31st São Paulo International Biennial: September - December 2014

By Rejane Cintrão - Friday, October 31, 2014
31st São Paulo International Biennial: September - December 2014

The 31st edition of the São Paulo Biennial opened in September.

31st São Paulo International Biennial: September - December 2014

The 31st edition of the São Paulo Biennial opened in September. Titled How to (…) things that don’t exist, it is the first São Paulo Biennial to be curated by a group of foreigners curators coordinated by Charles Esche (Britain): Pablo Lafuente and Nuria Enguita Mayo (Spain), Galit Eilat and Oren Sagev (Israel). As the catalogue states, the exhibition is a poetic invocation of art’s potentiality and capacity of interacting and interviewing places and communities where it manifests itself. The title is a “poetic invocation of art’s capacities, of its ability to reflect and act upon life with political and social ideals.”

View of the meeting area with work by chinese artist Qiu Zhijie on the right

Art always showed the spirit of its time and it is a fact that the changing world has been faced with terrorist events and that web social communities, such as Facebook, are decisive for art. Thus, the questions are: How to be an artist today? What kind of art is able to bring questions and reflections about our world? That is, what is it that this Biennial seams to search for. Most of the installations, sculptures and videos are engaged art works that reflect the problems many young people face today, especially in the region of Palestine and Israel. Questions regarding territory, individual, religion and other political issues are stated by a variety of artists. Brazilian artists are more concerned with riots, safety and political manifestations that have been occupying cities in the country, mainly São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The urge for changes requested by young people the world over is reflected in many works. 

View of the SP Bienal building with work by Indian artist Prabhakar Pachpute

Exhibition space conceived by Oren Sagiv exalts the art works and manages to solve the problem of video rooms, at the same time proposes a beautiful dialogue with Oscar Niemeyer’s building. It is an easy space to walk through and visit the exhibition. Sagiv also designed areas for the public to sit and relax. On the ground floor, an open space invites group discussions. 

Work by Brazilian artist Eder Oliveira

Transgression, transformation, transcendence, and transgender are some of the issues the curators propose for the Biennial and could, according to the curatorial team, be considered the “Transbiennial.” This edition, that involves 81 projects by 250 participants from over 30 countries, is in constant transition, such as São Paulo city, where it is hosted. Therefore, there couldn’t be a better place for it to happen. 

Bienal Pavilion – Ibirapuera Park, Gate 3 São Paulo – SP

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday, holidays – 9am-7pm

Wednesday and Saturday – 9am – 10 p.m.

Free Admission until Dec 7th


Rejane Cintrão is an independent curator. Between 1993 and 2005, she worked as Executive Curator at the Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo. In 2010, she curated the exhibition 7SP – Seven artists from São Paulo, presented at CAB (Contemporary Art Brussels) in Belgium. From 2006 to 2010, Rejane created and coordinated the Novos Curadores website. Then, in the period 2010-2014, she conceived and curated numerous exhibitions by Brazilian artists. She is presently working as coordinator at Instituto Figueiredo Ferraz, a private contemporary art institution. Her texts have been included in the following books: Arte Concreta Paulista- Grupo Ruptura (Cosac & Naify, São Paulo, 2001), and Algumas Exposições Exemplares, As Salas de Exposição na São Paulo de 1905 a 1930 (Editora Zouk, Porto Alegre, 2011). Rejane is also founder of Isso é Arte, a company specializing in editorial projects, educational programs, and curatorship.

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