immanent, collective eand decentralized manner. Life, entrusted by power, is therefore field where tensões entre poder e resistência. Consideramos que ocorram das estéticas populares pelos resistance to the forms of subjection are produced. The potencycooptações of life, understood as political power, is capable agentes midiáticos hegemônicos, mas àsdynamics tentativasincorrentes cooptação eInside comodificação da invenção e da of producing new movements within the which it isdeappropriate. this premise, the image criatividade, vida não para de escapar reinventar.perspectives Esse poder on da the multidão constituinte medida em produced by apolice agents opens a serieseofseparadoxical actualénotion of the na bio-political in que se constrói a partir suas e aleatórias, e de seus quewearing investem contra the contemporary. Whatde kind of ações, politicalintempestivas ruptures would be implied by the act movimentos of filming while a police o poder constituído. À representação distanciada pela qual operam os poderes constituídos, o poder http://www.sic.sp.gov.br/Concluido.aspx 1/2 constituinte opõese de forma imanente, coletiva e descentralizada. A vida, investida pelo poder, é então o campo onde se produz a própria resistência às formas de sujeição. A potência da vida, entendida como força política, é capaz de produzir novos movimentos dentro das dinâmicas em que é apropriada. Dentro desta gabriel-mascaro_en.indd 1 22/07/14 premissa, a imagem produzida pelos agentes policiais uma série de perspectivas paradoxais para a 20/5/2014 Serviço Estadualabre de Informações ao Cidadão própria noção de biopolítica no contemporâneo. Quais fissuras políticas estariam contidas subjacentes ao ato http://www.sic.sp.gov.br/Concluido.aspx 1/2 uniform? Under what kind of aesthetic regime is the logic of institutional power over the body of the multitude postulated? Under what kind of regime of laws is the ownership of these images inscribed in the Military Police archives? Faced with these questions, I would like to request access to the information of the images produced by the Military Police during the demonstrations of June, 2013. These images were produced by on-duty police officers using iPads, cellular phones, GoPro cameras and digital video cameras. According to item I of article 4 of Law no. 12.527, from November 18, 2011, information is considered: data, processed or otherwise, that can be utilized for the production and transmission of knowledge, contained in any medium, material or format. If my solicitation should imply any expenses, I can cover the costs, such as the purchase of an external HD, for instance, to store these images. For these reasons, I request, in function of § 1 of article 11 of the above-cited Law, access to the information of the images within the legal deadline of 20 days. In this act of filming the other who is also filming, this almost performative corporeal game produces a strange code of tacit accord of visibility and ‘limits.’ The camera is a weapon, but it is first of all a complex instrument in negotiating power, borders, space, visibility, enouncements and desires to come.
Counting on your collaboration, Gabriel Mascaro
Your solicitation will be attended in a PERIOD no longer than 20 (twenty) days, starting from the date of the protocol of your solicitation, in accordance with § 1 of article 15 of Decree no. 58.052, on 5/16/2012. 58.052, de 16/05/2012. The above-mentioned deadline can be extended for another 10 (ten) days, through an expressed justification, in which case the interested party will be notified, according to § 2 of the same article.
Desenvolvido e hospedado pela PRODESP
A última palavra é a penúltima – 2 The intervention A última palavra é a penúltima (2008)[The Last Word Is the Penultimate One], based on French philosopher Gilles Deleuze’s text The Exhausted (1992), was presented in the city of São Paulo on 13, 15 and 26 April 2008. The intervention was directed by Eliana Monteiro (Teatro da Vertigem) in collaboration with Companhia Zikzira of Teatro Físico, based in Belo Horizonte and London, and LOT, a Peruvian group who specialise in performance. The chosen scenic space was the underground area beneath Rua Xavier de Toledo in the centre of São Paulo, which connects Viaduto do Chá with Praça Ramos de Azevedo and which was closed over fifteen years earlier. The themes of tiredness and exhaustion were addressed through the lens of their relation to the underground passage and its display windows, which belong to the old department store Mappin. These themes were researched using the language of display already embedded in the space: a line of sight which crosses the other; the possibility of seeing and being seen; between the act of looking and exhibiting oneself. The projection of videos within the intervention also interferes as a theatrical device in questioning this notion of ‘seeing and being seen’. The audience watching the performance in the passage observed the images captured outside on the street, while those on the street could regard the actions of the performers via cameras located underground. Neither a novelty nor a repetition, a new work, directed by Eliana Monteiro and Antonio Araújo (also from Teatro da Vertigem), proposes to review what has already been done in a different time, reflecting on a space from the past: the underground passageway of Rua Xavier de Toledo in the centre of São Paulo. Six years later, the issues related to exhaustion – starting again from the text by Deleuze which inspired A última palavra é a penúltima in 2008 – gain potential in the face of contemporaneity, especially social conditions and their future perspectives, and the horizons of expectations for what is possible. This is the moment for questioning the idea that there is a possible potency that resides in exhaustion. Meanwhile, the reworking of this project poses the question: have we not reached the limit of control and hyper-vigilance? Are we not exhausted, in both senses of the word? In the current situation, what is it like to work with the same space and conceptual references, but in these other conditions? To reflect on these questions in the construction of this work, the element of collectivity, and the characteristics of our work in general, will play a significant role. The intervention will ask for dynamic participation from the public in two different ways: spontaneously – reutilising the space between Viaduto do Chá and Praça Ramos de Azevedo as a passageway – and as a spectator/actor that participates in a game of staging inside the display windows. The role of the public, of the passer-by and the actor are all blended. All are positioned in relation to one another, in seeing and being seen, while altogether occupying a space designed for a public service which, nevertheless, remains unused. Teatro da Vertigem 72
Teatro da Vertigem, A última palavra é a penúltima, 2008 [The Last Word Is the Penultimate One]
Yuri Firmeza, Nada ĂŠ, 2014 [Nothing Is]
Yuri Firmeza’s film Nada é [Nothing Is] began with a study of the city of Alcântara a place that has experienced the manifestation of Brazil’s national projects in different periods. In the eighteenth century, the city was the first capital of the state of Maranhão, the home of wealthy sugar and cotton barons. When the colonial economy crumbled, Alcântara fell into obscurity and only regained national attention in 1990, when the Brazilian Air Force set up a launch centre for satellites. The traditional celebration of the Divine Holy Spirit, held every year forty days after Easter, is presented as a feature of the city’s current vocation. In this limbo in which it exists between the prosperous past and the promise of an interplanetary future, discourses of science and religion are mixed together around the same ideology of faith in what could be, but, for some time now, still is not.
Yuri Firmeza, Nada é, 2014 [Nothing Is]
Mark Lewis, Invention, 2014
Invention (2014) by Mark Lewis is based on a simple, yet hugely provocative fictional assumption. The premise of the work is that a parallel world developed in which the technologies of the moving image were not invented until the early twenty-first century. From this starting point, Mark Lewis’s work speculates about how we would look at images if cinema, television and online moving-image platforms did not exist, or were just on the point of being introduced. In collaboration with Mark Wasiuta and Adam Bendler and with cinematography by Martin Testard.
Teatro da Vertigem, A última palavra é a penúltima, 2008 [The Last Word Is the Penultimate One]
Small World An Interview with Yochai Avrahami You travelled through three different Brazilian states (Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro) looking for local, top-down and bottom-up national narratives. What did you (not) find? I wanted to see museums and places that commemorated atrocities through visual and material means. My interest in this genre is because I see in these places a tension between the will to impress and the will to be reliable. Spectacle and atrocities are parallel outputs of colonialism that the contemporary world has inherited. I believe that memory is flexible and therefore I generally put together bottomup and top-down practices. In the Western world, the big museums are generally the dictators of grand narratives; but small museums, often established by private people or little communities, are able to show another kind of complexity
and the Museu do Futebol. I also visited samba schools’ workshops before the carnival, where they were working on horror themes; and the park located on the ruins of Carandiru Penitentiary, where a museum is being built nearby. In Minas Gerais I visited the Museu da Loucura, which used to be a horrific mental hospital, and the Museu do Escravo. In Rio de Janeiro I visited a small part of the slaves’ harbour exposed during infrastructure works for the Olympic Games that now functions as commemoration site, thanks to a few engaged archaelogists. I also visited churches that display an accumulation of objects brought in by worshippers as offerings of thanks for saving them from personal disasters.
In general I got the feeling that there is very little place to marshall the commemoration of national atrocities. When I compare Brazil to where I come from (Israel, Europe), with its hundreds of museums and commemoration sites, I see a major difference in terms of time and space. In Brazil, the atrocities do not have a clear time or space limitation, at least in the way the ‘West’ is used to. The atrocities here did not happen and did not end in a clear and unambiguous way like in Western Europe or perhaps other Latin American countries. This blurs the possibility of pointing the finger and allocating responsibility, if I may translate it into ‘Western’ terms, in a way that means that the narrative remains open.
in both technological and narrative terms. I am most interested in the forms of display and presentation techniques – aspects of the institution that accumulate power and become stronger than the narrative it is meant to support. I was warned about the lack of a narrative of atrocities in Brazil and I can say that the warnings were right, though the picture is somewhat more complex. In São Paulo I visited the Memorial da Resistência, Museu da Polícia Civil at the police academy 78
Yochai Avrahami, stills from research videos, 2014
Is the idea of the empty display the result of a ‘dis-encounter’ or is it a critical answer to the way stories are told in Europe or Israel? Both. I have developed this work at a moment when I am working on military and atrocities museums in general. It started in military museums in Israel, and continued with Holocaust and other genocide and massacre museums elsewhere. My point of view and critical tools are definitely a result of my origins, and the idea of showing an empty display came after two projects that I did using presentations and displays which mix narratives from different parts of the world. I do that to try to create a situation that will not allow people to easily make political use of the material or create contemptible lessons out of it. This comes from the Israeli reality, but also from resisting the aggressiveness and authority of memory and commemoration in museums in the West in general. In addition, my encounter with ‘weakened’ narrative in displays here, which for me was also a kind of release, brought me to make a museum without images. To all of that I can add my negative approach of being a tourist-artist.
Did you find other way to tell stories in Brazil besides the traditional museum display? If memory is flexible, how can one tell a story? Are you trying to answer this question or do you leave this problem for museum directors to solve? There are some examples: the religious ceremonies of black people that are used as channels for commemoration; allegorical scenes in samba schools and display rooms next to churches where people bring offerings after being saved from disaster. There are definitely attempts to establish narratives in various communities. Yet as far as I can tell, the reason for making museums here is the will to show objects and artefacts, more than to tell a narrative. This is the case, for instance, of the penitentiary museum at Carandiru (Museu
Penitenciário Paulista). There are some exceptions, like the new permanent show at Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo and the Memorial da Resistência, that might herald a change. Memory is flexible, and probably this is a reason why the museum is not the best way to tell a story. Even when there are the technological, educational and political ambitions to produce a progressive display, these quickly become obsolete. This aging process allows a positive moment of reflection on the subconscious and uncontrolled modes of displays. I feel that in Brazil, the narrative is stronger in non-material modes, and here is the challenge for me as someone who has a passion for effective installations.
Yochai Avrahami, stills from research videos, 2014
On Seeking Incuriously Tony Chakar When you ask people who come from countries that do not exist anymore ‘where are you from?’, they lower their voice, lean their heads forward and adjust their posture before answering. The answer always carries with it, or so it feels, a kind of regret, but not quite; a certain nostalgia, but not really; an embarrassment maybe, but then again it might be the embarrassment of the person who is asking an inappropriate question. If things in my region of the world – for which we still haven’t found an appropriate name yet (the Middle East? The Levant? The Arab world? The Islamic world?) – continue in the same direction in which they are currently heading, I am pretty sure that soon I will be on the receiving end of that question. Maps drawn in secret offices by ‘experts’ who know nothing of the region (in the sense of knowing deeply, and not simply having access to information about this or that event or borderline) have already been made public. On these maps, entire countries have disappeared, or have been rearranged to accommodate the region’s latest craze: religious communities. Everything around us is telling us that we are sitting on a volcano that is about to erupt. But we go on. There is no consolation for those who are constantly made aware of the end of things. In this situation, what does ‘art’ mean? What does it mean to make objects, to call them art and to disseminate them as art? What does it mean to hold exhibitions in specific spaces made for the consumption of such art and then invite people to come and look at these objects and exchange opinions? Furthermore, if these questions seem farfetched and dramatic – after all we are still here, still making art – then the last question would be: what does it mean when someone who is living in this region of the world feels compelled to ask such questions? And why ask? If you are a contemporary artist living and working in Beirut, things couldn’t be better: galleries dedicated to contemporary art are opening, funds are out there if you know where to look, a group of young collectors are constantly on the lookout for new artworks to add to their collections, and so on. So where is the problem then? Why ask existential questions when everything seems to be going well? The problem is simple: outside of this bubble, the world is falling apart. A spring that wasn’t one; a people who substituted
its revolution with military rule – we even saw images of demonstrations with kids wearing military boots on their heads to signify their support for a general/leader/father, again; another revolution in a different country opened the gates of hell, and brought forth demons who cut heads off in the name of God. Demons too are God’s creatures, aren’t they? And they carry out His will sometimes, or so we are told. As for Beirut, specifically, even a wave of suicide bombers didn’t succeed in waking it up from its indolence; things happen as they happen, from time to time the earth shakes a bit, and the world just floats along – but the worst part is that someone who has survived the wars of 1975 to 1990 cannot help but see the beast rising once more. It is visible in the grim faces of passers-by, in the amount of hate spewed out by literarily everyone, from politicians to your neighbours and colleagues, to the regular ‘man on the street’ who was euphorically celebrated during what was then called ‘the Arab Spring’. They open their mouths and what comes out is hatred for everything that is not them. What can art do in front of such thoughtless, irrational, unadulterated hate? This question is, in fact, loaded. It assumes that it is indeed art’s task to directly respond to events that are happening in the political sphere – and these events are happening in the sphere of politics, no matter how brutal and absurd they seem. That said, it would be extremely pernicious to just explain away what is going on in this region of the world by asserting that it is ‘just politics’. What is going on is not neatly confined to one plain. It ‘overflows’, so to speak – sullying everything that comes into contact with it. In other words: what we are witnessing now in the Arab World, in the Levant, in Lebanon, is not some metaphysical mega-event that cannot be comprehended by human reason. It can. But at the same time, these events establish unusual relationships with other social spheres, art in particular, that cannot be simply anticipated by unassuming logical deductions. So the question is not, then, ‘what can art do?’, but rather, ‘where does art position itself?’ But then, how does art position itself? The conversation seems to arrive here and stop, as if there were two positions: either art is socially engaged, or it is not. The artists who are socially engaged accuse other artists who are not engaged according to their terms of ‘escapism’, of trying to make ‘art for art’s sake’, of copping out, of selling-out to ‘the system’. The other artists don’t seem to respond to the first ones, and when they do speak, they
usually come up with a strangely abstract discourse about beauty and aesthetics, claiming not to understand why the artists in the first group are making such a fuss about things … ‘because nothing really ever changes’. Unfortunately, or fortunately, this debate doesn’t take place in real time, or even between artists themselves. It is an exchange that mostly transpires within writings on culture in general and art in particular in local newspapers, or from TV reports about this or that exhibition. Social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, share a bit of both. The effects of this dynamic should not be underestimated; no matter how complex any discourse or theory might be, it trickles down to the general public in this fashion. Sprinkle this with some extremely simplified and dated notions, such as ‘identity’, ‘authenticity’ and ‘developing tradition’, or some fashionable ones, such as ‘ecology’, ‘sustainability’, ‘recycling’ or ‘gender’, and you end up with an incredibly dull, yet immensely powerful and seductive discourse about art that is not only repeated amongst the general public but adopted by many artists as well. Again, this is how a discussion about art begins, and this is where it ends: nowhere, surrounded by politicians who operate like arsonistfiremen, suicide bombers hoping to have endless sex with virgins in heaven, artists who want to be activists or artists who want to make ‘beautiful objects’ (read: ‘lots of money, quickly’), both unified by their willingness to sell their art ‘in order to make a living’ and, of course, a general and a specialised public who go like this, like that – whichever way the wind blows. Then what? Then nothing. We start over. And to start over I will revert to a very old cosmogony, that of the fourth-century Christian Gnostics. They too lived in a world that they saw as structurally flawed; they too tried to make sense of our short time on this earth; and they too, like many other mystics of different religions, gave a special place to Lucifer – the most beautiful angel. According to the Gnostics, this world where everything is entangled (life with death, love with hate, war with peace, etc.) could not have been made by God. In fact, this is not even a ‘real’ world, it is merely an illusion created by the demiurge Sabaoth – the god of the Old Testament – to entrap us and keep us from reaching the true God. This is where the role of Lucifer begins. He rebelled against the creator of this world, yes. But this creator was a false god. He does want to destroy this world, but only because it is a world of illusion and entrapment. In fact, as his name indicates, Lucifer is the Holder of the Light, the Holder of the Black Light, the one which liberates us not by giving us our freedom – after all, our freedom is ours and no one else’s – but by taking it from us, by destroying all of our illusions
about this wretched world, by stripping everything bare until the truth of our existence finally appears. And this is how we continue: art is truth. And truth liberates. Truth liberates because it destroys. Truth destroys all our illusions about the state of our world. What it mainly destroys is hope. The destruction of hope is not, as one might think, synonymous with despair. In a capitalist system built upon speculation, hope is probably the best commodity because it is the one that helps sell all the others. But art does not destroy with explosions and hellfire. In the video Of God and Dogs (2014) by the Syrian collective Abou Naddara, the camera focuses on a fighter from the Free Syrian Army. The video’s description on Vimeo is as follows: A young Free Syrian Army fighter confesses. He says he killed a man he questioned extensively, and knew to be innocent. He narrates how he had to shoot a short-range bullet, before going to bury him in tears. Then he promises to avenge the God who led him to commit the murder. And he asks the director to stop filming.
The face of the fighter fills the frame. He is not looking at the camera. We can see the smoke coming out of his cigarette. Suddenly he looks at the camera and says, ‘I killed.’ As he looks into the camera we can see that his eyes are red. His lips are twitching. The camera stays on him for a few seconds, and then the image goes black. I killed. There have been over 100,000 documented deaths in Syria since the beginning of the Civil War, according to the UN, while unofficial sources bring the number up to 200,000. And yet, this one was different. This one, through the video, creates a pause, a rupture, in the accelerating stream of events. The fact that the man killed was innocent is of course important, but what arrests the attention
is the short sentence: ‘I killed.’ In simple past tense, the statement is issued in the past, but it speaks about the future, and the fighter is distraught because he knows this. He understands this time warp – probably confusedly – but he understands it. He understands that after the act of killing, he will become exactly like the ones he took arms against. He understands that after this ‘I killed’, the Syria that he dreamt of – a Syria free of hatred, tyranny and mindless, useless murders by the hands of an absurd decaying regime – is destroyed. It has been blighted in the bud, and the video has caught this terrible moment. By blurring the thin line between the ‘good guys’ and the ‘bad guys’, between white and black, it has destroyed our illusions of a ‘clean’ revolution: a romantic ideal that we, the ones witnessing events unfolding from the outside, imagined or wished or even sometimes acted upon. We all played ‘L’Internationale’ (or whatever other revolutionary anthem in our heads) way too soon, way too fast. We all wanted to get rid of Assad and his regime as quickly as possible, and we all wanted to believe the cries of ‘The People Want...’. But then, ‘I killed.’ Art destroys, but only insidiously. Art is truth, because it speaks of the truth of our world, and speaks of our world truthfully. In doing so, art can tell us the story of a failed world – ours – and its possible dissolution. It can tell us that there is another world, and that it is in this one. Kafranbel is a small village in Idlib, in the north of Syria. Before the start of the Syrian Revolution, very few people had heard of Kafranbel. From the beginning of the revolution, Kafranbel found itself at the heart of various events. The reason was simple: banners. At the beginning of the uprising, the militants of Kafranbel – meaning practically all its male population – were forced to flee to the surrounding wilderness. There they would organise ‘demonstrations’ every Friday, holding the banners that they themselves had designed, which they would then record, photograph and post online. So far nothing is out of the ordinary – this has been the modus operandi of practically all of the revolts that shook the world in the last few years, from the Arab World to the Occupy movements, to Turkey, to Brazil and so on. However, Kafranbel’s notoriety grew more and more, especially in the absence of a central space or square in the nation from whence the voice of the revolution could be heard (like Tahrir Square in Cairo, Taksim Square in Istanbul, etc.). What was ingenious about the banners of Kafranbel is that they took a form of political expression that is quite used (misused, rather) in the Arab World and turned it against itself. Banners usually contain a simple political message, typically supporting the powers that be; they are
hung high over streets, stretching from building to building, and used not only to convey a message of support, but also to occupy a space, to mark a territory. On the opposite side of that tradition, the Kafranbel banners are movable, mobile – and in fact have more existence in cyberspace than in the physical space of the village itself. Their tone is usually sarcastic, but very poignant as well. One of them, from 6 April 2012, says, ‘Concepts are topsy-turvy. The criminal is the World’s spoilt child, while the victim is the people. May it be decimated so we get it over with.’ In the picture, we see the men holding the banner upside-down, while they make the victory sign in reverse with their fingers – an inverted ‘V’, which is also an indication of a rejection of an entire Arab history of paper victories. In another demonstration, also in April 2012, all the signs and banners were blank, marked only with the date and the words ‘Occupied Kafranbel’.
In this documentation, the men holding the banners also have white duct tape on their mouths, and we see them marching silently, waving their fists in the air. The reason for this, according to the organisers, is that ‘there are no more words’. There are no more words. To this day, though, the ‘demonstration’ from 14 October 2011 remains the most radical of all. Its banners were written in Arabic, and the text reads: Down with the regime and the opposition… Down with the Arab and the Islamic Nations… Down with the Security Council… Down with the world… Down with everything – Occupied Kafranbel 14 10 2011.
At first, these words sound indiscriminate and desperate, nihilistic even. And why not? The wound is deep, very deep. But the more time passes the more pertinent they become. Moreover, I have seen the
phrase ‘Down with the World’ written at least twice, once on a wall in Cairo, and once on a piece of cardboard held by a kid in the besieged Yarmouk Palestinian camp near Damascus. If one is in extreme darkness, then one would learn to see with eyes wide shut, or as Maurice Blanchot says: He saw nothing, and, far from being distressed, he made this absence of vision the culmination of his sight. Useless for seeing, his eye took on extraordinary proportions, developed beyond measure, and stretching out on the horizon, let the night penetrate its centre in order to receive the day from it.
In this night that seems gloomier and more terrible than any night, there is nothing more lucid than a call for the demise of everything. Everything. All the structures of the regimes of oppression and the world order that sustains them, as well as the petty negotiations and conventions over 200,000 dead bodies and millions more refugees. ‘Shame on the world! Our blood in the international trade centres,’ says another banner. Art destroys the world lucidly. But this doesn’t end here: these banners became electronic images that circulated over the social media networks, Facebook in particular. In the endless stream of Facebook posts, these images act as singularities – singular moments that would arrest our forever-restless eyes for a fraction of a second, then disappear, drowned in the sea of humanity’s electronic unconsciousness. This moment of encounter is key because it engages the ‘spectator’/Facebook user, and leaves him or her with few options. One of those options is to simply ride the stream and let it flow; another is to ‘like’, ‘share’ or comment – leading to what has been termed ‘Facebook activism’; and the last one is the one most
filled with potential: to explode the stream of events, the ruthless electronic ‘newsfeed’, snatching these bits of images and thoughts and videos, and saving them from disappearing forever. This last act would exercise what Walter Benjamin called our ‘weak messianic power’, by finally including these moments in other narratives and stories redeemed from the banality of social media’s equalising space – thrown into the world, where they could potentially act upon it. In that moment, the status of the Facebook user (or the electronic ‘social media’ user in general) would change, from an endless subjectivity locked within itself – permanently pondering ‘what’s on [his/her] mind?’ – to an active storyteller constructing his or her story by destroying the simulated unity of the virtual world (‘newsfeed’, ‘stream of information’, ‘video stream’) and using its rubble as the building stones of something else. Art redeems the world by destroying it. My last point about this subject will be a simple piece of information: neither Raed Fares (the man who writes the texts for the Kafranbel banners) nor Ahmad Jalal (a former dental assistant who does the drawings for them) are artists. I don’t think that they view what they do as art at all. I also presume that trying to fit what they do in any art collection or exhibition would be awkward, to say the least. Furthermore, the question ‘but is it art?’ would be the least interesting one. Whatever it is, it certainly came from outside the realm of what we have come to call ‘contemporary art’. And even without wanting to do so, the work of people like Fares and Jalal establishes an unsettling relationship with what we know as the ‘global art market’. Even if unaware of it, their practice breathes new life into the debate on art and technology that seems to have reached a simple but deadly conclusion: that art can survive at a very low technological level and that advanced technology can only propagate kitsch mass-culture. By making these banners and putting
them in cyberspace, the modernist equation between poïesis and tēchne, where art either surrenders to technology (and is even simply generated by it) or withdraws from it completely, becomes nullified because it is incapable of taking into account these singularities and their significations. Art destroys, but only inadvertently. And inadvertently art begins: a story is told in Cairo about an old woman, a grandmother, who would during the time of the revolution fill her basket with mangoes and make a round of Tahrir Square (then besieged by the army, before Mubarak was forced out), giving every soldier a mango, point to a demonstrator and say, ‘this is your brother. Do no kill your brother.’ It is not certain whether or not this actually happened – I never found any documents to support the fact – but even if it did not, it was imagined, it was made possible, and sometimes this has more value than the reality of the world-asit-is. What was imagined was an act of kindness, an act of love, but a
love that destroys: by giving fruits to every soldier, a communion is created, not around the physically absent body of God, but around the all-too-present bodies of the demonstrators occupying the square. By pointing to a demonstrator – ‘this is your brother’ – the old woman bound every soldier to a complete stranger and thus created a relationship where, by definition, there should be none; where, in principle, we are all moving subjectivities in an anonymous objective crowd, oblivious to one another. This old woman has inadvertently, and for a brief moment, destroyed one of the fundaments of public space as we have come to understand them under capitalism – the anonymity of the crowd that Baudelaire wrote so much about. Her act simultaneously binds and separates – like the Primordial Eros in Greek mythology – allowing us, the listeners, to imagine a new public
space built upon love. This means that she introduced this space into the realm of what is possible, even if it was for a fraction of second, like when a lightning tears the sky in the night and allows us to glimpse the horizon, the limits of our world, and what is beyond. Art destroys everything, lovingly. To finish â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a conclusion is impossible and even counters the spirit of this essay, because the world it is describing is still in the making â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the starting question, again: how does art position itself? There is definitely no final answer, only possibilities as a result of situations that are still unfolding as I write. So I will add one more possibility to the list, by borrowing words which are not my own, words that were written almost 1,900 years ago, in the Gospel of Thomas: Jesus said: Be passer-by.
Prabhakar Pachpute, Dust Bowl in Our Hand, 2013
Leigh Orpaz, Breakfast, 2014
The dancers at Leigh Orpazâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s film Breakfast appear unperturbed by their exposure and vulnerability to the technologies of control that surround them â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the images were in fact filmed using an infrared camera, a recording device sensitive to temperature rather than light and often used for military purposes. 91
Notes for Those of Whom By Sheela Gowda On a particular day in India Ayudha Puja is celebrated. All tools, vehicles and machines are stopped, cleaned, ritually anointed, decorated and supplicated to. My shaky but defiant modernity allows me to do so with my car alone – a warm machine that makes me vulnerable. Many months ago I visited the botanical gardens in Berlin. Seeing familiar tropical plants and trees scientifically labelled and carefully maintained in glass houses built in colonial and modernist architectural styles set off an interest in the division between constructed modernity; the self-declared necessary, violent expulsion of souls from nature and things; and the stubborn ghosts’ persistent attempts to return. An artwork, a construct of flighty ideas and materials, hovers in this intermediary space.
I would like to think through with you the connections with the material conditions in India, which are so present in your work. There is a related but still different material language that I think you would enjoy and might find ways to respond to. My ignorant guess is that you might enjoy the challenge of making something in Brazil, on the spot as it were, with the materials here but understood through your own cultural reading. In other words, a sort of free improvisation that doesn’t necessarily rely on being ‘true’ to the histories of what you encounter but enjoying the ‘irresponsibility’ of being elsewhere. These kinds of entanglements between conditions, rather than national or local accounts taking precedence, are something that we are interested in other parts of the event as well. 92
Of course what I want to do in Brazil will not foolishly be something that I might do while in India. The thematic focus of displacements and social divisions interests me. This might not be a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but the beginning of a conversation with the above set of issues before us. Looking forward to that.
Trip: A six-hour flight to Rio Branco, Acre. One-night stay there. Then five hours of car travel to Feizo (frontier with Peru) and two hours by boat into the Seringal Veneza extractive reserve to meet the seringueiros. You would spend a night there. The next day, you return through Xapuri, visit Chico’s house and a condom factory (rubber/latex). Chico Mendes was a very important trade union leader who fought to preserve the rainforest. He was killed by a landowner.
Looking at your work and at your previous emails, the education department pinpointed some commodities that are fundamental to understanding Brazil’s history that might interest you. See below: – Pau Brasil – Rubber – Sugar cane We thought that you might be interested in the rubber industry and in rubber/latex as a material. It’s a material that has a very strong story to tell. A Franco-Brazilian company called Veja/Vert-shoes works with Bia Saldanha, the Brazilian Green Party co-founder and on environmental activist who provides technical support for the rubber tappers and coordinates the rubber supply chain. Today, sixty families of seringueiros are part of this project.
Sheela Gowda, research images
The Amazon is the only place on Earth where rubber trees grow in the wild. Since the 1960s, the increasing use of synthetic rubber derived from petroleum has resulted in a very low price for natural rubber. The inhabitants of the forest have thus moved from rubber tapping to more profitable activities such as cattle-raising and wood extraction, both of which involve land clearing. The survival of the Amazonian rainforest is dependent on more sustainable management of its resources. Latex extracted from rubber trees is one of them. A fairer price paid for latex guarantees a better income for the rubber tappers and might be perceived as an incentive to keep trees up.
When talking about rubber I came across so many people who have researched it. Information has its limits, however. I have to work with intuition too and the material possibilities and limits.
I am interested in voodoo places – in the idea of object transformation, of intensities. Objects become invested with a kind of spirit and energy by the intensity of feeling and attention – be it in ritual, vodoun or art.
The tensions created by the stretchability of natural rubber – forms holding, suspending, tying two points.
We can try to organise it. You are curious. Not vodoun (there’s very little or no vodoun in Brazil), candomblé and umbanda are the Afro-Brazilian religions here. Have you been to an umbanda or candomblé gathering?
Cut saw-edged feathers. Skeletal framework of objects – bodies without flesh. Kazimir Malevich’s Black Square (c. 1923), distorted on a stretched sheet of rubber: need to understand it better – the implications.
I have not been to any kind of gathering except that of the Bienal! Açaí – a purple fruit of a palm tree – boiled, crushed into a grainy paste, very unusual taste. Açai (from Acre) is known to be the best! ‘Everything that exists is an analogue of all existing things.’ – Goethe Pium – black fly.
Sheela Gowda, research images
The Enslavement of Amazon Natives During the Rubber Boom. Rubber soldiers… And the police used rubber bullets to evict indigenous people protesting… Rubber bullets – only sheathed with rubber – the core is metal. Cause grave injuries and have killed.
Céu There are ten pianos (such as Gebrüder Zimmermann Leipzig, Nardelli 2438, Brewster New York, Lux Rio de Janeiro, W. Hagemoser Berlin, etc.) in ten tiny rooms at the Colégio de Santa Inês. There is also a group of children dressed in old-fashioned school uniforms in the classroom. And an old nun. Yasmin, an eleven-year-old piano player, takes the viewer on a journey through time at Santa Inês school. The narrative is created through music, silence and sound instead of spoken words. Different participants in different settings and times seem to exist in parallel, independent of each other, connected only by a musical theme (J. S. Bach’s Thema Regium), a red thread throughout the story. The scenes come together to form a filmic tale about the particularity of the place and the young participants, following the migration of cultural forms, beliefs, values and patterns. The work raises the question: how can Céu, as utopian space, be thought of today? Danica Dakić Danica Dakić, Céu, 2014 [Heaven]
Danica Dakić, Céu, 2014 [Heaven]
Page from The Situationist Times no.5, December 1964
Bruno Pacheco, Meeting Point, 2012
Nilbar Güreş, Open Phone Booth, 2011
Appliances and technologies, habits and beliefs, and the ways in which theses elements create and empower forms of behaviour and action provide the common threads running through the work of Nilbar Güreş. The video Open Phone Booth constitutes a kind of social fresco of her family village Bingol, in Turkish Kurdistan. It gives, for example, an account of the simple practice of going to the highest part of the village in order to get a better mobile phone signal, turning a contemporary technology into an instrument for a quasi-mystical exercise. 97
Gülsün Karamustafa, Resimli Tarih, 1995 [Illustrated History]
Hudinilson Jr. Gesto IV (3ª versão), 1986 [Gesture IV (3rd Version)]
In the wake of the sudden disintegration of the Soviet Union, Gülsün Karamustafa gathers the remains of another fallen empire in an informal visual archaeology where miniature portraits of sultans coexist with fragments from kitsch wall carpets and synthetic velvet and silk fabrics cheaply available on the streets of Istanbul.
Otobong Nkanga, sketch for Landversation, 2014
Wilhelm Sasnal, Kopernik, 2004 [Copernicus]
Lia Perjovschi, Art Education, 1999
Juan Downey, Video Trans Americas, 1973-1979
The idea for Video Trans Americas – a project spanning from 1973 to 1979 – struck Downey as a kind of epiphany in New York. As a result, he went in search of his roots, after having lived and worked for almost ten years in Spain, France and the United States. Downey’s initial intention was to make a video-expedition from Toronto to Tierra del Fuego, recording with his video camera the different cultures that share the space of the American continent, very often without any relationship with each other and at other times, in open conflict. The working programme included the recording of different urban and jungle communities and afterwards projecting the footage made in the very same communities as well as other contexts across the continent. Finally, a single work was edited exploring the interactions of time, space and context.
Jo Baer, In the Land of the Giants (Spiral and Stars), 2012 102
Juan Downey, Tayari (Amazon Rain Forest), 1977 103
Val del Omar, Fuego en Castilla, 1958-1960 [Fire in Castile]
Thiago Martins de Melo, O suplĂcio do bastardo da brancura, 2013 [The Hardship of the Bastard of Whiteness]
Romy Pocztaruk, A última aventura, 2011 [The Last Adventure]
Kasper Akhøj and Tamar Guimarães A família do Capitão Gervásio, 2013 [Captain Gervásio’s Family]
Romy Pocztaruk, A Ăşltima aventura, 2011 [The Last Adventure]
Ymá Nhandehetama Our people were always invisible. The indigenous people, the indigenous peoples, they always were invisible to the world! That human being who goes hungry, who goes thirsty, the one who is massacred, who is persecuted, killed, there in the forest, on the roads, in the villages, that one doesn’t exist! For the outside world what exists is that exotic kind of indigenous, the kind that wears headdresses, necklaces, the kind that dances, sings... Things to show the tourists. But the other kind who is there in the village, that one suffers from a disease which is the disease of being invisible, of disappearing. He is barely seen. Both in the world of rights, especially in the world of rights, and as a human being. He disappears. He drowns in this sea of bureaucracy, in the sea of academic theories. He is drowned in the realm of words, when academia, the scholars understand more of the indigenous, of the Indian, than the Indian himself. He is rendered invisible by academia itself. He leaves... he loses his voice, he loses focus, he loses his image. He vanishes, he disappears. He returns again when there is conflict. When the media looks for news to sell papers: they show the Indian killed, the Indian drunk the Indian lazy like you see in all the books. The Indian who wants lots of land, the Indian who has
lots of land, this one appears. And the Indian as human being, the one who has rights, this one, disappears. He always disappeared. He has been vanishing little by little. They say that we live in the era of rights, that Brazil is a democratic country of rights. But if the indigenous, the indigenous peoples who live in Brazil – the same Brazil that they say is a democratic country of rights – is for the indigenous this state doesn’t exist! It is still, like a human being, invisible in this world. This right doesn’t exist! Our history has always been written with so much, so much suffering, with so much pain, with so much blood, in the past and in the present. With innocent blood even. The lines of history have been written in red, red blood, indigenous blood. Just as it has been for others, for black people. But, in our case, so many Indians are still being killed in the villages that exist in the forests. And this one, he doesn’t exist! He doesn’t exist for the world, he doesn’t exist for rights, he doesn’t exist for people. He’s an invisible Indian... He is like a cry of silence in the night: nobody knows where he came from, what it is that happened... and nobody knows where to find him. Almires Martins, Belém, 2009
Armando Queiroz with Almires Martins and Marcelo Rodrigues, Ymá Nhandehetama, 2009 [In the Past We Were Many]
Vivian Suter, view of the artist’s house / studio, 2014
Vivian Suter, view of the artist’s house / studio, 2014
Since leaving Switzerland in 1982, Vivian Suter’s work has been closely bound up with the place where she has lived and worked since – Panajachel, Guatemala. Her studio at the Lake Atitlán was originally a coffee plantation, now overgrown with the avocado and mango trees that were first introduced to protect the coffee bushes. From the upper floor of the studio, Suter looks out over a subtropical landscape of lakes and volcanoes, whilst downstairs the views of dense vegetation turn her experience inwards. Often, Suter leaves her works out in the open, where they are changed by the sun, wind, rain and mud. It is this environment, with its expressive fertility, that shapes her paintings. The images Suter produces are not realistic illustrations of the land, but partly abstract contemplations of an almost mystical relationship between the human and natural elements that are constantly at play there.
Kasper Akhøj and Tamar Guimarães, A família do Capitão Gervásio, 2013 [Captain Gervásio’s Family] 113
Wilhelm Sasnal, Untitled, 2010
Wilhelm Sasnal, Untitled (Mine), 2009
Thiago Martins de Melo, Árvore de Sangue – Fogo que consome porcos, 2013 [Blood Tree – Fire Devouring Pigs]
Anna Boghiguian, Cotton White-Gold, 2010
Anna Boghiguian, Cotton Plantation During Mohammed Ali, 2010
Anna Boghiguian, The Building of the Suez Canal and the Auctioning of the Canal, 2010
El Hadji Sy, ArchĂŠologie marine, in production, 2014 [Marine Archaeology]
Black Soul (fragment) You were the music and you were the dance, but at the corners of your mouth lingered, uncoiled as your body writhed the black serpent of suffering. […] 118
Five centuries have seen you with weapons in hand and you have taught the exploiting races the passion of freedom. In San Domingo you marked out with suicides and paved with unnamed stones the tortuous path that opened one morning onto the triumphant road of independence.
And you have held at the baptismal font bearing in one hand the torch of Vertières while breaking the chains of slavery with the other the birth of Freedom for all Spanish America. […] From out of the shadows you leap into the ring: world champion,
El Hadji Sy, sketch for Archéologie marine, 2014 [Marine Archaeology]
and strike with each victory the gong that resounds the claims of the race. […] You await the next call, the inescapable mobilisation, for your own war has known only truces, for there is no land where your blood has not been shed, no language in which your colour has not been cursed.
You smile, Black Boy you sing, you dance, you rock the cradle of generations that rise at all hours to join the battlefronts of labour and suffering that will storm bastilles tomorrow onward to the bastions of the future in order to write in all languages, on the clear pages of every sky,
the declaration of your rights shunned for more than five centuries, in Guinea, in Morocco, in Congo, everywhere where your black hands have left on the walls of Civilisation marks of love, grace and light… Jean-François Brière 119
Anna Boghiguian, Cities by the River, 2014
Teresa Lanceta, Handira Aït Ouarain, undated
Handiras are a type of woollen blanket used by women to protect themselves from the winter cold, but their patterns and colours also signal a belonging to a specific group within an ethnic confederation. The cloth speaks of the existence of a real, specific person and not an anonymous, anodyne and interchangeable being. It does not bear the name of the weaver or the name of a place yet it stands for a real living being. The handira also shows that collective art is not a uniform agglomerate or a gigantic all-doing hand, but instead is made by unique and singular individuals. In its modesty, this blanket or cape mirrors the wisdom contained in the textile abstraction and in the culture it embodies. As a commodity it is prone to lopsided economic exchange which is hard to refuse. Commercial transactions are not usually carried out on a fair exchange basis; what for some is a benefit they can’t (or won’t) renounce, for others is an imposition they can’t turn down. Teresa Lanceta
Teresa Lanceta, Handira I, 1997
Teresa Lanceta, Handira III, 1997 122
Nilbar Güreş, Junction, 2010
Gülsün Karamustafa, Muhacir, 2003 [The Settler]
Muhacir [The Settler] considers the impact of forced displacement upon women’s lives in the context of the Yugoslavian wars that tore apart the Western Balkans in the 1990s. Dedicated to both of Gülsün Karamustafa’s grandmothers, the double-screen film is loosely inspired by the ordeal that brought their families to Istanbul (one from Crimea through Bulgaria, the other from today’s Bosnia and Herzegovina). 125
Romy Pocztaruk, A Ăşltima aventura, 2011 [The Last Adventure] 126
Lia Perjovschi, Life Coaching, 1999
Alessandro Petti, Sandi Hilal and Grupo Contrafilé
Mujawara, 2014. Image: Peetssa
Bruno Pacheco Meeting Point, 2011. Oil on canvas. 220 × 400 cm. Courtesy: Hollybush Gardens, London and Galeria Filomena Soares, Lisbon. Image: Pedro Tropa.
Fernand Deligny Drawings printed in Les Detours de l’agir: Ou, Le Moindre Geste, Paris: Hachette, 1979. p.24
Alessandro Petti and Sandi Hilal
Dheisheh Refugee Camp, Bethlehem, West Bank (1955) and Doha City (2012). The left side shows Dheisheh Refugee Camp made of tents in 1955, while the right side presents Doha City, a neighbourhood lying outside the camp borders, built by Palestinian refugees. Doha was named in honour of the capital of Qatar, the country which partially financed its construction. It is a refugee city that works virtually as an independent municipality, yet remains physically and politically linked to the Dheisheh via a bridge and social networks respectively. 1955/2012. Photographs. Image: BraveNewAlps (Campus in Camps).
Untitled, 1975. (Series: Maps). Colour pencil, pencil and synthetic polymer paint on map on board. 86.7 × 51.4 cm. Collection: MoMA, New York. Courtesy: Purchased with funds provided by the Latin American and Caribbean Fund and Donald B. Marron. Image: 2014 Juan Downey/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. p.18 Marta Neves Não-ideia, 2002. [No-Idea]. (Series: Não-ideias. 2001-ongoing. [No-Ideas]). Hand-painted street banner, variable dimensions. Image: Marta Neves. p.19 Alessandro Petti and Sandi Hilal A new form of urbanism in Dheisheh Refugee Camp. After over 64 years of exile, Palestinian camps are no longer constituted by tents and humanitarian spaces. They represent a completely original urban form born of the necessity and creativity of the inhabitants, 2008. Digital photograph. Courtesy: Alessandro Petti and Sandi Hilal. Image: Vincenzo Castella. p.20 Erick Beltrán O que caminha ao lado, 2014. [Double Goer]. Research image. Image: Erick Beltrán
RURU.ZIP, an exhibit of ruangrupa’s archive, during Decompression #10, ruangrupa’s tenth anniversary. National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta, 2010. RURU.NET, an exhibit chronologically showing ruangrupa’s collaborative experiences, during Decompression #10, ruangrupa’s tenth anniversary. National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta, 2010. Toko Keperluan, Aggun Priambodo’s solo exhibition, during which the artist transformed the gallery into a fully-operating store. RURU Gallery, Jakarta, 2010. RRREC Fest, a festival series where musical concerts, bazaars and movie screenings, are held by ruangrupa. Various venues in and around Jakarta, 2010-ongoing. p.31-33 Mujeres Creando Graffiti. Image: Mujeres Creando.
Útero ilegal, 2014. [Illegal Uterus]. (Series: 13 horas de rebelión. [13 Hours of Rebellion]). Video (sound, colour), 9' 6". Image: Mujeres Creando.
Graffiti. Image: Mujeres Creando.
Preparation for baobab planting ritual, Pajelança Quilombólica Digital, Baobas’ Route/ Rede Mocambos, Fazenda Roseira, Campinas, 2010. Event, collaborative action. Image: Peetssa.
Bik Van der Pol
Comboio and Movimento Moinho Vivo
[accumulate, collect, show], 2011. Installation, variable dimensions. Image: Bik Van der Pol. School of Missing Studies, 2013-ongoing. Diagram, variable dimensions. Image: Nikola Knezevic.
Yeguas del Apocalipsis Casa particular, 1989. [Private Home]. Production still. Image: Yeguas del Apocalipsis. Courtesy: Pedro Montes.
Images and drawings: Comboio and Movimento Moinho Vivo. pp.38-41 Agência Popular de Cultura Solano Trindade Images of saraus, cultural actions and groups. Image: Agência
Popular de Cultura Solano Trindade.
Teatro da Vertigem
Untitled, 1988. (Series: Continental Drift). Oil, acrylic and carbon on paper, 118 × 112 cm. Image: Estate of Juan Downey.
A última palavra é a penúltima, 2008. [The Last Word Is the Penultimate One]. Theatre play. Image: Edu Marin.
Popular bus line Mambu-Marsilac, 2014. Image: Danilo Ramos.
Juan Downey Untitled, 1988. (Series: Continental Drift). Oil, acrylic and carbon on paper, 118 × 112 cm. Image: 2014 Juan Downey/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. p.45 Comboio Poster. Image: Comboio pp.46, 47
pp.62, 63 Ana Lira Voto!, 2012-ongoing. [Vote!]. Digital photographs, variable dimensions. Image: Ana Lira.
Diagram. Image: Design Bienal. pp.63-65 p.47 Diagram. Image: Design Bienal. p.48 Erick Beltrán O que caminha ao lado, 2014. [Double Goer]. Diagram. Image: Erick Beltrán.
Dan Perjovschi Images of drawings by Dan Perjovschi used in demonstrations in Bucharest and Copenhagen, 2013-2014. First two images: Vlad Nanca. Others: unknown author. Courtesy: Dan Perjovschi pp.65-67
Wonderland, 2013. Video (sound, colour), 8' 25". Courtesy: Halil Altındere and Pilot Galeri, Istanbul. Image: Halil Altındere.
Não-ideia, 2002. [No‑Idea]. (Series: Não-ideias. [No‑Ideas]). Hand-painted street banner, variable dimensions. Image: Marta Neves. p.50 Qiu Zhijie The Map of Utopia, 2012. Ink on wall, 350 × 900 cm. Image: Qiu Zhijie. The Map of the City, 2012. Ink on wall, 200 × 350 cm. Image: Qiu Zhijie. p.51 Halil Altındere Wonderland, 2013. Video (colour, sound), 8' 25". Courtesy: Halil Altındere and Pilot Galeri, Istanbul. Image: Halil Altındere.
p.66, 68-70 Juan Carlos Romero Violencia, 1973-1977. [Violence]. Printed papers, variable dimensions. Image: Juan Carlos Romero.
Nada é, 2014. [Nothing Is]. Video (sound, colour), 32'. Image: Yuri Firmeza. pp.76, 77 Mark Lewis Invention, 2014. Installation, variable dimensions. Exhibition design in collaboration with Mark Wasiuta and Adam Bandler, director of photography Martin Testar. Image: Mark Lewis. p.77 Teatro da Vertigem A última palavra é a penúltima, 2008. [The Last Word Is the Penultimate One]. Theatre play. Image: Edu Marin. pp.78, 79 Yochai Avrahami Stills from research videos for Small World, 2014. Video (sound, colour). Image: Yochai Avrahami. pp.83-89 Images from the internet. Courtesy: Tony Chakar. p.90
p.70 Éder Oliveira Sem título, 2013. [Untitled]. Mural/ urban intervention. Image: Jessica Nascimento. Images of production process, 2013. Image: Éder Oliveira. p.71 Gabriel Mascaro
Prabhakar Pachpute Dust Bowl in Our Hand, 2013. Charcoal on paper, 152 × 183 cm. Image: Prabhakar Pachpute. p.91 Leigh Orpaz Breakfast, 2014. Video (sound, black and white), 2' 29". Image: Leigh Orpaz.
Não é sobre sapatos, 2014. [It Is Not About Shoes]. Video (colour, sound). Image: unkown author. 129
Bow/Arrow – three-directional tension, 2014. Image: Sheela Gowda.
