20th Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil
From October 3, 2017, to January 14, 2018, the 20th Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil will open to the public at Sesc São Paulo’s new venue, Sesc 24 de Maio (designed by architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha), and the Galpão VB, the Associação Cultural Videobrasil’s headquarters.
The festival mirrors both comprehensively and poetically, the countless crises that have recently challenged contemporary society. Highlights will include performances and public programmes, which will jointly occupy several spaces at Sesc Pompeia till January 2018.
This year’s display will feature videos, paintings, installations, sculptures, photographs, engravings and even artificial plants forming a small acclimatisation garden. These diverse works reveal a multiplicity of worldviews, stemming from a society which, seeming to sense its own demise, resorts to its origins to avoid such a fate. The display is further grouped according to six main themes: Cosmovisions (Origins; Rites and Cosmogonies; Sciences and Cosmologies); Ecologies (Nature, Earth and Fungi; Catastrophes, Crises and New Consciousnesses); Reinvention of Culture (Techniques, Appropriations and Representations); Politics of Resistance (Urbanity, Bodies and Affections); Invisible Histories (Memory and Microhistory); and Other Modernisms (Other Spaces, Other Landscapes).
“In these unstable times, as narrative disputes escalate and local and global socio-political 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,” affirms Solange Farkas, chief curator of the festival and director of Associação Cultural Videobrasil.
The 20th Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil features 50 artists from 25 countries including leading contemporary Nigerian artist Karo Akpokiere with his installation Zwischen Lagos und Berlin—a walk through the cities of Lagos and Berlin, as well as the social, political and personal experiences encountered in the process.
The festival will also offer participating artists three Acquisition Awards worth R$ 25 thousand each, for video works that will be included in the Sesc Art Collection. The Ostrovsky Family Fund (O.F.F.), recognised for its support of progressive and independent artistic initiatives, will, in turn, offer one of the selected artists an award worth R$ 25 thousand for the most innovative moving image artwork. The Festival Award Jury will grant the prize.
In addition, five artist residency awards will be granted, each one offered by a specific international jury from the festival’s partner institutions—Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art (Poland); Kyoto Art Center (Japan); Goethe-Institut Residência Vila Sul (Salvador); Wexner Center for the Arts (United States); and Pro Helvetia (Switzerland). The winning artists will be announced on October 8 in a ceremony at the Sesc Pompeia Theatre.
According to 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 initiative akin to experiences dedicated to casting off shackles inherited from the colonial past and imposed by a peripheral geopolitical condition.” Miranda also 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.”
Created by Farkas in 1983, the festival has been produced in partnership with Sesc São Paulo since 1992, enabling its expansion and internationalization. At that moment the festival’s curatorship defines its focus on the geo-political South, selecting artists exclusively from this region and addressing its diverse and complex contexts.
Over the years, it has established itself as a diversified and multiple platform, geared towards disseminating, supporting and reflecting on the artistic production of the global South, which includes Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Oceania and a few countries in Europe and Asia.
The partnership between Sesc São Paulo and Videobrasil also enables the festival to travel to other Brazilian cities, besides publishing works on culture and contemporary art.
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