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6th Mercosul Biennial

Different Venues , Porto Alegre

67 artists from 23 countries

comunicato stampa

The 6th Mercosul Biennial has announced the artists for this edition of the exhibition, which runs from September 1 to November 18, 2007. The full list was presented during the open lecture by the Spanish chief curator, Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro and three of the show’s six other curators, Alejandro Cesarco, Moacir dos Anjos and Ticio Escobar, on May 2, in the atrium of Santander Cultural in Porto Alegre.

The 6th Mercosul Biennial, will involve 67 artists from 23 countries, whose works will be shown in six exhibitions – three solo exhibitions and group shows entitled Free Zone, Three Frontiers and Conversations. Around 250 works have already been confirmed for the exhibition.

The exhibition runs for 79 days and will be open free of charge, seven days per week, increasing visiting opportunities by 48% over the previous edition. Soon after the 6th Biennial closes, the Mercosul Biennial Foundation will present its results and accounts to the community. The Mercosul Biennial Foundation also intends to show a significant proportion of the works in touring exhibitions after the Biennial closes in Porto Alegre. The Touring Shows should visit the Mercosul capitals of Buenos Aires/Argentina, Montevideo/Uruguay, Asuncion/Paraguay, Santiago/Chile, and other cities in Brazil. The Touring project aims to take the Biennial to Mercosul, expanding its visibility to a public that would otherwise be unable to see the show.

The works in 6th edition of the Mercosul Visual Arts Biennial will be shown in three exhibition spaces. The Free Zone, Conversations and Three Frontiers exhibitions will be shown in the Quayside warehouses. MARGS – the Rio Grande do Sul Museum of Art will show the solo shows by Francisco Matto and Öyvind Fahlström. Santander Cultural has been chosen for the solo show by Jorge Macchi. The museography project should be designed in May and installation of Biennial is expected to start in July.

The Curatorial Project

The chief curator intends to renew the event and consolidate the success of the five previous editions by not only changing the curatorship model but also by intensifying the process of internationalizing the show and activating an education programme throughout its entire development. The 5 previous editions have been based on the idea of national representations, and curatorship is now being carried out by a group of curators responsible for specific projects, coordinated by the chief curator.

A necessary step on the way to valuing a cultural geography created from the voice of the artist is seen to be the breaking of geopolitical boundaries. The curatorial project for the 6th Mercosul Biennial is therefore inspired by the metaphor of the Third Shore of the River, an image taken from the famous story by Guimarães Rosa, which has been adopted for the 6th Mercosul Biennial. The chief curator, Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, says that the third shore symbolizes a change in perspectives. It emphasizes the possibility of creating a third way of perceiving reality, breaking with the dualities that define it and restrict it – nationalism and globalisation, right and left, good and bad, figuration and abstraction, for example. The third shore is also a metaphor for the regional geography, defined by river borders, and alludes to the antagonism between closed regionalism and unbounded globalisation. “In political terms, almost all the countries in Mercosul are involved in some kind of ‘third way’ experiment between socialism and market economics. In the 6th Mercosul Biennial the emphasis will be on artists who have created their own spaces within the established system,” explains Pérez-Barreiro. The image of the third shore also indicates one of the methodological principals for curating the exhibition: a dialogue between two subjects with different experiences, which creates a third reality.

The chief curator also stresses that, as it has a metaphor instead of a defined theme, this edition of the Biennial is a Mercosul look onto the world, from the regional to the global. “It’s a Biennial made from here, in Mercosul, but not closed in upon itself,” he says. Pérez-Barreiro says that the third shore is also a position to be adopted when dealing with the relationship between art and the public: “dialogue should be a great generator of alternatives, the fruit of constant negotiation between artist and art, object and spectator, and spectator with the surroundings.” An integrated team of curators – no longer curators of national representations – therefore articulates the view of Mercosul upon the world and the world on Mercosul. “All the curators have a direct relationship with Mercosul countries, and at the same time some form of international experience or activity. They all represent different voices, and this Biennial accepts and promotes diversity and freedom of expression,” he argues.

In addition to the exhibitions, the 6th edition of the Mercosul Biennial lays emphasis on the actions of the education programme, a cornerstone of this edition. The curatorial project, for example, has been fully thought out based on the education proposals for this edition. Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro says that one of the distinctive features of this edition is the work being proposed by the 6th Mercosul Biennial’s education curator, Luis Camnitzer. Camnitzer has proposed an innovative reconfiguration of the education programme for the 6th Mercosul Biennial, from its targets to its implementation. He believes the spectator should be seen as a creative person and not as a mere passive receptor of information. The education process began in 2006 and envisages a series of actions throughout 2007. These actions encompass the involvement of teachers from the private and public teaching networks, continuing into students’ visits to the exhibition; organizing a cycle of conferences and round-tables; inserting the 6th Mercosul Biennial into the Rio Grande do Sul Public Teaching Calendar; organizing art-education symposiums – as happened in April with more than 1400 participants – and workshops and courses with teachers from the interior of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina; organizing the Mediator-training course; producing and distributing Educational Material to public and private teaching institutions; free transport for up to 240,000 pupils from state schools and care institutions; and the Dialogues project – which involves the local arts community. During the exhibition visitors will have access to an education space on the Quayside, with a teachers’ room, library and internet access, workshop rooms and rooms for displaying the work produced during the education project. 20 education stations will also be created to promote interaction between visitors and the artists.