Resimli Tarih, 1995. [Illustrated History]. Textile collage, 350 × 700 cm. Courtesy: Gülsün Karamustafa and Rampa, Istanbul. Image: Gülsün Karamustafa.
Coagulated latex pressed into a sheet, 2014. Image: Sheela Gowda. Acre, 2014. Project. Image: Sheela Gowda. Page from a sketchbook with a drawing by the child of a rubber tapper from the Amazon, 2014. Image: Sheela Gowda. Engravings on a rubber tree, 2014. Image: Sheela Gowda. Rubbersheets hanging / cut branches in a corner, 2014. Image: Sheela Gowda. Woodcutting blades, 2014. Image: Sheela Gowda.
p.98 Hudinilson Jr. Gesto IV (3ª versão), 1986. [Gesture IV (3rd Version)]. Xerox photocopy, 38.5 × 20 cm. Courtesy: Galeria Jaqueline Martins, São Paulo. p.99 Otobong Nkanga Sketch for Landversation, 2014. Image: Otobong Nkanga. p.100 Wilhelm Sasnal
pp.94, 95 Danica Dakić Céu, 2014. [Heaven]. Video (sound, colour), 10' 53”. Image: Danica Dakić. In collaboration with the children and staff of the Colégio de Santa Inês, with the photographer Egbert Trogemann. p.95 Asger Jorn Page from The Situationist Times, number 5, December 1964. Edited by: Jacqueline de Jong. p.96 Bruno Pacheco Meeting Point, 2012. Oil on canvas, 215 × 375 cm. Courtesy: Hollybush Gardens, London and Galeria Filomena Soares, Lisbon. Image: Pedro Tropa. p.97 Nilbar Güreş Open Phone Booth, 2011. 3-channel video, HD, 16:9 format (sound, colour), 33' 46". Courtesy: Nilbar Güreş, Rampa, Istanbul and Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna. Image: Nilbar Güreş.
Kopernik, 2004. [Copernicus]. Oil on canvas, 150 × 140 cm. Courtesy: Wilhelm Sasnal and Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw. Image: Marek Gardulski. p.101 Lia Perjovschi Art Education, 1999. (Series: Mind Maps). Diagram, variable dimensions. Image: Lia Perjovschi. pp.102, 103 Juan Downey Inca II, 1973. (Series: Video Trans Americas). Video (sound, black and white), 27' 32". Image: Estate of Juan Downey. Guatemala, 1973. (Series: Video Trans Americas). Video (sound, black and white), 27' 32". Image: Estate of Juan Downey. New York/Texas II, 1973. (Series: Video Trans Americas). Video (sound, black and white), 27' 32". Image: Estate of Juan Downey. New York/Texas II, 1973. (Series: Video Trans Americas). Video (sound, black and white), 27' 32". Image: Estate of Juan Downey.
Tayari (Amazon Rain Forest), 1977. Colour pencil, and graphite and ink on paper, 108.5 × 65 cm. Image: Estate of Juan Downey. p.102 Jo Baer In the Land of the Giants (Spiral and Stars), 2012. (Series: In the Land of the Giants). Oil on canvas, 155 × 155 cm. Courtesy: Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin. Image: Jo Baer. p.104 Val del Omar Fuego en Castilla, 1958-1960. [Fire in Castile]. 35-mm film (sound, black and white, colour), 17'. Courtesy: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid. Donation by the Archivo María José Val del Omar and Gonzalo Sáenz de Buruaga, 2011. p.105 Thiago Martins de Melo O suplício do bastardo da brancura, 2013. [The Hardship of the Bastard of Whiteness]. Oil on canvas, 390 × 360 cm. Image: Mendes Wood DM. pp.106, 107 Romy Pocztaruk A última aventura, 2011. [The Last Adventure]. Digital photograph, variable dimensions. Image: Romy Pocztaruk. [The Last Adventure]. Facsimile. p.106 Kasper Akhøj and Tamar Guimarães A família do Capitão Gervásio, 2013. [Captain Gervásio’s Family]. 16 mm film loop (sound, black and white), 14', and concrete structures. Courtesy: Kasper Akhøj, Tamar Guimarães, Galeria Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo and Ellen De Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam. Image: Kasper Akhøj and Tamar Guimarães.
pp.108, 109 Armando Queiroz with Almires Martins and Marcelo Rodrigues Ymá Nhandehetama, 2009. [In the Past We Were Many]. Video (sound, colour), 8' 20”. Image: Armando Queiroz. pp.110, 111 MapAzônia, part of ‘Dossiê: por uma cartografia crítica da Amazônia’ [Dossier: For a Critical Cartography of the Amazon]. Image: LabCart (Hugo Nascimento, Luah Sampaio and Yuri Barros), qUALQUER qUOLETIVO (Lucas and Romário) and Giseli Vasconcelos. pp.112, 113 Vivian Suter Views of the artist’s house/studio, 2014. Courtesy: Vivian Suter and Gaga Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City. Image: Vivian Suter. p.113 Kasper Akhøj and Tamar Guimarães A família do Capitão Gervásio, 2013. [Captain Gervásio’s Family]. 16-mm film loop (sound, black and white), 14', and concrete structures. Courtesy: Kasper Akhøj, Tamar Guimarães, Galeria Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo and Ellen De Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam. Image: Kasper Akhøj and Tamar Guimarães. p.114 Wilhelm Sasnal Untitled, 2010. Oil on canvas, 222.5 × 182.5 cm. Courtesy: Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw. Image: Marek Gardulski. Untitled (Mine), 2009. Oil on canvas, 220 × 200 cm. Courtesy: Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw. Image: Marek Gardulski. p.115 Thiago Martins de Melo Árvore de sangue – Fogo que consome porcos, 2013. [Blood
Tree – Fire Devouring Pigs]. Oil on canvas, 390 × 360 cm. Image: Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo. pp.116, 117 Anna Boghiguian Cotton White-Gold, 2010. Mixed media on paper, 29.5 × 42 cm. Image: Anna Boghiguian. Cotton Plantation During Mohammed Ali, 2010. Mixed media on paper, 29.5 × 42 cm. Image: Anna Boghiguian. The Building of the Suez Canal and the Auctioning of the Canal, 2014. Mixed media on paper, 29.5 × 42 cm. Image: Anna Boghiguian. pp.117-119 El Hadji Sy Archéologie marine, 2014. [Marine Archaeology]. Fishing net, Brazilian coffee bags, sisal, canvas, strings, paint and glue (in production), 1600 × 500 cm. Image: Pedro Ivo Trasferetti/Fundação Bienal de São Paulo. Archéologie marine, 2014. [Marine Archaeology]. Pencil and string on paper, 60 × 42 cm. Image: Pedro Ivo Trasferetti/Fundação Bienal de São Paulo.
p.123 Nilbar Güreş Junction, 2010. (Series: TrabZONE). C-print photograph, 100 × 150 cm. Courtesy: Nilbar Güreş, Rampa, Istanbul and Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna. Image: Nilbar Güreş. pp.124, 125 Gülsün Karamustafa Muhacir, 2003. [The Settler]. 2-channel video (sound, colour), 5' 18". Courtesy: Gülsün Karamustafa and Rampa, Istanbul. Image: Gülsün Karamustafa. p.126 Romy Pocztaruk A última aventura, 2011. [The Last Adventure]. Digital photograph, variable dimensions. Image: Romy Pocztaruk. p.127 Lia Perjovschi Life Coaching, 1999. (Series: Mind Maps). Diagram, variable dimensions. Image: Lia Perjovschi. p.166 Yonamine neoblanc, 2013. Serigraph, 30 × 21 cm. Image: Yonamine.
p.120 Anna Boghiguian
Cities by the River, 2014. Mixed media on paper, 31 × 21.5 cm and 33 × 41 cm respectively. Image: Anna Boghiguian.
Qiu Zhijie The Map of the Park, 2012. Ink on wall, 300 × 400 cm. Image: Qiu Zhijie.
Handira Aït Ouarain, undated. Wool and cotton fabric. 168 × 97 cm. Collection: Teresa Lanceta. Image: Original Marrocan handira.
Of Other Worlds That Are in This One, 2014. Mobile telephone images. Image: Tony Chakar.
Handira III, 1997. Wool and cotton fabric, 168 × 97 cm. Image: Teresa Lanceta.
Handira I, 1997. Wool and cotton fabric, 168 × 97 cm. Image: Teresa Lanceta.
Yael Bartana Inferno, 2013. [Hell]. Video (sound, colour), 18' 7". Courtesy: Petzel Gallery, New York, Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam and Sommer 131
Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv. Image: Yael Bartana.
Minimal Secret, 2011. Laser‑cut cardboard, 80 × 40 cm. Image: Voluspa Jarpa.
Mapa Teatro - Laboratorio de artistas Los incontados: un tríptico, 2014. [The Uncounted: A Triptych]. Installation, variable dimensions. Image: Mapa Teatro.
p.182 Lázaro Saavedra
storage boxes, speakers, 2 record players, vinyls, sound of vinyl crackle, desktop computer with 35' 51” video, looped. Chapter 2: 6' single-channel video and 2-channel sound and subwoofer, variable dimensions. Courtesy: Basel Abbas, Ruanne Abou-Rahme and Carrol/Fletcher Gallery, London. Image: Servet Dilber/13th Istanbul Biennial.
Karl Marx, 1992. Collage, variable dimensions. Image: Lázaro Saavedra.
Wonderland, 2013. Video (sound, colour), 8' 25". Courtesy: Halil Altındere and Pilot Galeri, Istanbul. Image: Halil Altındere.
The Excluded. In a moment of danger, 2014. Research images for video, 25'. Image: Chto Delat. p.175 León Ferrari Palabras Ajenas, 1967. [Words of Others]. Book cover. Image: Fundación Augusto y León Ferrari, Buenos Aires. p.175 Sergio Zevallos Andróginos, 1998-2000 [Androgynous]. Tempera, pastel, graphite and collage on paper, 160 × 115 cm. Collection: Museo de Arte de Lima. Image: Sergio Zevallos.
Nogal, 2012. [Walnut]. (Series: Perímetros. [Perimeters]). Typewritten text on notarial records, 320 × 412 cm. Collection: Marilia Razuk. Courtesy: Johanna Calle and Razuk Gallery, São Paulo. Image: Johanna Calle. Image of process for Perímetros, 2012. [Perimeters]. Courtesy: Johanna Calle and Razuk Gallery, São Paulo. Image: Johanna Calle. Contables, 2009. (Series: Imponderables). Wire mesh and copper on cardboard, diverse dimensions. Image: Johanna Calle.
Clara Ianni and Débora Maria da Silva
Etcétera... Infierno financiero. 2014. [Financial Hell]. Collages for participatory installation Errar de Dios, 2014 [Erring from God], variable dimensions. Courtesy: Etcétera....
Apelo, 2014. [Plea]. Production stills for video, variable dimensions. Image: Clara Ianni and Débora Maria da Silva. pp.186, 187
Walid Raad Untitled III, Unitled XV, Untitled XIV, Untitled XIII, Untitled I and Untitled II, 2014. (Series: Scratching on Things That I Could Disavow). Wood, drywall, paint, variable dimensions. Collection: Private collection, Baghdad. Courtesy: Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Image: Walid Raad.
pp.191, 192 Del Tercer Mundo [From the Third World] exhibition, zone 2, 1968. Black-and-white photograph. Image: Archivo Fotográfico (CREART), Ministerio de Cultura, La Habana, Cuba. p.193 Yonamine neoblanc, 2014. Serigraph, 21 × 30 cm. Image: Yonamine p.194
pp.184, 185 pp.176-178
Justice for Aliens, 2012. Digital collages, 37 × 52.5 cm. Image: Agnieszka Piksa. pp.188-190 Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme The Incidental Insurgents: The Part about the Bandits, 2012. Chapter 1: Installation: documents, images, personal items, desks, chairs, table, stools, office cabinet,
Archive document of the Congreso Cultural de La Habana. Digital photograph. Image: Jakob Jakobsen and María Berríos. p.212 Ramp at the Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavilion. Image: Andrés Otero/ Fundação Bienal de São Paulo, 2011. p.213 Poster for the 31st Bienal. Drawing: Prabhakar Pachpute. Design: Fundação Bienal de São Paulo. p.214 Conceptual sketch for the architectural project for the 31st Bienal, by Oren Sagiv. Image: Studio Oren Sagiv.
Architectural studies and plans. Image: Studio Oren Sagiv.
Untitled (Viaje a Perú-Bolivia), 1976. [Untitled (Peru-Bolivia Journey)]. Oil on wood, 91.4 × 71 cm. Image: Estate of Juan Downey / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Sketch for Espacio para abortar, 2014. [Space to Abort]. Image: Mujeres Creando.
Evangelista, 1989. [Evangelist]. Mixed media, 42.5 × 35 cm. Image: Manuel Zavala Alonso.
p.226 Val del Omar Fuego en Castilla, 1958-1960. [Fire in Castile]. 35-mm film (sound, black and white), 17'. Image: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid. Donation by the Archivo María José Val del Omar and Gonzalo Sáenz de Buruaga, 2011. pp.226, 227 Imogen Stidworthy
Nilbar Güreş Overhead, 2010. (Series: TrabZONE). C-print photograph, 150 × 100 cm. Courtesy: Nilbar Güreş, Rampa, Istanbul and Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna. Image: Nilbar Güreş.
p.244 Nahum Zenil
Gracias Virgencita de Guadalupe, 1984. [Thanks to the Little Virgin of Guadalupe]. Mixed media, 46 × 31 cm. Image: Manuel Zavala Alonso.
Production stills and sketch for Balayer - A Map of Sweeping, 2014. HD Video projected on 2 floorbased wooden screens; 6-channel Ambisonic sound on Genelec loudspeakers; 1 Panphonics focusing audio element; textile; 5 stools, 15'. Courtesy: SD video footage courtesy of Jacques Lin, filmed at La Magnanerie, Graniers, Monoblet (France) between 2000 and 2008. Image: Imogen Stidworthy.
The Grapes, 2010. (Series: TrabZONE). C-print photograph, 150 × 100 cm. Courtesy: Nilbar Güreş, Rampa, Istanbul and Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna. Image: Nilbar Güreş.
Virginia de Medeiros
Martirios, 1983. [Martyrdom]. (Series: Suburbios [Suburbs]). Silver photograph on fiber-based paper, 60 × 38.5 cm. Courtesy: Galería 80 m2 Livia Benavides, Lima. Image: Sergio Zevallos.
Sergio e Simone, 2014. [Sergio and Simone]. Analogue and digital video (sound, colour). Image: Virginia de Medeiros.
Giuseppe Campuzano Carnet, 2011. ID photograph, variable dimensions. Image: Giuseppe Campuzano. DNI (De Natura Incertus), 2009. Image: Carlos Pereyra. Letanía, 2009-2013. [Litany]. Lenticular print, 110 × 144 cm. Image: Giuseppe Campuzano. Línea de Vida / Museo Travesti del Perú, 2009-2013. [Life’s Timeline / Transvestite Museum of Peru]. Collection: Luis Eduardo Wuffarden. Image: Courret Hermanos. pp.234-238 Ines Doujak and John Barker Loomshuttles, Warpaths / Eccentric Archive, 2009-ongoing. Image: Ines Doujak and John Barker.
p.241 Masked figure of the Kawmot, South Coast of New Britain. Research image for Kasper Akhøj and Tamar Guimarães. Image: Wellcome Library, London.
Ambulantes, 1983. [Strolling]. (Series: Suburbios. [Suburbs]). Silver photograph on fiber-based paper, 14 × 9 cm. Courtesy: Museo de Arte de Lima. Image: Sergio Zevallos. p.243 Yeguas del Apocalipsis Las dos Fridas, 1989/2014. [The Two Fridas]. Photograph, 120 × 135 cm. Image: Pedro Marinello.
p.245 Ocaña Inmaculada de las pollas, 1976. [Immaculate of the Cocks]. Drawing, 60 × 50 cm. Collection: Nazario, Barcelona. pp.246, 247 Nurit Sharett Counting the Stars, 2014. 3-screen HD video (sound, colour), 60'. Image: Nurit Sharett.
Sergio e Simone, 2007. [Sergio and Simone]. Analogue and digital video, 10'. Collection: Centro Dragão do Mar de Arte e Cultura, Fortaleza. Image: Virginia de Medeiros. p.249 Arthur Scovino Caboclo Borboleta (O Caboclo dos Aflitos), 2013. [Butterfly Caboclo (The Caboclo of the Aflitos)]. Digital photograph, variable dimensions. Image: Arthur Scovino.
San Camilo – Leonora, 1989/2014. Image: Pedro Marinello 133
p.255 Fernand Deligny Drawings printed in Les Detours de l’agir: Ou, Le Moindre Geste, Paris: Hachette, 1979. p.261 Edward Krasiński Spear, 1963-1964. 12 wooden pieces painted black and red, metal wires, 320 cm. Collection: Paulina Krasińska, Zalesie. Courtesy: Paulina Krasińska and Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw. Image: Eustachy Kossakowski and Hanna Ptaskowska / Archive of Museum of Modern Art Warsaw.
installation Nosso Lar, Brasília, variable dimensions. Image: Studio Jonas Staal.
pp.280-281 pp.270, 271 Jo Baer Royal Families (Curves, Points and Little Ones), 2013. (Series: In the Land of Giants). Oil on canvas, 155 × 155 cm. Courtesy: Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin. Image: Jo Baer. Heraldry (Posts and Spreads), 2013. (Series: In the Land of Giants). Oil on canvas, 155 × 155 cm. Courtesy: Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin. Image: Jo Baer. p.272
Teatro da Vertigem
A última palavra é a penúltima, 2008. [The Last Word Is the Penultimate One]. Theatre play. Image: Edu Marin.
Instagram Caboquismo (O Caboclo dos Aflitos), 2014. [Caboclo-ism on Instagram (The Caboclo of the Aflitos)]. Photograph, variable dimensions. Image: Arthur Scovino. pp.266, 267 Edward Krasiński Avant-garde Institute, 2003. Installation at Edward Krasiński’s studio, variable dimensions. Collection: Paulina Krasińska, Zalesie. Courtesy: Paulina Krasińska and Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw. Image: Aneta Grzeszykowska and Jan Smaga. pp.268, 269 Asier Mendizabal Agoramaquia (el caso exacto de la estatua). 2014. [Agoramaquia (The Exact Case of the Statue)]. Reseach photograph and modified photograph, variable dimensions. Original photograph (right) by Tatiana Guerrero. Image: Asier Mendizabal. p.270 Jonas Staal Nosso Lar, Brasília (Plans for the Cities of Nosso Lar and Brasília, overlaid), 2014. Print, part of 134
Jaqueline Martins, São Paulo. Image: Filipe Berndt.
Arthur Scovino Sketch for Casa de caboclo, 2014. [House of Caboclo]. Image: Arthur Scovino. Recanto dos Aflitos (O Caboclo dos Aflitos), 2014 [Recanto of the Aflitos (The Caboclo of the Aflitos)]. Photograph, dimensions variable. Image: Arthur Scovino Caboclo Borboleta (O Caboclo dos Aflitos), 2012-2014. [Butterfly Caboclo (The Caboclo from Aflitos)]. Photograph, dimensions variable. Image: Arthur Scovino. Caboclo Samambaia, 2013. [Bracken Caboclo]. Drawing, inkjet print, monotype and typewritten text, 30 × 21 cm. Image: Arthur Scovino. p.281
pp.272-275 Val del Omar Aguaespejo granadino, 1953-1955. [Water-Mirror of Granada]. 35‑mm film (sound, black and white and color), 23'. Image: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid. Donation by the Archivo María José Val del Omar and Gonzalo Sáenz de Buruaga, 2011. Fuego en Castilla, 1958-1960. [Fire in Castile]. 35-mm film (black and white and colour ), 17'. Image: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid. Donation by the Archivo María José Val del Omar and Gonzalo Sáenz de Buruaga, 2011. p.276-279 Hudinilson Jr. Reference notebook, undated. Collage on paper made of cutouts from various sources. Courtesy: Galeria Jaqueline Martins, São Paulo. Sem título, 1980. [Untilted]. Photocopy, variable dimensions. Courtesy: Galeria
Vivian Suter View of the artist’s house/studio, 2014. Courtesy: Vivian Suter and Gaga Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City. Image: Vivian Suter. pp.282-285 Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa Letra morta, 2014. [Dead Letter]. HD video (sound, black and white), 27'. Director of photography: José Mari Zabala. Image: Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa. p.286 Danica Dakić Vila Maria, 2014. Video (sound, colour), 6' 56”. In collaboration with Roger Avanzi, the performers of the Unidos de Vila Maria Samba School and the photographer Egbert Trogemann. Image: Danica Dakić. pp.287, 288 Kasper Akhøj and Tamar Guimarães A familia do Capitão Gervásio, 2013. [Captain Gervásio’s Family]. 16-mm film in loop (sound,
black and white), 14', concrete structures. Courtesy: Kasper Akhøj, Tamar Guimarães, Galeria Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo and Ellen De Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam. Image: Kasper Akhøj and Tamar Guimarães. p.288 Yuri Firmeza Nada é, 2014. [Nothing Is]. Video (sound, colour), 32'. Image: Yuri Firmeza. p.291 Michael Kessus Gedalyovich The Placebo Scroll, 2014. Installation, variable dimensions. Image: Michael Kessus Gedalyovich. pp.293-295 Jonas Staal Maps and studies for Nosso Lar, Brasília, 2014. Installation, variable dimensions. Courtesy: Studio Jonas Staal. Image: Jonas Staal. p.294 Yael Bartana Inferno, 2013. [Hell]. Video (sound, colour), 18' 7". Courtesy: Petzel Gallery, New York, Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam and Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv. Image: Yael Bartana. p.296 Val del Omar Fuego en Castilla, 1958-1960. [Fire in Castile]. 35-mm film (sound, black and white and colour), 17'. Image: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid. Donation by the Archivo María José Val del Omar and Gonzalo Sáenz de Buruaga, 2011.
Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv. Image: Yael Bartana. pp.301-303 Wilhelm Sasnal Capitol, 2009. Oil on canvas, 160 × 200 cm. Courtesy: Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw. Image: Marek Gardulski.
p.315 Del Tercer Mundo [From the Third World] exhibition, zone 2, 1968. Black-and-white photograph. Image: Archivo Fotográfico (CREART), Ministerio de Cultura, La Habana, Cuba.
Columbus, 2014. Oil on canvas, 180 × 220 cm. Courtesy: Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw. Image: Marek Gardulski. Untitled, 2013. Oil on canvas, 16 × 120 cm. Courtesy: Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw. Image: Paul McAree. pp.304-309 Pages from The Situationist Times, number 5, December 1964. Edited by: Jacqueline de Jong. p.310 Gülsün Karamustafa Resimli Tarih, 1995. [Illustrated History]. Textile collage, 350×700 cm. Courtesy: Gülsün Karamustafa and Rampa, Istanbul. Image: Gülsün Karamustafa. pp.310, 311 Yonamine neoblanc, 2014. Serigraphs, 21 × 30 cm. Images: Yonamine p.312 Lia Perjovschi Knowledge, 1999. (Series: Mind Maps). Diagram, variable dimensions. Image: Lia Perjovschi. p.313 Otobong Nkanga Sketch for Landversation, 2014. Image: Otobong Nkanga.
Inferno, 2013. [Hell]. Video (sound, colour), 18' 7". Courtesy: Petzel Gallery, New York, Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam and Sommer
Back to the Farm II, 2013. Charcoal on paper. Image: Prabhakar Pachpute.
Sofia Sefraoui, Maude Sobeyrand, Justine Tirroloni). Shot in 16-mm with a Bolex mechanical camera and a Blackmagic pocket Super 16 digital camera.
Alejandra Riera with UEINZZ “... - OHPERA – MUET -...” [“... - MUTE – OHPERA -...”] on the date of 3 September 2014. Partial views (image-text) and fragments of an unfinished film shot mainly in Buenos Aires from December 2013 to April 2014. Sound and image material made possible with the help of various people including: Anaomar Iris Santana, Mario Leoncio Barrios and Enrique Mamani (ORCOPO, Organización de Comunidades de Pueblos Originarios), Sergina Morte et Javier Ortuño (African-descendant activists in Buenos Aires), Domingo Tellechea (sculptor, restorer). Film crew in Buenos Aires: Bohmcine (Laura Arensburg, Federico Bracken, Facundo Gomez, Alejo Frias, Violetta Kovensky), Marcelo Moreno. Thanks: Daniel Bohm, Alejandro Zanelli, Paulo Vanucchi, Rafael Folonier, Dario Guerzoni, Eduardo Narvaez, Dean Inkster. Editing in progress: Alejandra Riera with Marine Bouley. Transcriptions: Erika Alvarez Inforsato, Salvador Schavelzon, Soledad Torres Agüero. UEINZZ: Adélia Faustino, Aílton Carvalho, Alexandre Bernardes, Amélia Monteiro de Melo, Ana Goldenstein Carvalhaes, Ana Carmen del Collado, Arthur Amador, Eduardo Lettiere, Erika Alvarez Inforsato, Fabrício Lima Pedroni, Jaime Menezes, José Petrônio Fantasia, Leonardo Lui Cavalcanti, Luis Guilherme Ribeiro Cunha, Luiz Augusto Collazzi Loureiro, Maria Yoshiko Nagahashi, Onés Antonio Cervelin, Paula Patricia Francisquetti, Pedro França, Peter Pál Pelbart, Rogéria Neubauer, Simone Mina, Valéria Felippe Manzalli. The small open-air cinema was conceived in collaboration with Andreas Maria Fohr (artist and filmmaker) and will be set up with the help of students from the École supérieure d’art de Bourges (Thomas Guillot, 136
Asger Jorn 10.000 års nordisk folkekunst, 1961-1965. [10,000 Years of Nordic Folk Art] Photographs by Gérard Franceschi. Basel Abbas and Ruanne AbouRahme The Incidental Insurgents, 2012-ongoing. Part 1: The Incidental Insurgents: The Part about the Bandits Co-produced by Young Arab Theatre Fund and Al-Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art Jerusalem. Courtesy of the artists and Carroll/Fletcher. Part 2: The Incidental Insurgents: Unforgiving Years Co-produced by Akademie der Künste der Welt in Cologne. Courtesy of the artists and Carroll/ Fletcher, London. Chto Delat The Excluded. In a moment of danger, 2014. Co-produced with Secession, Vienna. Danica Dakić Céu, 2014. [Heaven]. In collaboration with the children and staff of the Colégio de Santa Inês, with the photographer Egbert Trogemann. Filmed at the Colégio de Santa Inês, São Paulo. Vila Maria, 2014. In collaboration with Roger Avanzi, the performers of the samba school Unidos de Vila Maria and the photographer Egbert Trogemann. Filmed at the samba school Unidos de Vila Maria and the Circus Museum, São Paulo.
Etcétera... Infierno financiero. 2014. [Financial Hell]. A project by Etcétera... Texts: Franco Berardi ‘Bifo’, Loreto Garín Guzmán and Federico Zukerfeld. Architecture: Antoine Silvestre. Technological development: in collaboration with the Muntref Arts and Science by the Universidad Nacional Tres de Febrero, Nahuel Sauza, Facundo Suasnabar, Fernando Nicolosi (UNTREF). Graphic design: Hernán Cardinale. Special thanks: Fundación Augusto y León Ferrari. Imogen Stidworthy Balayer – A Map of Sweeping, 2014. Imogen Stidworthy in collaboration with Gisèle Durand-Ruiz and Jacques Lin and with the participation of Christoph Berton, Gilou Toche and Malika Boulainseur. With the voices of Dominique Hurth, Jacques Lin and Suely Roelnik. Audio mixing: Stefan Kazassoglou. Video postproduction: Martin Wallace. Special thanks: Sandra Álvarez de Toledo for generously sharing her thoughts and her knowledge, and for her extensive support. Ines Doujak and John Barker Loomshuttles, Warpaths, 2009-ongoing. Support: Project supported by the FWF Austrian Science Fund (AR19-G21) and bmukk. Jakob Jakobsen and María Berríos The Revolution Must Be a School of Unfettered Thought, 2014. Support: Danish Arts Foundation. Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa Letra morta, 2014. [Dead Letter]. Director of Photography: José Mari Zabala.
Hudinilson Jr. Zona de tensão and other works, 1980s. [Tension Zone]. Organised by Marcio Harum Special thanks: Maria Adelaide Pontes and Mario Ramiro for the first general survey of Hudinilson Jr.’s work. Jaqueline Martins, Afonso Luz, Douglas de Freitas. Hudnilson and Maria Aparecida Urbano. Kasper Akhøj and Tamar Guimarães
Cinecidade Locações, Top 35 Locação De Equipamentos Cinematográficos, SuperLimão Studio, Arte Tubos, Terra de Santa Cruz, Condomínio Copan, Edifício Martinelli, SP Urbanismo, Clube de Mães, Galeria do Rock, MASP, Via Quatro, Playarte Pictures, Cine Marabá, Prefeitura de São Paulo, Subprefeitura da Sé, Pará Movimento. Nilbar Güreş TrabZONE, 2010.
Thanks: The Spirit Centre Luz da Verdade, its mediums and patients and medium Vânia Arantes Damo; and support from the Danish Arts Foundation.
Support: Ministry for Arts, Education and Culture, Austria, SAHA and Cultural Center Brasil‑Turquia
Invention, 2014. Exhibition design in collaboration with Mark Wasiuta and Adam Bandler. Financial support: Canada Council for the Arts. Glass sponsorship: Guardian Brasil Vidros Planos Ltda. São Paulo Architects: SuperLimão Studio. Films: A Mark Lewis Studio production, in association with Soda Film + Art and in co-production with the National Film Board of Canada and RT Features. Writer and director: Mark Lewis. Director of photography: Martin Testar. Producer: Eve Gabereau. Coproducers: Emily Morgan, Gerry Flahive for NFB, Anita Lee for NFB. Executive producers: Lourenço Sant’Ana for RT Features, Michelle Van Beusekom for NFB. Special thanks: Barcelona Filmes. Thanks: Daniel Faria Gallery, Toronto, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Toronto, National Film Board of Canada, Canada Council for the Arts, Guardian Vidros do Brasil, Central Saint Martins, Afterall, Soda Film + Art, Quiddity Films, RT Features, Tropical Filmes, Barcelona Filmes,
Nada é, 2014. [Nothing Is]. Director: Yuri Firmeza. Assistant director: Giancarlo Maia. Research and project: Yuri Firmeza. Executive producer: Camila Battistetti. Producer: Lohayne Lima. Director of photography: Victor de Melo. Live sound: Danilo Carvalho. Editor: Frederico Benevides. Assistant editor: Aline Portugal. Mixing: Érico Sapão. Support: Centro Cultural Banco do Nordeste do Brasil.
Open Phone Booth, 2011.
A família do Capitão Gervásio, 2013. [Captain Gervásio’s Family].
Black Series, 2011.
Nurit Sharett Counting the Stars, 2014. This work is part of the Nova Jerusalém [New Jerusalem] research project, focussed on the analysis of new religious movements, curated by Benjamin Seroussi and Eyal Danon. Support: Rabinovich Foundation and Mifal Hapais. Sheela Gowda Those of Whom, 2014. Special thanks: Sébastien Kopp, Bia Saldanha, François-Ghislain Morillion, Veja/Vert Shoes. Yael Bartana Inferno, 2013 [Hell]. This work is part of the Nova Jerusalém [New Jerusalem] research project, focussed on the analysis of new religious movements, curated by Benjamin Seroussi and Eyal Danon.
Biographies Agnieszka Piksa 1984, Warsaw, Poland. Lives and works in Kraków, Poland. Agnieszka Piksa graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts of Kraków, and she works with illustration, comic books, drawing and design. Her work analyses visual languages in order to expose the stereotypes of communication. She has participated in the following exhibitions recently: Only to Melt, Trustingly, without Reproach (2013) at the Gallery Škuc in Ljubljana, Slovenia; Sen jest drugim życiem (2012) at the Miejska BWA Gallery in Tarnów, Poland; Urban Myths (2012) at Mocak in Kraków, Poland; and Eyes Looking for a Head to Inhabit (2011) at the Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź, Poland
Alejandra Riera 1965, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Lives and works in Paris, France. Alejandra Riera defines what she does as a series of ‘attempts’ to examine the relationship of photography and cinema to writing and history. In 1995 she established a space of writing in which multiple voices converge: ‘les maquettes‑sans‑qualité’ [models‑without‑qualities], an original form of discontinuous photographs, captions, texts, filmdocuments and narrative accounts of praxis. She has also initiated various research groups, one involving the inhabitants of a neighbourhood in the periphery in the south of France, and another with people psychological distress, with the aim of establishing an Enquête sur le/notre dehors [Enquiry on the/our outside]: an inquiry on the meaning, not of ‘information’, but of ‘history’ and ‘micro-history’, and ‘outside’ in the sense of a care for and attention to all that, residing on our periphery, is transitory, and which, at the same time, 138
constitutes a part of the driving force of our history. Her work has been the object of numerous presentations, both inside and outside spaces committed to promoting artistic production. Since 2010 she has been professor of cinema and documentary practices at the École Nationale Supérieure d’art de Bourges; she also runs an ‘atelier Lucioles’ [Firefly workshop] at La Borde clinic, in Cour‑Cherverny, France. Poétique(s) de l’inachèvement [Poetic(s) of incompleteness] is her last ‘attempt’, a fragment of which was presented in the cellars of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid in September 2014.
Alessandro Petti and Sandi Hilal 1973, Beit Sahour, Palestine. Lives and works in Beit Sahour. 1973, Pescara, Italy. Lives and works in Beit Sahour. Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti are architects and researchers in urbanism based in Palestine. They are founding members of DAAR – Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency, an architectural collective and an artistic residency programme that combines conceptual speculations and architectural interventions. DAAR projects have been exhibited at the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale (2014) in Italy; Meeting Points 7 (2013) in Antwerp, Belgium/Beirut, Lebanon/Vienna, Austria; James Gallery (2012) in New York, US; and at Nottingham Contemporary (2012) in the UK. DAAR was awarded the Prince Claus Award for Architecture, the Foundation for Arts Initiative Grant, and was shortlisted for the Iakov Chernikhov Prize. Alongside research and practice, Hilal and Petti are engaged in critical pedagogy: they are founding members of Campus in Camps, an experimental educational programme by Al Quds University
the hosted by the Phoenix Center in Dheisheh Refugee Camp in Bethlehem, Palestine. Their latest book, co-authored with Eyal Weizman, is entitled Architecture After Revolution (2013).
Almires Martins 1967, Dourado, Brazil. Lives and Works in Belém, Brazil. Almires Martins is Guarani. He has been itinerant farm labourer and sugar cane harvester in alcohol and sugar factories, and worked at the Curro Velho Foundation and the Secretaria de Meio Ambiente (SEMA), in Belém. There he met Armando Queiroz, when Queiroz was researching the historical traumas of the Amazon. From this meeting, the video Ymá Nhandehetama [In the Past We Were Many] was born. The making of the video also involved the participation of Marcelo Rodrigues as director of photography.
Ana Lira 1977, Caruaru, Brazil. Lives and works in Recife, Brazil. Ana Lira is an independent photographer and researcher. For four years now, she has been developing and participating in projects in education, curatorship and the editing of visual narratives. She is a specialist in cultural critical theory and a member of the group Direitos Urbanos. Lira has participated in the collectives 7Fotografia, Trotamundos, Boivoador, Paspatu and Vacatussa. For five years, she edited the magazine Rabisco. She has also taken part in several festivals and independent projects, both in print and online, throughout Brazil.
Anna Boghiguian 1946, Cairo, Egypt. Lives and works in Cairo, Egypt, and other cities. Anna Boghiguian lives a nomadic existence between Egypt, India and Europe. She studied art and music at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada and political science and economics at the American University in Cairo. During her travels, she has developed a diverse series of drawings and collages, often mixed with text, constituting a sort of diary. Her recent solo shows include ZYX‑XYZ an Autobiography: Odd Times in Life (2013) at Galerie Sfeir‑Semler in Hamburg, Germany. She has participated in such group exhibitions as the 1st Cartagena Biennial (2014) in Colombia; dOCUMENTA (13) (2012) in Kassel, Germany; and the 10th Sharjah Biennial (2011) in the United Arab Emirates.
Armando Queiroz 1968, Belém, Brazil. Lives and works in Belém. Armando Queiroz is a visual artist as well as working in art institutions. His work, which ranges from tiny objects to large-scale pieces and urban interventions, is based on everyday observations of the streets, appropriating popular objects of various origins and using the city and the other as reference material. He has participated in the following exhibitions, among others: the 1st Bienal do Barro do Brasil (2014) in Caruaru, Brazil; the 20th Bienal Internacional de Curitiba (2013) in Brazil; the 64th Salão Paranaense (2012), at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Paraná in Curitiba, Brazil; the 16th Bienal de Cerveira (2011) in Portugal; and the 3rd Bienal del Fin del Mundo (2011) in Ushuaia, Argentina. Queiroz was also part of the programme Rumos Artes Visuais (2008‑2009) as an assistant-curator in charge of mapping northern Brazil, and was director of the Museu da Imagem e do Som in
Pará, Brazil. He is currently director of the Casa das Onze Janelas in Belém, Brazil.
In his work, Asier Mendizabal explores the contradiction between, on the one hand, formal language and abstraction, with their implications of transcendence, and, on the other, the pretensions of attributing concrete meaning to this language, by positioning it in relation to specific historical situations. He has had solo shows at the Hordaland Kunstsenter (2013) in Bergen, Norway; Raven Row (2011) in London, UK; the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (2011) in Madrid and MACBA (2008) in Barcelona, both in Spain. His group exhibitions include A Singular Form (2014) at Secession in Vienna, Austria; the 54th Venice Biennale (2011) in Italy; In the First Circle (2011‑2012) at Fundació Tapies in Barcelona, Spain; Às artes, cidadãos (2010‑2011) at the Museu Serralves in Porto, Portugal; the 4th Bucharest Biennial (2010) in Romania; Manifesta 5 (2004) in Donostia‑San Sebastián, Spain and the 3rd Taipei Biennial (2002) in Taiwan.
1980, São Gonçalo, Brazil. Lives and works in Salvador, Brazil. Arthur Scovino's work addresses the environment, culture and personal and social relations in Bahia – mainly in Salvador, where he has lived since 2009. He currently studies symbols of religious imagery and miscegenation. His work includes photography, drawing, object-making, video and performance art. He has participated in such group exhibitions as the 3rd Bienal da Bahia (2014); Reforma e reinvenção (2013) at Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia MAM‑BA; Levando os elepês de Gal para passear... (2011) at ACBEU Gallery; and Corpoabertocorpofechado (2011), Cañizares Gallery, all in Salvador, Bahia. He received an award at the Salão de Artes Visuais da Bahia in 2013.
Asger Jorn 1914, Vejrum, Denmark – 1973, Aarhus, Denmark. One of the founding members of the group CoBrA (1948‑1951), Asger Jorn earned notoriety for a body of work that ranges from drawing, painting and graphic arts to ceramics, sculpture, lithography and tapestries. The majority of his work, which focused on the development of spontaneous and abstract language in Europe, can be found in the collection of the Jorn Museum in Silkeborg, Denmark. Jorn co-founded the Situationist International in 1957, founded the Scandinavian Institute for Comparative Vandalism in 1961 and organised, along with photographer Gérard Franceschi, the vast photographic archive of pre-Christian cultural imagery that would become 10,000 Years of Nordic Folk Art.
1973, Ordizia, Spain. Lives and works in Bilbao, Spain.
Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou‑Rahme 1983, Nicosia, Cyprus. Lives and works in New York, US and Ramallah, Palestine. 1983, Boston, US. Lives and works in New York, US and Ramallah, Palestine. Since 2008, Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou‑Rahme have worked together on a series of projects involving sound, image, installation and performance. They have shown their work and performed around the world, including at the 13th Istanbul Biennial (2013) in Turkey; Insert 2014 at the Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation in New Deli, India; Points of Departure (2013) at 139
the Institute for Contemporary Arts in London, UK and Continuous City (2013) at the Serpentine Pavilion in London. They are founders of Tashweesh, a collective of sound and image performances.
Bik Van der Pol 1994, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Bik Van der Pol, an artists’ duo composed of Liesbeth Bik and Jos Van der Pol, explores the potential of the production and transmission of knowledge. Their work is based on cooperation and an investigation of methods to activate determined situations, as well as the creation of a platform for various types of communicative activities. They also often confront the audience with issues that invite them to take a position. Their recent exhibitions include Moderation(s) (2014) at Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and Museum of Arte Util (2014) at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands; the 9th Bienal do Mercosul (2013) in Porto Alegre, Brazil; Call of the Mall (2013) at Hoog Catherijne in Utrecht, the Netherlands; and Frieze Projects (2011) at the Frieze Art Fair in London, UK. Bik Van der Pol run the School of Missing Studies, currently at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Bruno Pacheco 1974, Lisbon, Portugal. Lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal and London, UK. Whether in painting, drawing, sculpture or video, Bruno Pacheco creates images that appear to deconstruct legitimising discourses via the opposition between fragile figures and others that are positioned with authority. His paintings, sculptures, installations and drawings have been shown at such exhibitions as Sunshine and Sentiment (2014) at Hollybush Gardens in London, 140
UK; A Policeman, a Line and a Plinth (2013) at Galeria Filomena Soares in Lisbon, Portugal; Mar e campo em três momentos (2012) at Casa das Histórias Paula Rego in Cascais, Portugal; and Uma história de amor (2011) at Chiado8 Arte Contemporânea in Lisbon, Portugal.
Chto Delat 2003, Saint Petersburg, Russia. The collective Chto Delat (‘What is to be done’ in Russian) is comprised of Tsaplya Olga Egorova, Nikolay Oleynikov, Nina Gasteva and Dmitry Vilensky, and includes artists, critics, philosophers and writers from St. Petersburg and Moscow. Their work unites political theory, art and activism through artistic projects, educational seminars and public campaigns, and takes the form of videos, theatre plays, radio shows and murals. The group, which was formerly called Chto Delat?, also publishes an eponymous newspaper. Their recent exhibitions include Not‑in‑Russia (2014) at Fabrika, Moscow, Russia; Former West: Documents, Constellations, Prospects (2013) at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, Germany; the 10th Gwangju Biennial (2012) in South Korea; Chto Delat? in Baden‑Baden (2011) at Staatliche Kuntsthalle Baden‑Baden in Germany; Chto Delat? Perestroika: Twenty Years After: 2011–1991 (2011) at Kölnischer Kunstverein in Cologne, Germany; Ostalgia (2011) at the New Museum in New York, US; Study, Study and Act Again (2011) at Moderna Galerija in Ljubljana, Slovenia; and The Urgent Need to Struggle (2011) at the ICA in London, UK.
Clara Ianni 1987, São Paulo, Brazil. Lives and works in São Paulo. With a degree in the visual arts from the University of São Paulo and a Masters in visual
anthropology from the Freie Univeristät in Berlin, Clara Ianni has displayed her work at the 33rd Panorama de Arte Brasileira (2013) at Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo – MAM, Brazil; the 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011) in Turkey and the 3rd Mostra do Programa de Exposições do CCSP (2012) at Centro Cultural São Paulo among others. She has participated in artist‑in‑residence programmes such as Hiwar: Conversations in Amman (2013) at Darat Al Funun, Jordan, Palestine or Bolsa Pampulha (2011) at the Museu de Arte de Pampulha in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. She worked as curatorial assistant at the Museé du Louvre and the 7th Berlin Biennial (2012).
Contrafilé, Grupo 2000, São Paulo, Brazil. Founded in the year 2000 by Joana Zatz Mussi, Jerusa Messina, Rafael Leona, Cibele Lucena and Fábio Invamoto, Grupo Contrafilé is an art-politics-education collective concerned with practising the right to invent in the city. Recent projects include Programa para a Descatracalização da Própria Vida (2004) and A Rebelião das Crianças (2005) – which spawned the Parque para Brincar e Pensar (2011) and Quintal (2013). The group has participated in such exhibitions as Radical Education (2008) at Galerija Škuc in Ljubljana, Slovenia; If You See Something Say Something (2007) at the Chrissie Cotter Gallery in Camperdown, Australia; and Collective Creativity (2005) at the Fridericianum in Kassel, Germany.
Dan Perjovschi 1961, Sibiu, Romania. Lives and works in Sibiu and Bucharest, Romania. Known for the illustrations he creates for performances or installations, Perjovschi has dedicated his efforts in recent years to
drawing directly on the walls and windows of museums and art centres across the globe, mixing local with global and political with social issues. Recent solo shows include Unframed (2013) at Kiasma in Helsinki, Finland; Not Over at MACRO (2010) in Rome, Italy; What Happened to Us (2007) at MoMA in New York, US; and Perjovschi (2006) at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven in the Netherlands. His work has appeared in group exhibitions such as Playtime (2014) at Lenbachhaus, Munich, Germany; Promises of the Past (2010) at Centre Pompidou in Paris, France; at the 10th Biennale de Lyon (2009) in France; at the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007) in Italy; and the 9th Istanbul Biennial (2005) in Turkey. In 2013 he received the ECF Princess Margriet Award, along with Lia Perjovschi.
Danica Dakić 1962, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany. Danica Dakić’s work ranges from film and video to photography and installations, in which she examines the corporeal and political parameters of language and identity. The social and cultural shaping of roles, as well as the way roles are adopted and articulated, are also central motifs for her. Recent solo exhibitions include presentations at the Museum für Moderne Kunst (2013) in Frankfurt, Germany; at the Hammer Museum (2011) in Los Angeles, US; at the Museum of Contemporary Art (2010) in Zagreb, Croatia; and at the Generali Foundation (2010) in Vienna, Austria. She has participated in such group exhibitions as the 1st Kyiv international Biennale Arsenale (2012) in Kiev, Ukraine; the 6th Liverpool Biennial (2010) in the UK; the Sydney Biennial (2010) in Australia; documenta 12 (2007) in Kassel, Germany and the the 8th and 11th Istanbul Biennials (2003 and 2009) in Turkey.
Débora Maria da Silva 1959, Recife, Brazil. She lives and works in Santos, Brazil. Débora Maria da Silva is the founder of the group Mães de Maio, which unites the family members of victims of statesponsored violence, specifically the hundreds of murders that took place in 2006 and are known as the ‘Crimes of May’, attributed to actions taken by police and death squads linked to the military police. Most of the victims were young, black or indigenous and poor, and were executed in just over a week’s time; Débora’s son, Edson Rogério Silva dos Santos, was one of them. In 2011, the Mães de Maio received the Santo Dias Human Rights Award; in 2013, the Chico Mendes Medal of Resistance and the 2013 Human Rights Award (the highest honour given by the Brazilian government to people and organisations who do outstanding work to fight human rights violations) in the ‘Confronting violence’ category. They were also awarded the Braz Cubas Medal in 2014, in recognition of the group’s activism.
Éder Oliveira 1983, Nova Timboteua, Brazil. Lives and works in Belém, Brazil. Éder Oliveira is a painter with a degree in arts education from the Federal University of Pará. Since 2004, he has been making work that relates portraiture to cultural identity, always using the Amazonian people as his inspiration. His work has recently been included in Amazônia, Lugar de Experiências (2013) at the Museu da Universidade Federal do Pará – UFPA in Belém, Brazil; Amazônia, Ciclos de Modernidade (2012) at Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro/Brasília, Brazil; O triunfo do contemporâneo (2012) at the Museu de Arte Contemporânea do Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil; and Amazônia, a
arte (2010), shown at the Museu Vale in Vitória and Palácio das Artes in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Edward Krasiński 1925, Luck, Poland (currently part of Ukraine) – 2004, Warsaw, Poland. Edward Krasiński studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Kraków, Poland during World War Two, then at the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts. In the 1950s he moved to Warsaw. He began his career in the early 1960s with shows at Warsaw’s Krzywe Koło Gallery and at Kraków’s Krzysztofory Gallery, both in Poland, presenting his Objects in Space and sculptures that were minimalistic in their form. In 1966, with Anka Ptaszkowska, Wiesław Borowski, Mariusz Tchorek and Henryk Stażewski, he co-founded the Foksal Gallery. From 1969, he started using blue scotch tape, for the first time in the courtyard of the Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris during the 3éme Salon International de Galeries Pilotes. His works have been exhibited in solo shows at Foksal Gallery Foundation (2007 and 2013) in Warsaw; at Generali Foundation in Vienna (2006), Austria; at Zachȩta Gallery (1997) in Warsaw; and at Kunsthalle Basel (1996), Switzerland. His group exhibitions include the 10th Tokyo Biennale (1970), Japan; and the Guggenheim International Exhibition – Sculpture from Twenty Nations (1967), New York, US.
