The 34th Bienal de São Paulo announces the continuation of its digital program and five artists

34th Bienal de São Paulo

This year, from the 4th to the 5th December, the Fundação Bienal presents the large 34th Bienal de São Paulo exhibition – Faz Escuro Mas Eu Canto [Though It’s Dark, Still I Sing], which began in February 2020 and has since been unfolding in space and time with both physical and online programming. Between February and April, the digital program will include ten artists participating in the 34th Bienal de São Paulo exhibition, five of whom are now announced: Dirk Braeckman (1958, Eeklo, Belgium), Nina Beier (1975, Aarhus, Denmark), Tony Cokes (1956, Virginia, USA), Vincent Meessen (1971, Baltimore, USA) and Zózimo Bulbul (1937 – 2013, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).

The following free online events will take place in the coming months:

_Encounters with artists – The voices of the artists #3: Around Sino de Ouro Preto
In this six-part series the curators of the 34th Bienal de São Paulo talk with participant artists from Brazil and abroad about the statements proposed by the curatorial team to be explored through this edition: elements with stories around which artworks will be distributed in the collective exhibitions, suggesting multifaceted readings. The third event on 25th February will address the Sino de Ouro Preto [Bell of Ouro Preto]. Participation in the event is free through prior registration on the 34th Bienal website (http://34.bienal.org.br/agenda).

The Sino de Ouro Preto, also known as the Sino da Capela do Padre Faria [Bell of Father Faria’s Chapel] dates from 1750 and is located in the city of Ouro Preto, in the state of Minas Gerais. The bell was rung on two significant occasions in Brazil’s history: the day Tiradentes died, in April 1792 (against official orders), and at the inauguration of Brasilia (to where it was temporarily transported), in 1960. Its presence at different moments in the country’s history, always in connection with important political events, has inspired research into repetition and difference, memory(ies) and the future. Jota Mombaça (1991, Natal, Brazil) will participate live in the event, alongside pre-recorded interviews with artists Ana Adamović (1959, Belgrade, Serbia), Nina Beier (1975, Aarhus, Denmark), and Vincent Meessen (1971, Baltimore, USA), as well as guest curator Carla Zaccagnini (1973, Buenos Aires, Argentina).

_Encounters with Artists – The voice of the artists: on portraits of Frederick Douglass: the event will take place on 1st April with the live participation of Tony Cokes (1956, Virginia, USA) and recorded statements from Alfredo Jaar (1956, Santiago, Chile), Musa Michelle Mattiuzzi (1983, São Paulo, Brazil), as well as an introduction on the work of Zózimo Bulbul (1937-2013, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) by researcher Janaína Oliveira.

Frederick Douglass (Talbot County, Maryland, USA, 1818 — Washington, D.C., USA, 1895) was the most photographed American of the 19th century. His image spread and still circulates as a symbol of justice and resistance. A public figure, journalist, writer, and abolitionist orator, Douglass was the son of an enslaved black woman and a white man who he never knew. His images were circulated in the newspapers and were also shown in private spaces throughout the country.

Distance learning short course: each discussion about the statements is followed by a short course consisting of 4 virtual meetings (with 2h long each) which will deepen the topics previously explored, presenting unpublished excerpts from interviews with artists and speakers, bibliographic references and other research materials. Sessions are led by the Fundação Bienal team via their digital platform.

The short course Repetitions Against the Arrow of Time, which relates to the Sino de Ouro Preto, will be held from 4th to 25th March, every Thursday from 7p.m to 9p.m19:00 to 21:00. The classes address the concepts of repetitions of chants, choreographies, scenes, and texts, which are included in research by artists in this edition: Ana Adamović, Jota Mombaça, Nina Beier, and Vincent Meessen. Registration will open during the event Artists’ Voices #3, on 25th February. The registration form will be available at 34.bienal.org.br/agenda.

The short course dedicated to portraits of the abolitionist Frederick Douglass is scheduled for 8th to 22nd April, every Thursday at 19:00. More information will be available shortly on the site 34.bienal.org.br.

Studio Visits: once a month, from September 2020 to August 2021, artists from the 34th Bienal will open their studios and speak about their trajectories, the works they are producing for the Bienal and their current research, beginning with questions and provocations set forward by the curatorial team. The bilingual videos will be shown on Bienal Instagram (@bienalsaopaulo) and will be available on Bienal website at http://34.bienal.org.br/. The next studio visits will be with Emerson Uýra (18th February) and Dirk Braeckman (31st March).

About the new artists
The five artists announced now will join the 51 already disclosed names in the 34th Bienal de São Paulo group show. The full list of participants in this edition, which will contain around 90 artists, is due to be announced in April.

The artist and film-maker Vincent Meessen (1971, Baltimore, USAA) investigates political movements, projects, artworks, and essays that confronted the political and social contradictions of their times, to develop installations, publications, and films that challenge viewers to question the forms of silencing faced by such movements, and about the factors that keep them pertinent, even today. His work has been shown at Kunsthalle Basel (Basel, Switzerland) in 2015, at Centre Pompidou (Paris, France), in 2018, and at Mu.ZEE (Oostende, Belgium), in 2020. He has also been selected to represent Belgium at the 56th Venice Biennale, in 2015, and has also participated in the Chicago Architecture Biennale (USA), in 2019.