Artists in the 6th Mercosul Biennial:

Adolfo Couve (1940-1998) – Chile
Alberto Greco (1931-1964) – Argentina
Alejandro Otero (1921-1990) – Venezuela
Alejandro Paz – Guatemala
Alvaro Oyarzún – Chile
Aníbal López – Guatemala
Annika Ström – Sweden
Bárbaro Rivas (1893-1967) – Venezuela
Beatriz González – Colombia
Beth Campbell – USA
Ceal Floyer – Pakistan/United Kingdom/Germany
Cecilia Pavón – Argentina
Chiho Aoshima – Japan
Cildo Meireles – Brazil
Daniel Bozhkov – Bulgaria/USA
Dario Robleto – USA
Fernanda Laguna – Argentina
Fernando Lopez Lage – Uruguay
Francis Alÿs – Belgium/Mexico
Cuauhtemoc Medina – México and Rafael Ortega – México
Francisco Matto (1911 – 1995) – Uruguay
Harrell Fletcher – USA
Jaime Gili – Venezuela/United Kingdom
Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla - USA and Cuba
Jesús-Rafael Soto (1923 – 2005) – Venezuela
João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva – Portugal
John Baldessari – USA
Jorge Gumier Maier – Argentina
Jorge Macchi – Argentina
Jose Gabriel Fernández – Venezuela
Josefina Guilisasti – Chile
Juan Araujo – Venezuela
Katie van Scherpenberg – Brazil
Laura Belém – Brazil
León Ferrari – Argentina
Leopoldo Estol – Argentina
Leticia Obeid – Argentina
Liliana Porter – Argentina
Lux Lindner – Argentina
M7red – Argentina. Mauricio Corbalán and Pio Torroja
Magdalena Atria – Chile
Miguel Amat – Venezuela
Milton Dacosta (1915-1988) – Brazil
Minerva Cuevas – Mexico
Muu Blanco – Venezuela
Nelson Leirner – Brazil
Nesrine Khodr – Lebanon
Osvaldo Salerno – Paraguay
Öyvind Fahlström - (1928 – 1976) – Brazil/Sweden
Pablo Chiuminatto – Chile
Peter Fischli and David Weiss – Switzerland
Rivane Neuenschwander – Brazil
Sara Ramo – Spain/Brazil
Steve McQueen – England
Steve Reich – USA
Steve Roden – USA
Sylvia Meyer – Uruguay
Terrence Malick – USA
Walid Raad – Lebanon
Waltercio Caldas – Brazil
William Kentridge - South Africa
Yoshua Okon – Mexico

Curators for the 6th Mercosul Biennial:

Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro – Chief Curator – Doctor in Art History and Theory, curator of Latin American Art at the University of Texas Blanton Museum of Art in Austin. Spanish, he lives in Austin, Texas.

Luis Camnitzer – Education Curator – Uruguayan Artist and Professor Emeritus at New York State University, living in New York (NY).

Alejandro Cesarco – Curator of Conversations show – Uruguayan artist and independent curator, he lives in New York (NY).

Inés Katzenstein – Curator of the Free Zone show – Argentinean curator and art historian, curator of Buenos Aires Museum of Latin American Art (MALBA), living in Buenos Aires.

Luis Enrique Perez Oramas – Curator of the Free Zone show – Venezuelan curator and art historian, curator of Latin American Art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA), living in New York.

Moacir dos Anjos – Curator of the Free Zone show – Brazilian curator and researcher, living in Recife.

Ticio Escobar – Curator of the Three Frontiers show – Paraguayan curator and art critic, director of the Museo del Barro / Visual Arts Centre, living in Asuncion.

For reference

Created in 1996, the Mercosul Visual Arts Biennial Foundation is a private, not-forprofit organisation devoted to organising the exhibitions and events comprising the Mercosul Biennials. The 6th edition takes place in Porto Alegre/RS from September 1 to November 18, 2007.

In ten years of existence the Mercosul Biennial Foundation has organized five editions of the visual arts exhibition, with a total audience of 3,108,203 free admissions, 719,520 booked school visits, 144,209 m2 of prepared exhibition space, urban spaces and rediscovered, renovated buildings, 2,797 exhibited works, temporary urban interventions and permanent works for the city, 170 artists per show, conferences, lectures, workshops, teachers’ courses, and courses and traineeships for 865 mediators.
Gerdau and Petrobrás are the Mercosul Biennial master sponsors, with segment sponsorship from Rede Plaza de Hotéis and support from ICBNA, Randon and Lojas Renner. The Mercosul Biennial Education Programme is sponsored by Refap, and supported by RBS.

Habitasul sponsors the Mercosul Biennial Foundation’s Documentation and Research Centre. The 6th Mercosul Biennial is also supported by UNESCO, Porto Alegre City Council and the “Todos pela Educação” programme.
The project is financed through the Ministry of Cultura –Rouanet Act and the State Culture Secretariat – LIC.

The Mercosul Biennial
Rua General Andrade Neves, 09 / 4 andar - Porto Alegre / RS – 90.010 - 210 – Brasil

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