El Hadji Sy 1954, Dakar, Senegal. Lives and works in Dakar. El Hadji Sy studied fine arts at École Nationale des Beaux‑Arts in Dakar, Senegal. He makes art using the techniques of painting, performance and installation, in addition to working as a curator and a member of the collectives Tenq, Laboratoire AGIT’Art and Huit Facettes. From 1985 to 1989, 141
he was a guest of the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt, where he developed a collection of contemporary Senegalese art and co-edited a critical anthology about the country’s visual production. In 1995 and 1996 he worked as co-curator of Seven Stories about Modern Art in Africa at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, UK and Malmö Konsthall in Switzerland.
Erick Beltrán 1974, Mexico City, Mexico. Lives and works in Barcelona, Spain. Interested in creating systems capable of organising large quantities of heterogeneous information, Erick Beltrán proposes unconventional ways of putting this material into circulation. His work investigates the power relationships that exist in the editing process and the constructions of discourse. His attempts to address these issues range from diagrams to collections of information, archives and media inserts. His recent exhibitions include the solo show Atlas eidolon (2014) at the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City, Mexico, and the group shows Museo del gesto (2013) at La Capella in Barcelona, Spain; On Group Formation (2013) at the Impakt Festival in Utrecht, the Netherlands; Tropicalia negra (2013) at the Museo Experimental El Eco in Mexico City; and Game Piece (2013), with Bernardo Ortiz, at the Wittgenstein Archives/ Gallery Volt in Bergen, Norway.
Etcétera... 1997, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Formed in Buenos Aires in 1997, Etcétera... is an interdisciplinary collective comprised of visual artists, poets, actors and performers. In 2005, the group participated in the foundation of the Internacional Errorista movement, an organisation that celebrates error as a philosophy of life. Currently, Loreto Garín Guzmán 142
(born in Chile) and Federico Zukerfeld (born in Argentina), the collective’s cofounders, coordinate its archives, exhibitions and other initiatives. In 2013 Etcétera... won the International Award for Participatory Art in Bologna, Italy. Their international exhibitions include the 4th Athens Biennial (2013) in Greece; dOCUMENTA (13) (2012) in Kassel, Germany; the 52nd October Salon (2011) in Belgrade, Serbia; the 11th Istanbul Biennial (2009) in Turkey; the 6th Taipei Biennial (2008) in Taiwan; Collective Creativity (2005), at the Fridericianum Museum in Kassel, Germany; and Ex‑Argentina (2004), Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany.
Gabriel Mascaro 1983, Recife, Brazil. Lives and works in Recife. Gabriel Mascaro’s work studies the negotiation of power in its most varied manifestations. Between film and the visual arts, his work has been shown at the exhibitions Documentary Fortnight (2014) at MoMA in New York, US; Cruzamentos: Contemporary Art in Brazil (2014) at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio, US; the 18th Festival of Contemporary Art (2013‑14) at SESC/Videobrasil in São Paulo, Brazil; the 4th Athens Biennial (2013) in Greece; and the 32nd Panorama de Arte Brasileira (2012) at MAM in São Paulo, Brazil. Mascaro participated in the artist-in-residence programme Videobrasil – Videoformes in Clermont‑Ferrand, France, and was awarded with an artist’s residency at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Ohio, US in 2013.
Giuseppe Campuzano 1969 – 2013, Lima, Peru. Giuseppe Campuzano was a transvestite philosopher who, in 2004, created the Museo Travesti
del Perú. The Museo has been displayed in contemporary art institutions in cities like São Paulo, Brazil, Santiago, Chile and Madrid, Spain. It also came to universities in Lima, Peru; Brighton, UK; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Bogotá, Colombia; Mexico City, Mexico and Quito, Ecuador. Campuzano wandered and worked in the streets, and wrote texts that have been published in Saturday Night Thriller y otros escritos, 1998‑2013 (2013) and Museo Travesti del Perú (2008). In 2013, he received recognition for his work as an activist for LGBT rights in Lima. His work was recently presented in the exhibitions Museo oral de la revolución (2013), at MACBA in Barcelona, Spain; Salon Klimbim (2013) at Secession in Vienna, Austria; and Charming for the Revolution (2013) at Tate Modern in London, UK.
Graziela Kunsch 1979, São Paulo, Brazil. Lives and works in São Paulo. Graziela Kunsch’s work often implies an expansion of what is known as ‘the art public’ in relation to political and social contexts. Within the area of art, she usually offers critical responses to certain ways that institutions operate. She is co-curator of the projects Arte e esfera pública and Esboço para novas culturas: projetos de cidades em debate. Her work has appeared in group exhibitions such as the 29th Bienal de São Paulo (2010) in Brazil; The Grand Domestic Revolution (2011) at Casco in Utrecht, the Netherlands; All That Fits (2011) at Quad in Derby, UK; Blind Field (2013) at the Krannert Art Museum in Champaign, US; and the solo show Graziela Kunsch não existe (2000) at FAAP in São Paulo, Brazil. Kunsch is a firstgeneration member of Movimento Passe Livre and columnist for TarifaZero.org. She is currently studying for her doctorate at ECA‑USP and edits the magazine Urbânia.
1946, Ankara, Turkey. Lives and works in Istanbul, Turkey.
Hudinilson Jr., a multimedia artist and one of the pioneers of Xerox art in Brazil, studied fine arts at Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado, and experimented with multiple artistic expressions – drawing, painting, postal art, graffiti, performance and urban interventions – often featuring the male human body as a recurring theme. In 1979 he founded the group 3NÓS3 with artists Rafael França and Mario Ramiro, which made interventions in São Paulo’s urban landscape in the 1980s. Some of the major exhibitions which have featured his work are Glasgow International (2014) in the UK; Obra e documento – Arte/Ação e 3NÓS3 (2012) at Centro Cultural São Paulo in Brazil; the 3rd Bienal do Mercosul (2001) in Porto Alegre, Brazil; and the 1st Bienal de La Habana (1984) in Cuba.
With a degree from the Istanbul State Fine Arts Academy, Gülsün Karamustafa investigates ideas of mobility and reflects on the sociopolitical and economic changes of the recent past. Nomadism, immigration, expatriation and exile appear in her work, which includes painting, collage, installation and video. She participated in the 4th Thessaloniki Biennial (2013) in Greece; 1st Kyiv international Biennale Arsenale (2012) in Kiev, Ukraine; the 3rd Singapore Biennial (2011); the 11th Cairo Biennial (2008) in Egypt; the 2nd Guangzhou Triennial (2005) in China; the 8th Bienal de La Habana (2003) in Cuba; the 3rd Cetinje Biennial (2003) in Montenegro; the 3rd Gwangju Biennial (2000) in South Korea; and the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Istanbul Biennials (1987, 1992 and 1995) in Turkey.
Halil Altındere 1971, Mardin, Turkey. Lives and works in Istanbul, Turkey. Halil Altındere’s work is focused on the resistance to repressive structures and marginalisation within the official systems of representation. His most recent work explores Istanbul’s daily life and the codes of its subcultures. He has shown his work at venues such as MoMA PS1 (2014), New York, US; CA2M (2013), Móstoles, Spain; ZKM (2011), Karlsruhe, Germany; the 9th Sharjah Biennial (2009) in the United Arab Emirates; documenta 12 (2007) in Kassel, Germany; Manifesta 4 (2002) in Frankfurt, Germany; the 4th Gwangju Biennial (2002) in South Korea; the 24th Bienal de São Paulo (1998) in Brazil; and the 5th, 9th and 13th Istanbul Biennials (1997, 2005 and 2013) in Turkey. He is also editor and art director for the Istanbul-based magazine Art‑Ist Contemporary Art.
1957 – 2013, São Paulo, Brazil.
Imogen Stidworthy 1963, London, UK. She lives and works in Liverpool, UK. Imogen Stidworthy works with voice and language in order to reflect on how we are located physically and culturally. Her solo exhibitions include Volumes of Stone (2013) at Galerie Raum mit Licht in Vienna, Austria; Sacha (2013) at Akinci in Amsterdam, the Netherlands; (.) (2011) at Matt’s Gallery in London, UK; and Imogen Stidworthy (2010) at Arnolfini in Bristol, UK. She participated in the 1st Bergen Triennale (2013), Norway; the 8th Busan Biennale (2012) in South Korea; the 52nd October Salon (2011) in Belgrade, Serbia; and documenta 12 (2007) in Kassel, Germany. Stidworthy was also curator of two exhibitions addressing the borders of language: In the First Circle (in collaboration with Paul Domela) (2011‑2012) at Fundació Antoni
Tapiès in Barcelona, Spain; and Die Lucky Bush (2008) at M KHA in Antwerp, Belgium.
Ines Doujak and John Barker 1959, Klagenfurt, Austria. Lives and works in Vienna, Austria. 1948, London, UK. Lives and works in London and Vienna. Ines Doujak and John Barker work together through a common interest in the political dimension of cultural exchanges. Doujak, a feminist artist who uses various media, initiated Loomshuttles/ Warpaths, an extensive study of textiles to investigate their global history, characterised by cultural, class and gender conflict. Barker, a writer, essayist and performer who since the 1970s has been focused on economics, geopolitical dynamics and the exploitation of labour, was invited to collaborate on the project. Between 2012 and 2013 Loomshuttles/Warpaths has been exhibited, among others, at Fields, National Art Museum in Riga, Latvia; Not Dressed for Conquering, Royal College of Art in London, UK; Acts of Voicing, Total Museum in Seoul, South Korea; 54th October Salon, The Cultural Centre of Belgrade in Serbia; the 8th Busan Biennale in South Korea; and Art and Fashion, MMK in Vienna, Austria. Currently Ines Doujak works, together with Oliver Ressler, on the research and exhibition project Utopian Pulse: Flares in the Darkroom at Secession in Vienna, Austria. Between 2010 and 2011 she participated in Principio Potosí/Das Potosi‑Prinzip/The Potosi Principle at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, Spain; Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, Germany and Museo Nacional de Arte in La Paz, Bolivia. Her work Victory Gardens was shown at documenta 12 (2007) in Kassel, Germany.
Jo Baer 1929, Seattle, US. Lives and works in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Jo Baer was one of the key artists of the Minimalist painting movement in New York in the 1960s and the first half of the 70s. It was during this period that she executed her series of squares in varying sizes, as well as vertical and horizontal rectangles in the hard-edge style, pieces that she would later expand into split arrangements like diptychs and triptychs. Her most recent solo exhibitions include Jo Baer: Gemälde und Zeichnungen seit 1960 (Drawings and Paintings) (2013) at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany, and In the Land of the Giants (2013) at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Johanna Calle 1965, Bogotá, Colombia. Lives and works in Bogotá. Johanna Calle studied art at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá and at Chelsea College of Art in London, UK. Her recent solo shows include Foto‑gramática (2013) at Galerie Krinzinger in Vienna, Austria; Intertexts (2012) at Galeria Marilia Razuk in São Paulo, Brazil; Irregular Hexagon (2012) at San Arte in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam; Submergentes: A Drawing Approach on Masculinities (2011) at MoLAA in Long Beach, US; Signos (2011) at Casas Riegner Gallery in Bogotá, Colombia and Zona Maco Sur (2010) in Mexico City, Mexico. She has also participated in group shows including SITELines: Unsettled Landscapes (2014) in New Mexico, US; Lines (2014) at Hauser and Wirth in Zürich, Switzerland; the 19th Bienal de Arte Paiz (2014) in Guatemala City, Guatemala; Marking Language (2013) at the Drawing Room, London, UK; the 12th Istanbul
Biennial (2011) in Turkey; and the 7th Bienal do Mercosul (2009) in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Jonas Staal 1981, Zwolle, the Netherlands. Lives and works in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Jonas Staal investigates the relationship between art, democracy and propaganda. He is the founder of the artistic and political organisation New World Summit, which develops parliaments for stateless organisations banned from democratic discourse, and the New World Academy (with BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, in Utrecht, the Netherlands), which invites stateless organisations to research with artists and students the role of art in political struggle. Staal’s long-term research into the instrumental role of art in contemporary politics resulted, amongst others, in the free mobile phone application Ideological Guide to the Venice Biennale (2013) and his book and installation Nosso Lar, Brasília (2014), in which he explores the relationship between Spiritism and Modernism in Brazilian architecture.
Juan Carlos Romero 1931, Avellaneda, Argentina. Lives and works in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Throughout his career, Juan Carlos Romero has been part of groups dedicated to visual experiences and public interventions. He has won several awards, including the Gran Premio de Honor de Grabado del LXIII Salón Nacional de Artes Plásticas in Buenos Aires, Argentina; the United Nations Award (with Grupo de los Trece) in Yugoslavia; and the 1st Joan Brossa Visual Poetry Award in Spain. His most recent solo shows are Yo Acuso (2013) at the Museo de la Memoria in La Plata,
Argentina; Paradoja (2013) at the Museo Haroldo Conti in Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Violencia (2011‑2012), at the Morsbroich Museum in Cologne, Germany and the Fondation Cartier in Paris, France. Among his group exhibitions, highlights include the 7th Bienal do Mercosul (2009) in Porto Alegre, Brazil; the 4th Ljubljana International Biennial of Graphic Arts (2001) in Slovenia; and the 7th Bienal de La Habana (2001) in Cuba.
Juan Downey 1940, Santiago, Chile – 1993, New York, US. Juan Downey travelled through Latin America on several occasions in search of ‘an invisible architecture’ formed by channels of communication between a variety of groups. Seeing himself as a ‘cultural communicator and activating aesthetic anthropologist’, he sought to deconstruct the centralising vision of the world established by Western culture. His work has been part of exhibitions at the Guggenheim Museum (2014) in New York, US; Museo Rufino Tamayo (2013) in Mexico City, Mexico; Haus der Kulturen der Welt (2010) in Berlin, Germany; Sala Telefónica (2010) in Santiago, Chile, and the IVAM (1997) in Valencia, Spain.
Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa 1963, Donostia‑San Sebastián, Spain. Lives and works in Paris, France. Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa’s work is concerned with the ability of visual and written language to challenge those who come into contact with it, questioning what types of subjects we are, or allow ourselves to be. His drawings, tapestries and films have been shown in exhibitions such as Culture Is What Is Done to Us (2014), Clages
Gallery, Cologne, Germany; Erased (2012) at the Gallery Clages in Cologne, Germany; Do You Want a Master? You Will Have It (2010) at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, Spain; Personal (Civil) War (2010) at Carreras Mugica in Bilbao, Spain; and Lonely at the Top (2008) at M HKA in Antwerp, Belgium. His group shows include Tratado de paz (2013) at the San Telmo Museo in Donostia‑San Sebastián, Spain; the 31st Panorama de Arte Brasileira (2009) at MAM in São Paulo, Brazil; Santhal Family, Positions Around an Indian Sculpture (2008) at M KHA, Antwerp, Belgium; and the 9th Biennale de Lyon (2007) in France.
Kasper Akhøj and Tamar Guimarães 1967, Belo Horizonte, Brasil. Lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark. 1976, Copenhagen, Denmark. Lives and works in Copenhagen. Tamar Guimarães and Kasper Akhøj’s work involves the reconfiguration and appropriation of tools used by sociologists, historians and ethnographers. Situated in the field of conceptual narrative, they explore the objects, situations and historical residues of art, design, architecture and the institutions that represent them, reenacting past events in order to examine the conditions of the present. They also focus on uncovering relationships, moving from the geopolitical sphere to the personal, and seeking to alter the way we understand our surroundings, ourselves and others. Their recent exhibitions include The Encyclopedic Palace (2013) at the 55th Venice Biennale in Italy; the 11th Sharjah Biennial (2013) in the United Arab Emirates; The Afterlife (of Names and Things) (2012) at Satelite – Jeu de Paume, Paris, France/Maison d’art Bernard Anthonioz, Nogent‑sur‑Marne,
France; and The Last Days of Watteau (2012) at Galeria Fortes Vilaça in São Paulo, Brazil.
in 2013 and a grant from The Pais (the Israeli state-run lottery) in 2012.
1964, Havana, Cuba. Lives and works in Havana.
1920 – 2013, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Lázaro Saavedra holds a degree in painting from the Superior Institute of Art of Havana, and he has taught visual arts at his alma mater and the college of artistic education at the Instituto Superior Pedagógico Enrique José Varona. His pictorial work is complemented by installations and performances, as well as other media. From the late 1980s to the early 90s he contributed illustrations and design to the publications Albur, Credo and Memoria de la postguerra. His work has been exhibited in Todo final es el comienzo de algo desconocido (2002) at Laab Ateliers in Basel, Switzerland; Overtures‑über Wasser (2002) in Gelsenkirchen, Germany; Atravesados (2002) at Fundación Telefónica in Madrid, Spain; and Global Imprint: Prints from New Jersey to South Africa and Points Between (2002) at the Mason Gross School of Arts Galleries in New Jersey, US. In 2007 he founded the gallery I‑MEIL, an ongoing project that uses electronic media as a vehicle for artistic creation.
Renowned for his provocative work against the military government in Argentina and the Catholic church, multimedia artist, poet and political activist León Ferrari experimented with a variety of artistic languages in a career that spans over six decades. In addition to drawings, writing and collages, Ferrari developed projects with video, sound installation, postal art and artist’s books. He lived in Brazil from 1976 to 1991, in exile during Argentina’s military dictatorship. His exhibitions include Luces de León (2010) at Fondo Nacional de las Artes in Buenos Aires, Argentina; León Ferrari y Mira Schendel: El alfabeto enfurecido (2009) at MoMA in New York, US and MNCARS (2010), Madrid, Spain; the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007) in Italy; the 17th, 18th and 27th editions of the Bienal de São Paulo (1983, 1985 and 2006) in Brazil; Objeto inusitado (1978) at Paço das Artes in São Paulo; and Buenos Aires 64 (1964) at MoMA in New York.
1961, Sibiu, Romania. Lives and works in Bucharest and Sibiu, Romania.
1977, New York, US. Lives and works in Tel Aviv, Israel. Leigh Orpaz creates supernatural images of individuals, places and gatherings through photography and video. Her work has been shown at MACRO (2013) in Rome, Italy; the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2011) in Israel; Galleria Fuoricampo (2011) in Siena, Italy; the Inga Gallery (2011) in Tel Aviv, Israel; and the Taipei Museum of Fine Arts (2008) in Taiwan. Orpaz was awarded the Young Artist Award from the Israeli Ministry of Culture
With a degree from the Art Academy of Bucharest, Lia Perjovschi is the founder and coordinator of CAA/CAA (Contemporary Art Archive and Center for Art Analysis) – an organic and ongoing project – and the Knowledge Museum, through which she has been developing interdisciplinary studies. Her pieces, in addition to being the theme of lectures and workshops, have been displayed in solo and group shows around the world, including dOCUMENTA (13) 145
(2012) in Kassel, Germany; Van Abbemuseum (2010) in Eindhoven, the Netherlands; Tate Modern (2008) in London, UK; the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in Durham, US; and the Centre Pompidou (2007) in Paris, France.
Lilian L’Abbate Kelian 1976, São Paulo, Brazil. Lives and works in São Paulo. Lilian L’Abbate Kelian is a historian with a degree from the University of São Paulo. For the last ten years she has worked with children and young adult education in the training of educators, management and institutional evaluation of educational projects from the perspective of democratic education. She is the co-founder of Escola Lumiar and Associação Politeia and, since 2003, has been jointly responsible for the Democratic Education course. Founder and associate researcher at the Nucleus of Psychopathology, Public Policy for Mental Health and Communicative Public Healthcare Actions at the University of São Paulo (NUPSI), L’Abbate Kelian currently works for the Urban Youth Program at the Center for Studies and Research in Education, Culture and Community Action (CENPEC).
Mapa Teatro – Laboratorio de Artistas 1984, Paris, France. Currently based in Bogotá, Colombia. A laboratory of artists dedicated to transdisciplinary creation, Mapa Teatro was founded by visual and performing artists Heidi and Rolf Abderhalden, both of whom are Colombians of Swiss origin. Interested in the transgression of geographical, linguistic and artistic borders, Mapa Teatro proposes a poetic and political confrontation 146
of local and global issues. In addition to performance works, installations, videos and urban interventions, their repertoire includes radio works, theatre and opera. Among their most recent projects are Los incontados: un tríptico (2014); Discurso de un hombre decente (2012) and Los santos inocentes (2010). The group also includes members Juan Ernesto Díaz, Pierre Magnin, José Ignacio Rincón, Santiago Sepúlveda and Ximena Vargas. Heidi and Rolf Abderhalden teach at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia.
Marcelo Rodrigues 1965, Belém, Brazil. Lives and works in Belém. Marcelo Rodrigues begun his work as cinematographer in 1997, with the alternative communication project launched by the municipality of Belém. During the 8 years he was there, and through his work with the Instituto de Artes do Pará, he developed relationships and collaborations with visual artists, and worked with them in the production of projects of artistic research and experimentation. Among the artists he worked with are Armando Queiroz, Danielle Fonseca, Afonso Gallindo, Paula Sampaio, Adriano Barroso, Jorane Castro and Melissa Barbery. He was director of photography for the documentaries O Negro no Pará: Cinco Séculos Depois, Rios de Terras e Águas and Mestre Vieira, Mestre Damasceno. He is director of images for the Newton Project at the Federal University of Pará (UFPA), and studies publicity and marketing at the Faculdade Estácio do Pará – FAP, also in Pará.
María Berríos and Jakob Jakobsen 1978, Santiago, Chile. Lives and works in London, UK. 1965, Copenhagen, Denmark. Lives and works in London. Since 2013 María Berríos and Jakob Jakobsen have been working on the collaborative research project The Revolution Must Be a School of Unfettered Thought, presented at the 31st Bienal. They consider revolutionary research to recall the fleeting tradition of the early twentieth-century ‘diagonal science’ that understood it is not enough to agglomerate different sciences around a subject, but that interdisciplinary work consists in ‘constructing a new object that cannot belong to anyone’. Their research project follows past attempts at articulating a kind of ‘anthropological materialism’ that considers phenomenological and concrete experience as crucial sites of contestation. Previous collaborations include participation in the Antiknow Research Group at Flat Time House in London (2013‑2014), as well as the co-edition of the publication Wages for Students (2014).
Mark Lewis 1958, Hamilton, Canada. Lives and works in London, UK. Mark Lewis’s films are often representations of daily life that make subtle and frequently accidental allusions to the traditions of cinema, photography and painting. Recent solo shows include Mark Lewis: Invention au Louvre (2014) at the Musée du Louvre in Paris, France; Mark Lewis: Pull Focus (2013) at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands; Mark Lewis: Cold Morning (2009) at the 53rd Venice Biennale in Italy; and Mark Lewis: Modern Time (2007) at the Vancouver Art Gallery in Canada. His film Black Mirror at the National Gallery (2011) was
screened at several international film festivals, including the 68th Venice International Film Festival (2011), in Italy, and the 36th Toronto International Film Festival (2011), in Canada. Among his more recent projects is a series of films shot in the Korean demilitarised zone (2013). He is cofounder and co-director of Afterall, a publication and research organisation based at Central Saint Martins in London, UK.
Marta Neves 1964, Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Lives and works in Belo Horizonte. Marta Neves has a degree in drawing and animated film and a Masters degree in visual arts from the Federal University of Minas Gerais. She works with a variety of media, including urban intervention, performance, photography, video, digital images and embroidery. One of her recent solo projects is the performance Eu não sou cantora (2014) at the Memorial Minas Gerais Vale in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. She has participated, among others, in the 27th Panorama da Arte Brasileira (2001) at MAM, São Paulo/Salvador/ Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 3rd Bienal do Mercosul (2001), Porto Alegre, Brazil; Amalgames brésiliens (2005) at the Musée de l’Hôtel‑Dieu in Mantes‑la‑Jolie, France; and Japan‑Brazil: Creative Art Session 2008 at the Kawasaki Museum in Japan.
Michael Kessus Gedalyovich 1960, Haifa, Israel. Lives and works in Neve Michael, Israel. Michael Kessus Gedalyovich dedicates his efforts to painting as well as writing. The graphic novel that he is currently working on is titled The Imaginary Weak/They Buried My Faith, in Search After the Lost Grave of the False Messiah, Sabbatai Zevi. Throughout his
career he has produced artist’s books and held exhibitions at galleries and museums, such as Tea Party in Baghdad (2003) at Weizmann Square in Holon, Israel. His work has appeared in group exhibitions including Domesticated (2000) at the International Art Fair at the Refusalon Gallery in San Francisco, US, and Three Artists, Three Installations – Three Solo Exhibitions by Sophie Calle, Khalil Rabah and Michael Kessus Gedalyovich (1997) at the Festival Fenêtre au Sud in Cergy‑Pontoise, France. He is the cofounder of the magazine Maarav, the first Israeli online publication of art and culture.
Miguel A. López 1983, Lima, Peru. He lives and works in Lima. Miguel A. López is a writer, artist and researcher. His most recent curatorial projects include Pulso Alterado: Intensidades en la Colección del MUAC y sus Colecciones Asociadas (2013‑2014) in partnership with Sol Henaro, at MUAC‑UNAM in Mexico City, Mexico; and Perder la forma humana: Una imagen sísmica de los años ochenta en América Latina (2012‑2014), curated by Red Conceptualismos del Sur at MNCARS in Madrid, Spain, MALI, Lima, Peru and Universidad Nacional Tres de Febrero, Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has published his writing in such newspapers and magazines as Afterall, ramona, Manifesta Journal, E‑flux Journal, Art in America, The Exhibitionist, ArtNexus and Art Journal. He is one of the authors of Post‑ilusiones: Nuevas visiones, arte crítico en Lima, 1980‑2006 (2006), published by Fundación Augusto N. Wiese, and Teresa Burga: informes, esquemas, intervalos, 17.9.10 (2011), published by the ICPNA. He is the editor of A Wandering Body. Sergio Zevallos in the Grupo Chaclacayo (1982‑1994) (2014); Giuseppe Campuzano: Saturday Night
Thriller y otros escritos, 1998‑2013 (2013) and ¿Y qué si la democracia ocurre? (2012).
Mujeres Creando 1992, La Paz, Bolivia. The Bolivian feminist movement Mujeres Creando, coordinated by Maria Galindo and Esther Argollo, sees creativity as an instrument for social activism, operating via television, radio, graffiti and other urban interventions in the cities of Bolivia. Mujeres Creando runs the house Virgen de los Deseos in La Paz, and they have participated in art exhibitions such as Principio Potosí/Das Potosi‑Prinzip/The Potosi Principle (2010-2011) at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, Spain; Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, Germany and Museo Nacional de Arte in La Paz, Bolivia; and the 26th Bienal de São Paulo (2007) in Brazil.
Nahum Zenil 1947, Chicontepec, Mexico. Lives and works in Tenango del Aire and Mexico City, Mexico. Nahum Zenil’s art deals with the traditional Catholicism in which he was raised, the mythology of the indigenous communities and the importance of the modern imagery of artists such as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. In much of his work, the artist appears in self-portraits with his partner, Gerardo Vilchis, who plays the role of companion, alter ego, guardian angel and sexual outlaw. Zenil has been a tireless supporter of LGBT rights in Mexico, both through his painting and as part of the organisation of the Gay and Lesbian Cultural Week at the Museo Universitario del Chopo since 1987, in partnership with the gay rights march in Mexico City, Mexico. His most important exhibitions include Nahum B. Zenil: presente (1991) at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Monterrey, Mexico; Nahum B. Zenil: Witness to the Self (1997) 147
at the Mexican Museum in San Francisco, US; and El gran circo del mundo (1999) at the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City.
Nilbar Güreş 1977, Istanbul, Turkey. Lives and works in Vienna, Austria and Istanbul. Güreş has a degree in painting from Marmara University’s School of Fine Arts in Istanbul, Turkey and a Masters, also in painting, from the Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna, Austria. Some of her recent exhibitions are SeMA Biennale (2014), in Seoul, South Korea; EVA International – Ireland’s Biennial (2014), in Limerick; Meeting Points 7: Ten Thousand Wiles and A Hundred Thousand Tricks (2014), at 21er Haus in Vienna, Austria; the 6th Berlin Biennial (2010) in Germany; Where Do We Go From Here? (2010) at Secession in Vienna, Austria; the 11th Istanbul Biennial (2009) in Turkey; and the travelling exhibition Tactics of Invisibility (2010‑2011), shown at Thyssen‑Bornemisza Art Contemporary in Vienna, Austria, Tanas in Berlin, Germany and Arter in Istanbul, Turkey. Her solo shows include Open Phone Booth (2013) at Martin Janda in Vienna, Austria; Nilbar Güreş: Window Commission (2010) at Rivington Place in London, UK; and Unknown Sports, Indoor Exercises (2009) at Salzburger Kunstverein in Salzburg, Austria.
Nurit Sharett 1963, Tel Aviv, Israel. Lives and works in Tel Aviv. A video artist, Sharett studied photography and film at the Camera Obscura School of Art in Tel Aviv, Israel; at Gruppe fuer Autodidaktische Fotografie Zürich, Switzerland; and at the Beit Berl College for Art in Kfar Saba, Israel. In a poetic and personal manner, her work examines the complexity of life in Israel as well as issues of 148
identity politics. She has participated in such international exhibitions as the 17th and 18th Festivals of Contemporary Art (2012 and 2013), SESC/Videobrasil in São Paulo, Brazil; Where To (2012) at the Israeli Center for Digital Art in Holon, Israel; Videonale 13 (2011) in Bonn, Germany; Face à l’oracle (2008) at Cinémathèque Française in Paris, France; the 15th Sydney Biennial (2006) in Australia; and the 52nd International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (2006) in Germany.
Ocaña 1947, Cantillana, Spain – 1983, Seville, Spain. A popular painter, anarchist and LGBT activist, Ocaña lived and worked in Barcelona from 1973 to 1983. He played a central role in Barcelona’s underground scene and the Spanish counterculture as a whole, and was known for causing scandals when walking the streets dressed as a woman. He was a papier-mâché artist, film star and transvestite. He maintained an eccentric relationship with the art world, realising a series of public actions that fell somewhere between childlike games and political activism. Some of his most important presentations are Andalucía (1977) at the Galería Mec‑Mec in Barcelona; his cross-dressing interventions at the Jornadas Libertarias Internacionales in 1977, also in Barcelona; his participation in the movie Ocaña, retrato intermitente (1978), directed by Ventura Pons; the exhibition La Primavera (1980) at La Capella in Barcelona; and his performance in Jésus Garay’s film Manderley (1980).
Otobong Nkanga 1974, Kano, Nigeria. Lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium. A visual artist and performer, Nkanga began her art studies at the Obafemi National University
Awolowo in Ife, Nigeria, and continued her education at the École Superieure des Beaux‑Arts in Paris, France and the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where she also earned her Masters degree at DasArts. Her recent presentations and performances include Diaspore (2014) at 14 Rooms in Basel, Switzerland; In Pursuit of Bling (2014) at the 8th Berlin Biennale, Germany; Glimmer Fragments in Symposium Landings: Confrontation and Confession (2014) at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands; the 11th Sharjah Biennial (2013) in the United Arab Emirates; Across the Board: Politics of Representation (2012) at Tate Modern in London, UK; Inventing the World: The Artist as Citizen at the Benin Biennial (2012) in Cotonou, Benin; Tropicomania: The Social Life of Plants (2012), at Betónsalon in Paris, France (2012); and Object Atlas (2012) at the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt, Germany. She was a guest artist as part of the 2013‑2014 Artists-in-Berlin programme (DAAD) in Germany.
Pedro G. Romero / Archivo F.X. 1964, Aracena, Spain. Lives in Seville, Spain. Romero is part of the PRPC (Plataforma de Reflexión de Políticas Culturales) in Seville and a member of the content staff for the project UNIA arteypensamiento at the Universidad Internacional de Andalucía. He is curator of the project Tratado de paz, enlisted for Donostia Capital Cultural 2016. Since the late 1990s, he has been working on two distinct, ongoing projects: Archivo F.X. and Máquina P.H. The project La ciudad vacía (2009) at Fundació Antoni Tápies in Barcelona; De economía cero (2012), developed at the Museu Picasso in Barcelona as part of the exhibition Economía: Picasso and
the small anthology Wirtschaft, Ökonomie, Konjunktur (2014), staged at the Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart in Germany, are all part of Archivo F.X. His work as art director for flamenco dancer Israel Galván, the curating of Ocaña, 1973‑1983, actuaciones, acciones, activismo (2011‑2012), at La Virreina – Centre de la Image in Barcelona and Centro Cultural Montehermoso in Vitoria‑Gasteiz, Spain and the realisation of Plataforma Independiente de Estudios Flamencos Modernos y Contemporáneos are all included in Máquina P.H. In 2013, he released the novels Los Países, and Exaltación de la visión, both in Spain.
Peter Pál Pelbart 1956, Budapest, Hungary. Lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil. Peter Pál Pelbart studied philosophy in Paris and is currently a professor at PUC‑SP. He has written about madness, time, subjectivity and biopolitics. His books include O avesso do niilismo: Cartografias do esgotamento [Nihilism Inside Out: Cartographies of Exhaustion] (2013), Vida Capital: Ensaios de Biopolítica [Capital Life: Essays on Biopolitics] (2003) and O tempo não reconciliado: Imagens de tempo em Deleuze [Time Unreconciled: Images of Time in Deleuze] (1998). He has translated some of Gilles Deleuze’s books to Portuguese. He has been a member of Cia Teatral Ueinzz since its foundation in 1997. He has been involved in several projects with the group, including an ongoing collaboration with Alejandra Riera. He is also co-editor of n-1 publications.
Prabhakar Pachpute 1986, Chandrapur, India. Lives in Mumbai, India. Prabhakar Pachpute’s work, employing charcoal drawings as well as other media, generally deals with issues that concern specific geographic locations. They are a mixture of stories heard with the thoughts discovered during the process of art making. His work has been shown at, among others, Social Fabric (2013) at IFA Gallery, Stuttgart, Germany; L’Exigence de la saudade (2013) at the Kadist Art Foundation in Paris, France; Black or White (2013) at Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands; and Canary in a Coal Mine (2012) at the Clark House in Mumbai, India.
Qiu Zhijie 1969, Zhangzhou, China. Lives and works in Beijing, China. Qiu Zhijie is an artist, art critic and curator, and his work recurrently features the languages of calligraphy, photography and video-installation. In his writing about conceptual art in China in the mid‑1990s, he introduced the so-called ‘controversy of signification’, a debate relevant to recent theory on Chinese art. Some of his exhibitions are the 25th Bienal de São Paulo (2002) in Brazil; Inside Out: New Chinese Art (1998) at MoMa PS1 in New York, US; Beijing in London (1999) at the ICA in London, UK; Power of the Word (2000) at Faulconer Gallery/Grinnell College in the US; Translated Acts: Performance and Body Art from East Asia (2001), shown at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, Germany and the Queens Museum in New York. In 2001 Zhijie was the executive editor of the art magazine Nextwave.
Romy Pocztaruk 1983, Porto Alegre, Brazil. Lives and works in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Romy Pocztaruk’s photography and video work deals with simulations and the positions from which the artist interacts with different places. She has participated in such exhibitions as BRICS (2014), Oi Futuro Flamengo in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Convite à Viagem – Rumos Artes Visuais (2011‑2013), Itaú Cultural, São Paulo/Rio de Janeiro/Goiânia, Brazil; the 9th Bienal do Mercosul (2013) in Porto Alegre, Brazil; Region 0 – The Latino Video Art Festival of New York (2013), US; the 64th Salão Paranaense (2012) at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Paraná in Curitiba, Brazil; Mostra III Prêmio Diário Contemporâneo de Fotografia (2012), Casa das Onze Janelas, Belém, Brazil; Simulated Pathways (2011) at Skalitzer 140 in Berlin, Germany; the Amsterdam Biennial (2009) in the Netherlands; and All Photographers Now (2006) at the Musée de l’Elysée in Paris, France. She has also taken part in artist-in-residence programmes in China (Sunhoo Creatives in Residency), Berlin (Takt Kunstprojektraum) and New York (the Bronx Museum), sponsored by the Iberê Camargo grant for artist residencies.
ruangrupa 2000, Jakarta, Indonesia. An initiative of artists created in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, ruangrupa is a non-profit organisation whose efforts focus on supporting the idea of art within the urban and cultural context. By involving artists and professionals from other disciplines such as social sciences, politics, technology and media, the group proposes a critical observation of Indonesia’s contemporary urban issues. The collective also produces collaborative artistic projects in the form of exhibitions, workshops, 149
festivals and a laboratory for art and research, in addition to publishing books, magazines and an online periodical.
Sergio Zevallos 1962, Lima, Peru. Lives in Berlin, Germany, and works in different cities in Latin America and Europe. Sergio Zevallos began his career as a founding member of the group Chaclacayo (1982‑1994), and relocated to Germany together with the collective in 1989. He works with photography, installation, performance and site-specific projects. His work is concerned with themes of transcultural and gender identity, the relationships between individuals and power and between the personal and public realm. His exhibitions include Un cuerpo ambulante (2013) at MALI, Lima, Peru; Perder la forma humana (2012-2014), MNCARS, in Madrid, Spain, MALI, Lima and Universidad Nacional Tres de Febrero, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Press Art, Die Sammlung Annette und Peter Nobelen (2010) at the Museum der Moderne in Salzburg, Austria; Arte no es vida: Actions by Artists of the Americas, 1960‑2000 (2008) at the Museo del Barrio in New York, US; and No Fon No Fax No Mail, Komm! (2008) at the Goethe‑Institut in Lisbon, Portugal.
Sheela Gowda 1957, Bhadravati, India. Lives in Bangalore, India. Sheela Gowda uses a variety of media and material in her work, in general installations, which initially suggest a concern with abstraction and, upon closer examination, reveal a continuous commitment to politics, the environment and society. She has had solo exhibitions at the Van Abbemuseum (2013) in Eindhoven, the Netherlands; Lund Kunsthalle (2013) in Sweden; the Centre International d’Art et du Paysage (2014) in Île de Vassivière, France; 150
the Irish Museum of Modern Art (2014) in Dublin; Iniva (2011) in London, UK; the NAS Gallery (2010) in Sydney, Australia; and the Office for Contemporary Art Norway (2010) in Oslo, Norway. The group shows in which she has participated include the 1st Kochi Muziris Bienniale (2012) in India; the 3rd Singapore Biennial (2011); the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009) in Italy; the 10th Sharjah Biennial (2008) in the United Arab Emirates; Santhal Family: Positions around an Indian Sculpture (2008), M HKA in Antwerp, Belgium; documenta 12 (2007) in Kassel, Germany; and the 1st Johannesburg Biennial (1995) in South Africa. In 2013‑2014, she was a DAAD artist-in-residence in Berlin.
Teatro da Vertigem 1991, São Paulo, Brazil. Teatro da Vertigem began with experiments based on classical mechanics applied to the acting craft, which culminated in its first show, O paraíso perdido (1992). In 1998 O livro de Jó was the first production to represent Brazil at the 3rd Anton Chekhov International Theater Festival in Moscow, Russia. In subsequent years the group solidified the collaborative process as its mode of creation, always seeking to occupy non-conventional spaces – a hospital, a prison or the polluted riverbed of São Paulo’s Rio Tietê. During the spectacle Bom Retiro 958 metros (2012), the group occupied several streets of the São Paulo neighbourhood of Bom Retiro. Teatro da Vertigem won the gold medal for the best production at the 12th Prague Quadrennial (2011) for the show BR‑3. In 2014 the group staged the show Dire ce qu’on ne pense pas dans des langues qu’on ne parle pas for the project Villes en Scène at the Théâtre National in Brussels, Belgium and the Festival d’Avignon in France.
Teresa Lanceta 1951, Barcelona, Spain. Lives in Alicante, Spain. Teresa Lanceta holds a degree in modern and contemporary history and a PhD in art history. She is a specialist in Moroccan fabrics and the textile production of Muslim Spain. Her work has been shown at the Sala La Lonja del Pescado (2009) in Alicante, Spain; at Villa des Arts (2001) in Casablanca, Morocco; at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (2000) in Madrid, Spain; at the Université de Touloue Le Mirail (1994) in Toulouse, France; and at the Museu Tèxtil i d’Indumentària (1989) in Barcelona, Spain, among other institutions. Lanceta also works on documentaries about women weavers and women in the tobacco industry. She currently teaches artistic languages at Escola Massana in Barcelona.
Thiago Martins de Melo 1981, São Luís, Brazil. Lives and works in São Luís. Holding a degree in psychology and a Masters degree in behavioural research and theory from the Federal University of Pará, Thiago Martins de Melo has dedicated himself to the visual arts, specifically, painting. His recent solo exhibitions include Teatro nagô‑cartesiano e o corte azimutal do mundo (2013) at Mendes Wood DM in São Paulo, Brazil. He has participated in several group shows such as Imagine Brazil (2013) at Astrup Fearnley Museet in Oslo, Norway; Entre‑temps... Brusquement, et ensuite (2013) at the 12th Biennale de Lyon in France; To Be with Art Is All We Ask (2013) at Astrup Fearnley Museet in Oslo, Norway; Zona tórrida: certa pintura do Nordeste (2012) at Santander Cultural in Recife, Brazil; and Convite à viagem – Rumos Artes Visuais (2011‑2013) at Itaú Cultural in São Paulo, Brazil.
Tiago Borges 1973, Luanda, Angola. He lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal. Born during the revolution of a country’s fight for independence, Tiago Borges grew up in a context of war, kidnapping, dystopia, adventure and hardship. His work involves the creation of web pages, diagrams, installations, machines, stacks of symbols and objects, toys, low-fi systems, slogans and formulas, stencils and graffiti and editorial and video projects. His exhibitions include Arte In’Visible (2010) at Arco, Madrid, Spain; Lusophonia (2008) at Hangar in Barcelona, Spain; 5th São Tomé e Príncipe Biennial (2008), São Tomé; and Réplica e Rebeldia (2006), Instituto Camões, Lisbon, Portugal. He participated in the 1st Luanda Triennial (2005) in Angola, at the artist-in-residence programmes in Lisbon, Portugal and the Canary Islands, Spain.
Tony Chakar 1968, Beirut, Lebanon. Lives and works in Beirut, Lebanon. Tony Chakar is an architect, writer and artist. His most recent solo work includes the lecture/performance The Space of Nūn (2013); The Sky Over Beirut (Walking Tours of the City) (2009) at Ashkal Alwan in Beirut, Lebanon; and The Eighth Day (2008), an ongoing project also in the form of a lecture/performance. Some of the group shows that have featured his work are The Dialogue that Is Us (2013) at the 11th Sharjah Biennial in the United Arab Emirates; One Hundred Thousand Solitudes (2012) at Meeting Points 6, shown in Beirut, Lebanon, Berlin, Germany and Athens, Greece; An Endless Quick Nightmare (2011) at MED11 in Medellín, Colombia. Chakar has also contributed to art and architecture magazines and is a professor of art history and architectural history at the Académie Libanaise des Beaux‑Arts (ALBA‑UOB) in Beirut.
UEINZZ, Cia Teatral 1997, São Paulo, Brazil. The Cia Teatral UEINZZ provides a performance space for those who feel the world spinning. It creates material for poetic and political transmutation out of land-sickness. The collective includes masters of the art of clairvoyance, with noteworthy knowledge of improvisation and neologisms; specialists in maritime encyclopaedias, frustrated trapeze artists, dream hunters, interpretative actresses, as well as inventors of the ‘pigeon-slang’, incognito musicians, master brewers and new-born beings. Lives on the edge experimenting with aesthetic practices and trans-Atlantic collaborations. A community for those with no community, for a community to come. Its current members are Adélia Faustino, Aílton Carvalho, Alexandre Bernardes, Amélia Monteiro de Melo, Ana Goldenstein Carvalhaes, Ana Carmen del Collado, Arthur Amador, Eduardo Lettiere, Erika Alvarez Inforsato, Fabrício Lima Pedroni, Jaime Menezes, José Petrônio Fantasia, Leonardo Lui Cavalcanti, Luis Guilherme Ribeiro Cunha, Luiz Augusto Collazzi Loureiro, Maria Yoshiko Nagahashi, Onés Antonio Cervelin, Paula Patricia Francisquetti, Pedro França, Peter Pál Pelbart, Rogéria Neubauer, Simone Mina and Valéria Felippe Manzalli.
Val del Omar 1904, Granada, Spain – 1982, Madrid, Spain. Val del Omar’s work should be understood from the perspective of his status as an inventor, visionary and visual poet. He has defined himself with the epithet ‘cinemist’, a neologism which, by combining the activity of film-maker and alchemist, defines his original approach to cinema, according to which technological investigation
cannot be separated from aesthetic experimentation. He also formulated the term ‘plat’ to designate a form of pictorial-luminary-audiotactile art, and developed concepts such as the ‘panoramic overflowing of the image’ that goes beyond the limits of the canvas, ‘diaphonic sound’ and ‘tactile vision’. His exhibitions include Val del Omar: Overflow (2010) at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, Spain; and The Discreet Charm of Technology: Arts in Spain (2008) at the Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo in Badajoz, Spain.
Virginia de Medeiros 1973, Feira de Santana, Brazil. Lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil. A commitment to socially-marginalised groups like transsexuals and the homeless is central to Virginia de Medeiros’s work. She has exhibited at the 18th International Festival of Contemporary Art SESC/Videobrasil (2013‑2014) in São Paulo, Brazil; the 32nd Panorama de Arte Brasileira (2011) at MAM in São Paulo, Brazil; the 2nd Luanda Triennial (2010), Luanda, Angola; at the artist residency International Women for Peace Conference (2009) in Dili, East Timor; the programme Rumos Artes Visuais (2005‑2006), Itaú Cultural, Brazil; and the 27th Bienal de São Paulo (2006) also in Brazil. In 2014 she won the ICCo/ Panoramas do Sul‑Videobrasil Residence Award to develop a project at Residency Unlimited in New York, US. In 2007, she participated in an artist residency at La Chambre Blanche in Québec, Canada. She holds a Masters degree in visual arts from the Federal University of Bahia.
1949, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Lives in Panajachel, Guatemala.
1967, Chbanieh, Lebanon. Lives and works in New York, US.
After travelling through North and Central America, Vivian Suter moved to a Guatemalan village in the early 1980s. She creates most of her work, which include paintings that comment on and interpret the environment in which she lives, at her home studio. Among Suter’s solo exhibitions are Vivian Suter ‘Intrépida’ Featuring Elisabeth Wild ‘Fantasías 2’ (2014) at Kunsthalle Basel in Switzerland; Olinka, or Where Movement is Created (2012) at the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City, Mexico; 6 Künstler aus Basel x2 (2012) at Kunsthalle Basel in Switzerland; and Olten: Rut Himmelsbach and Vivian Suter Art Museum (2004) at the Kunstmuseum, Olten in Switzerland.
Walid Raad is an artist and Associate Professor at The Cooper Union’s School of Art in New York, US. Some highlights of his body of work include The Atlas Group (1989‑2004), a project on contemporary Lebanese history that also resulted in the publication of a series of books – The Truth Will Be Known When the Last Witness Is Dead; My Neck Is Thinner than a Hair; Let’s Be Honest and The Weather Helped. He currently has two projects in progress, Sweet Talk: Commissions Beirut, and Scratching on Things I Could Disavow. His solo exhibitions include Preface (2014) at Carrée d’Art in Nîmes, France; Preface to the First Edition (2013) at the Musée du Louvre in Paris, France; and Miraculous Beginnings (2010) at Whitechapel Gallery in London, UK. His work has also been shown at dOCUMENTA (13) (2013) in Kassel, Germany, and the exhibition Contemporary Arab Representations: Beirut/Lebanon (2001) at Fundació Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona, Spain.
Voluspa Jarpa 1971, Rancagua, Chile. Lives and works in Santiago, Chile. With a degree from the University of Chile’s School of Art, Voluspa Jarpa has constructed a career in the theoretical and conceptual investigation of painting and techniques of representation. The violence latent in the official forms of representation and reflections on displacement and the precariousness of cities are recurring themes in her artistic endeavours. Her recent solo shows include Secret/Sensitive Eyes Only (2013) at Mor‑Charpentier Galerie and L’Effet Charcot (2010) at Maison de l’Amerique Latine, both located in Paris, France. Her work has been shown in group exhibitions such as History’s Mine (2012) at Les Abattoires in Toulouse, France; the 3rd and 8th Bienal do Mercosul (2001 and 2011) in Porto Alegre, Brazil; and the 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011) in Turkey.