Nina Beier (1975, Aarhus, Denmark), on her turn, works with sculptures, installations and performances as a way to investigate how history is articulated with matter and memory. In many of her works, the artist explores the human culture embodied in specific objects. The mechanism of memory formation plays also a major role in her practice. Her work has recently been subject of exhibitions at Kunsthal Ghent (Ghent, Belgium), em 2019; at Centre Pompidou (Paris, France), in 2014; Tate Modern (London, England), in 2012. She has participated in biennials such as the 20th Sydney Biennale (Australia), in 2020; the 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (Russia), in 2018, and the 13th Lyon Biennale (France), in 2015. The participation of the artist at the 34th Bienal de São Paulo is supported by Nordic Culture Fund, ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) and Danish Arts Foundation.

Tony Cokes (1956, Virginia, EUA) Professor in the Department of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University (Providence, EUA). His works with video, installation and sound recontextualize appropriated materials in order to make a reflection on our productions as agents of capitalism. His Recent solo exhibitions and screenings have taken place at MACBA (Barcelona, Spain), in 2020; at ARGOS ARGOS centre for audiovisual arts (Brussels, Belgium), em 2020; no The Museum of Modern Art (Nova York, USA), in 2019; he participated in the 10th Berlin Biennale (Germany), in 2018, and exhibited at the REDCAT (Los Angeles, USA), in 2012.

Dirk Braeckman (1958, Eeklo, Belgium) has worked for more than 30 years as a photographer. He finds the subjects for his photographs in the immediate surroundings, preferring interior places or spaces. Part of his artistic process involves an investigation on methods of image development, exposure and printing. Braeckman has taken part in numerous exhibitions both nationally and internationally. In 2017, he represented Belgium at the 57th Venice Biennale. Braeckman’s works are part of important private and public collections around the world, including Fondation Nationale d’Art Contemporain (Paris, France), FRAC Nord – Pas de Calais (Dunkirk, France); Musée d’Art Contemporain et Moderne ( Strasbourg, France), Sammlung Goetz (Munich, Germany); and Central Museum (Utrecht, The Netherlands).

Also participating in the 34th Bienal is the Brazilian filmmaker and actor Zózimo Bulbul (1937-2013, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). He has produced and directed short, medium-length and feature films and video documentaries, among which are: Alma no olho [Spirit in the Eye] (1973); Artesanato do samba [Samba crafts] (1974, co-directed by Vera de Figueiredo), Músicos brasileiros em Paris [Brazilian musicians in Paris] (1976), Dia de Alforria… [Aniceto on a manumission day] (1981), Abolição [Abolition] (1988) and Pequena África [Little Africa] (2001). His production includes videos on the history of black communities in Rio de Janeiro, featuring the dilemmas of a black middle class which emerged in the 1960s, and claimed a new narrative for the black experience in America. The artist is considered a great representative of the Brazilian “invention cinema” and the afro-diasporic cinema.

34ª Bienal de São Paulo – Though it’s dark, still I sing

Digital program / February – April 2021

Studio visit: Emerson Uýra
17 Februray 2021, Thursday, 1:30 pm (GMT-3)
IGTV Instagram @bienalsaopaulo

Encounters with artists – The voices of the artists #3: Around Sino de Ouro Preto
With Ana Adamović, Carla Zaccagnini, Jota Mombaça, Nina Beier and Vincent Meessen
25 February, Thursday, 7 pm (GMT-3)
Registrations open on 18 November, via the website 34.bienal.org.br/agenda
Free entry

Distance learning short course #3: Repetitions Against the Arrow of Time
4 to 25 March
Thursdays (4, 11, 18 and 25/3), from 7 to 9 pm (GMT-3)
Registrations open on 25 February, via the website bienal.org.br/agenda
80 vagas

Studio visit: Dirk Braeckman
31 March 2021, Wednesday, 11am (GMT-3)
IGTV Instagram @bienalsaopaulo

Encounters with artists – The voices of the artists #4: Around the portraits of Frederick Douglass
With Alfredo Jaar, Musa Michelle Mattiuzzi, Tony Cokes and a presentation on Zózimo Bulbul by Janaína Oliveira
1 April, Thursday, 7pm (GMT-3)
More information soon on the website 34.bienal.org.br
Free entry

Distance learning short course about the statement “Portraits of Frederick Douglass”
8 to 29 April
Thursdays (8, 15, 22 and 29/4), 7pm (GMT-3)
More information soon on the website 34.bienal.org.br
Free entry

34ª Bienal de São Paulo – Though it’s dark, still I sing

Exhibition Though it’s dark, still I sing
4 September to 5 December 2021
Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavilion, Parque Ibirapuera
São Paulo
Free entrance

Curatorial team
Chief curator: Jacopo Crivelli Visconti
Adjunct curator: Paulo Miyada
Guest curators: Carla Zaccagnini, Francesco Stocchi e Ruth Estévez
Guest editor: Elvira Dyangani Ose, in collaboration with The Showroom, London

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