The plural production of the Global South will take São Paulo by storm during the 19th Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil: Southern Panoramas. This edition of the Festival, taking place at Sesc Pompeia and Galpão VB, the new headquarters of Associação Cultural Videobrasil, will have three exhibits featuring work by 62 artists and groups hailing from 27 countries. The program will also include a parallel show featuring Videobrasil Collection artworks at Paço das Artes.
The curatorial team, composed of Bernardo de Souza, Bitu Cassundé, João Laia, Júlia Rebouças, and Solange Farkas (chief curator), has made the South and its myriad issues the core of this edition's entire program, allowing them to inspire and drive the artwork and project selection, and the curating of all its exhibitions, public programs, and publications.
For the first time ever, the Festival features a group exhibit by guest artists that attests to the potency of production from this geopolitical area. The Southern Panoramas | Guest Artists show, to be held at Sesc Pompeia's Galpão venue, features previously unseen Festival-commissioned pieces by Abdoulaye Konaté (Mali), as well as works by Gabriel Abrantes (Portugal), Rodrigo Matheus (Brazil), Sonia Gomes (Brazil), and Yto Barrada (Morocco/France). The aftermath of imperialism and colonialism, identity building, updated handicraft in the contemporary art context, global transit, and the culture-nature connection are some of the topics addressed in their work, filtered down through different experiences and languages.
Sesc Pompeia will also feature pieces by 53 artists and groups selected through a call for submissions. At Sesc Pompeia's Área de Convivência, Southern Panoramas | Selected Works will showcase videos, video installations, photographs, engravings, paintings, performances, and installations. The exhibition design by architect André Vainer enables viewers to realize the commonalities between different pieces as they move around the premises. In certain pieces, political overtones prevail. Some deal with geographical displacement, diasporas, and the notion of belonging. The fictional gesture (tending towards science fiction) is also present, as is discussion surrounding the perception of human scale in relation to nature or major systems of power. Sesc Pompeia's Teatro will host the 19th Festival's film program, featuring a series of works created for the big screen, one performance, and a selection of pieces by guest artist Gabriel Abrantes.
The Southern Panoramas | Commissioned Projects exhibit marks the Festival's investment in the commissioning of artmaking projects, a new feature of this edition. The exhibit will inaugurate Galpão VB, the new Associação Cultural Videobrasil headquarters, set to host permanent Videobrasil Collection activation actions such as exhibits, film programs, seminars, workshops, and meetings. Galpão VB is also designed to host creative processes, artist residencies, and creative laboratories. During the 19th Festival, the venue will feature works by the artists selected via the open call for projects: Carlos Monroy (Colombia) will create an installation and performance about the controversial origin of the lambada dance and music style; Cristiano Lenhardt (Brazil) will work on a film where Brazil's native background and urban settings come together; Keli-Safia Maksud (Kenya) will build an installation that speculates on African identity through printed fabrics; and Ting-Ting Cheng (Taiwan) is preparing a library of hundreds of books about inexistent places.
A parallel exhibition, Quem nasce pra aventura não toma outro rumo (Those born for adventure don't stray from the path), will feature Videobrasil Collection artworks at Paço das Artes. Curated by Associação Cultural Videobrasil's Archive and Research coordinator Diego Matos, the show echoes reflections elicited by the 19th Festival. Taking Brazilian productions as its starting point, it reaches out to other outlying and borderline references, through 15 pieces by 17 artists, dating from 1978 to 2012. Artworks by Brazil's Cao Guimarães, Carlos Nader, Karim Aïnouz and Marcelo Gomes, among others, are interspersed with productions by Nurit Sharett (Israel), Clive van den Berg (Zambia), Claudia Aravena (Chile), Gabriel Acevedo Velarde (Peru), and Malek Bensmail (Algeria), dealing with issues such as affection, time, democracy, document, fiction, speech, hearing, and dissent, and providing a comprehensive overview of Associação's collection.
Each of the venues will have its own Reflection Zone, offering publications released in partnership by Videobrasil and Edições Sesc São Paulo, and computers with access to online platforms Channel VB, PLATFORM:VB, and Video Library, comprising 1500-plus works from the Videobrasil Collection.
Additionally, the 19th Festival will include a vast schedule of Public Programs (workshops, a seminar, and meetings and conversations with curators, artists and researchers), publication launches, and educational actions, making it one of the premier platforms devoted to spreading, fostering, reflecting, and bringing together art productions from the Global South. Keep track of the news about the 19th Festival.
Tuesday, October 6, 8–10pm
Sesc Pompeia | Galpão & Área de Convivência
Southern Panoramas | Guest Artists
Southern Panoramas | Selected Artworks
Wednesday, October 7, 6–10pm
Sesc Pompeia | Teatro
Opening of 19th Festival Film Program