Wilhelm Sasnal 1972, Tarnów, Poland. Lives and works in Kraków, Poland. Sasnal studied painting at the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts. He has held solo shows at Haus Der Kunst (2012) in Munich, Germany; Whitechapel Gallery (2011‑2012) in London, UK; K21 Ständehaus (2009) in Düsseldorf, Germany; and Kunsthalle Zürich (2003), Switzerland. He has participated in group exhibitions including the 55th Carnegie International (2008) at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, US; Painting of Modern Life (2007) at the Hayward Gallery in London, UK; and Painting on the Move: Nach der Wirklichkeit – Realismus und aktuelle Malerei (2002) at Kunsthalle Basel in
Switzerland. He has made three films in partnership with his wife, Anka Sasnal: Huba (Parasite) (2013), Aleksander (2013) and It Looks Pretty from a Distance (2011).
Yael Bartana 1970, Afula, Israel. Lives and works in Tel Aviv, Israel, Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Berlin, Germany. Yael Bartana’s films, installations and photography explores the imagination of the identity and the politics of memory. Her starting point is the national consciousness propagated by her home country, Israel. Since 2006 the artist has also been working in Poland, creating projects on the history of Jewish-Polish relations and its influence on the contemporary identity of the Polish people. Some of her recent exhibitions include True Finn: Tosi suomalainen (2014) at the IHME Contemporary Art Festival in Helsinki, Finland; Inferno (2013) at the Pérez Art Museum in Miami, US; If You Will It, It Is Not a Dream (2012) at Secession in Vienna, Austria; and And Europe Will Be Stunned (2011) at the 54th Venice Biennale in Italy. Her work was featured in such group exhibitions as the 29th Bienal de São Paulo (2010) in Brazil, and documenta 12 (2007) in Kassel, Germany. She won the Artes Mundi Prize in 2010.
Yeguas del Apocalipsis 1987‑1997, Santiago, Chile. A collective of artists founded by Pedro Lemebel (1955) and Francisco ‘Pancho’ Casas (1959), Yeguas del Apocalipsis was part of the Santiago counterculture in the context of political transition from military dictatorship under Augusto Pinochet to the return of democracy. Throughout its artistic trajectory, the group experimented with artistic actions, performances, installations, photography,
videos and interventions in an interdisciplinary manner. One of the collective’s pieces, Casa particular (1989), documented the staging of the Last Supper with artist Gloria Camiruaga. The video was removed from an exhibition at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Santiago after it was shown in 1990. The same year, the group presented the performance/ installation Las dos fridas [The Two Fridas] (1990), based on Frida Kahlo’s painting of the same name, at Galería Bucci, also in Santiago.
Yochai Avrahami 1970, Afula, Israel. Lives and works in Tel Aviv, Israel. Yochai Avrahami’s work includes sculptures, videos and installations. In recent years he has researched the exhibition and presentation of images in military museums, memorials of atrocities and visitor centres. He has held exhibitions in a variety of places, including the Artists Studio’s Gallery (2013) in Tel Aviv, Israel; the Museum of Modern Art (2010) in Gyeonggi, South Korea; the Center for Contemporary Art (2008) in Tel Aviv, Israel; the ACC Gallery (2008) in Weimar, Germany; and the Herzliya Museum (2004) in Herzliya, Israel. He has participated in group exhibitions at the 6th Taipei Biennial (2008) in Taiwan; the 9th Istanbul Biennial (2005) in Turkey; and the Tel Aviv Museum (2002) in Israel. He won the Akademie der Küste der Welt Award in Cologne, Germany, in 2014; the Israeli Ministry of Culture Award in 2011 and the Israeli National Lottery Award for the Arts in 2004. He has recently been lecturing at the Art Institute of Oranim Academic College in northern Israel and the Bezalel Academy of Fine Art in Jerusalem.
Yonamine 1975, Luanda, Angola. Lives and works in Luanda, Angola and Lisbon, Portugal. In recent years, Yonamine has participated in different artist‑in‑residence programmes at the Bundanon Trust (2012) in Nowra, Australia; Galeria ZDB (2007) in Lisbon, Portugal; the 1st Luanda Triennial (2006‑2007) in Angola and MuzArt – the National Museum of Art (2008) in Maputo, Mozambique. Solo exhibitions include: No Pain (2012) at Salzburger Kunstverein in Salzburg, Austria and Trash Anthology – Anthology Trash (2011) at Iwalewa‑Haus in Bayreuth, Germany. Group shows include No Fly Zone (2012) at the Museu Berardo in Lisbon, Portugal; Terceira Metade (2011) at MAM in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; the 29th Bienal de São Paulo (2010) in Brazil; Luanda, Suave e Frenética 2 (2010) at MAM in Bahia, Brazil; and Check List Luanda Pop (2007) at the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007) in Italy.
programme Arte In Loco (2009) in Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Bolsa Pampulha (2008) in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He was nominated for the Marcantonio Vilaça Prize in 2009. The participants listed below took part in the Programa de Residências Artísticas at FAAP – Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado: Anna Boguighian Arthur Scovino Bik Van der Pol Danica Dakić El Hadji Sy Erick Beltrán Etcétera… Ines Doujak and John Barker Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa Nilbar Gureş Pedro G. Romero Prabhakar Pachpute ruangrupa Sheela Gowda
Yuri Firmeza 1982, São Paulo, Brazil. Lives and works in Fortaleza, Brazil. Yuri Firmeza holds a Masters degree in visual poetics from the University of São Paulo’s School of Communications and Arts, and currently teaches film and the audiovisual courses at the Federal University of Ceará. Recent exhibitions include Through the Surface of the Pages (2012), Harvard University, Cambridge, US; O que exatamente vocês fazem, quando fazem ou esperam fazer curadoria? (2010) with Pablo Lobato at CCBNB in Fortaleza, Brasil; and Os dez primeiros anos (2011‑2012) at Instituto Tomie Ohtake in São Paulo, Brazil. He also participated in the programme Rumos Artes Visuais (2006), Itaú Cultural, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Goiás and Santa Catarina, Brazil; the artist‑in‑residence 153
Bienal de São Paulo Foundation Founder Francisco Matarazzo Sobrinho † 1898–1977 Chairman Emeritus
Honorary Board Oscar P. Landmann † · Chairman
Honorary Board of former Presidents Alex Periscinoto Carlos Bratke Celso Neves † Edemar Cid Ferreira Heitor Martins Jorge Eduardo Stockler Jorge Wilheim † Julio Landmann Luiz Diederichsen Villares Luiz Fernando Rodrigues Alves † Maria Rodrigues Alves † Manoel Francisco Pires da Costa Oscar P. Landmann † Roberto Muylaert
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Marta Delpoio · Coordinator Gláucia Ribeiro · Analyst Raquel Silva · Assistant
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Legal Counselling Marcello Ferreira Netto
Financial Management Vagner Carvalho · Manager Amarildo Firmino Gomes · Accountant Fábio Kato · Financial Clerk Lisânia Praxedes dos Santos · Assistant Thatiane Pinheiro Ribeiro · Financial Assistant Valdemiro Rodrigues da Silva · Supplies Coordinator Vinícius Robson da Silva Araújo · Supplies Clerk 158
Fire Brigade André Fernando Ferreira Pacifico Artur Medeiros Leandro Silva Meira Corelli Ricardo de Azevedo Santos Maintenance Alexandro Pedreira da Silva Cléber Silva de Souza Paulo Vitor Silva Oliveira Vanderlan da Silva Bispo Janitors Isabel Rodrigues Ferreira Mércia Ferreira da Silva Rodrigo Costa de Assunção Vanilde Herculano da Silva
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Publication General Concept Benjamin Seroussi Charles Esche Galit Eilat Luiza Proença Nuria Enguita Mayo Oren Sagiv Pablo Lafuente Edited by Nuria Enguita Mayo Erick Beltrán Graphic Design Erick Beltrán Editorial Coordination Editorial Bienal Desktop Publishing Design Bienal Translation Cid Knipel (English, French, Spanish/Portuguese) Danielle Zilberberg (Hebrew/English) Dean Inkster (French/English) Gênese Andrade (Spanish/Portuguese) Jeffery Hessney (Portuguese/English) Lambe&Nieto (Spanish/English) Matthew Rinaldi (Portuguese/English) Tobi Maier (Portuguese/English) Vadim Nikitin (Russian/Portuguese) Ziv Neeman (Hebrew/English) Copyediting and Proofreading Clare Butcher (English) Bruno Tenan (Portuguese) Jeffery Hessney (English) Anthony Doyle (English) Images Management Pedro Ivo Trasferetti von Ah Graphic Production Signorini Produção Gráfica Prepress and Printing Ipsis
Dados Internacionais de Catalogação na Publicação (CIP) [Catalogue 31st Bienal de São Paulo – How (…) things that don't exist] / Organizado por Nuria Enguita Mayo e Erick Beltrán. -- São Paulo : Fundação Bienal de São Paulo, 2014. Curated by: Charles Esche, Galit Eilat, Nuria Enguita Mayo, Oren Sagiv, Pablo Lafuente, Benjamin Seroussi, Luiza Proença.
1. Arte - Exposições – Catálogo. I. Mayo, Nuria Enguita. II. Beltrán, Erick. I. Esche, Charles. II. Eilat, Galit. III. Sagiv, Oren. IV. Lafuente, Pablo. V. Seroussi, Benjamin. VI. Proença, Luiza. VI. Título CDD-700.74
Índice para catálogo sistemático: 1. Arte : Exposições : Catálogo 700.74
© Fundação Bienal de São Paulo All rights reserved. Images and texts reproduced in this publication were granted by permission from the artists, photographers, writers or their legal representatives, and are protected by law and licence agreements. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior stated permission from the artist, photographer and writer. All efforts were made to find the copyright owners. We will be happy to correct any omission in future editions in case it comes to our knowledge. www.bienal.org.br www.31bienal.org.br This book was published on the occasion of the 31st Bienal de São Paulo – How to (…) things that don't exist, held from 6 September through 7 December 2014 at the Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavilion, Ibirapuera Park.
Acknowledgments Institutions: ABACT,
Academy of the Arts of the World, Cologne, Acervo África, Acervo do Laje, Afterall, Arquivo da Câmara dos Deputados, Arquivo Público do Estado de São Paulo, Arquivo Público do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Arte Tubos, Associação Cultural Kinoforum, Associação Reciclázaro, Ateliê Aberto, Barcelona Filmes, Biblioteca Terra Livre, Brilia, Canada Council for the Arts, Casa da Imagem, Casa da Lapa, Casa de Cultura Tainã, Casa do Migrante, Casa do Povo, Central Saint Martins, Centro Cultural São João, Centro Cultural São Paulo – CCSP, Centro de Convivência e Cooperativa (CECCO) Ibirapuera, Centro de Convivência Educativo e Cultural de Heliópolis, Centro de Formação Cultural Cidade Tiradentes, Choque Cultural, Cia Ballet de Cegos, Cine Marabá, Cinecidade Locações, Clube de Mães, Colégio de Santa Inês, Coletivo BaixoCentro, Coletivo Feito a Mão, Coletivo Katu, Coletivo Ocupe a Cidade, Condomínio Copan, Consulado Geral do México em São Paulo, Coordenação de Documentação Diplomática do Ministério das Relações Exteriores, Daniel Faria Gallery, Danish Arts Foundation, Edifício Martinelli, EE Professor Augusto Baillot, EE Professor Ceciliano José Ennes, El Galpón Espacio, Embaixada da República da Polônia em Brasília, EMEF Deputado Rogê Ferreira, EMEF General Osório, EMEF Presidente Campos Salles, Escola de Samba Sociedade Rosas de Ouro, Escola de Samba Unidos de Vila Maria, Espaço Fonte, ETEC de Artes, FDE – Fundação para o Desenvolvimento da Educação, Foksal Gallery Foundation, Fundação Julita, Fundação Theatro Municipal de São Paulo, Fundación Augusto y León Ferrari Arte y Acervo (FALFAA), Galeria Athena Contemporânea, Galeria do Rock, Galeria Isabel Aninat, Goethe-Institut São Paulo, Grupo Cangarassu, Guardian Vidros do Brasil, Hebraica São Paulo, Ilú Obá De Min, Instituto Brincante, Instituto de Artes do Pará, Instituto João Goulart, Instituto Nova União da Arte, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Kunsthalle Basel, Largo das Artes, Lightbox, Marcha das Vadias, Mendes Wood DM, Metro Jornal, Mifal Hapais, Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI), Museu Afro Brasil, Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand (MASP), Museu Mineiro, Museu Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS), Museum Jorn, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), National Film Board of Canada, Núcleo de Artes Afrobrasileiras da USP, Núcleo Educativo Bolha de Sabão, Ocupação Cine Marrocos, Pará Movimento, Pilot Gallery, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Playarte Pictures, Poiesis – Oficinas Culturais, Prefeitura de São Paulo, Projeto Âncora, Projeto Arrastão, Projeto Latitude, Quiddity Films, Rabinovich Foundation, Rampa Istanbul, RT Features, Santander Cultural, Sarau da Cooperifa, Secretaria Municipal da Educação, SISEM – Sistema Estadual de Museus de São Paulo, Soda Film + Art, SP Urbanismo, Subprefeitura da Sé, SuperLimão Studio, Terra de Santa Cruz, The Danish Arts Foundation, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Top 35 Locação de Equipamentos Cinematográficos, Tropical Filmes, UNIFOR, Via Quatro, Videobrasil, Voodoohop, Whitechapel Gallery
People: Adam Szymcyzk, Adriana Leal, Adston Mantovani Junior, Afonso Luz, Agustín Pérez Rubio, Aizpea Goenaga Mendiola, Al Clark, Albert Benlloch, Alberto Whitaker, Alejandra Hernández Muños, Alejandra Muñoz, Aleksander Gowin, Alessandro Correia Marques, Alexandre Flak, Alexandre Henrique da Silva, Alfonso Celso, Alissandro Doerzbacher, Alper Demirbas, Amilcar Packer, Amit Meker, Ana Carolina Druwe, Ana Dupas, Ana Helena Grimaldi, Ana Letícia Penedo, Ana Pato, Ana Paula Cohen, André Ferraz, André Mesquita, Angélica Viana da Hora, Anibal Jozami, Anita Lee, Anna Ferrari, Anthony Corwin, Antonio Carlos Figueira de Mello, Antonio de Souza Neto, Arnaldo de Almeida Santos, Audrey Regina Ponce, Aurora Maria Sgambatti Freitas, Barbara Fischer, Barbara Thumm, Barry Rosen, Bart Baere, Bartomeu Marí, Bel Falleiros, Bernardo de Souza, Bernardo Nunes Nielsen, Berta Sureda, Bia Saldanha, Brunna Macedo de Medeiros, Bruno Garibaldi, Bruno Possatti, Carla Caffé, Carla Tavarez, Carlos Alberto Negrini, Carlos Eduardo Gomes da Silva, Carlos Eduardo 160
Gonçalves, Carlos Eduardo Valadão, Carlos Urroz, Carolina Eymann, Cássia Aparecida Frai Alves, Celso Curi, Celso Donizeti Brito, Christele Gautschoux, Christian Duarte, Cicero Teles da Silva, Clara Alves, Cleide Lourenço Inácio Pereira, Clémentine Deliss, Cleuza Silveira, Craig Burnett, Cristiana Tejo, Cristina Aparecida Reis Figueira, Cristina Flak, Daina Leyton, Daniel Faria, Daniel Ruaix Duran, Daniel Sabóia, Daniela Castro, Daniela Gutfreund, Daniel Lie, Darlan Alves, Davide Quadrio, Davidson Panis Kaseker, Débora Rosa da Silva, Defne Ayas, Demétrio Portugal, Denise Milfont, Dercy Aparecido Pereira, Desiderio Navarro, Diana Wescher, Diogo Rocha Ferreira, Dorota Kwinta, Douglas Freitas, Eduardo Jesus, Edward Fletcher, Elcio Fonseca, Elena Aparicio, Elena Hill, Eliana Maria Lorieri, Elizabeth de Toledo e Silva, Elvira Dyangani Ose, Elvira Marco, Emerson Rossini, Emily Morgan, Eri Alves, Esra Sarigedik, Ester Pegueroles, Eve Gabereau, Fabio Cypriano, Fábio Gomes, Fábio Moreira Caiana, Fabíola Caetano, Fátima Regina Vilas Bôas, Felipe Luz, Felipe Tenório da Silva, Felix Esche, Fernando Abdalla, Fernando de Oliveira Silva, Fernando José Mendonça de Araujo, Fernando Oliva, Flavia Giacomini, Frances Harvey, Francesca Colussi, Francisco Cruz, François‑Ghisláin Morillion, Frederico Costa Vergueiro, Gabriela Vanzetta, Gaëtane Verna, Gerry Flahive, Gisneide Tavares da Silva, Guilherme Wisnik, Gustavo Mussi Canovas, Gustavo Tranquilin Henrique, Heitor Martins, Helena Rabethge, Helmut Batista, Hendrik Folkerts, Hudinilson e Maria Aparecida Urbano, Iara Rolnik Xavier, Iara Teixeira da Silva, Icaro Vilaça, Iridam Cordeiro Rocha, Irmã Nilza, Isabel Martínez Abascal, Jairo Degenszajn, Jade Kouri Marcos, Janaina Dalri, Jane Warrilow, Jânio de Oliveira, Jaqueline Martins, Jean-Claude Bernardet, Jesús Carrillo, Joanna Kiliszek, Joël Girard, John van de Velde, José Amálio Pinheiro, Jose Eduardo Ferreira Santos (Dinho), José Macedo de Medeiros, José Roca, Jossua Aquarone, Joyce Almeida dos Santos, Júlia Ferreira, Julia Rebouças, Juliana Pozzi, Juliana Rodrigues Barros, Julie Trickett, Julieta Zamorano, Julio C. Perez N., Júlio Martins, Katharina von Ruckteschell-Katte, Kathrin Kur, Laerte Coutinho, Lala Rebaza, Lamartiny Silveira Gomes, Laura Sobral, Laura Vallés, Laurence Rassel, Laymert Garcia dos Santos, Lia Mara Piccolo, Lia Rodrigues, Ligia Nobre, Lilian da Silva Lima, Lisa Um, Lisette Lagnado, Lívia Cristina dos Anjos Nascimento, Lourenço Sant' Anna, Lua Gimenes, Lucas Gioja, Lucas Itacarambi, Lucas Oliveira, Lucas Satti, Lucia Abreu Machado, Lucia Barnea, Luciane Ramos, Luciano Fávaro, Lucilene Aparecida Esperante, Ludovic Careme, Luis Enguita, Luis Romero, Luiz Coradazzi, Luiz Fernando de Almeida, Luiz Fernando Mizukami, Lula Gouveia, Magdalena Ziolkowska, Maila dos Anjos Accula, Manuel Borja-Villel, Mara Sartore, Marcel Cabral Couto, Marcelo Rezende, Marcelo Walter Durst, Marcio Harum, Marco A. Biglia Junior, Marcone Vinicius Moraes de Souza, Marcos Moraes, Maria Adelaide Pontes, Maria da Glória do Espírito Santo de Araújo, Maria Elisabeth Vespoli, Maria Filippa C. Jorge, Maria Helena Chenque, Mariana Cobra, Mariana Lorenzi, Maribel López, Marília de Santis, Marilys Downey, Mario Ramiro, Mario Sergio Ribeiro, Marisa Pires Duarte, Marlene Hirata Uchima, Marlise Ilhesca, Marta Kuzma, Marta Rincón, Matheus Cury, Matias Barboza Pinto, Mauricio Gasperini, Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz, Michel Gaboury, Miguel A. López, Miguel Albero, Milton Fucci Junior, Mirela Fernanda Maia Milanez Valverde, Mirian Ribeiro dos Santos, Natalia Majluf, Nayara Datovo Prado, Nazario Luque Vera, Norton Ficarelli, Oiram Bichaff, Orlando Maneschy, Osman Eralp, Otto Berchem, Pablo León de la Barra, Patricia Almeida, Paul Dubok, Paula Chiaverini, Paulina Krasinska, Paulo Herkenhoff, Paulo Rodrigues, Pedro Barbosa, Pedro Garbellini da Silva, Pedro Montes Lira, Pep Benlloch, Pere Pedrals, Pio Santana, Rachel Cook, Rachel Robey, Rafael Barber, Raimond Chaves, Raquel Rolnik, Renata Toledo Geo, Rentao Sivieri, Ricardo Resende, Roberto Winter, Rodrigo Nunes, Rodrigo Oliveira, Rodrigo Teixeira, Ronaldo Antônio dos Santos, Rosario Peiró, Roseli Alves, Roseli Garcia, Sandra Rodrigues Paula, Solange Farkas, Sonia Ferrari Rodovalho, Sophia Alckmin, Sr. Cabral, Stephanie Smith, Talita Paes, Tania Bruguera, Tatiana Guerrero, Teresa Lizaranzu, Teresa Østegaard Pedersen, Thais Romão, Toco Alves, Tom Freitas, Tunga, Vasif Kortun, Vera Lúcia Dias da Silva Crisafulli, Vicente Todolí, Vitor Cesar, Waltemir Belli Nalles, Yolanda Wood, Zdenka Badovinac and to the people from Agência Solano Trindade for the crossing out of ‘don’t’ on the cover.
Project made possible with the support of ProAC
Yonamine, neoblanc, 2014
Qiu Zhijie, The Map of the Park, 2012
Of Other Worlds That Are in This One On my travels, I take pictures with my mobile phone, as we all do. I try to concentrate on places and buildings in my pictures, so the images are usually devoid of people, or so I thought. As soon as I plugged my phone into my computer, it automatically launched an application (iPhoto) that makes it easy to download and share these images on ‘social media’. The application also has a facial-recognition software that allows you to tag people. When I was asked to tag the faces in my pictures, I was a bit surprised and curious to see what the application ‘meant’. And there they were: dozens of people who have made it into my pictures, in spite of my precautions and my will to take images of empty cityscapes. People I have never met, people I will never meet or see again, absolute strangers caught by the camera went about their daily lives, completely unaware of the lens that will hold them captive forever in a strange digital universe. Seeing them, watching their features, produced a deep feeling of alienation that took over me and that I couldn’t shake off. What aggravated this feeling was that sometimes the application will ‘miss’ someone – this happened quite often actually: two people were walking side by side and I was asked to tag this one but not that one. Sometimes the facial recognition software would ‘mis-recognise’ a face, and I was asked to tag objects or strange parts of objects that the algorithms decided that they are faces of people, such as part of a car or a section of a façade with two windows. Or sometimes just ordinarylooking sections of a picture that are construed to be some-
Tony Chakar, Of Other Worlds That Are in This One, 2014
one’s face. ‘Everything is face [visage] in a world of vision’, as Jean-François Lyotard pointed out.¹ These facial-recognition algorithms are practically everywhere these days (in search engines for instance, or in more specialised security applications). As for the shortcomings I described above, one can very easily dismiss them as being caused by imperfections in the current software versions that we work with, and that in the future these bugs will be fixed, and we would have a perfect algorithm that can recognise a face, any face of anyone, anywhere and in any context. That might be true – however, and even though I am not a technical expert, I am certain that these ‘bugs’ are caused by the nature of the software itself, which means that it will probably not be possible to arrive at an algorithm that works seamlessly; I am certain that whenever we try to ‘translate’ something from our physical world – the world of quality sensory perceptions – to a hyper-technological world that is solely based on quantity, glitches like this are bound to happen. Glitches, abnormalities, singularities: caesuras in technology’s hyper-rational infinite and homogeneous space-time continuum, caesuras that precisely indicate the limits of what pretends to be limitless, and the irrationality embedded in what is supposedly the most rational of all human constructs. In other times, mystics who would have sought to escape this flawed world they lived in would have identified these moments as ‘moments of vision’, because they would create a rupture in the fabric of our world,
giving an insight into the ‘other’ world – a world that is not simply ‘beyond’ our world, but within it. ‘There is another world, and it is in this one’, as Paul Éluard put it. Finally, the relationship between art, concepts and technology was never an easy one; it was never a set one either, especially considering that the terms of any possible equation between these three parameters keep on shifting and changing at different speeds all the time. What is frustrating, though, is the ease with which certain debates about art arrive at very simple conclusions concerning its relationship to technology: that art can survive at a very low technological level and that advanced technology can only propagate kitsch mass-culture. I believe that recent events have proved how short-sighted these positions are – one example among many would be the Kafranbel banners and how they were propagated on ‘social media’, and the situations they created for the users of such media.2
Tony Chakar 1 Jean-François Lyotard, Misère de la philosophie, Paris: Galilée, 2000, p. 280. 2 For a detailed discussion of the Kafranbel banners, see my essay ‘On Seeking Incuriously’ in this same book (pp. 80-89).
Los incontados: discurso de un hombre decente Fellow countrymen, Before considering the legal aspects, we must first organise a deep restructuring of the business. Anyone who knows how this works knows that banning it increments the risks – and the higher the risks, the higher the profits. This business earns you five hundred percent in profit. No business is more profitable. You invest one peso and you make five hundred. The international community’s double standards have allowed for the main profits to stay in First World countries and to be shared out between their own mafias. In this chain of transactions, it is the stockbrokers, bankers and insurers who gamble with ‘hot money’, whilst enjoying our precious ‘white gold’: the snow from Colombia. […] A deep restructuring of the business. A product of the highest quality that meets the requirements of a demanding consumer. We will get rid of the foreign middle-men, commission agents, suppliers and distributors who unjustly appropriate of what should be our profit, and thus harm our economy. We will level out trade balance. We will transform the current conditions of the business in the USA. This business requires faster, more drastic and aggressive tactics. The suppliers and agents that work for the greedy American mafias – the worst mafias in the world – cut our exceptional white gold with other substances in order to maximise their profit; thus reducing its quality, deceiving the consumer’s and putting their lives and health at risk. By reducing the purity of the product we sell them, they increase its price – which reaches astronomical heights – thus abusing the consumer and shamelessly exploiting the growers, collectors, processors, refiners, transporters and exporters of Colombia. […] We will control North America’s market. We will execute an aggressive expansion of our channels of distribution and sales in that territory, offering a product of optimum quality, at competitive and affordable prices. A better product, at a fair price, will represent more profit for Colombia. We will fight to attain the designation of origin of our precious white gold from the World Trade Organisation, and – why not? – have it endorsed by the Food and Drug Administration. It’s not a secret to anyone that the drug trade has made some fellow countrymen very rich. […] Society has never been able to defeat vices. The budgets and agents set aside for this combat will never be enough. The battle against the drug trade has been lost. […] Drug trafficking is the first globalised business in the world, and there is no way of stopping it. Every country will always buy and sell drugs; not even its legalisation would stop the business. The same happened with alcohol in the United States. Everything is negotiable and everyone negotiates. Pablo E. Escobar, Colombian forest, 1993 (Speech found in his shirt pocket on 2 December 1993, the day of his death.) Mapa Teatro – Laboratorio de artistas 170
Yael Bartana, Inferno, 2014 [Hell]
Mapa Teatro â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Laboratorio de artistas, Los incontados: un trĂptico, 2014 [The Uncounted: A Triptych]
Notes for the film The Excluded
Chto Delat, The Excluded. In a moment of danger, 2014
Ippolit Nikitich Myshkin (born in 1848 and executed in 1885 by firing squad in the Shlisselburg Fortress prison). A Russian revolutionary. A narodnik (populist). Vladimir Ilyich Lenin wrote of him: ‘Myshkin was a revolutionary of the highest order, in the practical sense of the word.’ The son of an army officer and a serf handmaid, Myshkin was able to get an education as a stenographer, and very quickly (at age 24) became one of the best, most respected and well-paid stenographers in Russia. Under the influence of the context of Russian society at that time, he opened a print shop, where he intended to publish edifying literature in the hope of genuinely contributing to the education of the people. When his young employees organised a commune at the print shop, Myshkin, inspired by them, joined the group and began publishing subversive literature and pamphlets. Afterwards, the print shop survived for just a month and was vandalised by the police. All of the employees were arrested, except for Myshkin, who managed to flee the country. As a political exile in Zurich, he realised that the revolutionary movement in Russia was stagnated, with no leader and no clear political programme. He saw the leader in the figure of Nikolai Gavrilovich Chernyshevsky (author of the novel What Is to Be Done?, first published in 1862), then imprisoned in a katorga (a forced labour camp) deep in Siberia. Myshkin decided to break Chernyshevsky out. Myshkin came up with a plan: to show up at the katorga disguised as a gendarme, presenting false documents for Chernyshevsky’s transfer to another prison; and then to abduct the author, leading him through the endless taiga forest all the way to the border. All alone, having shared his plan with no one, Myshkin came to Vilyuysk after a journey that took over six months. Unfortunately, his plan didn’t work, because Myshkin, despite his meticulous preparations, was unable to forge all of the necessary documents and, in addition, he arrived at the prison by himself, with no escort. The prison’s director suspected that there was something suspicious and sent Myshkin to Yakutsk, accompanied by two Cossacks. Myshkin realised that he was under suspicion and tried to escape, wounding one of his escorts; but after getting lost in the taiga forest, and suffering from hunger and exhaustion, he was captured and brought to a prison in Yakutsk. (Legend has it that Myshkin’s plan to free Chernyshevsky actually failed because, when he appeared before the prison director disguised as a gendarme, his uniform had the aglet on the right-hand side, rather than the left, as was customary.)
From Yakutsk, Myshkin was sent to St. Petersburg, where he was one of the defendants in ‘The Trial of the 193’ populist revolutionaries. In prison, he made a speech which was published in the newspapers (and later in pamphlets which were distributed clandestinely) and had a huge effect on Russian society because it clearly explained who the revolutionaries were, for what they were fighting, and what their objectives were. After this speech, Myshkin was considered the leader of the populists. He was sentenced to ten years in a forced-labour camp. Once imprisoned, Myshkin began to concoct an escape plan. He spent almost an entire year digging under a wall, but, on the eve of his planned escape, he decided to examine the state of the tunnel in the daylight and was caught by guards. They transferred him to a katorga, and on the way there he made his second notorious speech on the occasion of the burial of a friend, in which he lashed out against the tsar’s bloody regime and predicted its imminent downfall. Because of this speech, he was sentenced to another fifteen years in prison. Imprisoned at the Kara katorga, Myshkin began preparations for another escape, and this time he succeeded. Accompanied by a friend, Myshkin crossed the taiga forest to Vladivostok, where he was intercepted by the police. Next, he was sent to St. Petersburg, where he served his sentence at the Peter and Paul Fortress, before being transferred to the Shlisselburg Fortress – the worst prison in Russia. The most excruciating aspect for inmates at Shlisselburg was the rule of absolute silence. All prisoners were kept locked in solitary cells, all conversation was strictly forbidden, the guards walked through the corridors with their boots wrapped in padded felt. Myshkin, at the cost of his life, decided to break the silence and wake up the entire prison: he threw a copper bowl at a guard’s face (and missed). Crimes of this sort were punishable by death; after a judicial decision made behind closed doors, Myshkin was executed by a firing squad on the prison patio. Shortly before his execution, Myshkin managed to communicate his last wishes to his comrades. He asked that they accompany him to his final farewell. He dreamed that, when he was led to his death, the entire prison would revolt and break the tortuous silence with a song. But this didn’t happen. He alone sang his song. The prison kept quiet. *** Twelve people will participate in our movie. They are young people who became aware of their status as outsiders in their bourgeois surroundings and broke with the routine of their environment. They have always wanted something more than what a safe, comfortable and pleasant life has to offer. They realised that they are individuals in conflict with society. Once they broke free, they saw that the new realm in which they live is populated
Chto Delat, The Excluded. In a moment of danger, 2014
by excluded individuals. And this struck them as wonderful. But one fine day they realised that they no longer wanted to content themselves with the individuality of the excluded. This seemed like very little to them because, once they stopped thinking only of their nature as excluded, they looked around and noticed how unjust the world is. And they wanted to change it. Because true individuality can’t help but yearn for grand objectives. They then experienced their own fragility, the end of their personal and individual bodies. Could they, alone, be powerful enough to change the world? But what if they all joined together – wouldn’t this imply the extinction of their individuality? How could they transform fragility into power without ruining this fragility? In this way, they came up with a game: to compose a large and strong collective body, out of their own fragile but excluded bodies. This body, however, should be capable of changing the world (or at least knocking it slightly off its axis). For this, an example was needed. Who could possibly be this example? In the eyes of these young people, heroes without fear or recrimination are loathsome. They consider them to be ideological pawns, aimed at serving power. What they really wanted was a hero capable of embodying their idea of transforming fragility into power. Then, they thought of Ippolit Nikitich Myshkin, a great loser of the Russian Revolution (they looked into other revolutionary dreamers from other times and societies, but still ended up choosing Myshkin). All of Myshkin’s efforts fell flat, but it was he who changed the awareness of Russian society. Our young people want to know precisely which of Myshkin’s weaknesses and failures made him a great man. Hence, Myshkin’s mouth – it liked to talk and persuade others. Hence, Myshkin’s heart – it wanted to beat in unison with the hearts of his comrades, and yet it ended up alone. Hence, it was Myshkin’s ears – the ears of an extraordinary stenographer, who, at first, registered the speech of the tsar, but who, at the end of his life, were met only with the silence of the prison and the sounds of his comrade Popov – his neighbour in solitary confinement – pounding on the walls. And hence Myshkin’s biggest failure: paying for his desire to hear a song in prison with his life. In other words, he believed in the fact that, in the prison, there was such a thing as a collective body. But that body was asleep. To wake it up, Myshkin had to face death. Does this mean that collective bodies can only begin to be revived when someone is sacrificed? Does it mean that one of our young people has to sacrifice him- or herself? Who has to be sacrificed? These are the questions that plague our heroes. Will they find the answers? This is the subject of our new work. Chto Delat
Le贸n Ferrari, Palabras Ajenas, 1967 [Words of Others]
Sergio Zevallos, Andr贸ginos, 1998-2000 [Androgynous]
First Letter Buenos Aires, 24 December 1997 John Paul II, The Vatican On our behalf: The end of the millennium is drawing close. The Apocalypse and the Last Judgement could possibly be at hand. If it is true that only a few will be saved, as the Gospel warns us, the beginning of eternal Hell is imminent for the vast majority of humanity. To avoid this situation, all we have to do is to return to the justice which God the Father pronounced in the Genesis. If He punished Eve’s disobedience by taking away our immortality, it is not fair that the Son returns it to us so many centuries later, and thus prolongs suffering. If one part of the Trinity passes a sentence which ends and is terminated with death, another part cannot open another trial, add another sentence, revive the corpse and apply an additional punishment that repeats an infinite number of times the sentence already fulfilled by the sinner once he is dead. The justice of the Son contradicts and violates that of the Father. The existence of Paradise does not justify that of Hell: the goodness of the few who are saved does not give them the right to be happy in the knowledge that girlfriends or sisters or mothers or friends as well as strangers and enemies (who Jesus ordered us to love and forgive) are suffering in the dominions of Satan. Therefore, we ask you to return to the Pentateuch and arrange for the abolishment of the Last Judgement and of immortality. With kind regards, CIHABAPAI (Club of Impious, Heretics, Apostates, Blasphemous, Atheists, Pagans, Agnostics and Infidels, in formation, founded by León Ferrari)
Etcétera..., Infierno financiero, 2014 [Financial Hell]
The Pope will travel to New York The Pope will pray for peace in the Yankee Stadium and pray for it again in the UN Assembly AFP New York City is getting ready for a day of joy, the day after tomorrow, when all the peoples of the world can follow step by step, thanks to ‘Mundovisión’, what has never happened before in the history of Christianity, the visit of a sovereign Pontiff to the USA. Time Johnson and his team of closest advisors will meet again in Texas in the open air under a hot sun. UP The Pope’s mission will be circumscribed to ‘awakening humanity’s moral conscience’ to the pressing need to keep war at bay UP The ‘Pilgrim Pope’ … will remain on US soil for just 13 hours and 30 minutes La Nación Pope Paul VI’s address to the United Nations will be broadcast live from New York in a special programme P. Plano The return flight to New York in first class cost $890.60 … The documents read Gianbattista Montini, single, 68 years old. But the flight ticket was extended to Sua Santitá Paulo VI. UP President Johnson and Pope Paul VI, both ardent advocates of world peace, will meet during the Pontiff’s historic visit L’Express But what about the risks?, they asked him in Rome. The danger of the Church getting mixed up in political battles… AFP Peace will surely be the main theme of conversation between President Johnson and His Holiness
AP La Nación
León Ferrari, Palabras ajenas, 1967 [Words of Others]
Errar De Dios I P/12 23-07-2013
The Pope arrived in Brazil with the aura of a superstar.
It is Francis’s first international tour, bringing him back to the continent where he was born.
CNN 22-07-2013 – Journalist
He arrived in Rio de Janeiro this Monday to take part in the World Youth Day, on his first international trip as pontiff.
CNN 22-07-2013 – Journalist
The Alitalia plane in which he travelled landed at 15:43 local time. The Pope was welcomed at the airport by President Dilma Rousseff, among other political and religious leaders.
While the sun was rising on Copacabana beach this Monday, workers were putting on the finishing touches before Francis’s arrival. An enormous stage was being built just a few metres from the beach, with giant screens and speakers that extend for almost two kilometres.
The police occupation of the Cerro Corá favela, in the elegant neighbourhood of Cosme Velho, was the last section of the security cordon set in place by the authorities of Rio de Janeiro to welcome Pope Francis.
Indifferent to the crowd around him, Francis went among the people before meeting the authorities. He never stopped waving at the people with the car window lowered and he even kissed a baby in the middle of the traffic jam.
AP 13:7 St John
… it was allowed to wage war against the saints and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.
The organisers say that the event cost around 156 million dollars.
– Pope Francis
… I have neither silver nor gold, but I bring with me the most precious thing given to me: Jesus Christ.
LHN 10-04-2014 – Activist
At least thirty thousand Greeks came out during the first general strike of the year to protest against public sector cuts, mass redundancies and the adjustment measures introduced by the government in connivance with international creditors. Demonstrations against austerity policies are a regular occurrence since the first ‘bail out’ in 2010.
Etcétera..., Infierno financiero, 2014 [Financial Hell] BBC 14-06-2013
Every time the price goes up, so too does the number of people excluded from the transport system.
P/12 23-07-2013 – Pope Francis
Young people are the window through which the future enters the world.
EP 12-06-2014 – Journalist
Demonstrations have appeared at a moment in the economic crisis with high inflation, the stock exchange falling (yesterday it lost three percent) and the dollar bordering on 2.20 reais.
EDD 20-03-2014 – Errorist
EP 20-04-2014 – Tim Harford
… European austerity policies were a mistake.
AP 13:8 St John
And all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.
LN 19-04-2014 – Pope Francis
… to the ends of the earth.
PETITION TO POPE FRANCIS FOR THE FINAL ABOLITION OF HELL São Paulo, Brazil, September 2014. The Holy See, Vatican, His Holiness Pope Francis. In 1997, the Argentinean artist León Ferrari (1920-2013) sent a petition in the name of CIHABAPAI,1 addressed to God’s representative on earth, the Pope of the Roman Apostolic Catholic Church John Paul II, asking him to abolish Hell – a place of endless torture and suffering to which the majority of mankind is condemned. The Holy See in the Vatican refused to accept the petition, arguing that it was unable to abolish Hell. The place of eternal suffering is eternal and therefore will continue to exist (or not?). In December 2001, while financial demons ran rampant in Argentina, Ferrari wrote a second letter to John Paul II, repeating his plea. Again, without any success. Unfortunately, Catholic sadism would not bend: eternal torture would continue to be practised in this covert place called Hell, and also in the hidden lairs of social unconsciousness, fuelling terror and violence. In 2013, León Ferrari was getting ready to take his final leave from earthly life when Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires and the artist’s friend-enemy, was elevated to Peter’s Throne under the name of Francis. Just before taking his final breath, the great Argentinean artist asked for a glass of good red wine and drank a toast to his friend-enemy Bergoglio. Was the miracle finally about to happen? At the end of his first Stations of the Cross, Pope Francis declared that God did not condemn anybody, and also spoke other words that seemed to imply that Hell, about which so much has been said, did not exist.2 A ferocious debate was unleashed in the global mediascape – a truly infernal place – between those who interpreted the Pope’s words as the end of eternal torment and those who argued that the words of the Supreme Pontiff were simply metaphorical and that eternal torment could not be doubted. We, citizens of the world, gathered in the city of São Paulo, ask Pope Francis to clarify this crucial point and, more precisely, we pray for the final abolition of Hell, that place of barbarism, a mental source of hate and violence. Let us now remind ourselves of Francis of Assisi’s laetitia, when he found himself close to ‘sister death’, and hope that all men and women of the world can be freed from facing up to death with the same spirit. Further still, we ask Pope Francis to help us to eradicate the earthly Hell of financial capitalism and of the war which is an everyday experience for billions of beings, indigenous people, workers, the poor, unemployed, victims of war and clerical colonialism. By means of this petition the undersigned request the total and definitive abolition of Hell. Note: in the event that the negotiations between His Holiness and the Eternal Father conclude with the impossibility of abolishing Hell, we ask them to at least allow the redemption of the soul of the artist and his liberation from eternal damnation.
¹ CIHABAPAI (Club of Impious, Heretics, Apostates, Blasphemous, Atheists, Pagans, Agnostics and Infidels, in formation) founded by Ferrari. ² In January 2014 a message on Hell purportedly from Pope Francis was distributed: ‘(…) The Church no longer believes in a literal hell where people suffer. This doctrine is incompatible with the infinite love of God. God is not a judge but a friend and a lover of humanity. God seeks not to condemn but only to embrace. Like the fable of Adam and Eve, we see Hell as a literary device. Hell is merely a metaphor for the isolated soul, which like all souls ultimately will be united in love with God.’ The truthfulness of these declarations is still unconfirmed, although sources from the Vatican itself denied the message.
Letters to the Reader (1864, 1877, 1916, 1923) is part of the ongoing art project Scratching on Things I Could Disavow, initiated in 2007, and which responds to the recent emergence of large new infrastructures for ‘Islamic’ contemporary and modern ‘Arab’ art in the Arab world and elsewhere. The artworks and stories presented in this project all emerge from encounters on this ground with individuals, institutions, economies, concepts and forms. The work is led by the conviction that many so-called ‘Modern Arab artworks’ will lack shadows when displayed in the new museum. In anticipation of this situation, the project is forced to engage some of the display elements or parameters (walls, floors, paint, lights) that contribute to this shadow-less condition. Walid Raad
Walid Raad, Letters to the Reader (1864, 1877, 1916, 1923), 2014 180
Voluspa Jarpa, Minimal Secrets, 2011
Voluspa Jarpa has created many works based on archives declassified by the United States relating to Chile and other Latin American countries. In all cases, she analyses what has been erased and draws attention to the final image of the intervened document, an image that engages with the construction of visibilities and also the poetical and political potential of the uses of the archive, casting a shadow on the present. 181
Lรกzaro Saavedra, Karl Marx, 1992
Johanna Calle, Image of process
Johanna Calle, Nogal, 2012 [Walnut]
Clara Ianni and DĂŠbora Maria da Silva, Apelo, 2014 [Plea]
Johanna Calle, Contables, 2008 [Countables] 184
Clara Ianni and Débora Maria da Silva, Apelo, 2014 [Plea]
Speech for the film Apelo They took our children, our brothers and sisters, our parents, our grandparents, all of them killed on the same day, this long day that repeats over and over throughout the years and insists on never ending. They were all killed by these hands that change bodies, but are always the same ones to gun us down in the narrow streets, to wound us with the crack of the whip. The hands of the bounty hunter, who lives behind each uniformed man. The hands that kill by command of people who have the laws, the money and the weapons on their side. The people who give names to the avenues and roads that cut through the land. But remember, it is our children who die indigent with no protection from the laws, without the satisfaction of money. It is our children who die and are not given funerals, monuments or street names. How dare they still deny tombstones for ours? How can they prohibit us from burying the bodies that pile up namelessly everywhere we look? They lived – some for thirteen, fifteen, twenty, thirty, forty years. We carried them in our bellies. We gave birth to them, we gave them life and we will not forget. Why cannot we speak the name of our children? Why do they want us to forget their names? Why do they want to rip this piece from us?
We will never forget this amputated half, this pain that hurts like a stab to a limb that no longer exists. Are you going to help my hand to raise the dead? Will you help me to erect this tomb? Don’t let my cry be transformed into a mute word, echoing throughout the landscape. Help me to make this cry interrupt the roar of the machine guns. Do not forget that it was like children, brothers and sisters, parents and grandparents that they died, not like terrorists, not like slaves. Remember that it is our blood that waters this land and makes the plants grow. It is our blood that plantations drink from and which mixes the cement in each new city. And if they want to dry our tears, if they want our dead to become food for the ants, it is our duty not to let this happen. Even if they threaten us with machine guns, even if they imprison us with their laws. We cannot be afraid. We cannot be afraid of the whip. We cannot be afraid of the bullet! They will not live by feeding off of our fear. We have to remember our own. We have to remember the dead, because this is the work of the living. And this work is not work that is lost.
Clara Ianni and Débora Maria da Silva
Agnieszka Piksa, Justice for Aliens, 2012 187
We are believing and dis-believing / We are in the midst of the not yet material / or perhaps the already determined / inhabiting a time of radical potentiality and its collapse / In search of a new political language / in need of this / always on the verge / always becoming and yet… This search begins with a series of seemingly disparate coordinates: the early anarchist life of Victor Serge and his bandits in 1910s Paris; Abu Jilda, Arameet and their bandit gang involved in a rebellion against the British in 1930s Palestine, and the artist as the quintessential bandit in Roberto Bolaño’s novel The Savage Detectives set in 1970s Mexico. The first part of the story is woven by looking at the resonance between the inspiring, bizarre and sometimes tragic stories of these diverse bandits – the outsider rebel par excellence. The Incidental Insurgents (2012-ongoing) is meant as an investigation into the possibilities for the future rather than the past. Using literary and factual texts as starting points, a convoluted story situated in multiple times starts to emerge. Initiated as an obsessive search to try to figure out how we, the artist, like the bandits before us, find ourselves, inhabiting a moment full of radical potential and disillusionment, in a continual search of a language for the moment.
Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, The Incidental Insurgents: The Part About the Bandits, 2012
Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, The Incidental Insurgents: The Part About the Bandits, 2012 189
Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, The Incidental Insurgents: The Part About the Bandits, 2012 190
The Revolution Must Be a School of Unfettered Thought A project by Jakob Jakobsen and María Berríos The Revolutionary Exhibition must accuse and attack anything that can be accused and attacked. It is a theatre of assault. Halil Altındere, Wonderland, 2013
Del Tercer Mundo [From the Third World] opened on 9 January 1968 at the Pabellón Cuba – a half-gardenhalf-building made in the early 1960s, shortly after the victory of the revolution. As a hybrid between an exhibition and a mechanical theatre, Del Tercer Mundo addressed the problems of the ‘Third World’, making a particular emphasis on North American imperialism and colonialism. ‘Havana Derides US in a Psychedelic Exhibition’, read a note in The New York Times the day after the opening – describing the show as ‘a violent “anti-imperialist” view of the United States’. The exhibition had specific targets: the economic and political forces of capitalist greed and subjugation. It clearly identified who the ‘under-developers’ were, as well as their means. In its attack, it detourned icons of Western popular culture; instead of a spectacle of politics, it offered an anti-imperialist anti-spectacle.
