As of October 3, 2017, the city of São Paulo will be hosting exhibitions and debates on the artistic production of the Global South as part of the 20th Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil, to be held at Sesc Pompeia through January 14, 2018. Focused on the geopolitical representation of art, the 20th festival gathers works by 50 artists from 25 countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.Sesc’s actions are guided by its educational purpose and the pursuit of social welfare based on a broad understanding of the term culture. In this sense, offering full accessibility to its facilities and content aims at the democratization of culture as a path to individual autonomy. For the regional director of Sesc São Paulo, Danilo Santos de Miranda, “the 20th Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil, with proposals by artists from different nations in the geopolitical South, lies at a crossroads where the specific meets the general.
Based on this premise, Sesc presents a cultural action akin to experiences bent on casting off shackles inherited from the colonial past and imposed by a peripheral geopolitical condition.” Miranda mentions the importance of the partnership between Sesc and Associação Cultural Videobrasil, which, since the 1990s, “has enabled such intersections between local and international forces to create new nodes originating in the South.”Solange Farkas, director of Associação Cultural Videobrasil, the presenting entity of the event alongside Sesc São Paulo, is chief curator of this edition, assisted by four guest curators: Ana Pato, Beatriz Lemos and Diego Matos, from Brazil, and João Laia, from Portugal.“In these unstable times, as narrative disputes escalate and local and global sociopolitical rearrangements are relentlessly driven by the permanent specter of crisis—whether economic, ecological or cultural—the group of selected artists brings out art’s desire to expand our worldviews, encompassing the study of life, of our origins, of the evolution of the universe and of the dynamics of social groups throughout history, as well as the invention of new ways of doing politics. These are artistic practices that blur the boundaries between sciences and take us on a journey of the origin of history, of societies and of Earth,” says Farkas.The artworks have been organized according to six main themes: Cosmovisions (Origins, Rites, Sciences, Cosmogonies, Cosmologies); Ecologies (Nature, Earth, Fungi, Catastrophe, Crises); Reinvention of Culture (Techniques, Appropriations, Representations); Politics of Resistance (Urbanity, Bodies, Affections); Invisible Histories (Memory, Microhistory, Geopolitics); and Other Modernisms (Other Spaces, Other Landscapes).
The activities of the 20th Festival will take over the entire architectural space of Sesc Pompeia—Convivência, Theater Hall and Main Street—besides an Auditorium for the screening of Video Programs. The exhibition design was created by architect André Vainer, while the art and graphic designs were conceived by the artist and architect Vitor César.Besides the exhibition of selected works, the Festival’s programming includes performances, video program, public programs (such as meetings and talks with artists and curators), workshops, guided tours and educational actions.The award ceremony will take place on October 8, at the Sesc Pompeia Theater. The festival will offer three Acquisition Awards worth 25,000 BRL each, for video works to be included in the Sesc Art Collection. The Ostrovsky Family Fund (O.F.F.), a US foundation recognized for its support of progressive and independent artistic initiatives, will offer one of the selected artists a video award worth 25,000 BRL.
The prize will be granted by the Festival Award Jury itself.Five artist residency awards will also be offered by the following partner institutions: Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art (Poland), Kyoto Art Center (Japan), Residence Vila Sul (Goethe-Institut, Salvador, Brazil), Wexner Center for the Arts (United States) and Pro Helvetia (Switzerland). Each award will granted by a specific international jury.
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