The Fundação Bienal de São Paulo announced the first list of artists of the 35th Bienal de São Paulo – choreographies of the impossible, in addition to the visual identity, poster, educational project and curatorial council of this edition. The announcement will be followed by the first open conversation with the 35th Bienal’s curatorial collective, formed by Diane Lima, Grada Kilomba, Hélio Menezes, and Manuel Borja-Villel (April 27, 7pm, Bienal Pavilion, São Paulo).
Entitled choreographies of the impossible, the 35th Bienal de São Paulo (September 6 – December 10, 2023) will bring together diverse artistic practices from locations outside the hegemonic circuit. With 43 names announced today — comprising 37 artists, four duos and two collectives — this year’s edition will spotlight an unprecedented broad spectrum of artists from different parts of the world, and will distinguish itself in its diversity of artistic media, with several participants coming from the worlds of dance, film and music.
Addressing the curatorial vision for the 35th Bienal de São Paulo, the curators said: “With choreographies of the impossible we want to build spaces and times of perception that challenge the rigidity of western time linearity. What we see in this choreographic horizon are the strategies and policies of the movement that these practices have been creating in order to imagine worlds that confront the ideas of freedom, justice and equality as impossible achievements.”
During the open conversation, the curatorial collective will present the main questions to be addressed in the exhibition, such as: how are bodies in movement able to choreograph the possible, within the impossible? If these practices produce ruptures in the spaces to which they belong, what do they create when brought together here? What types of consensus and dissensus do choreographies of the impossible, when in dialogue in space, allow us to access? How to deal with the contradictions and challenges of the contemporary world?
For the curators, such questions are an invitation for exchange and dialogue based on the works presented: “the impossible refers to the political, legal, economic and social realities in which these artistic and social practices are set, but also to the way in which these practices find alternatives to circumvent the effects of these same contexts. The term choreography also helps us reflect on how the idea of moving freely remains at the core of a neoliberal conception of freedom. In line with the very paradox created by the title, we seek not to walk around a motif or to place thematic cores, but rather to make room for a continuous dance which we can choreograph together, even in difference.”
The curators’ profiles and the curatorial project of the 35th Bienal de São Paulo can be accessed via this link.
Partial list of artists
Below are the 43 names announced today. The complete list will include over 100 participants and will be released in June 2023.
Ana Pi and Taata Kwa Nkisi Mutá Imê Anna Boghiguian
Ayrson Heráclito and Tiganá Santana Bouchra Ouizguen
Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro
Frente 3 de Fevereiro
Gabriel Gentil Tukano
Luiz de Abreu
Marilyn Boror Bor
Nadir Bouhmouch and Soumeya Ait Ahmed Niño de Elche
Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz Philip Rizk
The Living and the Dead Ensemble Torkwase Dyson
Trinh T. Minh-ha
Visual identity and communication
In line with the curatorial project, the development of communication materials for the 35th Bienal will take on a process-based character, including graphic components that transform and densify over the different moments of the project. The visual identity for this edition features the commissioned work of the artist Nontsikelelo Mutiti, a renowned visual artist and educator born in Zimbabwe. Her commitment to highlighting the work and practices of black communities past, present, and future is evidenced by her conceptual approach to design, publishing, and archival practices. She currently holds the position of Director of Gaduate Studies in graphic design at the Yale School of Art in the United States.
At this time, the educational publication and a first version of the 35th Bienal website are being launched as initial applications of the edition’s visual identity. The website design, by Namibia Chroma and developed by Fluxo, features content related to the educational project, as well as the curatorial and institutional presentation of the project. Over the coming months, the platform will be enhanced with additional sections and features, and new graphic treatments.
On this occasion, we also present the first movement of the educational publication of the 35th Bienal de São Paulo, consisting of pedagogical material developed with the aim of bringing the public closer to contemporary art and encouraging reflection on the themes addressed in the exhibition.
José Olympio da Veiga Pereira, president of Fundação Bienal de São Paulo, highlights the relevance of the educational publication and announces some of the innovations for this year’s exhibition: “In order to provide an innovative approach, the educational publication of the 35th Bienal de São Paulo – choreographies of the impossible was divided into three volumes, each with distinct approaches and contents. The first two volumes were conceived to be used as a bibliography to train mediators and to disseminate the Bienal to students and teachers from public and private schools. The last volume, in turn, will be based on the educational experiences obtained during the 35th Bienal. Its release is planned for 2024 and will serve as the foundation for the outreach activities planned for the traveling exhibition program, which for more than a decade has taken excerpts of the Bienal de São Paulo to several cities in Brazil and around the world after its presentation at the Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavilion.”
Entitled aqui, numa coreografia de retornos, dançar é inscrever no tempo [here, in a choreography of returns, to dance is to inscribe in time], the first movement of the 35th Bienal’s educational publication features contributions by Leda Maria Martins, Françoise Vergès, Sandra Benites, Anderson Feliciano, and Thiago Vinicius de Paula da Silva – Agência Solano Trindade, as well as by artists participating in this edition, including Inaicyra Falcão, Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz, and Torkwase Dyson.
The publication launch event will take place on Saturday April 29 at the Bienal Auditorium, from 3pm to 5pm, with free admission. It will be attended by poet, essayist, playwright, and professor Leda Maria Martins and community leader Thiago Vinícius, from Agência Solano Trindade, with curators Diane Lima and Manuel Borja-Villel. The publication will be distributed free of charge to everyone who attends the event.
Finally, this announcement also includes the presentation of the members of the curatorial council of the 35th Bienal de São Paulo. Composed of four professionals with diverse backgrounds and profiles, the council aims to complement the research of the edition’s curatorial collective from their own areas of expertise, in a productive space of exchange and dialogue. Its members are:
Omar Berrada is a writer, translator, and curator whose work focuses on the politics of translation and intergenerational transmission. Recently, he published the poetry collection Clonal Hum and co-edited La Septième Porte, Ahmed Bouanani’s history of Moroccan cinema. He currently lives in New York.
Sandra Benites (Ara Rete in Guarani) was born in Porto Lindo Indigenous Land (MS). Of Guarani Nhandewa origin, she is a Guarani mother, researcher and activist. She works as a cultural programming and exhibition supervisor and as a consultant for the Museu das Culturas Indígenas, in São Paulo. She has been part of Funarte staff since 2023 as director of visual arts.
Sol Henaro is a curator and researcher. Between 2011 and 2015, she held the position of art collection curator at the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo – MUAC (Mexico City), where she currently holds the position of curator of documentary collections of the Centro de Documentación Arkheia. She has been a member of Red Conceptualismos del Sur since 2010, motivated by her interest in questioning the construction of the historiographical account.
Thomas Jean Lax is a writer and curator specialized in performance and artistic production by black artists. He is currently a curator in the Media and Performance department at MoMA (New York, USA). He holds degrees in Africana studies and Art History from Brown University and Columbia University, and is a PhD candidate in Performance Studies at NYU (USA).
Press release from the Fundação Bienal de São Paulo