Exhibition Del Tercer Mundo, Havana, 1968 [From the Third World]
Exhibition Del Tercer Mundo, Havana, 1968 [From the Third World]
It must crack their faces open to the mad cries of the poor. It must teach them about silence and the truths lodged there. It must kill any god anyone names except common sense. It should stagger through our universe, correcting, insulting, preaching, spitting craziness. Del Tercer Mundo – publicised through a cubical neon sign, standing on one of its vertices in the street-side garden of the pavilion – had a script structured into six ‘zones’. It opened with a massive cardboard cut-out of the Creation of Adam by Michelangelo, backlit and flashing, underneath of which a caged llama and two lions were to be seen among the tropical vegetation of the pavilion. This first zone provided the colonial view of the socalled ‘Third World’ as barren land, unexplored natural and naked resources to be ransacked and exploited by ‘developed’ nations. The second zone represented the imaginary and artificial world created by the colonisers to cover up their crimes: the touristic vision of the ‘Third World’, the wilderness of the jungle, the beauty of the savannah and the exotic faces of the natives. A muralsize lightbox comic strip showed popular characters (including Superman with an Esso logo on his chest) conspiring to loot and keep for themselves petroleum found in ‘Third World’ territories. The zone ended in a
film mash-up showing Tarzan, in a back-and-forth loop, depicting the heroic white man beating up the black natives. The Revolutionary Exhibition will change the withdrawing rooms of the museum into places where real things can be said about a real world, or into smoky rooms where the destruction of the exploiters can be plotted. The Revolutionary Exhibition must function like an incendiary pencil. In zone three, fluorescent lighting turned a serialised blown-up image of a starving child into a fantasyland horror tunnel, in the middle of which irrupted the grotesque overdevelopment of jingles on a glitzy jukebox, alongside luminous signs and logos of multinational consumer goods. At the end of the tunnel the protest started, in zone four. A multiplied cut-out image of a man holding a placard endlessly reiterating: ‘The struggle will be to death’. As the next phase of the storyline, zone five presented a Metro-Goldwyn Mayer lion morphing into President Lyndon Johnson, while on the roof a new version of the Michaelangelo creation showed Johnson giving life to himself. This spectacle of imperialist reproduction was accompanied by a detailed list of military, political and economic ‘aid’ organisations such as the Alliance for Progress, liberal publications financed by the CIA and puppet leaders of ‘liberated’ nations. In the final zone, a stop-motion film showed US Special Forces bombing peasant shacks and guerrilla fighters striking back to a soundtrack of bombs, machinegun fire and drums. The grand exit of Del Tercer Mundo comprised a huge gameshow-like display of lightboxes making up the phrase: ‘What role are we, the exploited of the earth, to play?’. The boxes shifted, to reveal a serialised portrait of Che Guevara, who had been killed in Bolivia a few months earlier. The Revolutionary Exhibition will talk about the world, and the preciseness with which we are able to summon the world will be our art. Art is method. Del Tercer Mundo was conceived by a group of young filmmakers, designers, photographers, architects, scriptwriters, sound engineers and electricians, together with architectural drafters, model-makers, carpenters and builders. 120 people are known to have been involved in the process. Their approach was to construct and conceive a collective work, and not just to agglomerate their individual expertise. They worked as a de-specialised ensemble, applying everyday knowledge
Yonamine, neoblanc, 2014 193
and the ‘language of the street’ to attack the bourgeois conception of the museum as a separate, distinct space. They used the resources of mass media, pop culture, scenography and cybernetics to create a total theatre, with a storyline and looped soundtrack that lasted for around twenty minutes. The show began with a thunderous sound introduction that could be heard throughout the entire block: an invitation to passersby. The place was open in the evenings, so that people could attend after work or studies, and so the light effects could have full sensual impact. The collective of young revolutionaries felt it was necessary to contest the notion of visiting exhibitions as a sign of distinction and class-determined social relation: they wanted to create new social relationships and a new language by confronting the old. For them, to exhibit meant to expose the world, and this required using all worldly means necessary. The Revolutionary Exhibition should force change: it should be change. Now. Toward what seems the most constructive use of the world.
Archive of the Congreso Cultural de La Habana, 1968
Del Tercer Mundo was one of the public events of the Congreso Cultural de La Habana, an international gathering that took place in the Hotel Habana Libre from 4 to 12 January 1968. The congress brought together over a thousand cultural workers from around the globe to concentrate on the problems of the ‘Third World’, in an attempt to connect struggles and revolutionary forces. Most delegates – including artists, writers, students, scientists, activists, educators and psychiatrists among others – were heterodox nonaligned revolutionaries. This international mobilisation against the inadmissible present of 1968 is still imminent. We, as militant researchers roaming archives in Havana, living in an equally inadmissible present, must face the incumbent shit. The Revolutionary Exhibition puts the continuous rubble of unfinished revolts to use by opening new paths. It constructs a new object that cannot be claimed by anyone.
Barracão 1936-1939. Chekas. Cells in the Convent of Santa Úrsula, Valencia. A cheka belonging to DEDIDE (Special State Information Department) in Valencia, under Minister Galarza. Punishment cells without prisoners. Photo reproduced in ‘Causa General sobre La dominación Roja de España’, 1941. Region of Valencia section. Pieces no. 11. Annexe VII. Photo no. 9. Ministry of Culture. FC-1068. Spain. Exp. 5. Regional Archive of Valencia. Contemporary History Section. National Historical Archive. Madrid. Photo: SIM. 1967-1970. Barracão [Shack]. Ninhos in Sussex University Experience. FUNARTE (National Arts Foundation) rooms. SUE catalogue. Sussex University. England. Ninhos used by students and spectators. In ‘Information’, MOMA, New York. 1970. Photo reproduced in the catalogue Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica. Special Room at 9th National Plastic Arts Salon. Paço Imperial. November-December, 1986. Rio de Janeiro. MAC-USP. November-December 1987. Sao Paulo. Brazil. Photo: John Goldblatt.
The attitude of Alphonse in Valencia speaks more of his experience in the street, the savviness of a survivor, as we have seen up until now. Given the need to lend his experiments a conventional mantle, he agreed to collaborate with officials from SIM (Military Information Service) and DEDIDE (Special State Information Department). It seems that in the group there were other agents from FINE ARTS IN MADRID and from the more informal detention centres in MURCIA and ALMERÍA. The first meeting was actually more of a party as it coincided with the anniversary of the Polish couple Peter and Berta SONIN. In the cells at SANTA ÚRSULA, a stage was improvised for performances of theatre and music, featuring an odd bunch of prisoners and jailers. At a certain moment, LAURENCIC captured the profoundly theatrical sense of installations. What have so often been presented as avant-garde and social control experiments by modern police forces were no more than representations of something much older, something harking back to inquisitorial punishments and of the black legend that hovered over buildings like SANTA ÚRSULA, now converted into a SIM prison. At the end of the day, the sensorial experiences were similar in one era and the other, as the aim of ‘making-them-speak’ of the times of the GRAND INQUISITOR was also its ultimate goal. To this end the players had to create a suitable stage setting. What LAURENCIC did was to transfer what he had learned from the BAUHAUS to the modern space the exact same ideas and sensations that come from a much older time. And not only the gothic experiences of torture, but also the visions of our mystics are reflected in LAURENCIC’s parodical language. The awareness that human experiences of pleasure and suffering are very close to each other was possessed by both mystics and police chiefs. To a certain extent, the place that LAURENCIC was going to create is an experimental space, utopian in the same sense as the communist ideology that protected it, a place that unquestionably would not have existed before as such. This feeling was what surely convinced the SONINS and that enabled them to keep going and to take their experiences of calle ZARAGOZA as well as calle VALLMAJOR, to BARCELONA. LAURENCIC saved his life, without a doubt, and the war years, which he spent in prison, were probably the quietest of his ill-fated life. Limitations on area no longer exist. The urban environment has come to be recognised ‘as experimentally closer to us when it is something we want to experience day after day: mutable and subject to violent transformations.’ It was to these propositions for the collective experimentation of other, familiar sources, which Hélio gave contemporary configurations. Written on July 22, 1973, the date of José Oiticica’s birthday: ‘My grandfather had a dream; to transform/to live in a house that would be a THEATRE OF MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: it doesn’t matter: lots of people already lived the LIFE-THEATER DREAM which actually is like a THEATER-HOUSE, the interchange of stage-audience-performance day-in, day-out: so close yet so far from what I want: SHELTER/SHACK/ENVIRONMENTALMANIFESTATIONS/BABYLONEST _ but isn’t SHELTER-PERFORMANCE so close to my grandfather’s old dream? And so far?’ His grandfather developed plans of creating anarchist communities, and not just an isolated theatre-house, an oasis within the establishment. They were heterotopias, but within a utopia, awaiting ideal conditions. Hélio, in turn, when he came to consider the world a playground, overcame the need to construct a Shack or a series of closed, localised cells, expanding them to the chance of the streets and everyday experiences, while directing the heterotopic opposition to focal points of transitory location. Portable heterotopias? In the world turned shelter, the idea now is to carry this oasis through the desert, rather than taking refuge in an oasis, and displacing the desert nomads. In this way, he distances himself from his grandfather’s dream, since it’s not a utopia, but something that can be realised with every footstep.
Archivo F.X. / Pedro G. Romero, file Barracão, 2014 [Shack] 195
ART AND SCHOOL
Notes on Archivo F.X.’s counter-pedagogic programming
R1.5. On the Expansion of Francisco Ferrer i Guàrdia’s Ideas on Modern Art.
New classes....................................................................................................... a) In 1911 Renovación, a magazine from San José in Costa Rica dedicated to rationalist pedagogy, published a chapter of ‘Las aventuras de Nono’ [‘The Adventures of Nono’] by Jean Grave, translated by Anselmo Lorenzo, as a tribute to Ferrer i Guàrdia. In ‘Autonomy’, the little boy Nono, which is to say twice ‘no’, abandons his activities to try to explain to us in a simple fashion the pollination of ﬂowers and how they spread throughout all the ﬁelds in the country thanks to the aid of gravity, the wind and insects. The governor ordered the issue to be withdrawn from circulation, as he saw in the story a call to proselytism and rebellion. Do you believe that children were politically instrumentalised in the Escuela Moderna? ..................................................................................................................... ..................................................................................................................... b) In 1959, Herminio Almendros, who had promoted the Escuela Moderna during the Spanish Republic, took up the post as Director General for Rural Schools in the ﬁrst government in Cuba following the Revolution. Literature and drawing applied to children’s stories were his political priority. Can you think of any type of teaching that is not political? ..................................................................................................................... ..................................................................................................................... c) Italian anarchists – see image over – were the ﬁrst to point out the connection between the revolutionary seminars in Barcelona in 1909 and the paciﬁst movement against the colonial war waged in Morocco. Supported by this twofold condition, there was no lack of argumentation to purge the Eurocentric sentiment from the Rationalist School and to transfer it to America and the Philippines. Local indigenous arts and crafts were its ﬁrst focus of attention. Are these arguments at the basis of the Escuela Moderna’s aesthetic concerns in its expansion to Latin America? ..................................................................................................................... ..................................................................................................................... d) In 1925 the Mexican state of Tabasco imposed the Rationalist School as the ofﬁcial teaching system. Paradoxically, teaching art had a special focus. In the carpentry class, students carved and painted the ﬁgure of a saint, learning its symbolism and ritual use before ﬁnally burning it in a collective festivity. What subject do you think was being taught with this methodology? ..................................................................................................................... ..................................................................................................................... e) In 1906, José Oiticica founded the Colégio Latino-Americano in Rio de Janeiro, inspired by pedagogic rationalism. He made his ﬁrst political intervention in A Lanterna, anticlerical e de combate [A Lantern, Anti-Clerical and Combat] from São Paulo, defending Ferrer as a martyr of pedagogy and a libertarian. Among his propagandistic occupations was the sale of prints with laudatory emblems featuring Ferrer, which were banned. Do you believe that this activity could be considered part of an artistic education? ..................................................................................................................... .....................................................................................................................
Archivo F.X. / Pedro G. Romero, file Art and School, 2014
Archivo F. X.: Laboratory: Painting Little Angels.
Ocaña worked around the themes of angels to byzantinism. As a simple rhetorical deployment, following the scholastic debate on the sex of angels, Ocaña depicted them at that moment hinging design and crime. As Marie-Thérèse Domon argued, ‘for Ocaña, children are not little saints living in an innocent world. “They are not so pure” he claims’. Ocaña treated children like adults. All he wanted to do was to teach them to paint. Although the themes to be addressed are also important: saints, virgins, and the child Jesus – fantastic figures that have to be re-imagined in a profane and lay world. For Ocaña it is critical to introduce religious iconography into anti-establishment, countercultural fields.
Archivo F.X. / Pedro G. Romero, file Painting Little Angels, 2014
A libertarian children’s workshop led by the painter Ocaña, always closely associated with Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) – the anarcho-syndicalist union –, in the cities of Besançon (France), Barcelona, Zaragoza, Palma de Mallorca and Santander (Spain) from 1977 to 1983.
As an epilogue to these workshops – as a kind of ritual postscript – Ocaña used to raffle off some of the papier-mâché dolls and gave away a lot of the paintings to the children attending them. Ocaña’s ‘innocent hand’ tried to share them out among the children of friends. In any case, his extensive production of paintings and papier-mâché sculptures thus found natural outlets and forms of dissemination. Escaping the market logic that tied the artist to the merchandise he produced takes on its full meaning when the works are understood as gifts. This act of donating is in fact nothing short of returning to the people all that which Ocaña himself had taken from them. For Ocaña, children were the truest part of those people.
Archivo F.X. / Pedro G. Romero, file Painting Little Angels, 2014
Real children, in satin tunics, will throw petals from up high where I will have placed them and another child will sit on a big moon, up there, love, up there. Look, from different viewpoints, Our Lady of El Rocío and Our Lady of the Birds who, as you know, are rivals, watch as the Assumption rises, rises, from the tomb. And to the rhythm of ‘Ave Maria’ forty big papier-mâché dolls and another forty children illustrate the great Marian explosion. It’s going to be fabulous, darling. For Ocaña it was crucial that children would have a normalised relationship with his world, not just with what was then called ‘gay’, but also with his religious fantasies and popular mythologies.
‘All it takes is for educators to question themselves’ Invited by the curatorial team of the 31st Bienal to contribute a reflection on education in Brazil, we chose to share this responsibility with people who, in their daily work, seek to reinvent schooling, and those who think about the educational practice in art exhibitions in a deconstructive and transformative way. We came up with six questions and asked each contributor to select the one they would like to answer, imagining schools that do not (yet) exist or taking their own practices in education as a reference:
1. In your opinion, what is public school or what should it be? 2. What kind of relationship should there be between school curriculum and the autonomy of teachers and educators?
The first three questions bothered one of our interviewees, who opted not to participate in this process because he thought that we had conflated education with schooling, when for him they are two distinct things. Faced with this reaction, we thought of using this introduction to briefly explain why we chose to ask these questions rather than others; or why we insist on reflecting on the reinvention of the school and debating its public aspects, its management, its curriculum and the roles of the teacher/educator. More than to dismantle the school, we are concerned, using Ivan Illich’s work as a reference, with questioning the effects of schooling on society as a whole and, in particular, the effects of schooling in individuals with less exposure to the school – those who are led to accept a hierarchy within which their subordinate position is justified. The national systems of instruction concentrate a great deal of public resources, but not only are these resources not distributed fairly, they are also invested in structures which reproduce unequal social relationships and promote the academic failure of those who are most in need of schooling. In order to overcome this, we are interested in reflecting on how the resources that each individual requires for his or her personal development can be made accessible to all. Making clear, of course, that what should be universal is not mandatory and equal schooling for all, but the right to education.
3. What is democratic management in schools, or what should it be? 4. What is the significance of bringing children and teenagers from the periphery to the Bienal? 5. How should the public ‘not be guided’ on an education visit to an exhibition? 6. What is critical mediation, or what should it be? 201
This is still how we set ourselves to approach the school. We believe in a school grounded on the recognition that we are all equal in our capacity to learn. One which offers resources to mediate the different cultures that comprise it. One which recognises the diversity of its members as educational potential and the inequality between them as a political problem. A school that is continuously reinventing itself, with the objective of functioning as a community of learning. The last three questions we posed to our contributors refer to education outside of schools, and they were developed with the expectation of making a critical contribution to the educational practices in Brazil’s art institutions. While Brazilian educator Paulo Freire is always present as a reference, we must question whether the ‘dialogical visits’ (instead of ‘guided visits’) have truly been conducted as dialogues, or if educators have been guiding their groups to interpretations that exist prior to these groups’ entering the exhibition. We were responsible for editing the answers we received. The process moved us to take part in the exercise, answering some of the questions ourselves. Graziela Kunsch and Lilian L’Abbate Kelian
The public school experience, by Elaine Fontana My contact with public school comes from a number of different experiences: I studied at a city school in São Paulo, I taught art in the state school system and these days I converse with public school students on their field trips to museums and cultural institutions. My experience has allowed me to observe and address distinctions between social classes, as well as understand that what happens in pedagogical situations transcends the differences that exist between the individuals in the group. When I was a student in the 1980s, there were in the same school kids who had travelled abroad with their parents and kids who didn’t have access to a colour television. There, despite the fact that the classes were administered in a hierarchical and authoritarian manner, I developed a focal point: what interested me was the analysis of what went on around me, the social clashes and the diverse worlds that comprised what school was for me. Barefoot students, a teacher who used to talk about her trip to Cuba, friends working together, the boy with an amputated leg who used a skateboard to get around, the social conditions that introduced each individual, but also and mainly the way that they created and related to one another in that shared environment. Public school from that time seems to have some similarities with present-day public school. It is a place of centralised power and a given hierarchy. The speech of the teacher and that of the student, in some cases, can be quite similar, because they have had similar social experiences; still, what distinguishes the two is the non-dialogical manner of the relationships established between them. The domination that the school imprints on students, the way that society is introduced through that microcosm, is without a doubt one of the lessons that stays with the students. Furthermore, the evaluation of knowledge comes mostly via written reports, separated from the development of communicative skills that allow us to express ourselves, propose things, debate and act. Public school should be discussed for the potential of its diversity. In public school, we can’t invent a place to act, express ourselves and react. What we can do is to concentrate 202
on debating this potential. There are invisible, non-theoretical lessons that are not systematised as methods, but which exist in potency and are not subject to evaluation. I don’t want public school to be viewed as any private, humanist, constructivist school. On the contrary, I want it to be alive in its own innate uniqueness, in its differences. A diagnosis of public school, by Aldo Victório Filho I think that public school is still not what it should be, in respect to its original meaning and its past and current realities. For me, it is an institution of many facets, since it was created to form citizens out of students in the intellectual, technical, cultural and social realms. In other words, to promote their democratic realisation based on the deliberation of the present and future of each individual in absolute harmony with the collective. Nevertheless, the schools to which all Brazilians are ‘condemned’ for nine years of mandatory education still reflect, often predominantly, the social asymmetry and injustices that afflict most of the population. Conditioned to place importance on aesthetic and cultural wisdom, values, etc., that are often foreign to students, they are led to follow policies created far from their realities. And also to apply a curricular programme without the students or even the teachers being adequately initiated. Consequently, they do not invest in procedures of engagement, which make knowledge less an instrument of subjection and more a tool of emancipation. Still, each school is singular in its day-to-day activities, which remain undervalued, and which hold many surprises and positive results. The reinvention of the public, by Lilian L’Abbate Kelian Almost every time we talk about public school, we are referring to state schools: huge structures of uniform architecture, run by career bureaucrats, teachers selected through public sector recruitment schemes at the state or municipal levels, generic, ‘cookie-cutter’ pedagogical policies and projects. We say that this school is going to promote the universalisation of the right to education. My provocation is that we should overcome the identification between state and public. What then should public school be? I would like to propose some primary aspects: 1) Public function – the education of people as the central element in decision-making; 2) Public funding, but not necessarily only public (so that its existence isn’t subjected to the decisions of an individual, a private company or the market); 3) Budgetary transparency and the reinvestment of any possible financial gains into improvements in the pedagogical-policy project, according to evaluations; 4) Transparency in objectives and results, as well as participative construction of the evaluation, taking into account the education professionals as well as students and their families. True public education, by Graziela Kunsch For Movimento Passe Livre (MPL), there would only be truly public education if transportation were also truly public. Many people are excluded from schools created with public resources and offered free of charge because they are unable to pay the bus fares to get there. In addition, the universal right to education also applies to the right to the city as a whole. When MPL was created in 2005, the fight was for a free pass for students. With what was learned through the struggle itself, the movement expanded its demands and came to defend free public transportation (Tarifa Zero, or Fare Free) for all: ‘We learned that the free pass for students has a series of limitations. First of all, the fact that it is a benefit and not a right. Those who do benefit receive a small amount of free fares that can be used in a very restricted itinerary, limited between home and school. To truly be an investment in education, the free pass would need to be unlimited, since education can’t be limited to experiences inside of schools. We educate ourselves by going to cultural spaces, visiting different neighbourhoods and, fundamentally, experiencing the freedom and responsibility of being able to go wherever we want.’
The public as a democratic project, by Helena Singer A public school is one whose pedagogical political project is constructed, evaluated and sustained by the entire community – educators, students, employees, managers, family members and contributors. This means that the school community is responsible for all the decisionmaking procedures, including aspects regarding budgets, the management of personnel, the management of space and the writing of the curriculum. The staff responsible for the school is selected and evaluated by the school community. This means that such staff is employed by the school, and not an educational or caretaker network. It is this community that the staff must answer to and which legitimises it. In this way, public school participates in the construction of the reality in which it exists, reflecting its role in this context.
Curriculum and Autonomy The concept of autonomy, by José Pacheco Autonomy is a concept of vast semantic range. In the school, it shouldn’t be understood only as the progressive independence of the student in relation to the teacher; it is, also – and perhaps most importantly – the capacity of having an influence on the multiplicity of situations in the teaching-learning process. It is not possible to say that the autonomous activity exerted in this context manifests itself, in the same way, in other social contexts, but there is empirical data that suggests the maintenance of autonomous procedures in non-academic situations. Regardless of this possible transition, it is important to keep in mind that educational practices condition the degree to which autonomy is manifested in individuals. The concept of singularity is different from the concept of autonomy. The recognition of singularity consists in the acceptance of inter-individual differences within each species. The recognition of autonomy is of another nature: it implies the rejection of the determinism that transfers the origin of singularity to a mastery of chance, as well as conceiving of the existence of processes of self-organisation which yield their own determinations. In this assertion, autonomy is the first element for understanding the meaning of subject as a complex individual. It feeds on the subject’s dependence on society and culture. The school is a micro-culture that requires adaptability for the exercise of autonomy. This is expressed as a product of relationships. There is no autonomy in isolation. Hence a teacher alone in a classroom is not autonomous. Learning autonomy requires three attitudes on the part of the teacher: one is accessibility – it is necessary that the student have access to the teacher as a person; another is initiative – it is necessary to suggest, intervene in processes in order to broaden the gamut of options; the third is availability – it is important that the student see teacher as a supporter and not as someone who is overseeing. Curriculum as democratic mediation, by Helena Singer In a public school, according to the definition I previously put forth, educators and students have the autonomy to construct the curriculum, addressing the curiosities and interests of students and the necessities of the context in which the school exists. When the school opens itself to a territory, for the communities that the students come from, the diverse culture of these communities becomes the basis for the curriculum. The culture, knowledge and experiences of the people from that specific place dialogue transversally with academic knowledge, thus producing new knowledge which makes sense to these people and results in social 204
transformation. This way specific and generic knowledges construct together a collective knowledge. A transversal curriculum is structured, above all, by projects, in which educators and students autonomously realise their objectives in learning and social transformation. By opening itself to the community, the school also opens up to the world, bringing people from the community to develop initiatives, promoting educational paths that include the territory as a field for research, interventions in the neighbourhood, participation in local community organisations and partnerships with other organizations. All of this makes up the school’s curriculum. A curriculum with an open architecture, by Lilian L’Abbate Kelian The idea that the school should no longer be a space for the transmission of knowledge but rather a space for its production has become a clichè. But how can research be undertaken within a structure of classes, disciplines, series and standardised tests? Research presupposes freedom, extended periods of time, mistakes, singularity, moments of socialising and critical evaluation. How can we talk about research if, in practice, we are still inscribed within a normative curriculum? I like to think of schools that are communities for researchers, a diversity of people (and of different ages) gathered together around common subjects that they want to learn about, as well as individuals who develop projects and research of their own interest. The curriculum at these schools is interdisciplinary, placing value on competence and essential skills (and, in very few cases, content) in different areas of knowledge. This ‘curriculum with an open architecture’ encompasses the cultural diversity of the community and the city around it.
Democratic Management Democracy as a permanent expansion of learning environments, by José Pacheco Democratic management, which is said to exist, is not at all democratic. The teachers who hold directorial, administration and management positions are subject to the ‘duty of hierarchical obedience’. Even when they disagree with ‘superior’ orders, they have to follow them and make their ‘subordinates’ (in order words, other teachers) comply. We will be able to talk about democratic management when schools go beyond the narrow scope of in-school education to act in multiple social, political and cultural spaces. In 1979, Lauro de Oliveira Lima wrote: ‘The expression ‘community school’ intends to refer to the unlocking of the isolation of traditional schooling. In the future, the school will be a community centre that promotes the synchronic and diachronic balancing of the social group it serves. Not only will the school be used as an ‘academic’ tool, it will also be used by the community as a centre for activities. [...] The school will not be limited to a determined space between walls.’ Between the school, the neighbourhood, the home, the sports club, the cultural and recreational association, the workplace or the place of leisure there is room to establish a chain of human interaction capable of giving meaning to people’s daily lives and, this way, positively influencing their life trajectories. Therefore, we will be contributing to the creation of spaces which, due to their anthropological density, can help to awaken the human vocation for transcendence and, through this, serve as real laboratories for social connections, characterised by ethical connections to others with the mark of mutual care, respect and sensitivity. Promoted through authentic practices of social relation, intersubjective recognition becomes the condition for coexistence, peace and solidarity – values that, as we know, the contemporary world is badly in need of. 205
Management as a collective invention, by Lilian L’Abbate Kelian A democratic school is a community that creates and institutes its own functions, based on a permanent reflection on the meaning of democracy in the school context. Because of this, the main objectives of this creation are: the development of an ethics of coexistence; the construction of a curricular proposal constituted as a ‘backbone’ which provokes and orients the participation of educators, students and families; the autonomous constitution of the faculty; the reflection on autonomy in the passage from childhood to adulthood; the institution of its rules and procedures. Democracy as a pedagogical condition, by Carolina Sumie Ramos Democratic management presupposes that the listen/speak binomy is a right shared by all. In a school where children, teenagers and adults cohabit, horizontal dialogue between actors should be the starting point. In this situation of speaking and listening of different characters, each one with their own baggage, it is possible to construct new knowledges, new worlds that allow them to go beyond the borders of their predefined roles: teaching vs. learning, the educated vs. those being educated, success vs. failure, obedience vs. indiscipline. In a democratic school, the management of cohabitation and curriculum is handled by all actors: rules are defined by those involved in the situation to be regulated, taking everyone’s opinion into consideration. In this process of speaking and listening, which leads to critical and respectful reflection, the search is for the common good of all those gathered in the same academic space. This way schools have their own agoras, meeting spaces for reflection and decision-making regarding the community’s life. Through the exercise of this enconuter, political and civic education takes place, autonomy in participation is constituted, the common good is elucidated through decision-making, and democracy is constructed. The school, as the locale for infinite possibilities, will have as many issues to debate as may come up in the meetings between the actors. In this way, it constitutes not only a preparation for life, but the experience of life itself, from the activities of citizens in their spaces of action, with no borders to be crossed in order to achieve any status of preparation for the next step, instead operating in a continuous flux. Conflict as a condition of democratic management, by Graziela Kunsch Dialogues can merely appear to be dialogues while they actually hide structures of domination. Conversations in circles, for instance, are often apparently horizontal, while they might at every moment be traversed by instances of power: there are people who speak better than others, people who speak much more than others, differences in social class, education, gender, age… For democratic management to realise, it is necessary to make room for different desires and the singular characteristics that might be at play, even when dealing with conflicting desires. In the workshops with teachers run by the Spanish collective Transductores, comprised of artists and educators Antonio Collados and Javier Rodrigo, they propose that the group practise an ‘economy of generosity’ and an ‘active listening’. This generosity consists in one person speaking for just two minutes if the other speaks for just two minutes, since, if one speaks for longer, the other will necessarily have to speak for a shorter time; active listening consists in not just hearing what the other has to say, but fundamentally hearing that which we don’t want to hear, that which escapes our control. But the question remains if these sorts of practices acknowledge conflict or if they serve rather to facilitate consensus.
The significance of bringing children and teens from the periphery to the Bienal Visitor-subjects, by Aldo Victório Filho Taking teenagers and children from their schools or the environment in which they live to extracurricular activities with a ‘cultural’ vocation can have a variety of meanings and results. Common sense dictates that a visit to any museum, exhibition, etc., will always be positive and, therefore, advisable. Still, an attentive observation of this kind of practice implies thinking about the forms, means and intentions – both evident and dissimulated – that guide it. Many visits to art exhibitions serve more to make evident to these young people and impress in their imaginary the distances and the inappropriate nature of their presence in the spaces visited. This might be due to the careless mediation of the subtleties of cultural difference, or to this same mediation affirming the presupposition of the unquestionable importance of what is on display and the institution displaying it. In other words, due to the carelessness in relation to the principle that every pedagogical act (and all contact with museums and other exhibition spaces) is an experience of learning that tends to determine the distances and location, almost always hierarchical, between those learning and those who already know. In other terms, the possibly inadequate nature of mediation, or rather its biased action, can, whether planned or otherwise, make the student or public feel inferior when facing the cultural goods presented. This way, the presence of marginalised youth can have antagonistic meanings in relation to the ideology and, obviously, the awareness that guides such actions. Clarifying the political meanings and interests of the art institutions and offering friendly and affectionate means for enjoying the works should make the experience precious and useful for any visitor, obviously in the most positive way. But if the action is based on the idea of granting ‘culture’ to the poor or in another similarly misconceived pantomime, it only hides the obvious intention of legitimising the privatisation of the public space and the enjoyment of culture for just a small portion of society. The transparency of intentionality, by Cayo Honorato In principle, you might suppose that a Bienal makes cultural and artistic resources available to children and teenagers from the periphery, resources that are important to their education as citizens. That, because of their being from the periphery, the Bienal is for them an extraordinary, potentially transformative opportunity. That, in this way, the Bienal demonstrates that it is a socially responsible entity, intervening in the unequal distribution of cultural capital, democratising access to what it has to offer. That, because of this, the use of public money is justified in the realisation of the event. Still, you might also suppose that this is the significance for the Bienal itself, and not necessarily for the peripheries themselves or, better yet, for the individuals from the periphery. What then might be the meaning of going to the Bienal for these individuals? I understand that the justifications for this have little to do with the investigation of this question and that those meanings remain as postulates, not as hypotheses. In other words, they 207
remain as something that is unquestionable, and something whose demonstration would not be necessary; that the effects of these actions are assessed less in regard to the children and teenagers (in favour of cultural democracy) than in relation to the actual image of the exhibition (according to the unilateral interests implied by the directive of cultural democratisation). In this case, we have to ask whether bringing them to the exhibition doesn’t inevitably involve a ‘colonising’ attitude, in a kind of symbolic violence, which presents as valuable that which remains inaccessible to them, and presenting them with an experience for which they should be docilely grateful. Obviously, all of this brings us back to the way these actions are proposed, led, evaluated and brought to the public; something which I am unable to speculate on in the case of the Bienal.
How ‘not to guide’ the public Make learning happen, by José Pacheco Encourage the reformulation of terminologies: develop work with and not work for; substitute or for and; trade I for we. It is urgent to redefine the profile of the learning mediator, to consider the student as an active participant in social transformations. All it takes is for the educators to question themselves. It is this capacity for challenging practices which results in devices for change in all social spaces in which learning occurs. Education continues to be justified more as a means of social control than as an instrument of personal improvement. Teaching is not indoctrination, but rather making learning happen; and the teacher is not merely someone who imposes answers, but instead someone who introduces topics, given that you don’t teach that which is said, but rather transmit that which is. And it is not enough to reject so-called traditional pedagogical practices. It is necessary equally to affirm that freedom is expressed and learned with others. Listening to the reasons of the other, by Graziela Kunsch I recently read a beautiful quote from film maker Eduardo Coutinho, which for me serves as a reflection on the attitude that we educators need to have: ‘Having the collaboration of the other is an imperative necessity. And this adhesion to the objective implies a position that I call emptiness, in the sense that what concerns me are the reasons of the other, rather than my own. Thus, I have to place my reasons in parentheses, my existence, in an attempt to know what the other’s reasons are, because, in one way or another, the other may not always be right, but he or she always has reasons.’ Necessar y guidance, by Cayo Honorato The question about how not to guide the public presupposes a negative connotation of guidance, which wouldn’t be embarrassing if pedagogy itself didn’t originally mean ‘to lead the child’. So, how should we think of an educational practice which, in one way or another, denies pedagogy? I can imagine what ‘not guiding’ means, in a single formulation: not providing, nor facilitating, even less imposing readings or interpretations regarding an exhibition. This is the case when the exhibitions, in the best-case scenario, are conceived around specific, nonarbitrary concepts. This situation is not contradictory at all, if we think, with Marcel Duchamp, that the actual ‘intrinsic qualities’ of an exhibition have always been penetrated by the exterior, that which escapes the intentions of these concepts, summoning precisely the ‘non-guided’ participation of the public. But this often involves a misunderstanding, an irresponsibility: granting a kind 208
of ‘prerogative of visibility’ (the effect of which relates to a simple psychological satisfaction) for any possible personal interpretation on the part of the public. Instead, I think one of the tasks of mediation is, precisely, to guide the public, in other words, to lead them to confront their personal interpretations of at least two instances of that which we might call public: 1) an experience of other individual interpretations, positions or announcements; 2) a discursive instance of collective enunciation. It is an actual interplay (material and imaginary) of multiple works, exhibitions and interpretations, more or less distant from each other in space and time, which cross and reference one another, when not completely ignoring each other. This is a complex network, in a permanent process of reconfiguration, which certainly does not define a single narrative in the sense of an ‘ideal order’ (even though it might consist of a patchwork of hegemonic narratives), but instead configures, for each time and context, a common framework, a shared world, whose visibility itself is in dispute. To guide the public is, in this sense, to lead it to take part in this dispute.
Critical mediation The false dichotomy of directing and non-directing, by José Pacheco A well-known theory states that teachers are self-reflective critics of their own practices. And I believe that the development of the critical sense can occur through pedagogical mediations. Transformations take place when people are able to decipher themselves through a dialogue between the I who acts and the I who questions. And whenever a teacher individually assumes responsibility for the acts of the collective whole, he or she transforms spaces of solitude into spaces of companionship and dialogue. With this conviction, we react to the hegemony of the transmission model, because out of an act of questioning we develop projects that produce life and meaning for life. We insist on an interpersonal relationship and on the relationship with the shared biological and psychological territory in networks of learning. Donald Woods Winnicott defines a human being as a person in relation, a singular being who cannot exist without the presence of the other. Individuals-with-others are aware of their roles in a complex and concrete symbolic order, which protects them from the mortal effects of uniformity. If it is true that the concept of sharing is contaminated with moralist connotations, it is also true that it is about sharing, about the manifestation of a feeling of sharing that rejects the attitudes of those who think they have the right to answer questions they didn’t listen to... In the schools that I am engaged in, in contrary to mechanistic reasoning, we understand that in a listening relationship the circulation of affects produces new ways of structuring society. Not denying the potential of reason and reflection, we combine them with emotions, feelings, institutions and experiences of life. The act of listening, beyond its methodological meaning, has to have human meaning and be based in the deontology of a ‘win-win’ exchange. It has to abandon magisterial attitudes, so that all participants learn according to Freirian methods, mediated by the world. It is necessary to know how to remain in ‘listening’ silence, something that is fundamental to the recognition of the other. I would say that we need to review our necessity to want the other to conform to our image, respecting him or her from a non-narcissistic perspective or, in other words, a perspective of respect for the other, the not-I, the different from me, that which doesn’t want to catechise anyone, and defends the freedom of ideas and beliefs. Mediation beyond institutions, by Cayo Honorato First of all, critical mediation should also be self-critical, both in relation to itself and to cultural mediation in general. This means that it should not just expose or denounce, but also engage itself in that which it criticises. 209
My perception is that, in the field of relations between the arts and education, that which we refer to as ‘mediation’ is, invariably, an initiative of institutions, which alone presents us with the outline of a largely thoughtless regime. It is precisely the political-institutional framing of mediation or, better yet, of each mediation, and the historical-cultural circumstances in which it has been called to work, which remain somewhat unconscious, off the radar. The motivations, in this sense, can become undesirably neurotic. Indeed, this condition interferes/ resonates in many other matters: from notions of audiences, invariably ahistorical, to the professional identity of the mediator, invariably linked to precariousness. In light of this, a critical mediation must be capable of signalling or even imagining/realising a trans-mediation, or an extra-institutional mediation. Art’s anti-pedagogical function, by Graziela Kunsch Critical mediation is that which refuses to offer answers in the absence of questions. But this doesn’t mean that the mediator needs to remain silent and only speak if someone asks for his or her help. Critical mediation can be propositional, causing discomfort/surprise, distrust/ doubt. And it can also take place without the presence of an educator. One of the curators of the 31st Bienal told me about a desire to place a Maxakali chant as mediation for one piece in the exhibition’s audio-guide. This may perhaps be the greatest contribution of education through art; the opening up of new paths. Art is able to show that the impossible is possible, that wrong might be right, that not understanding things can be good. The sur vival of astonishment, by Jorge Menna Barreto I understand that a critical mediation is one which does not seek to facilitate the public’s experience, in the sense of making the work more transparent, but instead one that looks for strategies to multiply its poeticity (poetics + opacity). I like pointing at the difference between homeopathy and allopathy. Allopathy, when faced with a symptom, seeks to combat it, or even silence it. Homeopathy, in contrast, seeks to point at it, or even intensify it, so that the body itself can react. This is also the way anti-ophidic serums work in the case of a cobra bite. The cure (reaction) is not in the suppression, facilitation or dilution of the conflict present in a work, but rather in the intensification of the symptom, the concentration on it, its potentialisation. I like to think that good works of art are those that sting us and inject a venom that doesn’t put us to sleep, but instead alters our equilibrium axis. Critical mediation is faithful to the venom and consists in a second bite. The edifying and benevolent discourse of the majority of education departments at art institutions upsets me, because it operates by appeasing conflict, guaranteeing the digestibility and palatability of the work. It seems to me that this logic is one of consumerism, since it seeks to guarantee the ‘public’s satisfaction’, thus making them consumers. In this way, the educational department becomes a service provider for the institution, and the sponsor-institutionsatisfied consumer circle closes in a ‘beautiful and efficient’ manner. And what if we allowed our public to go home dissatisfied, with indigestion, irritated and feeling betrayed in their expectation to ‘go home satisfied’? I believe it is important for us to think of an educational project that guarantees the survival of wonder and discomfort, which I believe are the two greatest forms of pedagogical capital, since they are able to activate (with no guarantee) the good old ‘desire to want to know more’, the basis of all philosophy. I understand this as the real participatory state, potentialised by the educational action. That is, the public enters the exhibition as a spectator and leaves as a participant in the work, allowing it to survive and continue to sail on. How then could we think of a mediation that operates based on a ‘guarantee of dissatisfaction’?
Aldo Victorio Filho is a professor and vice director of the Art Institute at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ). He coordinates research projects in arts in the area of Education and Mental Health and investigates marginalized aesthetic productions. Carolina Sumie Ramos is an educator and a member of the management staff at the Escola Politeia for democratic education. Cayo Honorato is a professor at the Art Institute at the University of Brasília (UnB), where he currently coordinates Espaço Piloto. For his doctorate, he researched the historical and cultural conjunctions and disjunctions between the arts and education. Elaine Fontana, an educator and artist, coordinates content and the instruction of educators at the Bienal de São Paulo. Since 2012, she has been developing the project for collaborative management at Museu Lasar Segall. Helena Singer is a sociologist and a research fellow in Education, director of the Cidade Escola Aprendiz and author of the book República das crianças: sobre experiências escolares de resistência (São Paulo: Mercado de Letras, 2010), among others. Jorge Menna Barreto is an artist and researcher. He is a research fellow in the Arts Department at the State University of Santa Catarina (UDESC), where he is developing a study about possible relationships between agroecology and site-specific practices in art. José Pacheco is an educator, with a Masters degree in childhood education. He is an apprentice at Projeto Âncora and author of the book Para Alice com Amor (São Paulo: Cortez, 2004).
Ramp at the Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavilion 212
Poster for the 31st Bienal
Conceptual Sketch for Architecture Project, by Oren Sagiv
Architecture For the 31st Bienal, the Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavilion is divided into three parts: Park, Ramp and Columns. These parts separate and connect the whole, in a way that is intended to articulate the total experience of the exhibition. An important initial realisation in the process of developing an archictecture for the exhibition was that the building is not ‘very big’, but just too big to host one exhibition that can cohere as a single experience. Another one was that a curatorial process involving commissioning projects, experimental procedures and enhancing encounters with different publics had to be complemented by an independent architectural process. In this way, the event-making process could move ahead as a whole, with the architectural design working in parallel and in dialogue with the as-yet-nonexistent artworks or projects. This affected the demands from the architecture process, which aimed at the creation of a flexible platform that would both allow the emerging projects to find their place, and recognise that the autonomous restructuring of the spaces would necessarily play a significant role in their reception. Given that the curatorial and architectural development of the Bienal happened concurrently, the initial absence of artworks encouraged a series of studies about the Bienal de São Paulo at large (the city, the public park, the Bienal’s history…), and a thorough analysis of the dimensions, depths, circulation, orientation and condition of light and darkness inside Oscar Niemeyer’s pavilion. A preliminary study, investigating the various circulation possibilities within the building and marking at the same time countless scenarios for the accumulation of the total experience by the public, became the basis for the articulation of the pavilion. This study resulted in devising a spatial ‘valve’, pinned vertically through the centre of the building’s three floors, that shapes and regulates the newly constructed divisions and connections within the building. In order to grasp more clearly the possible meaning of this articulation, and to indicate the degree of separation we were seeking, simple names were given to the three newly distinct ‘areas’. The ground floor was named the Park area, its existing transparency and location between the public park and the art exhibition making it unmistakably a place for social interaction. To its northeast, connected by Niemeyer’s impressive void and concentric ramp, the three floors of the Ramp area crystallised. Reminiscent of an 18th-century opera house, this area is identifiable as a place for a singular event, with encounters that are constantly in dialogue and echo through the void that connects them. Lastly, stretching for more than 120 metres at the southwestern end of the second floor is the Columns area, an enormously deep space dominated by a grid of columns. Having established this division, recognised in existing spatial characteristics, these new architectural protagonists help to write the story of the 31st Bienal. Each of the areas and their interrelations weave a fine texture for the exhibition, one that is diverse and solid enough to signal, organise and orient the various projects in process. 215
Analysis Using the variety of existing entrances and the existing interior and exterior vertical circulation, different options were laid out in order to articulate the building into a site which hosts different (separated or associated) programmes. The top three schemes show the basic organising principles, while the rest develop the articulation to different possibilities. We chose some configurations and examined how these would create a different experience of accumulation of the whole eachÂ time.
Existing entrances and circulation
Preliminary analysis of possible division in blocks
A series of conceptual models, made of relatively few parts in total, followed. The models’ parts can combine different variations, thus creating a range of diversities and affinities throughout the ‘site’. Here is a choice of six such configurations, which create a different syntax of the whole each time. These models reveal possible physical interventions required to link, dissect and connect the whole, as well as different spatial qualities that this strategy may result in. For example, the potential in entering ‘at once’ to the very long colonnade hall on the second floor.
Conceptual models: articulation of site
The examination led to the creation of a central wedge made out of space and pinned vertically through the centre of the building’s three floors. This central area regulates circulation, connections and separations between the different parts that stretch in each of its faces – in other words, it distinctively differentiates and defines three different areas in the vast building. Names were given to the newly formed areas, associated with initial intentions and concepts, as well as physical or perceptual characteristics: Park, Ramp and Columns areas.
Columns area Ramp area
Computer rendering of Park area
The Park area grew to become a place for the social. Situated between the place of the public (Ibirapuera Park) and the place of the art, it should be neither of the above. In relation to Niemeyer’s original intention, where a large part of the ground floor remains an exterior space, four entrances were kept open as an invitation to participate in a large range of events that happen during the 31st Bienal. The exhibition only starts when the visitor decides to step onto the ramp leading
into the first floor. Throughout the Park area, we have created places for workshops and other educational activities, paved the floor with carpeted ‘puddles’ as meeting points, and emphasised the potential of the area to become a comfortable entrance zone to the exhibition for the quarter of a million students expected. The wooden Plataforma has been designed to host spontaneous and organised communities engaged in various gatherings, conversations, lectures or performances.
General sketch of Park area and the Plataforma
The Plataforma is a key expression of the ideas behind the Park area. Neither art nor architecture, it is an enormous piece of furniture, temporarily placed in the pavilion to host events that change from hour to hour and day to day. It is also in conversation with the mezzanine level and thereby addresses the building directly, allowing the physical bodies of the public to occupy temporarily a new position in relation to the permanent architecture.
R = 230 cm R = 280 cm
R = 350 cm
Main plan of the Plataforma
Main section through the Plataforma
Computer rendering of Ramp area
The exhibition at the Ramp area was conceived following the idea of simultaneity. Through sound and vision, the three floors are experienced at one time. To understand and control this characteristic, vertical gazes were mapped and a web of trajectories was laid out associating locations on differentÂ floors. Viewable area of the first floor from the second
Viewable area of the first floor from the third
Viewable area of the second floor from the third
Horizontal views, study of Ramp area
The few long partitions that were constructed are not intended to designate territories, but rather to accentuate a specific optical trajectory that is already present. Going up the ramp is a process of unfolding attention to artworks that are vaguely present in oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s consciousness from the start. The point of view that the visitor occupies therefore becomes the (ever-changing) centre of perception.
Horizontal views, study of Ramp area
Computer rendering of Columns area
The Columns area confronts the visitor with a different experience of engagement. By moving from the daylight southwestern faรงade into the dark heart of the enclosed space, the visitor comes across around twenty-nine individual cells and niches. Each accommodates a group of artworks that
sometimes connect to other rooms, like myriad pieces of a fragmented whole that can only be reconstructed in the mind. It is a continuous journey between light and dark (natural and projected) where each visitor is likely to find a different path and hence a singular experience.
Dark Heart Sight Line
General scheme of Columns area
Main Section – Columns area
Light/Dark plan – Columns area
Val del Omar, Fuego en Castilla, 1958-1960 [Fire in Castile]
Imogen Stidworthy’s project Balayer – A Map of Sweeping revolves around a network of temporary homes for autistic children set up by the French writer and pedagogue Fernand Deligny in 1967, around the village of Monoblet in the Cévennes, southern France. Rather than psychiatric care, it was an experience of communal living that was on offer in these farmhouses: therapists were replaced by untrained social workers, and isolation by life out in the open. In this way, Deligny sought to create an environment that responded to the children’s way of being-in-the-world, notably their withdrawal from language. Verbal communication was therefore dispensed with and visual tools such as mapmaking, photographs and films were used to interpret their gestures and wanderings. Although the network ceased to operate in the early 1980s, Deligny’s collaborators Jacques Lin and Gisèle Durand continue to live with autistic adults in one of the farmhouses – two of these adults arrived as children in the late 1960s. Building upon her ongoing enquiry into the borders of language, Stidworthy has worked with them to consider the legacy of Deligny’s project and reflect upon what being without language might indicate about the ways in which language constructs our sense of self and thus structures – as well as restricts – our engagement with the world. Each component of Stidworthy’s installation focuses on a particular cultural practice devised by Deligny in his attempt to take 226
Imogen Stidworthy, Balayer − A Map of Sweeping, 2014
Imogen Stidworthy, Balayer − A Map of Sweeping, 2014
account of the relation with the autistic persons, and of their worldview – namely tracing, ‘camering’ and writing. Attentive to their heightened perception of the material world, Stidworthy has filmed them as they work with Gisèle Durand in a project that she initiates from time to time, involving tracing on paper – an activity that Deligny distinguished from drawing to emphasise its unintentional basis. A similar lack of purpose underpins Deligny’s notion of ‘camering’: an aimless filming that we can recognise in the installation in images made from a ‘detached’ and, to a degree, un-authored camera position. We also see unedited video recordings taken by Lin over the years, raw material for a future film captured through an embedded, insider’s eye. Finally, Deligny’s unusual style of writing – here translated live from the French – reveals his attempt to defy language within language. His struggle to counter the rules of the written word thus dovetails with Stidworthy’s own efforts to question the neutrality of language.
< … - histoire(s) du présent - … > [< … – history(-ies) of the present - … >] is first of all an experience and a practice which surpass the frame and time of the making of a film and bring about spaces of refuge: experiments and practices that have always already begun and continue after and outside the film. Such an excess allows ‘filmic practice’ to take place in a larger context, capable of questioning the meaning of its existence and its relation, its hierarchy, to all the other parts and lived moments which make up the experience. This does not stop cinema from emerging, nor a cinematographic reflection from accompanying us. We, fragile beings, bring together our stories in such moments as these. These practices which engage cinema, experience and documentary do not have a name; they are fragments of history, film-documents perhaps, notes dated from a moment that gives place to experience and its layers of meanings and which serve as its writing. A film-document would thus be one that engages in such a precarious construction, in which what is to be done entails, more than the making of a film, the invention of places. It will be possible to say that there is an earth, which forever remains to be named, and offers a ground to the experiences of those who bear perceptions or forms of minority being. And in this zone, the film offers a reflection on the space and time of the places where we, as strangers, find ourselves ‘between fields’, supplanting those fields that are defined as ‘entirely this or that’. The concern here is to take the time to experiment with ways of being together that allow a few cinematographic undertakings to occur; to allow situations to emerge, rather than be constrained by the event. And, in this momentum, and not beforehand, to give thought to the form that the film might take, the ways of filming or not, of unsettling this act of sharing. These are shared experiences, open to further debate, referring to a present, which, in these attempts, give form to the film. If historical experience also takes place by means of the image, and if images are themselves charged with history, the idea is to make room for collective portraits, of a group of friends, groups of what or whoever lives, responds and attempts to resist the events with which we are confronted. Concretely, < … - histoire(s) du présent - … > is the account of a lived experience in São Paulo with the group Cia. Teatral UEINZZ, a ‘non-conformist’ theatre group with which I have collaborated on and off over the years. UEINZZ is not easy to present; it does not exist as a word and was first pronounced by a member of the company who otherwise never speaks. As a community without community, or rather as a community to come, UEINZZ defines itself as a cross between limit experiences and minority artistic experiments and offers a theatrical space to ‘whoever feels the world tremble’. A band, made up of what-or-whoever-fragile-philosophers-therapists-schizos-and-others-poets-still-to-be-understood, in a unique setting where each person’s supposed role finds its limits and fluctuates; roles are modified, recomposed or even contested. UEINZZ is a means without an end of an opening, a place of welcome without a definitive place. And it is this kind of pliancy and tenuousness, in a world where the ‘separate’ reigns, that unites us. Ultimately, we desire to escape having to specify who we are, when it ultimately amounts to being forever assigned the same role. We are crazy enough to imagine film-documents as lived spaces that provide us with the means to escape the insufficiency of our times… We are concerned, for our part, with the joy of being together, of creating something with what we have and who we are… and, as such, of diverting the suffering and cruelty that exists and which contemporary society cannot afford to ignore. Alejandra Riera 229
A Transvestite in the Museum … in some areas of Latin America the word ‘travesti’ has shifted from an everyday insult and its definition by the Real Academia in Spain as ‘a person who, by natural inclination or as part of a show, dresses with the clothes of the opposite sex’, to be re-elaborated into a political subject by its own titleholders. This ideological or everyday decentring brings with it a revision of the order that we refute, as well as the very concept of eccentricity from which we assert ourselves. Accordingly, transvestite sexualisation and marginalisation are no longer put forward as disqualifications but as a potential for positing a series of new associations. A history back to front. An inverted memory. Museum transvestites to transvestise the museum, entering into it not to mimetise and disappear in it, but to transform it from within, like a Trojan horse, knocking down many false doors until revolutionising it. Then, by reproducing the museum’s tactics to collect past and present transvestisms, this double transvestism consists in nothing less than a process of restoration of transvestite tactics per se. The multitude of transvestised dancers in traditional Peruvian festivals as a twofold transformation, from indigenous men to white women; as wisely satirical old women; or as ‘demonesses’ who act out the facets of the virgins for whom they dance. All acts of simultaneous opposition and complementariness. Indigenous ritual androgyny as a simile of social uncertainty in the face of an encounter with an adverse situation or a strange ethnic group; but at the same time as a nexus with the unknown and therefore fostering culture while making its process explicit. The history of transvestism is also a history of fashion, in which appearance is a critique of established order; where sexual politics have to erase the clear-cut divide between private and public jurisdiction; and where gender comments on other social dimensions such as race or class. A transvestite museum is a space of empowerment and memory of transvestite people, as well as a place of letting oneself be carried along – beyond the need for a differentiated and safe space, in search of a necessary deconstruction of bodies. A transvestite in the museum is not a sign of identity but a ‘visibilisation’ of the constant metamorphosis of bodies and knowledge, as living culture.
Timeline dismantled in its parallel incarnations – the original dichotomy – pseudobroken. Crossbred religiosity. Double hairdressers and pantheist altar. Performative folklore. Rite become spectacle and yet, memory under its simultaneous transvestisms. Imilla (maiden) representing a native and intrusive Virgin of Carmen; Devil Chinese, Marian antithesis and complement; Sicainas, Chupaquinas and Jaujinas supplanting colonial Spanish women and absorbing them. Contemporary crier, custom and crisis in the popular drag queen. Transvestite candidates for a yet unharvested election. Devotees – another sacredness – that contradict gender and time as a return to primal androgyny. Giuseppe as a middle name, Campuzano the step-grandfather’s surname, our mutant sex. Other selves, willing – like a nineteenth-century museum – in their overlapping facets.
FAGGOTY. Character dressed as a woman, with LIMPET, head of the dance of the LITTLE BLACKS in Sechura. Along with OLD BLACK MAN, dances between lanterns the day of Christmas Eve, reciting couplets in corners or the atrium of the church, ridiculing some person, local authority or an unusual fact with his jokes (Esteban T. Puig, Breve diccionario folclórico piurano, 1985/1995, p.145).
The Chinese had rented a theatre (the Odeon), and plays which lasted eight days, as in Beijing’s playhouses, were represented there. I went one night. Those who not long ago were porters, now wearing makeup, dressed in admirable damasks, adopt male or female roles there, representing princes and priests and mandarins of buttons of all kinds. The Chinese orchestra, positioned on stage, plays Wagnerian music that transports the sybaritic audience that swaggers in their seats, while smoking opium and talking softly. Gong swipes warn the viewers when a more interesting passage demands their attention. Then there is silence, and the plaintive voice of the actors and loud, continuous, monotonous, relentless, vibrations of the string instruments being sawn, filed, scraped, pinched by heartless musicians can barely be heard.
Janaq (high) and urin (low), the indigenous principle of complementary opposites reduced to jurisdictions. Transvestite feathers as foundational wings that raised apocryphal archangels to wage the war of crossbreeding – from the shamanic Manqu Qhapac to the transvestite showgirl. Other geographies of the nation-body. Meeting of theatrics, indigenous and Catholic, and colonisation of an androgynous body that in being labelled transvestite was simultaneously denied and sanctioned as ‘female’. Patronal Feast of multiple times and spaces where the transvestite is realised in feminine while performing the androgynous exchange between the cultures that define it, dual function that is identical: a dialogue between two representations of the world in a single aesthetic. Fags and veiled equivocations, gender subversions that mix class and ethnicity transcending the enlightened panopticon. Crossbreedings as hyperboles that sketch another ethnicity: to corrpupt identity.
Giuseppe Campuzano, Línea de vida/Museo Travesti del Peru, 2009-2013 [Life’s Timeline/Transvestite Museum of Peru] 231
The habit of women being veiled has come to such an extent that it has caused great offences to God, and significant damage to the Republic, on the grounds that in that way the father does not recognise his daughter, or the husband his wife or the brother his sister, and women have freedom and time and space at will, and give occasion to men to venture the daughter or wife of the lord, as well as that of the most vile and lowliest, which would not happen if they walked uncovered with light discerning one from the other, because then each would presume being herself and would be treated differently from the rest, and different achievements would be seen in each other: additionally, the great evils and sacrilege that men dressed as women and covered without being recognised have done and do, would be prevented (Cortes de Castilla, 1586/1590, pp.21-22).
The faggot Juan José was Lima’s most renowned chef until 1850. His stall was under one of the arcs of the Portal de Escribanos. His effeminate voice and manners won him the nickname ‘faggot’. He worked with great tenacity for eleven months a year, and spent the remaining one in Chorrillos for the summer and squandering his earnings. He died almost a beggar in Chorrillos, in 1860, and when other cooks had already eclipsed his fame.
Giuseppe Campuzano, Línea de vida/Museo Travesti del Peru, 2009-2013 [Life’s Timeline/Transvestite Museum of Peru] 232
Viceregal arquebusiers archangels with feathered headdress are a Christianised image of huamincas or ‘brave soldiers’ of the god Viracocha reinterpreted by chroniclers. Their Bourbon costumes reveal the Frenchified atmosphere of the time, but the arquebusier archangels seem to represent the orthodox ecclesiastic resistance to the new enlightened absolutism. From the time of Charles V, the worship of warrior angels had been related to the Hispanic monarchy and the scholastic philosophy of Neoplatonic orientation. When Charles III expelled the Jesuits from the New World and promoted his enlightened absolutism in Spanish America, the political models of the old order were suppressed and with them all angelic discourse. However, it is still significant that the worship of arquebusiers angels involved a flowering of scholastic philosophy which, according to Stoetzer, served as the ideological framework for Independence (Ramón Mujica, Ángeles apócrifos en la América Virreinal, 1992, pp.206-207, 211).
1616 > In the version given by Sarmiento de Gamboa, Manco Capac ‘had with him a bird as a sacred or, as others say, enchanted thing, and thought that that was what made Manco Capac lord and what led people to follow him’ (María Rostworowski et al., Entre el mito y la historia, Lima: Biblioteca Peruana de Psicoanálisis, 1987/1991, p.12).
Manco Capac and his ayllus inhabited lower Cusco and his dwelling was the temple of Indicancha, while the followers of Auca settled down in the upper half or hanan. The splitting in halves entails, in context, a sense of gender, and comprises an opposition and complementarity between the Hanan and Hurin sides (María Rostworowski, Historia del Tawantinsuyu, 1989, p.35).
Ines Doujak and John Barker, Loomshuttles, Warpaths, 2009- ongoing 235
Indigo A ruthlessly organised industry to meet the Western demand for indigo had such an effect upon the lungs of the slave labourers who processed it that they never lived over seven years. When prices were high, indigo dyestuffs could be exchanged for slaves: ”pound for pound of Negro weighed naked.” 1944 The market women of Cuzco, Peru, created an influential Union and their actions became a symbol of popular classes` struggles. Years later during a general strike they kidnapped the opposing General, pulled off his hat, and urinated into it, forcing him into negotiations. Waldo Jordan I don’t have anything against things being mixed in principal, it’s not that, it was always that people living in the highlands had to come down to the jungle or the sea, they needed coca leaves or a boat or they were escaping Spanish taxes.
Velvet It was the most expensive of all cloth in the Renaissance period, and while banking dynasties like the Medici were built on its production, the late 15th century ruler of Milan was murdered by his own courtiers when his velvet extravagances threatened their position. 1954 A victorious strike by the mainly female workforce in Japan was against the Omy Kenshi Spinning Company, which held monthly conferences to select and fire workers who were sick or otherwise could not work hard enough. David Riff Things changed again with Pussy Riot. I thought their bank robber balaclavas looked extremely familiar, though I couldn’t figure out why. It was only when they performed their punk prayer that I got it. This is much closer to some inner solidarity with Aymara women who donned these masks to become their conquistador oppressors, inhabiting that heartbeat of a heartless world that pulses through their prayers.
Skins “Possibly in no other place in the world is there so much variety in complexion and physiognomy as in Lima. From the delicately fair Creole daughter of European parents, to the jet black Congo Negro, people of every gradation of colour are seen, 18 in all according to an 19th century European traveller.” 1680 The Navajo Indians gained additional weaving skills from Pueblo Indian refugees fleeing repression after their successful uprising against colonial religious fanaticism. The Navajo acknowledged Spider Woman, who they said had taught them weaving, as a Pueblo woman. In her honour the weavers left a hole in the centre of each blanket like that of a Spider’s web. Lukas Pusch Since the ‘War on Drugs’ in Mexico started in 2006, 45,000 deaths have occurred involving gangs, the army, and a variety of special squads. In the city of Juárez alone there were 3000 such killings in 2010. These figures are far higher than those in the occupation of Afghanistan. Violence is normalized so that the murders have become increasingly gruesome and theatrical in style.
Calico The imports of this wonderfully dyed cotton from India threatened home-spun English wool to such a degree that many prohibitions against its import were made until the secrets of its production became known. In the meanwhile the writer Daniel Defoe was especially moralistic against its use by women servants. 0208 The Peruvian gay movement decided to reclaim the significance of Francisco Pro by celebrating “Gay Pride” in Lima on this day. He was discovered wearing women’s clothes in 1803, brought to trial, charged with sodomy, condemned on the grounds that tailoring was a “strange” profession for a man and sentenced to a “public shame walk” and prison. Cristina Bubba The Bolivian government built a museum for the returned weavings in Coroma, but the people didn’t want to put their ancestors there because it was like a jail. So the museum is built, and it’s empty. Either the people must be able to live in the museum, to make rituals there, to look after them, or if they can’t have that then the museum should only be for pictures of the weavings.
Negro Cloth A small ration of this ‘flimsy fabric’ of unbleached cotton was given to North American slaves to make their own clothes. It was considered important that there was a gulf between the dress of master and slave, but using the indigo they were forced to pick and make into a dye, negro women outraged the Law by dressing ‘beyond their condition’. 1795 The ties of solidarity the weavers of Cuddalore, India created against the oppressive demands of the East India Company “were not fixed, but continually made and remade ... and demonstrated extraordinary inventiveness, resourcefulness and creativity.” John Barker There is no peace in my heart, nor my head, nor my blood that will itch until we have killed them all, or they have run away. But for this night fold me in your weave, warm me, make me a potato in the soil and bring me sleep before I join the others.
Berafula In what was a Portuguese industrial laboratory on the previously uninhabited Cape Verde islands, this blue-and-white cotton cloth was being produced in the 16th century by the first vertically-íntegrated production of cloth, starting with the growing and harvesting of cotton and dye plant, and using slave labour. 1932 The textile workers of Vichuga in the USSR struck against ‘socialist competition’, and for the right to grow their own food. Despite selective repression, gains were implemented on a countrywide basis. Judith Fischer GHOST ARTIST / SHAMANIC ACTION VERBS: disperse, loosen, distribute, cast off, wash off, grind, shoo away, destroy, detach, cast out, dismember, kill.
Twill One of the first weaving innovations was that of passing the weft over two warp threads instead of one, which in Bronze Age Europe needed the invention of a loom with more than one heddle. In the same period, perhaps earlier, Peruvian weavers were using similar techniques. The distinctive twill pattern is of diagonal lines and diamond shapes. 2013 Following 20 years of mass protests by Bangladeshi workers and the deaths of many of them in factory fires and collapses, they win a 76% increase in the minimum wage. This was opposed by the employers even though wages remain the lowest in a low-paid global industry. Evelyn Steinthaler I am beginning to understand what was never explained to me. I was only presented with incomplete facts. My family drew the cowl over me, but I am no nun. I wear a suit of armor, I am Catalina de Erauso. I killed one of them with this weapon. It was simple. He had not anticipated that I would come so close. His bloody breath clung to me as he was laid low. I do not know how many came before him. It is also of no consequence. Not to me. And they are used to making sacrifices. On this we agree.
Alpaca A hundred years after the Spanish invasion, the alpaca had disappeared in many regions of the Andes and barely survived in others as a result of disease – human and animal – and the imposition of sheep, along with strategic neglect. Amazingly they survived, but when in the 19th century the wool entered the world market, it led to concerted attempts to grab land from Indigenous people.
1903 LA PAZ COUNCIL DECREE, 1st Article: “The dress that the Indigenous class in our town of La Paz persists in wearing, with bare feet, shirt, torn trousers on their lower extremities and long hair, is retrograde and counter to the principles of morality, which therefore condemns and forbids it.” T.J. Clark Somewhere near the start of my time with the cloth which has been with me for some months now, I received a photograph by email. It’s of the Soviet army, probably in Poland in 1920. In one corner we see soldiers holding a banner with a single-coloured square on a white background. At this time Kasimir Malevich and his followers had taken control of the Vibetsk Art School. Could it be that they made it as a red, or more likely, black square? There is evidence that his abstract paintings were hoisted on poles in processions.
Gold Gold thread woven into velvet clothing was a signifier of power in Europe at the time of the invasion of the Americas while the invaders themselves were only interested in it as money treasure, ripping off the gold sheathing from an Inca temple with crowbars. 1859 Bengali tenant farmers refused to sow any indigo for the British colonialists saying they would die without land to grow their own rice. The scale and level of self-organisation involved in this campaign created a precedent for the Indian Independence movement. Catherine Lord Upon admission, the child was given a number and a new name. Parents who hoped to reclaim their child one day left a small piece of fabric which hospital officials pinned to the ledger page that recorded the date of the child’s acquisition, along with her weight, hair color, physical condition, marks on the body and so forth. This scrap of fabric was the translation of a child.
Dye Spy Dye chemistry was the basis of the whole chemical industry and in the early years of the 20th century it was dominated by Germany, including its factories in the USA. The First World War, with embargoes and factory seizures, saw the start of a long competition with the USA, which involved the use of industrial espionage by both sides. 1794 The successful revolution by slaves in the indigo and other plantations of Haiti, which led to the formation of an independent state in 1804, soon inspired revolts of cotton slaves in the USA. Shooshie Sulaiman
LOOMSHUTTLES / WARPATHS The long-term and ongoing artistic research explores the complex relations of cloth, clothing and colonialism from earlier to contemporary forms of globalisation. The colour/textile and dates texts are co-written by Ines Doujak and John Barker. Posters by Ines Doujak. The artistic research is sponsored by FWF Austrian Science Funds (AR 19-G21)
Juan Downey, Untitled (PerĂş-Bolivia), 1976 239
Nilbar Güreş, Overhead, 2010
Nilbar Güreş, The Grapes, 2010
Masked figure of the Kawmot, South coast of New Britain
The production of images is one of the decisive areas of struggle for other forms of subjectivity, especially in contexts such as media culture, where the white, male, heterosexual body is in full political and visual command. This is, as queer theorist Beatriz Preciado says, the body with the ‘politicalorgasmic’ hegemony, the one who ‘has access to sexual excitement in public, as opposed to those bodies whose gaze must be protected and whose pleasure must be controlled’. Here, drag practices contribute to denaturalise and disrupt a false social construct, and bring together a new coalition of monsters, offering other geopolitical morphologies from which to resist and act. It is as if all those despised bodies returned through an alliance that no longer responds to the demands of an orthodox identity and its claims of social discipline, in order to celebrate a perverse pleasure and an inspiring solidarity of sexual deviance. Religious drag appearances, developed between the late 1970s and early 90s under regimes of oppression or transition to democracy, undo Catholic imagery’s devout models of femininity (the saint, the virgin, the blessed), and disable the oppressive component of morality that organises and controls behaviour in public.
Sergio Zevallos, Martirios, 1983 [Martyrdom]
Dios es marica A project by Miguel A. López How to write the history of subjects who have been repeatedly erased from history? What kinds of knowledge do the bodies of so-called sexual minorities produce – knowledges that are still unintelligible within the dominant modes of discourse and narrative construction? In the androgynous, drag and transgender (as well as other non-normative positions), we are faced with a set of bodies in which the dispossession of their human condition has historically persisted – not through registration and surveillance, but through silence and the effacing of their traces in the official directories. That is when the few existing traces have not been used just to pathologise, to exclude or to normalise difference. As the disappearance of these bodies has been a feature in the formation of classical archives and traditional historiographies, the trans-feminist and queer cartographies that respond to this situation require the rejection of identifications, and wagers on (re)inventing those histories that do not exist. 242
Sergio Zevallos, Ambulantes, 1983 [Strolling]
Yeguas del Apocalipsis, Las dos Fridas, 1989/2014 [The Two Fridas]
These presentations are a critical response to colonial processes in Latin America and Spain, where religion has played a key role in the training of Eurocentric civilising cultural and moral values. State and religion, alongside military authoritarianism and Catholic devotion, have been part of a strong conservative social matrix that drag practices confront and subvert, by parodying heterosexuality and by intervening in the codes that divide the social body into normal and sick subjects, into proper and deviant sexualities, into those who deserve to live and those who donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t.
Yeguas del Apocalipsis, San Camilo â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Leonora, 1989/2014
Such practices renewed the modes of social intervention from the margins of the cultural and art systems, disengaged from any economic rule and traditional ideas of good taste. These transgender appropriations of religious iconography intervene in social power relations and in the institutionalised systems of morality and social respectability, opening pathways that had been blocked, and doing so in order to establish new territories of critical devotion for non-normative desires and bodies. They shift the shape and nature of God, turning it queer. Miguel A. L贸pez
Mujeres Creando, sketch for Espacio para abortar, 1989/2014 [Space to Abort]
Nahum Zenil, Evangelista, 1989 [Evangelist]
Nahum Zenil, Gracias Virgencita de Guadalupe, 1984 [Thanks to the Little Virgin of Guadalupe]
Oca単a, Inmaculada de las pollas, 1976 [Immaculate of the Cocks]
Nurit Sharett, Counting the Stars, 2014
Counting the Stars Conversation between Nurit Sharett and Carlos Gutierrez The term Anussim – ‘forced’ in Hebrew – refers to the descendants of Jews forced to convert to Catholicism during the Inquisition regime in the Iberian Peninsula. They are also known as Marranos (crypto-Jews) or New Christians (cristãos novos), in opposition to the Old Christians. Many of them used to keep hidden Jewish practices and were often persecuted by the Inquisition. Nurit Sharett: I started my journey in 2011 when we went to the east zone of São Paulo to meet a member of an Anussim group. Until then I thought the Anussim belonged to the past, having learnt about them in high school history lessons. Carlos Gutierrez: I discovered the group in 2007 and followed them through a process that we in anthropology call participant-observation: living with and like the group, eating kosher food, going to their jobs and analysing their interactions. My main goal was to study how the Jewish identity is defined in a struggle that involves this specific group as much as the ‘established Jews’ – who are generally considered to be the ‘real’ ones. I don’t consider that there are real and fake Jews. One could say that there are no Jews but that Jewish identity, like any identity, is produced on an everyday basis. 246
Nurit Sharett: What do you mean with ‘there are no Jews’? Carlos Gutierrez: This is always shocking! Of course there are Jews, but how can we define them? Many orthodox groups won’t consider you Jew because you are not religious. But I cannot consider their opinion as ‘the truth’. We have a plurality of visions and perceptions about Judaism. Anthropologists can’t decide who is Jewish or not. We have to analyse this struggle and how the agents involved in it use these categories, classify themselves, justify their positions and deny the identity of the other. When I say ‘there are no Jews’, I am referring to the fact that this is a social construction that changes all the time. If you look at the old texts in the Torah, it says that a Jew is someone who has a Jewish father. This thing of being Jewish by mother appears only after the Roman war in Judea, because there were very few men left. They had died fighting against the Roman Empire. So the rabbis, at that time, decided to change the established order of classification to the actual form. But liberal synagogues still consider anyone who has a Jewish father to be Jewish, as they refer to the old texts! So, who is right? What is Judaism? We cannot answer this question, it is under construction and it will always be.
Nurit Sharett: This first encounter with the Anussim made a strong impression on me. I felt that this group is suffering from two sides, the Jews don’t let them into their synagogues, so they have to create their own, and their Evangelical neighbours don’t want them in their area either. Can you explain to me what brings people at a certain point in life to call themselves Anussim? Carlos Gutierrez: In the end of the 1990s, this question exploded, and many people started to consider themselves Anussim and to claim their Jewish identity. Why did it happen? I have two connected hypotheses: urbanisation and Pentecostalism. When people are in rural areas, they have only two options: being Catholic or Evangelical. When they go to cities, they have the possibility of interacting with many other groups, such as Jewish people. At the same time, with urbanisation, Evangelical groups have grown practically from zero, in the 1950s, to about 42.3 million today, which represents 22.2 percent of Brazil’s population! Most of these Evangelical movements claim to be the ‘New Hebrews’ – adopting Hebrew words, Jewish symbols and Jewish rituals in their churches. So the majority of those who classify themselves as Jews have a previous experience, through Christian institutions, that provided them with a ‘grammar’ of Judaism. Many of them, before discovering their ‘Jewish roots’, in their own words, were admirers of Jewish culture, religion and language.
Nurit Sharett: Can you explain to me what you mean by grammar? Carlos Gutierrez: When I use the term grammar, I refer to the knowledge of the Anussim issue; the historical context; the Inquisition; the ‘new Christian names’ (Morreira, Carvalho, Perreira, etc.); and how these are operationalised by these social actors when they justify their positions and claim their Jewish identity. Here I have to emphasise the importance of Anita Novinsky’s work. She was a pioneer in gathering all the data we had in Brazil and Portugal about the Inquisition, showing how the majority of cases denounced by the Inquisition Tribunal
were related to Jewish practices. Anita helped us to historicise and to understand this phenomenon in Brazil. The people who consider themselves Anussim learned a lot with Anita’s work as well, and they use it to argue about their Jewish identity. They bring these arguments to rabbis. They have access to academic work and they use these sociological and historical concepts as strategies to gain legitimacy within the established Jewish community, justifying their positions.
Nurit Sharett: If Judaism is always in construction, why is the Anussim issue so problematic? Why are they not being accepted as Jews by the Jewish establishment? Carlos Gutierrez: We have, in the Jewish Law, trials about the Anussim question in the Netherlands in the seventeenth century. Many rabbis judged cases of Anussim, in order to see if they could be accepted inside the community. So, what has changed? Why is it now a problem? The people who classify themselves as Anussim don’t want to wait for a Rabbinical Court. They want to be Jewish right now. So they start to create their own synagogues and to define themselves as Jews. They changed the rules. The monopoly that the established Jews used to have is gone! Everyone can be Jewish now. Of course, you won’t be considered Jewish in an established synagogue, but many of them don’t care about this. They only want to have their faith. When the Anussim started to create their own synagogues, they contradicted the established power that the Jewish community had. And, surely, the established Jewish community does not enjoy this situation. Eventually, many of these Anussim want to be recognised by the established Jewish community and by the Israeli State, so there must be some kind of interaction, but not the kind of interaction that rabbis want. Something different, that is being negotiated all the time. In the past, rabbis had total control, now they have to negotiate. The Anussim destroyed an established logic of power in order to establish another one.
Virginia de Medeiros, Sergio e Simone, 2014 [Sergio and Simone]
Virginia de Medeiros, Sergio e Simone, 2007 [Sergio and Simone]
Arthur Scovino, Caboclo Borboleta (O Caboclo dos Aflitos), 2014 [Butterfly Caboclo (The Caboclo of the Aflitos)]
Simone is a transvestite who takes care of a natural spring – Fonte da Misericórdia in Salvador – as a shrine for the worship of the Afro-Brazilian orishas. Sergio is an evangelical preacher who sees himself sent by God ‘to save the human race’. Simone and Sergio, or Sergio and Simone, are one and the same person.
Virginia de Medeiros, Sergio e Simone, 2007 [Sergio and Simone]
Towards an art of instauring modes of existence that ‘do not exist’ Peter Pál Pelbart
The art of instauration However extravagant the notion of a non-anthropological subject may seem – especially in an era that clings to the primacy of the human subject – we must acknowledge that contemporary thought tends to admit multiple streams of experience or ‘feelings’ (as Whitehead puts it) as well as multiple modes of being, according to a plurality of worlds.1 Thus, amidst the bankruptcy of anthropocentrism which we have witnessed in recent decades in various fields ranging from philosophy to ecology, beings who once seemed bound to their subjective sphere have gained another status, a new life. Invisible, impossible and virtual entities that were supposed to belong to the realm of imagination, the spiritual, representation or language cheerily crossed the boundary between subject and object, and reappeared in another ontological key. We are no longer the only actants in the cosmos – protosubjectivities swarm everywhere, and even what seemed a mere object of techno-scientific manipulation, such as nature itself, leaps onto the stage, claiming its own means of expression. Just notice, in relation to this, Peter Sloterdijk’s considerations during his preparatory talks for the opera Amazonas (2010), where he detects an ‘Amazon sorrow’ in the face of the forest under threat. Sloterdijk believes that the protagonist of the experiment could be none other than the ‘Amazonian subject’ itself.2 In light of this perspectivism, one of the cosmopolitical issues of the day could be: which sorrow does each actant, human or non-human, bear? Which is the threat that each one of them, and we together with them, face? And what devices should be used, be it to give them a voice, to bring them to light or to let them evade our voracious gaze? From the Amazon to the autistic, the point in question is the same – that of modes of existence. Singular, human and non-human modes of existence emerge everywhere, in spite of the new, planetary-scale forms of biopolitical management of life heading toward homogenisation at a dizzying pace. What kind of existence can we attribute to these ‘beings’ that populate our cosmos, agents, actants, larvals, entities, all with their own ways of transforming themselves and us? Neither objective nor subjective neither real nor unreal, neither rational nor irrational, neither material nor symbolic; beings somewhat virtual, somewhat invisible, metamorphic, propulsive – which category do they belong 250
to? And to what extent do they exist by themselves? How much do they depend on us? How in us are they? And, finally, what exactly is their status, if indeed they should all be immediately clustered into a single group, against the current of the existential plurality they appear to foretell? And what effects do they have on our existence and imagination? For Bruno Latour, some of them have the dual ability to transform us into something else while also transforming themselves into something else. As he writes: What would we do without them? We would be always and forever the same. They trace paths throughout the multiverse – to speak with [William] James’s words – paths of alteration that are at once terrifying (since they transform us), hesitant (since we can deceive them) and inventive (since we can allow ourselves to be transformed by them).3
Étienne Souriau, in his book Les Différents Modes d’existence, published in the late 1930s, often used lofty language to lend shape to a sort of metaphysics that would encompass these very beings whose existence, according to the parameters and templates available to us, can neither be affirmed nor denied with precision.4 He concludes that, in principle, no being has substance in and of itself, and that in order to survive a being must be instaured. Thus, before even attempting to create an inventory of beings according to their different modes of existence, Souriau proposes a certain art of existing, of instauring existence. For a being, thing, person, work, to conquer existence and not merely exist, it must be instaured. Instauration is not a solemn, ceremonial institutional act, as ordinary language would have us believe, but a process that elevates that which exists to an entirely different level of reality and splendor – ‘patuity’, as was said in Medieval times. ‘To instaure’ does not so much refer to the act of creation as it does to the ‘spiritual’ establishing of something, ensuring it a ‘reality’ within its own genre. There is, then, no single source of instauration (will, consciousness, spirit, body, the unconscious, etc.) and, today, one could say that there are multiple ‘devices’ of instauration. Therefore, every philosophy, as well as every religion, science and art form, establishes its be-
ings and thereby ushers in a unique world – never the same one: ontological and existential pluralism, a multiverse! The implications of such a procedure cannot be underestimated. As Latour writes: Apply instauration to the sciences, and all of epistemology changes; apply instauration to God, and all of theology changes; apply instauration to art, and all of aesthetics changes. Apply instauration to the question of the soul, and all of psychology changes. What implodes in all four cases is the ultimately rather preposterous idea of a spirit at the origin of the action and whose consistency then ricochets out onto a material that holds no other weight, that has no other ontological dignity, than that which one condescends to attribute to it. 5
The art of existing For Souriau, art and philosophy have one fact in common, which is precisely that both of them aim to instaure beings whose existence they themselves legitimise, ‘a kind of radiant demonstration of a right to existence, which is affirmed and confirmed by the objective glow and extreme reality of an instaured being’.6 All indications are that Souriau craves something like an art of instauring, an art of bringing into existence beings that still drift in a fictional, virtual, distant and enigmatic twilight. Therefore, all his thought could be a harbinger of this call for a ‘work in progress’ – and work here does not necessarily refer to artwork, as even man is a ‘work in progress’, incomplete, open, unforeseeable. Thus, in each case, it is not a matter of following a given project to be fulfilled, but to open up the field for a trajectory to be followed according to the questions, problems and unforeseen challenges, each of which must be addressed individually. The vital challenge for each one of us, then, is not to emerge from nowhere, in a creation ex nihilo, but to go through a kind of original chaos and ‘choose, out of a thousand and one encounters, those propositions of being that we want to assimilate or reject’.7 Nothing is a given, nothing is guaranteed, everything may collapse, the work, its creator, the instauration – but this hesitation is inherent to the process, not an ontological lack or constitutive failure. This is because the vital path consists of exploration, discoveries, encounters, separations and painful resignation. Against the idealistic willfulness of the creator who starts from a blank slate, the solicitude regarding the ‘matter’ that beckons to him, ‘the emerging being claims its own existence. In all this, the agent has to bow to the will of the work itself, to foretell this will, and renounce himself in favour of this autonomous being that he seeks to foster according to its own
right to exist.’8 It is, therefore, a matter of defending this right – becoming the advocate of the being to come, a witness of this or that mode of existence, without which this existence might not come to be. But how are we to imagine that thought and matter, Hamlet, Peer Gynt, the square root of negative numbers, the white rose… could exist in the same manner, asks the author? Of course they do not share the same mode of existence. The instauration of each being always involves innumerable unique trials (liberty), successive determinations (effectiveness) and a profusion of misunderstandings (errability). The creator is always confronted with a situation of doubt, as if he or she were hearing the voice of a ironic sphinx asking them: what now? The work questions, calls, parasitises, exploits, annuls him or her – it is a monster! – but at the same time demands testimony, solicitude, even to encounter the implied accomplishment, which always requires discerning what is feasible amidst the chaos of the world. No intentionality, no anthropocentrism, no mystification of the impossible work – only the instauration, the trajectory, the soul that is equivalent to a point of view: I think of a little child who has taken considerable time to carefully arrange different objects, large and small, on his mother’s table, in a way that seemed graceful and ornamental, in order to ‘please’ her. The mother arrives. Calm and distracted, she takes one of the objects she was looking for, puts another one in its place and undoes everything. And when the explanations that follow the repressed sobbing of the child reveal the extent of her misunderstanding, she exclaims in desolation: ‘Ah! Poor thing, I didn’t realise that it was something’.9
David Lapoujade comments on Souriau’s example as follows: I had not seen… What did she not see? What is ‘this thing’ that the mother does not see? One could say it is the child’s soul – fully transposed to the objects. One could say that the careful arrangement of objects is testimony to the presence of the child’s particular point of view. Both statements make sense: she sees objects, because she arranges them. What she does not see is their mode of existence from the child’s point of view. What she does not see is the child’s point of view; she does not see there is a point of view there – a point of view that exists. Obviously such blindness applies to all modes of existence discussed by Souriau.10 251
It is the pragmatism of our perception that, in privileging solid and manifest realities, neglects the plurality of perspectives, of planes of existence. Instead of sacrificing the existential positivity of ‘entire populations of beings’ on the altar of a given Truth, it would be appropriate to multiply the world to accommodate them all – hence the effort to mobilise various concepts to ensure plurality and distinction among modes of existence, without turning these concepts into stages of a single evolutionary and universal process. Moreover, rather than asking: ‘does it exist?’, ‘and in what way?’, we need to know whether it is possible to exist ‘a little, a lot, passionately, not at all’, to varying degrees. For example, by existing in a state of possibility, in potency, or on the verge of emerging alongside the now, or existing, stammeringly, below a threshold of integrity – so many different ways of existing, between being and non-being, so many gradations! Even before comparing the modes of existence with one another, would it not be possible to consider the oscillation of a being between its maximum and its minimum? As if every existence could be evaluated in itself, according to its intensity: intensive modes of existence.
Ghosts and events Souriau employs unusual images to blur our categories. After dying, a man returns to the world of the living to visit his beloved and take revenge for his own death. With only vague memories, he is unsure: where am I? What am I like? What is my mission? Am I an envoy for something – for what? Faced with a world populated with hints… Souriau means to say that we are all like ghosts. We don’t know if we can be solely responsible for our existence; we don’t know how much strength or weakness we have for this, how incomplete or unfinished we are. It is necessary to instaure our own existence, but also a sculpture in progress, a book in progress, a thought crossing our mind – they all demand an instauration. They are, thus, existences invented within the very trajectory of their instauration, a journey permeated by ‘intense existential variations’.11 If for some modes of being existence depends on their own strength (‘if you want to be’, Mephistopheles tells Homunculus, ‘make it your own affair!’), for other beings it depends precisely on the strength and solicitude of others – they are solicitous modes of being. A poem cannot reach existence without the testimony, devotion and solicitude of others – both poets and readers. Imaginary beings depend on our desire, care, reverence, hope, fantasy and entertainment, and are therefore subordinated to them. Yet even so they are no less effective than those on which they depend. However, it is precisely by means of their solicitude that those who contribute to the creation or 252
endurance of the poem themselves conquer their own existence, on a different level. Not unlike Nietzsche, who claimed to have been born through his own work. Who made whom? More than just creators, we are the fruit and effect of that which has been created through us. We are its witnesses. More than the classification of modes of existence of which Souriau takes inventory and carefully analyses (phenomenic, solicitudinous, virtual, superexisting, etc.), what is of interest is the passage between them and their world, which the author calls synaptic, no longer ontic: the transitions, twists, jumps and transformations, these movements where beings are implicit accessories of or catapults for enormous dramas – in the same way the characters that a child uses during play serve to reveal true events. In a world conceived in this manner, events are what really matter – that which arises, becomings, through which one moves to a different plane of existence as a result of a change in perspective. For the event consists precisely of this: a change in perspective, in the plane of existence. ‘Moments ago the cup was intact; now there are only these pieces. In between the two moments is the irreparable. Irreparable, insupressible, unconcealable even by the subtlest resources of the spirit, which may deviate from but not contradict it. The patuity of the irreducible. Such is the existence of the fact.’12 See how David Lapoujade adopts this example: One may doubt the reality of certain existen ces, but not the facts, as they have an efficacy, they change something in the way beings exist. The virtue here is not that the glass has been broken, it is its change in status. It is no longer a cup, but sharp fragments. Following Souriau’s perspectivism, the event is a turning point: something happened that made it impossible to regard the cup as a cup.13
These events, precisely because they consist of a turning point, make us see and even create a new soul in the psyche of those who go through them! The author then concludes: There is soul as long as one notices something unfinished or inconclusive in a mode of existence – as such, it requires a ‘principle of amplification’, in short, the sketch for something bigger or better. Once again, through all of these unfinished existences, their demand to be amplified, magnified, in short, made more real. Hearing such demands, and seeing all that is unfinished in these existences, is to take their side. This is what it means to enter the point of view of an existence, not in order
to see through its eyes but to make it exist even more, to turn it into a superior existence or to make it ‘truly’ exist.14
After all, are there not more ardent, seething, gushing modes of existing? Existing hopelessly, saltatorily, differently… If there are existences in a state of ‘incompleteness and of precarious instauration that escape consciousness’,15 Souriau seems to want to restore rights to these liminary, evanescent, precarious, fragile existences that we neglect, even if the stability that we can offer them is non-corporeal or spiritual, and even if we have to lend them a soul. This is how we become their witnesses, their advocates, their ‘existence-holders’, says Lapoujade: we carry their existence just as they carry ours, to the extent that, from a certain point of view, we only exist inasmuch as we make others exist, or when we amplify another existence; or when we see soul or strength where others see or feel nothing, thus creating with them a common cause.
Elusive life It is in the work of Fernand Deligny that we find the most beautiful and embodied example of all the above. During the years he spent living in the company of autistic children in France, Deligny set up a collective structure suitable for sheltering a mode of anonymous existence that was non-subjective and immune to all symbolic domestication. Here is a world free not only of language, but of all its practical implications: will and objective, outcome and meaning.16 Against the cult of getting things done, a result of the desire to draw results (e.g. to work, to make sense and to communicate), Deligny evokes the act, in the very particular sense of the selfless gesture, of unintentional, non-representational movement that could consist of weaving, drawing, painting or, even, at its limit, writing. In this world in which the teetering of the stone and the noise of the water are no less relevant than the murmuring of men, Deligny places himself in the position of ‘not wanting’ in order to give way to the interval, to the tacit, to irruption, to spilling. There is no passivity or apathy in this attitude – on the contrary, it is necessary to clear the ground constantly, to free it from what divides the world into subject/object, living/inanimate, human/animal, conscious/unconscious, individual/social, so that the field may open and possibilities arise.17 In such a context, Deligny asks: how can we let the autistic individual exist without imposing a him/her, a Subject, a self, self-reflection – all of these attributes – even in a private mode? For he is convinced that he does not see himself, precisely because there is no ‘he’ that can reflect himself… It is the individual
breaking away from the subject, detecting at times that what escapes us, precisely that which we do not see because we speak, and that they see because they do not speak… Hence the extraordinary status of the image in Deligny’s work. Language will never be able to tell us what image is, he insists, because it shields it with its injunctions, objectives, commands, threads and senses. Regardless of how much we are invaded by images from everywhere, they are images tamed by language, images subordinate to communication, images circulating within a trading system or as commodity – image-commodities, commodity fetishism! The image replete with intentions and culture precisely abolishes the image. It would therefore be necessary to counterpose this to what Deligny terms ‘the image we lack’ in its bare state and poverty, in its character devoid of intent – the image that paradoxically is not made to be seen, that at its best is not seen, that reveals what evades, what evades us, what escapes. The status of these images is opposed to all representation, all intentionality – in fact, all idealism. It is not the image of a subject, for a subject, against a subject – there is, precisely, no subject. Deligny can then assert not only that the image is autistic, because, like the autistic, it does not say or mean anything, but also that the autistic thinks through images. The image is not even a thing that exists in itself – it arrives, passes, crosses and only reaches us thanks to retinal persistence, a deficency in our organ of sight… In fact, an image is like a flock of wild geese that take off in a V-shaped formation when responding to a threat.18 Deligny is interested in images taking flight, not lingering! We have arrived at the gates of Deligny’s cinema. For cinema could support all this if it were not completely subjected to language, to narrative, to the obligation to tell a story, to make sense and to emit a moral judgement, to have an uplifting or educational reach. If cinema didn’t have the film as its goal, it could attain images. But this would require cinema to stop ‘producing works’, desiring a product. Perhaps only then would cinema be able to reach ‘things’ as a process, as an event. It would even be necessary to change the verb ‘to film’ – after all, why identify an activity through its final product? We don’t say ‘booking’ when writing a book, and when using the hammer we call the act ‘hammering’. We would therefore, perhaps, need to say ‘to camerate’. In the article he wrote with this title, Deligny advocates respecting ‘that which means nothing, says nothing, does not address, in other words, escapes the symbolic domestication without which there would be no history’.19 It would be necessary to ‘camerate’ that which escapes us, that which cannot be seen, the lost images – the images falling from a cross-eyed camera, images that are not addressing anyone, on their way toward disap253
pearance… Involuntary images, just like a revolution… ‘Whether it is a revolution or an image, all that it takes is to pull away, first and foremost, from wanting-to-dothem.’20 Just as art is for nothing and politics has a programme, here we are dealing with the art of placing oneself on the level of ‘for nothing’, of the most insignificant of events (for us). Jean-François Chévrier may have a point when stating that there is an archaic aspect in all of this, a kind of animism, or the dream of an ‘embodied image that would be the living trace of a bare existence’.21 But is this archaism really an issue? Are we really as modern or postmodern as we imagine? Or is it now ever more interesting to highlight these rebounds from ancient times that surface due to threats coming from the future, as Davi Kopenawa proclaims, in another context?22 It is not appropriate to apply Souriau’s concepts to the work of Deligny, since Deligny forged his own concepts according to the ‘subject’ that was his. Nevertheless, intriguing convergences do not go unnoticed. After all, Deligny built a subtle yet complex device, conceived from silence, maps, paths, contiguity, an entire spatiotemporal agency where these ‘lesser existences’23 could master their patuity without abandoning anything that was peculiar to themselves; their mode of existence made of elusiveness, wander lines, invisible webs (their soul), on the brink of social invisibility and all the canons that determine who deserves to live or to be seen – perhaps because, as Deligny once wryly suggested, they are bored with the soap opera of our lives, preferring a thousand times over the excitement of trickling water to our tedious spectacle. Could there be a schizophrenic mode, an Indian mode, an Oriental mode, a black mode, an artistic mode, just as there exists an autistic mode? Or, on the contrary, is it precisely the point that what we need to insist on is the ‘in-between’ in order to shatter such clichés and the cartoonish and identitarian typology that sustains them? Because this is about settling in-between modes, in-between worlds, in the passages, transitions, turns, slippages, crossings and twists of perspective, even in the negotiations between modes and worlds. Just to take a trivial example, even closer than that of the shamans: France-based ethno-psychiatrist Tobie Nathan primarily attends to African immigrant families. When he calls them into his office, Nathan also invites all the ‘entities’ that accompany them, and with whom an arduous negotiation begins to redesign relationships, liberate ‘evil spirits’ and manage conflict. It is during this exchange process between these very different modes of existence – these in-between worlds – that something can be gestated or healed.
The possibilities of life Now we can broaden the spectrum of these comments. Deleuze never tired of repeating, throughout his work, that it is feasible for our thought to conceive of new possibilities of life, new modes of existence. ‘Thinking would then mean discovering, inventing new possibilities of life,’ he writes, before quoting Nietzsche saying, There are lives with prodigious difficulties; these are the lives of the thinkers. And we must lend an ear to what we are told about them, for here we discover possibilities of life the mere story of which gives us joy and strength and sheds light on the lives of their successors. There is as much invention, reflection, boldness, despair and hope here as in the voyages of the great navigators; and to tell the truth, these are also voyages of exploration in the most distant and perilous domains of life.24
But who evaluates modes of existence? How to judge whether one is preferable to another? Which criteria should be applied? Here is the first response that Deleuze provides, when criticising – along with Nietzsche and Antonin Artaud – the habit of philosophers who behave as if they were supreme judges putting life on trial: Judgment prevents the arrival of any new mode of existence, for such a mode is created through its own forces – in other words, through the forces it knows how to capture – and is worthy for and in itself, inasmuch as it makes this new combination exist. Perhaps this is where the secret lies: bringing into existence, rather than judging. If judging is so repugnant, it is not because everything is given the same worth, but, on the contrary, because everything that is of worth can only make itself and distinguish itself by challenging judgment. What expert judgment, in art, could possibly inflect on a future work? We don’t have reason to judge other existing entities, but rather to feel if they behove us or not – in other words, if they bring us strength or, on the contrary, lead us to the miseries of war, to the poverties of the dream, to the rigours of organisation.25
In another text written along with Guattari, Deleuze adds:
Pages from Les DĂŠtours de lâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;agir: Ou Le Moindre Geste, 1979, Fernand Deligny 255
There is not the slightest reason for thinking that modes of existence need transcendent values by which they could be compared, selected and judged relative to one another. On the contrary, there are only immanent criteria. A possibility of life is evaluated through itself in the movements it lays out and the intensities it creates on a plane of immanence: what is not laid out or created is rejected. A mode of existence is good or bad, noble or vulgar, complete or empty, independently of Good and Evil or any transcendent value: there are never any criteria other than the tenor of existence, the intensification of life.26
When commenting on belief in God, comparing Pascal’s proposal with Kierkegaard’s, the only criterion used is vital – the question is not whether or not God exists or how much you win or lose by guessing right. Rather the question regards what mode of existence belief implies for those who believe, and to what extent the believer and the non-believer are still on the same plane; and what happens when the plane of immanence that characterises an era such as ours changes: on the new plane, it is possible that the problem now concerns the one who believes in the world, and not even in the existence of the world, but in its possibilities of movements and intensities, so as once again to give birth to new modes of existence, closer to animals and rocks. It may be that believing in this world, in this life, becomes our most difficult task, or the task of a mode of existence still to be discovered on our plane of immanence today.27
This is the challenge revealed by Deleuze and Guattari here – that of a mode of existence to be discovered, in agreement with our plane of immanence, from which all transcendence has been exorcised and where it can no longer fall back on a final plea. A world pregnant with possibilities is what, it appears, is being kept from us on an everyday basis, given the predominance of a universal mode of existence that tends precisely to abort the emergence of any other modes. It is easy to see the predominance of the middle-class model, propagated as an economic, cultural, subjective and political imperative, and the blatant misery that characterises it, a mix of gregariousness, sensory shields, intensive degradation and impoverishment of life. The dissemination of such forms of generic life, based on the dominant white-male-rationalEuropean-consumer pattern, as well as the moral code that grounds it – such as the theology of prosperity that 256
infiltrates every part of life, or capitalism as religion, as Walter Benjamin referred to it – calls for analytical instruments and unorthodox reactions. How could one swim against the tide of this hegemony to reveal the multiple forms that resist, reinvent themselves or are even being forged in rebellion, in opposition to the hegemony of a market system, however democratic it may seem? As Deleuze and Guattari write: Human rights say nothing about the immanent modes of existence of people provided with rights. Nor is it only in the extreme situations described by Primo Levi that we experience the shame of being human. We also experience it in insignificant conditions, before the meanness and vulgarity of existence that haunts democracies, before the propagation of these modes of existence and of thoughtfor-the-market, and before the values, ideals and opinions of our time. The ignominy of the possibilities of life that we are offered appears from within. We do not feel ourselves outside of our time but continue to undergo shameful compromises with it. This feeling of shame is one of philosophy’s most powerful motifs.28
Our era revolves around this pathology: market-ready modes of existence. Part of the contemporary effort is to diagnose this illness and retrace its genesis, ramifications and effects. Among them, of course, is the daily rejection of ‘minor’ modes of life, minority ways of living that are not only more fragile, precarious and vulnerable (poor, crazy, autistic), but also more hesitant, dissident, and at times more traditional than others (indigenous people); modes that are, on the contrary, still being born, tentative, even experimental (those still to come, to be discovered, to be invented). In fact, there is a war between different modes of life or forms of life today, and this war – albeit inseparable from the hegemonic mode of production and its inherent conflicts – is not exclusively reducible to it. Perhaps this is what has led some philosophers recently to dwell on such contrasting and atypical modes of existence, even if they pertain to a bygone era.
Form of life, stylistics of existence Giorgio Agamben, for example, recently analysed the cult of high poverty among the Franciscans. He demonstrates how life and its rules become inextricably linked in a context of religious and collective reclusion, to such a point that they merge into a kind of art of life. The monastic tradition was no longer about obeying given rules, but living them. Thus, the emphasis shifts from
practice or action to a whole way of life.29 Cenobitism, a form of collective monastic gathering, was not so much a life according to rules, but a curious inversion, a form of life that engendered its own rules.30 But the indistinction between life and rule reaches its pinnacle with this Fransciscan innovation, and its cult of the highest poverty (altissima paupertas). Poverty as a way of life means renouncing the empires of the world, and making use of things without maintaining any right of ownership over them. It is the moment when life subtracts itself from law, and the world becomes inappropriable.31 Here are an ethics and an ontology that, in our context, sound almost unimaginable – or, according to Agamben, precisely what should be imagined. As one commentator notes, the notion of form of life, as discussed by the philosopher with regards to the Franciscans, is the antipode to the notion of ‘bare life’. If the first books from the Homo sacer series examined how a juridical apparatus belonging to a sovereign regime produced a bare life through a game of exclusion and inclusion, thus revealing relationships of domination between law and life, here the question is reversed – namely, how the form of life leaves the legal domain and renounces all rights. The conclusion is categorical: ‘to think of life inseparable from its form, the form of life, beyond the Franciscan experience, remains an unavoidable task for future thought’.32 The meaning of this challenge only becomes apparent in light of the rupture between life and form enacted by the Greeks – an operation whereby bare life (zoé) was isolated from a form of qualified life (bíos). In contrast, Agamben argues, form of life must be understood as the opposite: ‘a life that cannot be separated from its form, a life in which it is never possible to isolate something such as naked life’,33 – a life that ‘cannot be decomposed into facts but which is always rather about possibility and potentiality’.34 Here the condition of thought becomes clear: ‘Thought is form of life, life that cannot be segregated from its form; and anywhere the intimacy of this inseparable life appears, in the materiality of corporeal processes no less than in theory, there and only there is there thought.’35 Despite the particular concept of potentiality in Agamben (power of negation), which is where he distinguishes himself from contemporary philosophers who served as inspiration for him, the fact remains that according to him the ‘coming philosophy’ should be ‘life, its form and its uses’.36 A comparison must be drawn between the Franciscan example and the case of the Cynics studied by Michel Foucault in the last seminar he delivered in 1983, entitled The Courage of Truth.37 This is so particularly because Agamben seems to address the problem of an ascetic life from the point at which Foucault had left it, namely at the threshold of Christianity. In any case, Foucault understands the experience of Cynicism as philosophy as the elaboration of a modality of life, in which
‘life itself becomes ethical material, in which what is at stake is the form adopted by life’.38 The emergence of life as the main object means that one must perform certain operations on it, put it to the test, sort through it, transform it, etc. This is philosophy as the stylistics of existence – the visible shape that human beings should give to their lives. It is not about the essence of the soul, as in the lineage of Plato’s philosophy, but a style of existence. Foucault insists that throughout history philosophy favoured the Platonic tradition, a metaphysics of the soul, leaving behind care of the self and its work towards the beautiful life through a ‘speaking frankly’, a ‘speaking a truth’ (paresia). This is Foucault’s provocation: In any case, I would simply like to suggest that if it is true that the question of Being has indeed been what Western philosophy has forgotten, and that this forgetting is what made metaphysics possible, it may be also that the question of the philosophical life has continued to be, I won’t say forgotten, but neglected; it has constantly appeared as surplus in relation to philosophy, to a philosophical practice indexed to the scientific model. The question of the philosophical life has constantly appeared like a shadow of philosophical practice, and increasingly pointless.39
Philosophical Cynicism is, however, a historical counterexample of this tendency. According to its principles, Cynics proclaim, with a kind of transvaluation of all values, that for life to become the true life it must be another life, radically other, in total rupture with all codes, laws, institutions and habits, including with the philosophers themselves. Here is a canonical definition of this bíos kynikós: First, the kynikós life is a dog’s life because it is without modesty, shame and human respect. It is a life which does in public, in front of everyone, what only dogs and animals dare to do, and which men usually hide. The Cynics’ life is a dog’s life in that it is shameless. Second, the Cynics’ life is a dog’s life because, like the latter, it is indifferent. It is indifferent to whatever may occur, is not attached to anything, is content with what it has, and has no needs other than those it can satisfy immediately. Third, the life of the Cynic is the life of a dog, it received the epithet kynikós because it is, so to speak, a life which barks, a diacritical (diakritikós) life, that is to say, a life which can fight, which barks at enemies, which knows how to distinguish the good from the bad, the true from the false, and masters from enemies. 257
In that sense it is a diakritikós life: a life of discernment, which knows how to prove, test and distinguish. Finally, fourth, the Cynics’ life is philaktikós. It is a guard dog’s life, a life, which knows how to dedicate itself to saving others and protecting the master’s life.40
The true life that the Cynics preach is, then, a life other, and should also, in its public, aggressive, even outrageous manifestation, transform the world, call for a world other. It is not, therefore, as in the Socratic model, a question of another world, but rather of a world other. There is therefore a reversal, the logic of which Foucault scrutinises exhaustively. He demonstrates the extent to which, within this supposedly truly philosophical life, an otherness insinuates itself into the world, with all its plundering, animalism, misery and worship of the dirty and ugly, coupled with traits of self-reliance, and the outrageous self-humiliation and theatricality that these performers avant la lettre exercise in public. Of course, there is an implied relationship to Christianity – namely, humility, asceticism, renunciation. But, for Christianity, the worship of such virtues targets another world, not a world other – in a way that implies that any change in this world will have the ultimate goal of granting access to another world. Moreover, if ‘speaking frankly’ was essential to Cynicism, in Christianity it would be abolished in favour of its own truth, as understood and sanctioned by its authorities. Foucault ends his last lecture, shortly before his death, with the sentence: It was by this reversal, which put the truth of life before the true life, that Christian asceticism fundamentally modified an ancient asceticism which always aspired to lead both the true life and the life of truth at the same time, and which, in Cynicism at least, affirmed the possibility of leading this true life of truth.41
Perhaps the reason for the examination of the Cynics undertaken by Foucault is revealed by the project whose possibility he himself evokes in this seminar, namely, that of a ‘history of philosophy, morality and thought that would take as its guide forms of life, arts of existence, ways of conducting oneself and behaving, and ways of being’.42 This is the Foucauldian thread that Agamben continues in his own manner; it is also the Nietzschean thread that is present in Deleuze, and that is present at our moment in time in many different ways.
A life capable of behaviours When analysing the reasons why Foucault’s research on biopower met the analysis of the techniques of the 258
self, Muriel Combes disputes the idea that it introduced a new phase in the author’s thought, as if he were abandoning the problem of power, typical of his genealogical investigation, for that of subjectivity, within an ethical investigation. Combes insists on seeing the techniques of the self, of relation to the self, as a subjective interface necessary in order to ponder the mediation between power and life in a biopolitical context, where the relationship between the systems of power and the body can no longer be realised directly, as in disciplinary societies – it became necessary to invent this new fold, subjectivity. But, if this is likely to be the case, it is so as well because the life on which the techniques of the self are reflected is understood primarily as a life capable of different behaviours, a life that is susceptible to adopt several different directions.43 Thus, if subjectivation is a form of exercising power over life, it is so to the extent it convokes work on the self. This self is not understood as a substantive, universal or personological instance, the substantive support that exists behind the subject, but rather as a relational potentiality – a zone for the constitution of subjectivity. If government is a power that is exercised over ‘individual or collective subjects who are faced with a field of possibilities where several conducts, several reactions and diverse modes of behaviour can succeed,’ as Foucault affirms,44 the zone of consistency of power should be conceived as being more on the side of the subject considered as a field of possibility, a field of action for a multitude of behaviours to be invented, than on the side of bare life. If Agamben had the merit of highlighting the difference between bare life and forms of life, bare life must be conceived as a limit, a critical point for a power that is exercised as action upon action, ‘because the life on which a biopower focuses is always an informed life, a life capable of different conduits, and for that reason always susceptible to non-compliance’.45 Several consequences may be drawn from this. If when thinking of biopower we depart not from bare life but from a life capable of different behaviours, another horizon opens. Even in the concentration camps, but also in the brutal contexts of our own times, it is not the naked and bare biological life, or vegetative life, but the gestures, manners, modes, variations, resistances, as tiny and invisible as they may seem, that make up a life that become ‘visible’, ‘audible’, ‘thinkable’, possible to discover, to invent. Philosophical speculation is therefore not inoffensive when it is based on a certain notion of life rather than another. As Isabelle Stengers writes: ‘it belongs to speculative thought to fight against the impoverishment of experience, particularly against its confiscation by the great theoretical debates that oppose mankind’.46 But it is not only in the field of philosophy that this challenge can be found. In the process of precarisation of work and life beginning in the 1990s, for example, it is evident that
these conditions are the effect of the perverse dictates of neoliberalism, with all of the resulting vulnerability.47 On the other hand, and simultaneously, forms of sociability and collective care, activism and friendship that rethink the ways of life in common are being proposed by the young under precarisation in many parts of the globe.48 The problem arises when a demonising theory of the contemporary seems to weave it within the totality that it was attempting to contest. Georges Didi-Huberman, feeling uneasy about the predominance of an apocalyptic tone that prevents those who have survived from being seen – in a strange paradox in which the discourse that denounces, as lucid and enlightening as it may be, helps obfuscate precisely those understated existences being reinvented – articulates the paradox as follows: It is one thing to identify the totalitarian machine, and another to swiftly grant definitive and absolute victory to it. Is the world really as enslaved as our current ‘perfidious counsellors’ have dreamed, designed, programed and imposed upon us? Postulating this is precisely giving credit to what their machine wants us to believe. It means seeing merely the night or the blinding light of the projectors. It means acting like losers: being convinced that the machine did its work without leaving anything untouched, without resistance. It means seeing nothing but the whole. It means not seeing the space – whether it be interstitial, intermittent, nomadic or improbably located – within the openings, what is possible, the flashes, the nevertheless.49
And he adds: ‘In order to learn about the fireflies, you need to see them at the moment of their survival: it is necessary to see them dancing alive in the heart of the night, even if the night were wiped out by some fierce projectors.’50 The challenge consists of maintaining a twilight in which they may appear with their own light, instead of subjecting them to the spotlight of reason or spectacle, which overshadows them. Something similar to what Deleuze did, when, facing the barrage of words to which we are exposed, defended the ‘vacuoles of silence’ so that finally we would have something to say.51 Or Deligny, who had to withdraw from the existing institutions and the buzz of the 1960s in order to set up his ‘attempt’, his ‘raft’. And again Deligny, who, faced with the saturation of images that surrounded him, needed to abandon ‘filming’ in order to reveal a naked image. Isn’t this twilight, silence, shriveling, subtraction, deceleration, in the contemporary context the condition that facilitates the instauration of lesser modes of existence? Wouldn’t these conditions be necessary to preserve the very possibility of instauration?
Life and capital Today’s reader might wonder if we have not been affected at the core of possibility itself, at a moment in which powers invest in virtuality as such within the scope of life itself. Brian Massumi has written: ‘Capitalism is capturing the future to produce quantifiable added value. Capitalism is the process of converting the qualitative added value of life in quantifiable added value.’52 Massumi had already drawn attention, several decades before, to the commercialisation of forms of life at the moment of their emergence, still in their virtual form.53 The colonisation of the virtual dimension of life has since become a trivial fact. Consider the example brought to mind by Laymert Garcia dos Santos about the effort undertaken by rich countries in the face of the environmental crisis: Fearing the disappearance of genetic resources so precious to the development of an emerging biotechnology industry, they hastened to establish ex situ banks that could ensure them access to the planet’s biodiversity, [including] fragments of the genetic heritage of all the disappearing indigenous and traditional peoples, for future use. It wasn’t yet known, and is often still not known, what can be done with the collected resources. What mattered, and matters, is their anticipated ownership. The logic of such operations seems to be: biological beings – plants, animals and humans – have no value in themselves, as they exist; what counts is their potential. If the beings had value in themselves, the task would be to save them from extinction and preserve them in their integrity, to protect them and their habitat. But this is not the idea: the focus was not on the bodies, the organisms, the individual living beings, but on their components in their virtual potentialities. Technoscience and global capital are not interested in biopolitical resources – plants, animals and humans. What counts is their potential to rebuild the world, because this represents potential power in a process of reprogramming and recombination. [...] The only ‘thing’ that counts is information.54
A living being is reduced to a packet of information, and the prerogative of the virtual is directed towards ‘preparing for the future so that it emerges having already been appropriated – it is a plundering in the future and of the future.’55 Life itself becomes patentable through the colonisation of the virtual and the capitalisation of 259
genetic information. Resistance, notes the author, requires the defence of living people as well as to aim for the ‘the possibility of other becomings, different from that designed by technoscience and global capital. That is to say: the struggle for existence ... and the continuity of existence.’56 Faced with the performativity of capital, as Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri say, we would have to imagine something like a counter-performativity,57 whose forms of expression have multiplied in various parts of the globe, including Brazil. It is obvious that the nature of the protests in June 2013 point to another political grammar, where form is already part of the meaning: horizontality and the absence of a centre or a point of command in the demonstrations. If the protests then dramatised the rejection of representation, they may also have expressed a certain distance in relation to the forms of life that have been brutally imposed in recent decades, in our own context as well as all over the world: unbridled productivism combined with a generalised precariousness; the mobilisation of existence in light of purposes whose meaning escapes us all; a pharmapornographic power, as Beatriz Preciado puts it58 (in Brazil’s case, examples of this include the insistence on a cure for homosexuality; Ritalin administered en masse to restless children; the medical monitoring of moods, of excitement, of tranquillity, of happiness through drugs); as well as the manufacturing of the indebted man, as indicated by Lazzarato59 (the derivatives crisis is only a small example of a widespread subjective economic system in which we manufacture both debt and guilt, Schuld); the capitalisation of all walks of life – in short, a biopolitical nihilism that can result in no other reaction than the multitudinous life put on display. The movements that took place attest to a new composition of metropolitan labour, which demands circulation throughout the city, going against the tide of the growing privatisation of spaces in cities,60 a direct relationship between street and the net,61 etc. But it can be affirmed that, in addition to these detailed analyses, many other desires were expressed in this way once the gates were broken open. We speak of desire, and not claims, precisely because claims can be satisfied, but desire obeys a different logic – it tends to expand, it spreads, infects, proliferates, multiplies and reinvents itself as it connects with others. Maybe another political and collective subjectivity for which we lack categories and parameters is being (re)born, here and in other parts of the world. An insurgent, anonymous, multiple subjectivity, a movement rather than a political party, a current rather than a discipline, made of impulse rather than purpose, where mobilisation and suspension merge, with an exceptionally strong summoning power, without any promises or guarantees, much less that of becoming the new subject of history. 260
Exhaustion and clairvoyance Every new mode of existence is the result of a subjective mutation, a break with the dominant meanings. The possible is no longer confined to the realm of the imagination, or of dreams, or of the ideal, and extends towards a field – the field of possibilities. But ‘how is a field of possibilities opened?’, wonders François Zourabichvili examining Deleuze’s texts.62 Aren’t the moments of insurrection or revolution precisely those in which we catch a glimpse of the field of possibilities? ‘The event creates a new existence, produces a new subjectivity (new relationships with the body, time, sexuality, the environment, culture, work…).’63 Such moments, whether individual or collective (think of May 1968), correspond to a subjective and collective mutation in the sense that the circumstances that were once experienced as inevitable suddenly appear as intolerable. That which was previously not even imaginable suddenly becomes thinkable, desirable. There is a paradigm shift of affection that redraws the boundary between what is desired and what is no longer tolerable. Would it not then be possible to apply these criteria to distinguish between forms of life? Could a life not be defined by what it desires and rejects, by what attracts and repulses it? For example, what is desired in capitalism, and what is regarded with disgust? Are these the same as within the monastic tradition, an indigenous culture, in the hippie movement and in Leninism? And are they the same among the elderly, poets, skinheads and transsexuals? Planes, spheres and scopes are being purposefully multiplied here, for we should also ask, in the wake of recent decades, what is desirable and what is no longer tolerable in relation to the body, sexuality, old age, death, otherness, misery, etc. Could we not say that this is what defines social sensibility? And is it not this social sensibility that has been experiencing gradual or sudden changes – at times at an unexpected pace – especially during moments of crisis or rupture? Indeed, something appears to have exhausted itself in those forms of life that once seemed inevitable. This exhaustion can be a political, biopolitical or even micropolitical category, as long as we understand that we are not talking only about mere weariness, nor about a surrendering of the body and mind. More radically, it is the result of disbelief, of a process of tearing apart, a detachment, a deposition – with regards to the alternatives that are available, the opportunities that are presented to us, the potential that still exists, the clichés that cushion and mediate our relationship with the world and make it tolerable but unrealistic and, for this very reason, intolerable and no longer credible. The exhaustion unleashes what ‘links’ us to the world, what ‘supports’ us and others, what makes us ‘cling’ to its words and images, what gives us ‘comfort’ within the illusion of completion (of
Edward KrasiĹ&#x201E;ski, Spear, 1963-1965
the self, the us, the meaning, freedom, the future) – an illusion that we have already abandoned at times, even though we still feel close to it. There is a certain cruelty in this attitude of detachment, without a doubt, but such cruelty carries with it a mercy that unties bonds.64 Only through a coming apart, a detachment, an emptying as well as through the impossibility that is thus established, does the need for something else materialise – something else that we could too pompously call the ‘creation of the possible’. We should not leave this formula to marketing departments, nor should we burden it with an overly imperative or whimsical responsibility, full of will. Perhaps we should preserve Samuel Beckett’s quivering dimension, which, with calculated precision, points in his visual poems to the undefined state to which beings are elevated. These beings correspond, even in their most concrete contexts, to the indefinition of becomings, where they reach their maximum effect of deterritorialisation – and then people wonder, what is it that is happening? Where is it all going? What do the insurgents want? This is where one can invoke the figure of the seer, to which Deleuze returns particularly in his books on cinema. In a given situation the seer sees something that exceeds and moves beyond the situation itself, and that has nothing to do with fantasy. Clairvoyance has as its object reality itself in a dimension that extrapolates its empirical contours, in an attempt to grasp its real but not yet fully deployed potential. What the seer sees, as in the case of Beckett’s insomniac – clairvoyance can obviously be a collective experience as well – is the pure image, its brilliance and extinction, its rise and fall, its accomplishment. He sees intensity, power, virtuality. It is neither the future, nor a dream, nor the ideal, nor the perfect design, but rather the forces working toward redesigning the real. The seer can be an artist, philosopher, any given singularity, anonymous, poor, autistic, crazy – in any case, the seer is one who in his own manner calls for modes of existence still to come. Despite the difference in tone, we are not far from the modes of existence that require instauration, and to which we must (but who is this we?) eventually reply. The entire art of instauration is now demanded of us.
Human-inhuman modes of existence It is not our intention to avoid the difficulties that have accumulated concerning the shifts of meaning in the expression ‘modes of existence’. In fact, this expression now seems to refer to a way of life of human beings (e.g., active or reactive, noble or vulgar, affirmative or negative, full or empty, in majority or minority), as well as to the modes of existence of beings with which these same humans have an intimate relationship (phenomenal, so262
licitudinous, virtual, invisible, possible, or to use another terminology, spirits, gods, animals, plants, forces, etc.). This is an inevitable ambiguity, because there is no way to separate the two: the ways of life of human beings are inseparable from the planes of existence with which they cohabit (and both may be called modes of existence), just as life is inseparable from the form of life, and a life is inseparable from its variations. It is possible that capitalism, or biopower, or eurocentrism, or our outdated ontology invest precisely in a split between the two, thus interfering in the very possibility of other ways of living, just as they invest in sabotaging, monitoring and profiting from certain planes of existence (to use a ‘childish’ example, the growing production of electronic games and their ubiquity in childhood and adulthood). In order to counter this trend, it would be necessary to become an advocate of those modes of existence that (from our perspective) ‘do not exist’. Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, who understands a thing or two about modes of existence within the realm of Amerindian anthropology, summed up the challenge of this field of study as that of taking indigenous thinking seriously, and trying to understand what effects it may have on our Western way of thinking.65 Take the example of knowledge. For us, knowledge presupposes an intentional neutralisation of the object, a total desubjectivisation. Our epistemological game is called objectification: everything that is not objectified remains unreal and abstract. The form of the Other is a thing. Amerindian shamanism is modelled on the opposite ideal: to know is to ‘personify’, to adopt the point of view of what one strives to understand. Or, better yet, the point of view of whom one strives to understand. Because the central task is to know the ‘who of things’ (Guimarães Rosa) [...]. The form of the Other is a person.66 Thus, ethnographics of indigenous America is populated with references to a cosmopolitical theory that describes a universe inhabited by different types of actants and agents, human and non-human – the gods, animals, the dead, plants, meteorological phenomena and often objects and artefacts as well. They all bear the same general set of perceptual and cognitive dispositions and inclinations – in other words, a similar ‘soul’.67
Such a world is composed of a multiplicity of viewpoints, each anchored in a body, each body equivalent to a bundle of affects and capabilities; and it is there that those with a soul, the subjects, embed themselves. Alterity
thus reaches cosmic and protean contours, and its virtuality spreads everywhere, without allowing itself to submit to a transcendental unity. The contrast with our submission to the state is striking. In the postface of Pierre Clastres’s Archaeology of Violence, Viveiros de Castro writes: For there exists a ‘way of being’ very characteristic of what he [Clastres] called primitive society. No ethnographer who has lived together with an Amazonian culture, even those that show important elements of hierarchy and centralisation, could have gone without experiencing it in all its evidence, as unmistakable as it is elusive. This way of being is ‘essentially’ a politics of multiplicity [...] the politics of multiplicity is more a way of becoming than a way of being [...] in short, it is a concept that refers to an intensive mode of existence or an ubiquitous virtual operation.68
The definition of the intensive mode of existence cannot, of course, leave us indifferent, as, along with the concepts and clashes previously evoked, they question the predominant modes of existence among us. But neither should this definition be reified. Let’s remember something Deleuze says: the Other expresses a possible world. The Other does not coincide with another that would embody it. When this reflection happens, as with Albertine in Proust, when her face expresses the ‘amalgamation of the beach and waves’, the so-called ‘possible’ world that was previously only implicated, involved and complicated becomes explained, expanded and made concrete. However, the philosopher identifies a risk there, hence his warning ‘not to explain oneself too much […] not to explain oneself too much with the Other, not to explain the Other too much, to maintain its values implicit, to multiply our world, populating it with all of that which is expressed that does not exist outside of its expressions.’69 Now, what Viveiros de Castro requests from anthropology in the wake of this warning is that it refuse to ‘update the possibilities expressed by indigenous thinking’ – whether it be their ‘de-realisation as others’ fantasies’, or ‘fantasising them as being contemporary to us’.70 Maybe this means preserving such possibilities as possibilities – or preserving such virtualities as virtualities, as virtualities of our thinking as well. And he explains: ‘If there is anything that is legitimate to anthropology, it is not the task of explaining the world of others, but that of multiplying our world, ‘populating it with all those things that are expressed but do not exist outside of their expressions’.’71 This would be a unique way, among many others, of respecting a mode of existence –
not to realise it, not to explain it, not to make it concrete, to unwrap it – but to let it strike, fluctuate. What relationship could there be, in the context where the anthropologist operates, between beings, ways of life and planes of existence? They are absolutely inseparable. ‘The diversity of forms of human life corresponds to the diversity of the ways we relate to life in general, and with the myriad singular life forms that occupy (and inform) all possible niches in the world we know.’72 Perhaps it is along those lines that one could rethink ethics, as it has been done by Pierre Montebello, when he defined the ethical gesture as a ‘taking into account of all lives together,’73 making them resonate. What Combes would term ‘a humanism after the death of man’74, – a humanism without man, built upon the ruins of anthropology.
Modes of existence, modes of giving up, modes of resistance Fortunately, in this debate no one can have the last word – not the anthropologist, not the philosopher, not the artist, not the psychologist, not the scientist. How could we fail to acknowledge the right of each and every one of them to shape it according to their own rhythm, their misconception being the condition of possibility of this polyphony? Regardless of whether we use the terms ‘mode of existence’, ‘possibility of life’, ‘aesthetics of existence’ or ‘form of life’, what is at stake, always, is an existential pluralism in which different beings – each with its own mode of existence, in a different degree and intensity of existence – may be instaured but also de-installed, in such a way that between them passages, transitions and shifts might open up, as may also breakdowns, evaporation and exhaustion. Possible existences, virtual states, invisible planes, fleeting appearances, sketchedout realities, transitional areas, inter-worlds, in-between worlds, can all be combined into a whole different grammar of existence. Every time we commit ourselves to a being, a work, a theory, a political or scientific, or clinical, or aesthetical proposal, we instaure a mode of existence and, thus, in a boomerang effect, we experiment a mode of existence with its drifts. Instauration is not vague or nebulous. Latour demonstrates how, in the case of science, instauration requires experimental devices, the active preparation of observation, the production of facts endowed with the power of demonstrating whether the form produced by this device is able to capture them.75 The same could be said of a clinical device or, at its limit, of the aesthetic that deals with ‘lesser existences’. It is no coincidence that Deligny’s film is entitled Le moindre geste [The Slightest Gesture], and the delicate 263
documentary shot in the La Borde psychiatric clinic is called La moindre des choses [The Slightest of Things] – as if the virtually invisible intensity and molecularity of these fragile and vulnerable beings needed a subtle plan of consistency, of composition, where metamorphosis and change do not represent a risk, but a stage for a trajectory, for a test run. Hence the specific devices in Deligny: wander lines, networks, contiguity; the singing of the shaman conceived as technology that can reverse the cosmological perspective in Davi Kopenawa, or in the transcultural experience of the Amazonas opera, etc. The recurring question is, which beings are to be taken on? Which should we take upon ourselves? How are their whispers to be heard? How to give them a voice? How are we to let ourselves be ‘hit’ and affected by them? How are we to instaure them while preserving the singularity of their mode of existence? How can we open passages and metamorphoses for them? Not only are we talking about fragile minorities, and a list of them would be almost infinite; they include earthly beings threatened by extinction in increasing numbers, the planes of existence discarded on a daily basis (solicitudinous, virtual), but also the minority becomings of each and every one: of stammering and barely outlined beings, of those that have given up, of beings to come or that will never come to exist, of those decimated by history, of the futures buried in the past, or of that people of zombies that used to be a mere ‘background’ and that sometimes, like in cinema (or in History?) ends up invading the scene as a multitudinous protagonist.76 Therefore, it is our own existence, always incomplete, in a state of outline, of a work in progress, that must be continued like a virtual arch of a bridge that has collapsed or is being built.
1 For an overview of this group of writers, among them William James, Alfred North Whitehead, Gabriel Tarde, Gilbert Simondon, Étienne Souriau, not to mention Friedrich Nietzsche and Gottfried W. Leibniz, see Didier Debaise (ed.), Philosophie des possessions, Paris: Les presses du réel, 2011. 2 The opera Amazonas was a collective work, developed over the course of four years with the participation of European, Brazilian and Yanomami institutions. The opera was presented in Munich and São Paulo in 2010. See Laymert Garcia dos Santos, Transcultural Amazonas, shamanism and technoscience in the Opera, São Paulo: n-1 publications, 2013, p.27. 3 Bruno Latour, An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns (trans. Catherine Porter), Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2013, p.201. 4 See Étienne Souriau, Les Différents Modes d’existence, Paris: PUF, 2009. 5 B. Latour and Isabelle Stengers, ‘Le Sphynx de l’oeuvre’ (trans. Stephen Muecke), in É. Souriau, Les Différents Modes d’existence, op. cit., p.10. 6 É. Souriau, L’Instauration philosophique, Paris: Alcan, 1939, p.68. 7 É. Souriau, La Couronne d’herbes, Paris: UGE, 1975, p.53. 8 Ibid. 9 É. Souriau, Avoir une âme: essai sur les existences virtuelles, Paris: Belles Lettres, 1938, p.17. 10 David Lapoujade, ‘Souriau: une philosophie des existences moindres’, in D. Debaise (ed.), Philosophie des possessions, op. cit., pp.175-76. 11 É. Souriau, Les Différents Modes d’existence, op. cit., p.109. 12 Ibid., p.192. 13 D. Lapoujade, ‘Souriau’, op. cit. 14 Ibid. 15 É. Souriau, Les Différents Modes d’existence, op. cit., p.106. 16 See Fernand Deligny, L’Arachnéen et autres textes, Paris: L’Arachnéen, 2008, p.11. The Portuguese translation is forthcoming from n-1 publications. 17 See F. Deligny, Oeuvres (ed. Sandra Álvarez de Toledo), Paris: L’Arachnéen, 2008. 18 See F. Deligny, ‘Acheminement vers l’image’, Oeuvres, op. cit., p.1670. 19 F. Deligny, ‘Camérer’, Oeuvres, op. cit., p.1744. 20 Ibid., p.1734. 21 Jean-Fraçois Chevrier, “L’image, ‘mot nébulouse’ ”, in F. Deligny, Oeuvres, op. cit., p.1780. 22 ‘I have not learned to think about the things of the forest setting my eyes on the skin of leaves, I actually saw them inhaling the breath of life of my ancestors, with the yãkõana powder they gave me. This is how they also instilled in me the breath of the spirits that now multiply my words and extend my thoughts throughout [...] However, for my words are heard far from the forest, I did draw on the language of the whites. Maybe this way they finally understand it, and after them their children and, later still, the children of their children. Thus his thoughts about us cease to be so dark and twisted, and maybe they even end up reducing the desire to destroy us. If so, our people cease to die quietly, ignored by everyone, as turtles hidden below the grounds of the forest.’ (Davi Kopenawa and Bruce Albert, La Chute du ciel – Paroles d’un chaman yanomami, Paris: Plon, 2010, p.51). 23 This expression was coined by David Lapoujade and appears in the article cited above. 24 Gilles Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy (trans. Hugh Tomlinson), London and New York: Continuum, 1986, p.116. 25 G. Deleuze, ‘To Have Done with Judgement’, Essays Critical and Clinical (trans. Daniel W. Smith and Michael A. Greco), London: Verso, 1998, pp.126-35. 26 G. Deleuze and Félix Guattari, What Is Philosophy? (trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Graham Burchell), New York: Columbia University Press, 1994, p.74. 27 Ibid., p.75 28 Ibid., pp.107–08.
29 See Giorgo Agamben, De la Très Haute Pauvreté: règles et forme de vie. Homo sacer, vol. IV, 1, Paris: Rivages, 2013, p.81. 30 Agamben encounters the expression ‘forms of life’ already in Cicero, Seneca and Quintilian, where ‘form’ has the sense of example and model. That is where the form of life adheres to the idea of form or template, becoming inseperable from it and thus constituting an example. 31 It is not any different from what desecration evokes when restoring to common use what had been separated into the sphere of the sacred. See G. Agamben, Profanations, Paris: Rivages, 2006. 32 Edgardo Castro, Introdução a Giorgio Agamben: uma arqueologia da potência, Belo Horizonte: Autêntica, 2012, p.195, 213. 33 G. Agamben, Means without End (trans. Vincenzo Binetti and Cesare Cassarino), Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000, p.3. 34 E. Castro, Introdução a Giorgio Agamben, op. cit., p.171. 35 G.Agamben, De la Très Haute Pauvreté, op. cit., p.12. 36 G. Agamben, La potenza del pensiero. Vicenza: Neri Pozza, 2005, p.402. 37 See Michel Foucault, The Courage of Truth (ed. Arnold I. Davidson, trans. Graham Burchell), New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. 38 Ibid., p.127. 39 Ibid., p.236.
57 See M. Hardt and A. Negri, Declaration, op. cit. 58 See Beatriz Preciado, Testo Yonqui, Madrid: Espasa, 2008, forthcoming in Portuguese by n-1 publications. 59 See Maurizio Lazzarato, La Fabrique de l’homme endetté: essai sur la condition néoliberale, Paris: Éditions Amsterdam, 2011. 60 See Giuseppe Cocco, in various articles published in the Brazilian press and during conferences, recordings of which can be found on Youtube. 61 See L. Garcia dos Santos, Glauco Faria and Igor Carvalho, ‘É preciso entender as redes e as ruas’, Portal Fórum [blog], available at http:// revistaforum.com.br/blog/2013/10/e-preciso-entender-as-redes-e-asruas (last accessed on 28 May 2014). 62 See François Zourabichvili, ‘Deleuze e o possível (sobre o involuntarismo na política)’, in Éric Alliez (ed.), Gilles Deleuze: uma vida filosófica, São Paulo: Editora 34, 2000. 63 See G. Deleuze and F. Guattari, ‘Mai 68 n’a pas eu lieu’, in D. Lapoujade (ed.), Deux Régimes de fous, Paris: Minuit, 1968. 64 G. Deleuze and F. Guattari, ‘Tratado de nomadologia: a máquina de guerra’, Mil Platôs, vol. 5 (trans. Peter Pál Pelbart and Janice Caiafa), São Paulo: Editora 34, 1997, p.13. [English edition: Nomadology. The War Machine, New York: Columbia University, 1986.]
40 Ibid., p.243.
65 Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Métaphysiques cannibales, Paris: PUF, 2009, p.166.
41 Ibid., p.338.
42 Ibid., p.285. It is worth noting that in the preface to the US edition of The Anti-Oedipus, Foucault compared the Introduction to the Devout Life, by Francis de Sales, considering it a book of ethics, ‘the first book written on ethics in France in a long time’. He adds, ‘being anti-Oedipus has become a lifestyle, a way of thinking and living. How to avoid becoming a fascist even when (and especially when) you believe you are a revolutionary militant? How to rid our speech and our actions, our hearts and our pleasures, of fascism? How to get rid of the fascism that is engrained in our behaviour? Christian moralists sought traces of the flesh (chair) that had haunted the folds of the soul. Deleuze and Guattari, in turn, look closely into the tiniest traces of fascism in the body.’ (M. Foucault, Dits et écrits, vol. III, Paris: Gallimard, 1994, pp.134–35.)
67 Ibid., p.21.
43 See Muriel Combes, La Vie inseparée: vie et sujet au temps de la biopolitique, Paris: Dittmar, 2011, p.52. 44 M. Foucault, Dits et écrits, vol. IV, Paris: Gallimard, 1994, p.237. 45 M. Combes, La Vie inseparée, op. cit., p.90. 46 I. Stengers, Thinking with Whitehead (trans. Michael Chase), Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011, p.26. 47 See Suely Rolnik, Geopolitics of Pimping: Between Art, Politics and Clinic, São Paulo: n-1 publications, 2014 (forthcoming).
68 E. Viveiros de Castro, ‘Posfácio’, in Pierre Clastres, A arqueologia da violência (trans. Paulo Neves), São Paulo: Cosac Naify, 2004, p.343. 69 G. Deleuze, Difference and Repetition (trans. Paul Patton), New York: Columbia University Press, 1995, p.261. 70 E. Viveiros de Castro, Métaphysiques cannibales, op. cit., p.169. 71 Ibid. 72 E. Viveiros de Castro and Renato Sztutman (eds.), Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Rio de Janeiro: Azougue Editorial, 2008, p.256. 73 Pierre Montebello, ‘Gilbert Simondon, une metaphysique de la participation’, in D. Debaise (ed.), Philosophie des possessions, op. cit., p.138. 74 M. Combes, Simondon. Individu et collectivité, Paris: PUF, 1999, p.85. 75 B. Latour and I. Stengers, Enquête sur les modes d’existence: une anthropologie des modernes, op. cit., p.15. 76 Olivier Schefer, ‘Les Figurants au cinéma ou le peuple qui manque: pour une histoire invisible des images’, paper presented on ‘L'Envers du décor: émergence des formes et agencements d’existence’ at the Laboratoire International Associé, Paris, 29 January 2014.
48 M. Zechner researched this topic in European collectives in The world we desire is one we can create and care for together – On collectivity, organisation, governance and commoning in times of crisis and precarity: a reading through the prisms of care and creativity, forthcoming from n-1 publications. 49 Georges Didi-Huberman, Survivance des lucioles, Paris: Minuit, 2009, p.36. 50 Ibid. 51 Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri are right in noting that the paradox of silence as necessary for making thinking possible is only superficial, since for Deleuze ‘the problem is no longer getting people to express themselves, but providing little gaps of solitude and silence in which they might eventually find something to say’. (Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Declaration, Argo-Navis Author Services, 2012) 52 Brian Massumi, Power at the End of the Economy, forthcoming from Duke University Press. 53 See B. Massumi, A User’s Guide to Capitalism and Schizophrenia, Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press, 2002. 54 Laymert Garcia dos Santos, Politizar as novas tecnologias, São Paulo: Editora 34, 2003, p.84. 55 Ibid., p.92. 56 Ibid.
Arthur Scovino, Instagram caboquismo (O Caboclo dos Aflitos), 2014 [Caboclo-ism on Instagram (The caboclo of the Aflitos)] 266
Edward Krasiński, Installation at Edward Krasiński’s Studio, 2003
View of Benta Handi from an intersection in the outskirts of the Basque town Tolosa. Atop a block of concrete, visible only from a moving car, stands the sculpture by Jorge Oteiza Estela cruz caminando. Homenaje a Txabi Etxebarrieta [Walking Stela Cross. Homage to Txabi Etxebarrieta]. Based on the 1956 sculpture Par móvil [Moving Pair], created out of two semicircles of metal sheets in 1993, Oteiza marked the spot where Txabi Etxebarrieta – a member of the Basque nationalist and separatist organisation ETA – was shot dead by the police 25 years earlier. One day before he was said to have killed a police officer. They were the first two casualties in what would become a long list.
Asier Mendizabal, Agoramaquia (el caso exacto de la estatua), 2014 [Agoramaquia (The Exact Case of the Statue)]
San Agustín Plazuela, Lima. The sculpture entitled España, aparta de mi este cáliz. Estela funeraria en homenaje a César Vallejo [Spain, Take this Cup of Suffering Away from Me. Funeray Stela Homage to César Vallejo] was erected here in 1961. Jorge Oteiza’s tribute to the Peruvian poet was an adaptation of a small piece from 1958, also dedicated to the poet, in which a hollow volume was created out of two pieces of metal sheet with several circular cut-outs. They could well be the scraps left over from a previous sculpture entitled Par móvil [Moving Pair]. During his stay in Lima, Oteiza announced at a conference and in a text sent to Spain his theory of El final del arte contemporáneo [The End of Contemporary Art]. The 1958 sculpture in honour of Vallejo is, as the artist would later state, the last piece he produced before abandoning sculpture altogether. 269
Jonas Staal, Nosso Lar, BrasĂlia, 2014
Jo Baer, In the Land of the Giants. Royal Families (Curves, Points and Little Ones), 2013 270
Jo Baer, In the Land of the Giants. Heraldry (Posts and Spreads), 2013
Val del Omar, Aguaespejo granadino, 1953-1955 [Water-Mirror of Granada]
Teatro da Vertigem, A última palavra é a penúltima, 2008 [The Last Word Is the Penultimate One]
Aguaespejo granadino. Dialogues [Intertitles] José Val del Omar presents A brief audiovisual essay of lyrical plasticity Cinematographic manifestation of the Spanish sound system Diaphonic registered in 1944 Mathematics of God, he who gives the most, has the most Aguaespejo granadino [Offscreen narrator] Blind, how blind! How blind are the creatures that stand on the earth. They dance without knowing why, and have no more reasons than those that come of their own accord. [Woman’s voice] From two bodies I come, to two bloods I go. I am not. [Offscreen narrator] My God! How blind are the creatures whose reasons don’t even reach the shadow of their bodies. [Singing] Man is in a cage of his falls. Ah! A cold planet pulling at my guts. [Offscreen narrator] Granada is the eternal frontier between night and morning. The place where stone meets water. The blossoming earth of Ana Zaida. Christian voices of bronze drowning in the Alhambra. In the patio of water, a choir of all the cries of time spurs them on. Day and reason flee the fountains of Granada. Come the moon, the blood races, the sap cries out. [Singing] Flowers are worth nothing, only your embraces have worth … [Altered voice] Love. Love. Love. I obey. I obey. I obey. [Offscreen narrator] ‘Wingless birds, lost in the grass’, listen to Federico of the earth.
Bells pealing in fire leave the sky airless; a ceiling of white fish transforms it into a pond. [Singing, overlapping with above] I am the voice of your fate! I am the fire in which you burn! I am the wind in which you breathe! I am the sea in which you sink! I am the sea in which you sink! [Offscreen narrator] Always, one always sinks, a reasonable voice says. In the palace of water a prayer echoes. The green madness of the moon has gone. Now with the dawn come the reasons of stones and the true miracle of the waters. The sun embroiders flowers and their joy overflows to the bottom of the ravine. Yearning to kiss the prodigy that is so well sown there: the school where they teach, without waiting for the moon and in plain daylight, escaping to the gypsies with eyes wide open. He who gives the most, has the most. Mathematics of God. He who gives the most, has the most. He who gives the most, has the most. Has the most. Beating in the air the joy of the heavens and the earth. [Woman’s voice] Beating in the air the joy of the heavens and the earth. [Offscreen narrator] The mystery is that the milk flows in abundance. [Woman’s voice] How pretty is my child! Oh, God of my soul! I could eat him up...! [Offscreen narrator] The mystery is that the sun raises the grass. The mystery is that the water rises. Bad heart and stars, let it rise. Let it dance! Let it be! Here you have it suspended. Suspended. Suspended. Standing still. Standing still. Prisoner in the sanctum of culture. Water-mirror of life. Rise and rise. Rise. Rise and rise. Till the fall, the fall. Return. But how blind are the creatures that stand on the earth. God! Love. How blind, while you are so open. [Intertitle] Without end. Val del Omar, Fuego en Castilla, 1958-1960 [Fire in Castile]
Programme notes for Fuego en Castilla
Val del Omar, Fuego en Castilla, 1958-1960 [Fire in Castile]
Where does the dome of heavenly light face? The Earth... on which sky does it rest? Here is the road of the burning firmament of the Mystic. Viva Yuri Gagarin and viva Alan Shepard, who shorten the phases of our passion! Fuego en Castilla is a mechamystic elementary. While a Spanish classic says ‘life is a dream’, an English classic clarifies that ‘we are such stuff as dreams are made of’. Fuego en Castilla = Burning substance. Fury On the Moor of Fright and in the night of a palpable world, a dry fury, maddened, blind and burning, tries to cross from West to East, from a vertigo in flight towards ecstasy. Delirious vertical, torn palpitation, between the infrared realism of singlecells and the mystic ultraviolet of weightlessness. Fire Castile presents itself without colour, without melody, without tones and... without words. In a deep mono-rhythm of a blind trembling of nails, before a world that is close at hand and ready to submerge itself in the grand show of the invasion of the Valley of Differences by the Fire that reunites us with the Unity. Man must be illuminated with temperature. Mechamystic The constant attraction of Mystery and our situation and tendency to Unity must be brought to life by means of the aseptic instrumental exactitude of the progressive automatic. Film is the grand tool that reveals the mechamystic, in other words the invisible mechanics in which we find ourselves immersed. If man advances in space, it will be healthy for the mortal to be illuminated with temporal lights to rest in the incorruptible. Life is only a slow-motion explosion, and I wish to compress it to turn it into ecstasy: into an eternal instant. Duende ‘In Spain, every spring death comes and raises the curtains.’ This sentence reveals an invisible mechanism in which we find ourselves submerged and, faced with the cold fading lights, recommends setting fire to man. Fuego en Castilla is a sleepwalking essay
in Tactile-Vision, where Spanish duende (spirit) — torn in a vertical delirium of realism and mysticism, in black and white and throbbing silence – strives to produce a self-radiography of its fury [...]. Luminous Cubism Tactile-Vision delivers us a temporal cubic perspective. Tactile-Vision is produced by programmed accumulation of projective (non-optic) light presents. The frame rate, sometimes 24 per second and today up to 60, saturates the viewer who, in the end, inevitably surrenders to the unity of the cubic whole. Spanish pictorial tradition which, by reflex arc, over time will provide news of the substance and the temperature. The day will come when this Electronic Fuego en Castilla will be seen as the beginning of a new phase. Credits Produced by: Hermic films 1960. Directed by: José Val del Omar, including cinematography, continuity, lighting, photography, sound, effects and editing. Castilian rhythms performed by the dancer Vicente Escudero. 15th century images by the French and Spanish sculptors Juan de Juni and Alonso de Berruguete, filmed at Museo Nacional de Escultura Religiosa. Produced in 35 mm, black and white; classic for-
mat, I x I.38. Length: 540 m; duration: 20 min. Optical monoaural and binaural Diaphonic sound, CST standard, magnetic. Without explanation and a single sentence in the final shot (which can be dubbed or subtitled). Thoughts that shed light on the poetics of Fuego en Castilla ‘The poetry of St John of the Cross inspires me with fear to the marrow.’ Marcelino Menéndez Pelayo. ‘The Museo de Valladolid strikes terror.’ ‘Every spring death comes and raises the curtains.’ Federico García Lorca. ‘Spain is fire. Everything undulates and blazes.’ Jean Cocteau. ‘The rhythm of Spanish jondo singing and dancing and the painting of El Greco have a phenomenal correspondence.’ Maurice Legendre. ‘The sculptural fireworks of Alonso Berruguete’s altarpieces contain the germ of an incredible Spanish ballet. What hand, what technical numen can animate those burning logs in this divine pantomime?’ Serge Lifar. ‘In Spanish art, the real and mystery coexist in ineffable brotherhood.’ ‘Every great rehearsal is humble.’ Gregorio Marañón.
Val del Omar, Fuego en Castilla, 1958-1960 [Fire in Castile]
Hudinilson Jr., caderno de referĂŞncia [Reference Notebook]
Xerox Action – Hudinilson Jr. To utilise the body as matrix […] hunching over and lying entirely on the Xerox visor, thus composing shapes/textures. The Xerox recreates the body in its own way, destroying details and placing value in others, resulting in images that border on the abstract in an exercise of reading/vision. […] To understand the limits imposed by the machine and amplify its resources, to dominate these limits, thus inverting the relations, making it so the machine is the vehicle and co-author of this piece.¹ Last year, shortly after the death of Hudinilson Jr., we came across a large quantity of his work in his apartment-atelier contained in plastic folders filled with collages, postal art, graffiti stencils and projects of xerographic panels. The majority of these panels was made of enlarged photocopies of an image of the artist’s body, generated by the copy machine itself. The enlargements allowed for the assembly of several A4-format pages into mosaics that could have taken the dimensions of a billboard. Many of these panels present a detail of the male body, amplified many times in sequence to the point that the copy machine started to reproduce its own graphic marks, its own pattern of printing, thereby creating organic and abstract surfaces out of the original image. There were also other xerographic series created out of sets of enlargements and reductions of printed photographs taken from his vast image banks. In Hudinilson Jr.’s atelier, it was hard to open the door of a small compartment in the cabinet that held many envelopes filled with clippings of photo prints, newspaper articles, notes and letters addressed to him, as well as photocopies of his own body. For years, the eroticised body of Hudinilson Jr. – the same one that became known for the images of his performance with a photocopier in the 1980s – heroically resisted his highly unusual and devastating way of life. In recent times, the artist who was quintessentially urban, even in his name (Hudinilson Urbano Jr.), secluded himself in his apartment-atelier, isolated by the stigma of those who drink. The owner of a complex body of work, comprised of urban interventions, graffiti, Xerox art, performance, collages, postal art and artist books, Hudinilson Jr. was also a cataloguer and archivist who kept track of the cultural dynamics of his time. This talent resulted in the purchase by Centro Cultural São Paulo of an extensive archive organised by him over a thirty-year period – a collection of around five thousand items about manifestations of urban art and culture in the city of São Paulo, compiled since the late 1970s. Everyday in his bed-atelier Hudinilson Jr. cut out the figures that comprised his homoerotic Olympus, methodically pasting them into notebooks alongside other figures, such as his preferred muses and other phallic figurations, among them Greek columns, elephant trunks, rhinoceros, horses, giraffes. This iconography can be found mainly in the pages of his Cadernos de referência [Reference Notebooks]. These notebooks are the space of resonance of all his work, largely created in the city of São Paulo – the place where he was born and lived. Many of the images found within them are photocopies that are repeated, creating quite particular graphic solutions, reminding us of certain Pop Art practices in the juxtaposing and overlapping of images worn out by the actual printing process. These images cut from magazines, newspapers, fanzines and catalogues are the raw material of 278
much of the artist’s work. ‘A photo that I take from a magazine no longer belongs to the photographer – the image is mine now.’ In the middle of the pages of joy and playfulness, this archive also provides images that remind us of death. These memento mori include photographs of a plane crash, a man at the moment of his suicide, representations of Christ crucified and dead, executed men, bodies in coffins, stacks of skulls, x-rays of the human body. This is why the issue of the body in the work of Hudinilson Jr. is not so evident as it is said to be. His homoerotic poetics are comprised of a collective world of bodies. These bodies display their attributes in torsos, nipples, armpits, feet, hands and hair on a graphic scale that the artist particularised in the graphic language characteristic of xerography. Hudinilson Jr.’s nude performance on the machine was imprinted as image in the paper photocopies which were later altered graphically though successive enlargements and reductions, overlaps and contrasts. Having been translated by the copy machine, the qualities of that body were then converted into graphic structures that the artist identified as the result of the machine’s co-authorship, in the creation of dotted patterns that are very particular to the medium – it is the performative action of the Xerox, a new form of automatic production of images in the 1980s. These impressions of this urban Narcissus embossed on paper are also images of his perdition, of the loss of the contours of his figure and a testament to his fascination with the mirror. At the same time, they attest to the life of someone who had ‘a paradoxical existence, who lived on his own destruction’ and hoped that it would always be possible to be heard in his constant search for interlocutors. The power of Hudinilson Jr.’s work also hid a certain fragility of the man searching for the other. In his visual studies, the artist achieved a singularity in his work through a variety of experimentations. The amount of projects that we found in his atelier reflects the maturity that he had reached as an artist – the kind who immersed himself in the praxis of a new form of instantaneous image production and which appropriated from the visual world with scissors and glue, never having reached the digital world. A large part of his Xerox projects, as yet unseen, are printed, the copies numbered and stored in envelopes identified by stamps. In the years in which he coordinated the Center of Xerography at Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Hudinilson Jr. produced an enviable number of works and projects yet to be realised, all of them meticulously detailed and planned – a treasure for the market that has now awakened to his work. Less than a year after his death several curators and biennials are interested in this emblematic figure. Damn! Couldn’t you guys have looked him up earlier or answered the phone a year ago?
Mario Ramiro 1 Hudinilson Jr., ‘O corpo sempre como princípio’, Arte em São Paulo, no. 8, June 1982.
Hudinilson Jr., Sem tĂtulo, 1980 [Untilted] 279
Arthur Scovino, Casa de caboclo, 2014 [House of Caboclo] 280
Arthur Scovino, Recanto dos Aflitos (O caboclo dos Aflitos), 2014 [Recanto of the Aflitos (The Caboclo of the Aflitos)]
Vivian Suter, view of the artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s house/studio, 2014
Simplicity of articulation, address and means characterises Arthur Scovinoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Casa de caboclo [House of Caboclo] : a constantly changing environment which could be a domestic space as well as a place of ceremony, in which a set of images (drawings, photographs, writings) and tools (books, gases and liquids) are gathered in order to serve as aids for an encounter that will take place within the environment itself. Strength of determination and conviction are also essential to the work, and translate into a permanent occupation of that space by Scovino, the artist-as-caboclo, who, with confidence but also modesty, sets up a situation in which the unexpected can (and will) happen in intimate relation with the visitor. The caboclo and his house act both as a metaphor for what the space of art can be and do, and as an overcoming of its assumptions and limitations. Together, they make us realise that certain objects, in specific conditions, can affect us, that we can engage in a meaningful exchange with them and the space they inhabit.
Arthur Scovino, Caboclo samambaia, 2013 [Bracken Caboclo]
Arthur Scovino, Caboclo borboleta (O caboclo dos Aflitos), 2014 [Butterfly Caboclo (The Caboclo of the Aflitos)] 281
01 INT. NIGHT – FADE OUT TO TITLES TITLES appear, similar to those in Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St Matthew. TITLE 1: DEAD LETTER TITLE 2: DEAD LETTER The Pasolini Lapsus Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa Director of Photography: José Mari Zabala 07 EXT. DAY – THE SEA CLOSE-UPS of CHRIST’S FACE with backgrounds of DIFFERENT LANDSCAPES AND TIMES OF DAY.
Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa, Letra morta, 2014 [Dead Letter]
CHRIST (7) Religions are systems of doctrines and promises that, on the one hand, clarify the mysteries of this world with a completeness worthy of envy and, on the other, they assure you that a well-intentioned providence will watch over your life and you shall be reborn in the great beyond… Common man can only represent this providence in the figure of a Father exalted to the grandiose. Only such a Father can know the needs of the child of men and be touched by his actions, appeased by the signs of repentance. CHRIST (CONT’D) (8) The technique of religion lies in lowering the value of life and in deliriously deforming the image of the real world. Which amounts to an intimidation of intelligence. CHRIST (CONT’D) (9) Love is the central argument of political Christianity. The grand Christian discourses on love pave the way for utilitarian and instrumental discourses. The instrumentalisation of the dream of love is the basis for capitalist rationality. Man is an entity of word, love and hope. Human energy is captured by discourse, by religious text, by the promise of love. The elites are measured by this is contemptuous rejection of useful action, in the disdain for those who cannot act other than hoping for a divine reward. Be useful to others because… it is in the nature of the useful to be used. CHRIST (CONT’D) (10) As long as virtue is not rewarded on earth, ethics will be preaching in vain. A real modification in man’s relationship with the possession of goods would be better than any ethical commandment. CHRIST (CONT’D) (11) Nothing can be good that has made us in its image and likeness. Civilisation is the enterprise of conditioning humans and the conversion to the text is repaid with neurosis. But everyone negotiates anxiety as they can. Truly I say to you that the idea that there is no prosperity without order is conservative, reactionary and fascist.
Juan PĂŠrez Agirregoikoa, Letra morta, 2014 [Dead Letter]
13 EXT. DAY - CIDADE TIRADENTES SEDE [Following Pasolini’s scene. The shots of the FACES are alternated depending on the questions and answers. As the answer gets longer, the shot changes to the FACES and GROUPS of PEOPLE WHO ARE LISTENING. The scene continues with the dialogue between CHRIST and THE PHARISEE, PERSON 1, PERSON 2 and PERSON 3, reflecting on the INHUMANITY OF THE SECOND COMMANDMENT.] THE PHARISEE Master: Tell us, what is the most important commandment of the law? CHRIST You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind; this is the first and the greatest commandment, and the second is this: you shall love your neighbour as yourself. PERSON 1 Why should we love Him? How will it help us? PERSON 2 Yes, but how can we put it into practice!! How can it be done? PERSON 1 What you are asking from us is an unrealisable, inhuman commandment! PERSON 3 A love that does not choose is worth nothing and, besides, not all men are worthy of being loved. The only thing that such an inflation of love does is to undermine its value. CHRIST It is what is written!!! PERSON 1 Then erase it, nothing goes so much against the grain of human nature. PERSON 3 Love for oneself is always great, you should know that I always wish for the good of others in my own image, and that … is not worth a lot. PERSON 1 We love him if, in the important things, he is so similar to me that I can love myself in him. Yes, what we want is the good of others, as long as it is in my own image. PERSON 2 And if you do not love yourself, or if you are a pervert or suffer from some pathology out of the ‘ordinary’? How then should I love my neighbour? It would be enough for pleasure to be evil for the moral law to completely change meaning. Your commandment would justify sin. PERSON 1, PERSON 2 and PERSON 3 move away, turning their backs to the camera. PERSON 1 [counting, with back to camera] We had surrealist language, we had communism, we have the golden age… [They move away until we lose sight of them around the corner.] 284
Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa, Letra morta, 2014 [Dead Letter]
Juan PĂŠrez Agirregoikoa, Letra morta, 2014 [Dead Letter]
Danica DakiÄ&#x2021;, Vila Maria, 2014
Vila Maria The carnival is over. Cars, costumes and other props in the depot of the samba school Vila Maria are the stage for eight young Picolinos performing a tribute to the famous clown Roger Avanzi, who is an old man. Avanzi is filmed during the process of putting makeup on in the Circus Museum, becoming Picolino possibly for the last time. Danica DakiÄ&#x2021;
Kasper Akhøj and Tamar Guimarães, A família do Capitão Gervásio, 2013 [Captain Gervásio’s Family]
In the town of Palmelo in rural Goiás, Kasper Akhøj and Tamar Guimarães recorded images of a healing session at the spiritual centre known as Luz da Verdade (literally, ‘The Light of Truth’) on 16-mm film. The resulting work, A família do Capitão Gervásio (2013) [Captain Gervásio’s Family], intersperses images of Palmelo with footage of modern Brazilian architecture, shot in such cities as Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Brasília. 287
Kasper Akhøj and Tamar Guimarães, A família do Capitão Gervásio, 2013 [Captain Gervásio’s Family]
Yuri Firmeza, Nada é, 2014 [Nothing Is]
Terrible Deed Michael Kessus Gedalyovich I saw ancient handwriting in tracts copied from an ancient singed treatise found among the manuscript archives in Tzfat, in the handwriting of the late Rabbi Yehuda Meir, the disciple of the late Rabbi Yosef Della Reina, who was with him at the time of the great deed Rabbi Reina performed there… A great and ‘Terrible Deed’ by Yosef Della Reina, a great and wise man, a discerning practitioner of Practical Kabbalah that lived in the Galilee, in Tzfat. And there came a day and he opened his heart to the supplications to bring about salvation and remove wicked dominions from the land...
So begins the story of Rabbi Yosef Della Reina’s incredible journey. Della Reina’s story is a classic one, about a charismatic hero and his associates which is in this case is a Kabbalist and his disciples who head out in search of a ‘holy grail’. It is a secretive and resolute group following Della Reina’s admonition: ‘there is no good in indulging our days without benefit’, or in other words, since we are already here and have certain skills, it is best we use them and take action. Preferably, it is an action that will transform reality. Utilising his deep knowledge of the Names of God and other practices of Practical Kabbalah, Della Reina embarks on the most dangerous course of all: to locate Satan and his female companion, Lilith; and to gain control and neutralise them in order to launch an event that in one fell swoop disconnects humanity from the shackles of history. It is a quest that, if successful, will start a new era with new laws. An act that will create a new dimension of existence and meaning: an otherness the alterity of which is so radically dif-
ferent that it cannot be described. Several versions of Della Reina’s story emerged during the late fifteenth century – the period of the expulsion of the Jews from Christian Spain – and might possibly be partially based on actual historical figures. The most popular version that has survived is that of Rabbi Shlomo Navarro, known as the Copyist Version. Published during the second half of the seventeenth century, it is not by chance that this version coincides with the period of the great turmoil that struck the Jewish Diaspora following the appearance of Sabbatai Zvi, his self-proclamation as the Messiah, the high hopes he inspired throughout much of the Jewish world; and the great disappointment that came after his conversion, imprisonment, death or disappearance. According to Navarro’s testimony, he merely copied and published an ‘ancient and singed’ manuscript that he happened to find. Navarro thus continues a long tradition of mystical, hermetic and Kabbalistic literature, of pseudo-epigraphic writing – just as the Book of Creation is attributed to Abraham and the Book of Zohar is attributed to Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai (a highly influential second-century religious leader). Pseudo-epigraphy: that well-known guile of double agents, cultural nomads, messiahs, forgers, swindlers, religious converts, conjurers and artists. In his tale, Navarro takes on the role of Rabbi Judah – one of Della Reina’s students and the only one who travelled and survived the terrible journey – narrating the story as a firsthand account. Yet simultaneously, the ‘biographical’ Navarro appears within the narrative frame at the beginning as the one who discovered the ‘ancient and singed’ manuscript, and at the denouement as an omniscient narrator and a teacher of morals. Della Reina is likely to fail, and Navarro – the storyteller and split-
ting image of Judah’s pupil (the choice of name is probably not by chance) – converts one journey for another. I want to go on a journey of my own now, at least that is what I tell myself and ever ybody else: ‘It is time to set out on a journey!’ And how do I know it is time? Because the level of boredom has once again risen, masquerading itself as passion with meaning. Or as Della Reina says ‘It is no good to spend our time being useless’, I need to get my act together, overcome my ever so refined idleness that has become like a second nature, and respond to the circumstances of the invitations. First and foremost, I urgently need to oil the wheels of my rusty artistic skills.
Navarro was born in Casale in 1606, in the Piemonte region in Italy. With his second wife Donina, he moved to Venice, where he studied Torah and Kabbalah and received rabbinical ordination; from there he made his way to Jerusalem. There he served as emissary of one of Jerusalem’s small Jewish communities. Navarro joined the path of Rabbi Elisha Ashkenazi, father of Nathan of Gaza, the herald and prophet of Sabbatai Zvi and the central ideologue of the Sabbatean movement. It is likely that Navarro personally knew Sabbatai Zvi, as well as the strange messianic stories surrounding him. In 1664, most probably after a prolonged emissary journey to Jewish communities in Morocco together with Rabbi Elisha Ashkenazi, Navarro arrived in the Italian town of Reggio, where he converted to Christianity, was baptised and changed his name to Prosper Ruggieri. In the autobiography he published, Navarro writes about the visions, vicissitudes and 289
qualms that influenced his conversion. He writes of his wife, Donina, who initially resisted, but finally relented and that a child was born to the mature couple after their conversion. In his new life, Prosper Ruggieri served as a censor of Jewish holy books for the Holy Roman Church. However, according to rumours, the real reason for his conversion was a love story. Della Reina’s narrative converges with the epic form – other examples being the Iliad, The Divine Comedy, Dr. Faustus, Ulysses, The Master and Margarita, Citizen Kane, Apocalypse Now and many more. In such narratives, one arrives at the haggard, hermit-like essence at its core: the internal struggles of a man with his fate and the meaning of his life, with God and Demons, with the paradox of free choice and the structurally unbridgeable gap between imagination and reality. The last time I set out on a trip I was looking for the grave of a dead Messiah. I am still looking. It is not necessarily good to begin a new journey before the old one ends. But not ever ything is in my control, the invitation has come now, and I have already said that I will happily climb on the bandwagon; I even have a concept.
Depicted as a sort of fantastic realism, Della Reina’s Terrible Deed cries out for a comic book version, in which the cursed and tragic superhero’s adventure is conveyed in a dark style, long shadows and a restrained colour palette: black, red and white. The title hints at the different layers of calamity in the story. The deed is a terrible one because the path that Della Reina traverses is coated in a thick patina of terror and dread. The deed is terrible since Della Reina’s known end is one of disappointment, failure and betrayal. Indeed, the deed is terrible because ‘terrible’ is also one of God’s appellations; that silent and invisible God who Della Reina arrogantly wishes to replace. Against all the warnings from the highest spiritual authorities not to 290
embark on the dangerous journey, Della Reina overcomes his fears and heads out to fulfil what he believes is his true vocation; even if the price is devastating: sacrificing his devout disciples in this world, while forfeiting himself of all worlds. A concept is easy talk, with hardly any obligations; and concepts in art are at the bottom of the concept chain. I once sold to an artist, before the opening of his exhibition, a concept for 100 dollars. I guaranteed him that the concept would last at least until the end of the exhibition. It lasted even slightly longer. So I thought it could be a modest business, responding to a real need. Today, I would create an app.
The Terrible Deed rambles through familiar and obscure stations. It extends over 75 days of ascetic mortification, purifications and supplications for the journey. The equipment for the journey consists mainly of protective gear: perfumes-drugs, an inkwell and quill, a set of new clothes, a tallit and phylacteries, two lead platters and a knife (known mainly as accessories for exorcism). The selected team consists of a teacher and five faithful and devoted students. The journey’s route partially follows known geographies: Safed, Mount Meron, Tiberias, the desert, the source of the Kishon River; while others pass through a strange and miraculous land: a huge snow-capped mountain reaching above the clouds, a vast sea, an iron wall reaching to the sky, a Mount Sa’ir in the sky. On their journey, they meet Rabbi Shimon and his son, Rabbi Elazar, in a dream; and the Prophet Elijah and the archangels Sandalphon, Actriel and Metatron in a daydream. They come across horses and black dogs of both sexes, and finally they meet Samael (Satan) and Lilith. The task is demanding, if not impossible, yet Della Reina’s faith is limitless.
The truth is that now I don’t really feel like heading off on a journey, especially since I know that the journey will fail, and that the precept that ‘what matters is the journey, not the destination’, is rather tiresome and has lost its appeal. Besides, I really don’t have any great goal, I am not one wanting to proffer redemption nor be the Messiah; I am not even sure I am sufficiently bored.
Della Reina’s story is draped over a skeletal narrative of mystical altruism, in its design to redeem everyone, spiritually and socially, and to mend an accursed, broken world. Simultaneously, implicit in the narrative is a nagging doubt and questioning concerning Della Reina’s ‘real’ motive. The journey begins after a partly conscious, partly coerced decision. All has been foreseen, yet free will is given; choice is a decision that necessitates a leap of awareness. A paradox at the heart of the optimistic and illusory category termed free choice. Nonetheless, after all hesitations, it is still Della Reina’s conscious decision to explore the unmapped boundaries; a choice that occasions defiance and subversion of what is permitted and what is prohibited in the existing social order, which unravels the unstable fabric of Della Reina’s personal identity and existence, which like a doped chameleon is coloured alternately in courage and fear, tradition and rebellion, responsibility, freedom and madness. I thought maybe my journey should be touristic – medical tourism. I will head out in search of a cure and, along the way, gain an understanding of the disease. I have already tried doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, philosophers and religious thinkers. This time I will tr y my luck with healers, shamans, sorcerers and Kabbalists. I will go where the path takes me, and if necessar y, I will cross borders, deserts, days and rivers. A some-
Michael Kessus Gedalyovich, The Placebo Scroll, 2014 what naive concept, but it doesn’t sound all that bad.
After many hardships and adventures, Della Reina succeeds in capturing Satan, Lilith and their entourage. Brimming with grandeur, elation and pride, he becomes smug and careless, failing to heed precisely what the archangels Metatron and Actriel warned him against: feeding Satan. Smelling the scent of the frankincense, which is equivalent to proffering a sacrifice, renews Satan’s power, allowing him to break free from his bonds, since, just as God gains sustenance and strength from sacrificial offerings, incense and prayer, so does Satan. It is not a coincidence that frankincense – one of Della Reina’s main provisions for protection and strength, and likely a catalyst for freeing and expanding consciousness – ultimately leads to his downfall. Frankincense and myrrh were the main ingredients of the anointing oil: the revered concoction used to purify and sanctify ritual items in the Jewish Temple; to anoint the High Priest and kings, especially those descending
from King David – as it is known, from David’s seed the Messiah will appear, for his name in Hebrew denotes that the Messiah is always anointed (in Hebrew, to anoint is le’mshoach, and Messiah, mashiach). Maybe instead of a real journey I will write a treatise about boredom. The beginning might be: ‘I am writing these lines on Saturday 19 April 2014, the time now is 11.40 a.m.; I have just finished shaving my head, and I have already swallowed one Colchicine pill and one Ritalin pill, snorted another Ritalin pill, and drunk an unascertained yet major amount of Arak with ice and soda...
Della Reina’s psychic structure is depicted as unable to cede even a single drop of pride and humility. It is always the same hubris – the Golem who thought about his creator, who thought he had thought up his creator, and finally thought himself to be the creator. It is also a journey for redemption,
and redemption requires diving into the gutters and chaffing against the constituents of life – loathsome and exhilarating; seductive, passionate, embattled, pushing against the boundaries; constantly flirting with death; and with what is considered evil or immoral. In retrospect, this is also the terrible place that probably gives rise to authenticity. Della Reina’s story gained great popularity among the disciples and followers of Sabbatai Zvi, especially after his conversion to Islam and later his death-disappearance – they saw a resemblance between Della Reina’s quest and the no less wondrous and terrible journey of their messiah, Sabbatai Zvi, as well as finding in it a source for explanations about Sabbatai Zvi’s conversion and the extreme and bizarre practices attributed to him. Later, a religious-hermetic ideology developed, accompanied by practices among small, secretive Sabbatean groups, revolving around conceptions of ‘sacred sin’, ‘salvation through the sewers’ and ‘release from prohibition’. It appears Della Reina failed twice: in action and in understanding. The first, because he thought he was god291
like, or at least the Messiah, and therefore acted as if he was above and beyond the laws which govern the universe. The second in misunderstanding that the deity is also subject to these laws of the universe, and when a God’s voice spoke to him: ‘Woe, Yosef and, woe, your soul, for you miscarried that which was commanded, worshiping idols, burning incense to Samael [Satan] and now he is chasing you to expel you from this world unto the next world’. Only then did Della Reina realise that in putting everything at stake in his dangerous game, he lost everything: Yosef in this world, his soul in the afterworld. I am stuck and time is short, so I decided to tr y to unclog by reading my fortune in coffee, a painterly reading directly into the scroll. When looking at the first twenty cups, I felt like a zombie staring into a mirror, and then I remembered Esther. Esther was my teacher. She was a master of divination and fortune-telling by interpreting patterns in coffee grounds, and I was her chosen pupil, the one who was supposed to continue the legacy, or so she told me. Esther was the cleaning lady in the art department at Bezalel, the art school where I studied in the mid-1980s, in the twilight years of the rule of conceptual art, when postmodernism and deconstruction, and the names of French philosophers had an enticing aroma, and painting was (once again) allowed back from the dead. Esther looked like a witch from a Goya painting, but more colourful. It was said that when she was a child she fled barefoot from Aleppo in Syria to Jerusalem carr ying a hidden gold treasure.
Della Reina’s fate was decreed by a personality, which combined seduction by power and an internal failure mechanism. It is a deep mental lack, 292
constantly in need of the most extreme immoderation; a missing space that can neither accommodate nor facilitate success. Therefore, Della Reina consciously chose to comply with the unconscious command: fail! Otherwise, it is difficult to understand how the wise and erudite Della Reina did not know, at this unique and decisive moment when Satan begs to smell the drug, that the frankincense he offered him is idolatrous and a balm of life, and that this very decision could only have one outcome. Unless his arrogance and pride made him think that he was above the laws that govern everything. Or the frankincense harmed his judgment. Or sharpened it. Or perhaps everything is correct and part of a mechanism that produces changing explanations according to internal rules of a personality structure, where failure is actually success. There was a long queue for Esther’s room. Students and teachers waited patiently, always with a cup of coffee in hand. I remember one morning when all the spaces in the department smelled like the public toilets in the old central bus station in Tel Aviv. Only the day after, the myster y was solved. A day earlier, while Esther was tr ying on the new dresses she had tailored for her daughter’s wedding, a student complimented her overenthusiastically. Esther, who preferred avoiding unnecessar y risks, especially the menace of the Evil Eye, set out on a pre-emptive strike and wiped ever y window frame in the department with her fresh urine – a tried and true formula. They wanted to fire her, but no one dared. Anyway, reading my coffees didn’t help, so I invited Haim to come and read my fortune by opening a pack of cards.
After Della Reina lost his place in this world and the next, he had nothing else to lose. He repudiates all prohibitions, betraying his faith and all his
principles. Della Reina then heretically disavows the essential, collaborates with Satan, enters into a stormy affair with Satan’s partner Lilith, celebrates with unlimited promiscuity, murders, exercises black magic and eventually commits suicide. It is evident, at least from the end of the story, that the author, Rabbi Navarro, was influenced by other stories like Dr. Faustus, or the journey of rabbi Elisha Ben Avuya. Furthermore, it appears that his own personal flagellating doubt, which arose in the midst of his personal journey, got mixed up with the narrative, since it is known that the story was published near the time of Navarro’s conversion. Della Reina’s story is exceptional in Kabbalistic literature. It contains many passages that clearly and simply depict practical Kabbalah, magic, the disclosure of lofty secrets, without the safeguards of subterfuge and artifice common in most Kabbalistic texts. It includes details of his encounters with the sacred and mystical characters, their entourage and each one’s role in the system of higher worlds, while describing the defence mechanisms against Satan. The Terrible Deed continues to be told to this day by Kabbalists and amongst Orthodox Jews. Della Reina is seen as a tragic figure in these circles, their attitude toward him is complex and ambivalent. Ultimately, what emerges from the tale of the Terrible Deed is a sense of urgency, anxiety and great personal distress, alongside blind faith in the righteousness of the journey, and an uncompromising willingness to go to the limit. Della Reina empowers and fulfils the seed of destruction hidden in him – an all too human process, which could not have occurred otherwise. If I understand correctly, the cards show that I am not asking the right question.
Jonas Staal, Nosso Lar, BrasĂlia, 2014
Nosso Lar, Brasília During the six months that I travelled in and out of Brazil, living in São Paulo and visiting Brasília and Rio de Janeiro with fellow artists, I developed the idea of engaging in a thorough comparison between the Spiritist and Modernist architectural movements. This came partly as the result of long walks in São Paulo, in an attempt to gain a quotidian grip on this commercial-free horizon-wide assemblage of concrete buildings containing some seventeen million people in this one city that I had to learn to live in. I encountered the many Spiritist centres around the city, and attended a few Sunday morning evangelical sessions; I began to note the recurring use of three-dimensional digital imagery to depict a variety of representations of the spirit world awaiting its followers after death. I remarked to one of my fellow travellers that it was somehow surprising that Spiritists seemed to have so much less trouble in depicting a different world, a different political horizon and an idea of social justice than the progressive Left today. This resulted in a collection of books of drawings and other depictions that I found at the Spiritist booksellers spread throughout the city. It was thus inevitable that I would encounter the figure of Chico Xavier, whose works can be found in about every street kiosk – so are the works of Nietzsche, Marx and Kerouac, by the way – and in even greater abundance at specialised Spiritist centres. It was there that I also encountered the drawings of Heigorina Cunha, who had depicted Nosso Lar through pencil drawings for Xavier. […] When I prepared a visit to Brasília the resemblance of its planology to the Spiritist city of Nosso Lar, as described by Xavier and drawn by Cunha, struck me. Much has been written about the famous city of Lúcio Costa, Oscar Niemeyer and its landscape architect Burle Marx, and many artists and architects before me had reflected on the ‘failure’ of utopian Modernism. I do not wish to be yet another to declare the death of Modernism – mainly because I am not convinced that this is indeed the case. But here an unexpected link emerged: how could there possibly be a relation between the metaphysical notion of Spiritism and the administrative egalitarian basis of Modernism? Comparing dates, I found that Xavier’s model of Nosso Lar preceded that of Brasília. Comparing infrastructure, I found the cities to encompass the exact same size. Comparing the political structure of both cities, I found a series of overlaps difficult to deny. It was evident: Spiritism and Modernism are not the same thing, even though some esoteric tendency in European Modernism had certainly always been present despite its formal ‘administrative’ aesthetics. But at the same time, they were also too similar to deny any reference altogether. […]
Yael Bartana, Inferno, 2013 [Hell]
Both Nosso Lar and BrasĂlia represent cities that should be considered as historical and ideological culminations into an infrastructural and architectural form. The radicalism of their premise allows for a precise reading of the many social, economic and political factors that they resulted from. Contrary to the cities that emerge as the chaotic collages of private interests that Le Corbusier was so offended by, they mark clear points in time, conceptual propositions whose consequences where taken to their fullest, in every way imaginable. These grand, almost singular gestures are rare, and often show dictatorial streaks. But maybe this is one of the aspects that makes Nosso Lar and BrasĂlia so fascinating; the fact that their emancipatory potential goes hand in hand with their repressive, authoritarian characteristics. They are concretised moments in time that force us to confront our own political orientation when it comes to the different futures that we are obliged to imagine for ourselves, and for the world that we are part of.
Jonas Staal, Nosso Lar, BrasĂlia, 2014
Nova Jerusalém Evangelical churches have gained tremendous strength and influence in Brazil, yet they have scarcely been studied, remaining largely invisible to theory. In 35 years, the number of Brazilians declaring themselves to be followers of an Evangelical church has jumped from 6.6 percent of the population to 22 percent, and religious radio and television stations have flourished. The once unrivalled monopoly of the Globo network is now threatened by the growth of the church-owned TV Record and its Bible-inspired telenovelas; God has become a fundamental figure in Brazilian politics, and a religious bench stands together in the Congress on specific issues – against abortion or gay rights. Compared to the complexity of the phenomenon, the weakness of common analysis is striking. It oscillates between miserabilism and populism. In the first case the manipulation and exploitation of the uneducated masses are denounced, while in the latter, the social order promoted by these recent religious institutions is presented as a genuine self-organisation that keeps poor people away from crime, drugs and other ‘deviant’ behaviours. To avoid this double-bind approach, the Nova Jerusalém [New Jerusalem] project focuses on a seemingly marginal but in fact impressive dimension of the phenomena: the relationship that these new religious movements – ‘new’ since most of the churches appeared in the second half of the twentieth century – have with Judaism, the Bible and Israel, and the rise of a unique and complex hybrid and trans-religious phenomena. Names and symbols traditionally associated with Judaism flourish in Brazil’s slums and urban centres. Churches, shops, restaurants are named after El Shaddai (‘god almighty’ in Hebrew), Shalom (‘peace’) or Bet-El (‘house of god’). On a more spectacular scale, some churches imported stones from Jerusalem to build their temples. The city used to be considered the womb of secularity and the tomb of religiosity. Now it seems that God is back in town. The phenomenon spreads all over the country and connects Brazilian history to current identity issues. In Counting the Stars (2014), Nurit Sharett tells the story of her journey through Brazil. In collaboration with researchers Arieh Wagner, Carlos Gutierrez and Anita Novinsky, Sharett researched Anussim groups. The Anussim claim to descend from Jews who were forced (precisely, anussim means ‘forced’ in Hebrew) to convert to Catholicism by the Portuguese Inquisition in the fifteenth century and escaped to Brazil.
Val del Omar, Fuego en Castilla, 1958-1960 [Fire in Castile]
Many of the self-proclaimed Anussim discovered their Jewish roots through the knowledge they acquired about Judaism by participating in Evangelical churches. Between lost tribes, new Jews and old Christians, Sharett’s film brings together Judaism, Evangelism and the history of colonial Brazil, tackling the constant shifting and reshaping of religious identities as well as their ongoing struggles for legitimacy. This flexibility within religious identity functions as a basis to create new religious narratives and build possible futures on mythical pasts. Using fiction as a tool, Yael Bartana’s starting point is the power of engineering strategies that characterise the faith industry in Brazil. As we write this text, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God is finalising the construction of a Brazilian replica of the Temple that once stood in Jerusalem – where the Western Wall now stands – with stones imported from Israel. In Inferno (2013) [Hell], Bartana took this strategy seriously and foresees – pre-enacts – its consequences by filming the inauguration of the Temple, its destruction and the construction and its ruin. As time repeats itself – the Temple being destroyed once again – one can testify how myths are built. In the same direction, Efrat Shvily’s ongoing research analyses the relationship between a dreamt architecture and its effective construction – the Temple’s replica. Together with sociologist David Lehmann, Shvily registered the different phases of the construction of the Temple while also researching similar constructions or initiatives in Israel and in the old Jerusalem, which aim at creating some kind of sensual reproduction of the past. Using traditional documentation she unties the knot that binds old and new, fantasy and authenticity, reality and photography, to focus on what she describes as ‘degrees of illusion’. This loss of solid references opens the way for Maurício Dias and Walter Riedweg’s current research, which focusses on the thin line between faith and madness. In Jerusalem they visited Kfar Shaul Mental Health Center, a psychiatric institute specialised in the Jerusalem Syndrome. This syndrome refers to the behaviour of some tourists who, once in Jerusalem, believe they are prophets themselves. Similar phenomenon are common at the Instituto de Psiquiatria of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (ipub), a psychiatric institute where Dias and Riedweg have worked over the past two years. Different territories give birth to specific psychological phenomena. Dias and Riedweg go further and disconnect the territories from their materiality. Jerusalem is no longer a spot on the map; it is a construction of the imagination that can be transported along with its syndrome – just like the Israeli stones to build the São Paulo Temple – giving birth to what one could call a Nova Jerusalém syndrome. Benjamin Seroussi and Eyal Danon Nova Jerusalém is a curatorial project intersecting with the 31st Bienal.
Yael Bartana, Inferno, 2013 [Hell]
Yael Bartana, Inferno, 2013 [Hell]
Yael Bartana, Inferno, 2013 [Hell]
Yael Bartana, Inferno, 2013 [Hell]
Wilhelm Sasnal, Capitol, 2009
Wilhelm Sasnal, Columbus, 2014
Wilhelm Sasnal, Untitled, 2013
Pages from The Situationist Times, no.5, December 1964
Pages from The Situationist Times, no.5, December 1964
Pages from The Situationist Times, no.5, December 1964
Yonamine, neoblanc, 2013
G端ls端n Karamustafa, Resimli Tarih, 1995 [Illustrated History]
Yonamine, neoblanc, 2013
Lia Perjovschi, Knowledge, 2014
Otobong Nkanga, sketch for Landversation, 2014
Prabhakar Pachpute Back to the Farm II, 2013
Exhibition Del Tercer Mundo, Havana, 1968 [On the Third World]
Agnieszka Piksa 132, 138, 186, 187, 319 Alejandra Riera 136, 138, 149, 228, 229, 318 Alessandro Petti 19, 21-25, 128, 138, 319 Almires Martins 108, 109, 131, 138, 320 Ana Lira 62, 63, 129, 138, 320 Anna Boghiguian 116, 117, 120, 131, 139, 318 Archivo F.X. / Pedro G. Romero 148, 149, 195-200, 319 Armando Queiroz 1-4, 108, 109, 131, 138, 139, 146, 320, 325-328
Arthur Scovino 134, 139, 249, 266, 280, 281, 318 Asger Jorn 95, 130, 135, 136, 139, 304-309, 318 Asier Mendizabal 134, 139, 268, 269, 318 Basel Abbas 132, 136, 139, 140, 188-190, 319 Bik Van der Pol 26, 27, 128, 140, 320 Bruno Pacheco 16, 96, 128, 130, 140, 319 Chto Delat 132, 136, 140, 172-174, 319 Clara Ianni 132, 140, 184, 185, 318 Contrafilé, Grupo 21-25, 128, 140, 319 Dan Perjovschi 63-65, 129, 140, 320 Danica Dakić 94, 95, 130, 135, 136, 141, 286, 318, 320 Débora Maria da Silva 132, 141, 184, 185, 318 Éder Oliveira 70, 129, 141, 320 Edward Krasiński 134, 141, 261, 266, 267, 320 El Hadji Sy 117-119, 131, 141, 318 Erick Beltrán 20, 45, 48, 128, 129, 142, 169, 319 Etcétera... 132, 136, 142, 176-179, 319 Gabriel Mascaro 71, 129, 142, 319 Giuseppe Campuzano 133, 142, 147, 230-233, 319 Graziela Kunsch 59-61, 142, 143, 201-211, 319 Gülsün Karamustafa 98, 124, 125, 130, 131, 135, 143, 310, 319 Halil Altındere 51, 65-67, 129, 132, 143, 191, 320 316
Hudinilson Jr. 98, 130, 134, 137, 143, 276-279, 320
Otobong Nkanga 99, 130, 135, 148, 313, 319
Imogen Stidworthy 133, 136, 143, 226, 227, 318
Peter Pál Palbert 136, 149, 151, 250-265
Ines Doujak 133, 136, 143, 234-238, 319
Prabhakar Pachpute 90, 129, 133, 135, 149, 213, 314, 318
Jakob Jakobsen 133, 136, 146, 191-194, 320
Qiu Zhijie 50, 129, 131, 149, 167, 319
Jo Baer 102, 130, 134, 144, 270, 271, 319
Romy Pocztaruk 106, 107, 126, 130, 131, 149, 320
Johanna Calle 132, 144, 183, 184, 319
Ruanne Abou-Rahme 132, 136, 139, 140, 188-190, 319
John Barker 133, 136, 143, 234-238, 319
ruangrupa 28-30, 128, 149, 320
Jonas Staal 134, 135, 144, 270, 293-295, 319
Sandi Hilal 19, 21-25, 128, 138, 319
Juan Carlos Romero 66, 68-70, 129, 144, 320
Sergio Zevallos 132, 133, 147, 159, 175, 242, 318
Juan Downey 17, 44, 58, 102, 103, 128-130, 133, 145, 239,
Sheela Gowda 92, 93, 130, 137, 150, 320
Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa 135, 137, 145, 282-285, 319
Tamar Guimarães 106, 113, 130, 131, 133, 135, 137, 145, 287, 288, 319
Kasper Akhøj 106, 130, 131, 133, 135, 137, 145, 287, 288, 319
Teatro da Vertigem 72, 73, 77, 129, 134, 150, 273, 320
Lázaro Saavedra 132, 145, 182, 318
Teresa Lanceta 121, 122, 131, 150, 319
Leigh Orpaz 91, 130, 145, 318
Thiago Martins de Melo 105, 115, 130, 131, 150, 319
León Ferrari 132, 136, 145, 146, 175-177, 179, 319
Tiago Borges 150, 318
Lia Perjovschi 101, 127, 130, 131, 135, 141, 146, 312, 319
Tony Chakar 80-89, 129, 132, 151, 168, 169, 319
Lilian L’Abbate Kelian 146, 201-211, 319
UEINZZ, Cia Teatral 136, 149, 151, 228, 229, 318
Mapa Teatro – Laboratorio de artistas 132, 146, 170,
Val del Omar 104, 130, 133-135, 151, 226, 272-275, 296, 319
María Berríos 133, 137, 146, 191-194, 320 Marcelo Rodrigues 108, 109, 131, 138, 146, 320 Mark Lewis 76, 77, 129, 137, 146, 319 Marta Neves 18, 49, 128, 129, 147, 319 Michael Kessus Gedalyovich 135, 147, 289-292, 319 Miguel A. López 42, 147, 242-245, 318 Mujeres Creando 31-33, 128, 133, 147, 244, 319 Nahum Zenil 133, 147, 244, 318 Nilbar Güreş 97, 123, 130, 131, 133, 137, 148, 240, 241, 318-320
Virginia de Medeiros 134, 151, 248, 249, 320 Vivian Suter 112, 113, 131, 134, 151, 152, 281, 320 Voluspa Jarpa 132, 152, 181, 319 Walid Raad 45, 132, 152, 180, 319 Wilhelm Sasnal 100, 114, 130, 131, 135, 152, 301-303, 318 Yael Bartana 132, 135, 137, 152, 170, 294, 297-301, 319 Yeguas del Apocalipsis 32, 128, 133, 152, 243, 318 Yochai Avrahami 78, 79, 129, 152, 320 Yonamine 131, 133, 135, 153, 166, 193, 310, 311, 318 Yuri Firmeza 74, 75, 129, 131, 135, 137, 153, 288, 319
Nurit Sharett 134, 137, 148, 246, 247, 296, 318 Ocaña 133, 148, 199, 200, 245, 318 317
Index of Projects at the 31st Bienal
“… - OHPERA – MUET - ...”. 2014. [“… - ÓHPERA – MUDA - … ”]. Alejandra Riera with UEINZZ * pp.228, 229 10.000 års nordisk folkekunst. 1961-1965. [10,000 Years of Nordic Folk Art]. Asger Jorn * pp.304-309 AfroUFO. 2014. Tiago Borges and Yonamine * pp.166, 193, 310, 311
Agoramaquia (el caso exacto de la estatua). 2014. [Agoramaquia (The Exact Case of the Statue)]. Asier Mendizabal pp.268, 269 Aguaespejo granadino. 1953-1955. [Water-Mirror of Granada]. Val del Omar pp.272, 273 Apelo. 2014. [Plea]. Clara Ianni and Débora Maria da Silva pp.184, 185 Archéologie marine. 2014. [Marine Archaeology]. El Hadji Sy pp.117-119 Bajo presión. 2014. [Under Pressure]. Lázaro Saavedra * pp.182 Balayer – A Map of Sweeping. 2014. Imogen Stidworthy pp.226, 227 Black Series. 2011. Nilbar Güreş * pp.97, 123, 240, 241 Breakfast. 2014. Leigh Orpaz pp.91 Capital. 2004-2014. Wilhelm Sasnal * pp.100, 114, 301-303 Casa de caboclo. 2014. [House of Caboclo]. Arthur Scovino pp.280, 281 Céu. 2014. [Heaven]. Danica Dakić pp.94, 95 Cities by the River. 2014. Anna Boghiguian pp.116, 117, 120
Counting the Stars. 2014. Nurit Sharett pp.246, 247 Dark Clouds of the Future. 2014. Prabhakar Pachpute * pp.90, 213, 314 Dios es marica. 1973-2002. [God is Queer]. Nahum Zenil / Ocaña / Sergio Zevallos / Yeguas del Apocalipsis (Organised by Miguel A. López) pp.242-245 El Dorado. 2006-2007. Danica Dakić * pp.94, 95, 286 El shabono abandonado. 1979. [The Abandoned Shabono]. Juan Downey * pp.17, 44, 58, 102, 103, 239 Errar de Dios. 2014. [Erring from God]. Etcétera... and León Ferrari pp.175-179 318
La Escuela Moderna. 2014. [The Modern School]. Archivo F.X. / Pedro G. Romero pp.195-200 Espacio para abortar. 2014. [Space to Abort]. Mujeres Creando pp.31-33 The Excluded. In a moment of danger. 2014. Chto Delat pp.172-174 A família do Capitão Gervásio. 2013. [Captain Gervásio’s Family]. Kasper Akhøj and Tamar Guimarães pp.287, 288 A fortaleza. 2010. [The Fortress]. Yuri Firmeza * pp.74, 75
Map. 2014. Qiu Zhijie * pp.50, 167 Martírio. 2014. [Martyrdom]. Thiago Martins de Melo * pp.105, 115 Meeting Point and other works. 2011-2014. Bruno Pacheco pp.16, 96 Muhacir. 2003. [The Settler]. Gülsün Karamustafa pp.124-125 Mujawara. 2014. Alessandro Petti, Sandi Hilal and Grupo Contrafilé pp.21-25 Nada é. 2014. [Nothing Is]. Yuri Firmeza pp.74-75
Fuego en Castilla. 1958-1960. [Fire in Castile]. Val del Omar pp.274-275
The Name Giver. 2013. Michael Kessus Gedalyovich * pp.289-292
Handira / Bert Flint / Granada. 1997-2002. Teresa Lanceta pp.121-122
Não é sobre sapatos. 2014. [It Is Not About Shoes]. Gabriel Mascaro p.71
Histórias de aprendizagem. 2014. [Learning Histories]. Voluspa Jarpa * pp.181
Não-ideias. 2011-ongoing. [No-Ideas]. Marta Neves pp.18, 49
Imponderables. 2009. * Johanna Calle pp.183, 184
Nosso Lar, Brasília. 2014. Jonas Staal pp.293-295
In the Land of the Giants and other works. 2009-2013. Jo Baer pp.102, 270, 271
O que caminha ao lado. 2014. [Double Goer]. Erick Beltrán pp.20, 48
The Incidental Insurgents. 2012- ongoing. Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme pp.188-190
Of Other Worlds That Are in This One. 2014. Tony Chakar pp.168, 169
Los incontados: un tríptico. 2014. [The Uncounted: A Triptych]. Mapa Teatro – Laboratorio de artistas pp.170, 171
One Hundred Thousand Solitudes *. 2012-2014. Tony Chakar pp.80-89, 168, 169
Inferno. 2014. [Hell]. Yael Bartana pp.298-301
Ônibus Tarifa Zero. 2014. [Fare Free Bus]. Graziela Kunsch pp.59-61
Invention. 2014. Mark Lewis pp.76-77
Open Phone Booth. 2011. Nilbar Güreş pp.97
It’s Just the Spin of Inner Life. 2011-2014. Agnieszka Piksa pp.186, 187
Perímetros. 2012-2013. [Perimeters]. Johanna Calle pp.183
Landversation. 2014. Otobong Nkanga pp.99, 313
The Placebo Scroll. 2014. Michael Kessus Gedalyovich * pp.289-292
Letra morta. 2014. [Dead Letter]. Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa pp.282-285
A Research. 2014. Lia Perjovschi * pp.101, 127, 312
Letters to the Reader (1864, 1877, 1916, 1923). 2014. Walid Raad pp.180
Resimli Tarih. 1995. [Illustrated History]. Gülsün Karamustafa pp.98
Línea de vida / Museo Travesti del Perú. 2009-2013. [Life’s Timeline / Transvestite Museum of Peru]. Giuseppe Campuzano pp.230-233
Revista Urbânia 5. 2014. [Urbânia 5 Magazine]. Graziela Kunsch and Lilian L’Abbate Kelian *
Loomshuttles, Warpaths. 2009-ongoing. Ines Doujak and John Barker pp.234-238
The Revolution Must Be a School of Unfettered Thought. 2014. Jakob Jakobsen and María Berríos pp.191-194
RURU. 2011-ongoing. ruangrupa pp.28-30 Sem título. 2014. [Untitled]. Éder Oliveira p.70 Sergio e Simone. 2007-2014. [Sergio and Simone]. Virginia de Medeiros pp.248, 249 Small World. 2014. Yochai Avrahami pp.78-79 Spear and other works. 1963-1965. Edward Krasiński p.261 Those of Whom. 2014. Sheela Gowda pp.92, 93 TrabZONE. 2010. Nilbar Güreş pp.123, 240, 241 Turning a Blind Eye. 2014. Bik Van der Pol pp.26, 27 A última aventura. 2011. [The Last Adventure]. Romy Pocztaruk pp.106, 107 A última palavra é a penúltima – 2. 2008/2014. [The Last Word Is the Penultimate – 2]. Teatro da Vertigem pp.72, 73 Untitled. 2014. Vivian Suter pp.112, 113 Video Trans Americas. 1973-1979. Juan Downey p.102 Vila Maria. 2014. Danica Dakić p.286 Violencia. 1973-1977. [Violence]. Juan Carlos Romero pp.68, 69 Voto! 2012-ongoing. [Vote!] Ana Lira pp.62, 63 Wall, Work, Workshop. The São Paulo Drawing. 2014. Dan Perjovschi * pp.63-65 Wonderland. 2013. Halil Altındere pp.51, 65-67 Ymá Nhandehetama. 2009. Armando Queiroz with Almires Martins and Marcelo Rodrigues pp.108, 109 Zona de tensão. 1980s. [Tension Zone]. Hudinilson Jr. (Organised by Marcio Harum) * pp.276-279
* These projects, exhibited in the 31st Bienal, are not represented in this book because they were not concluded before its publication, or due to editorial matters. The pages indicated there refer to other projects by the same participant.
How to fight against things that donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t exist
How to recognise things that donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t exist 323
How to forget things that donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t exist
T z A T s A L o b T z z T A A A T T A i i T A T T d i P t A T z i z A c A
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31st Bienal de São Paulo
How to (...) things that don’t exist
How to imagine things that don’t exist
How to talk about things that
How to fight for things that
How to use things that don’t exist
How to think about things that don’t exist
How to analise things that
How to read about things that don’t exist
Bienal and Itaú present 31st Bienal de São Paulo