March 7, 2015 - Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil - Artists shortlist
March 7, 2015

Artists shortlist

19th Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil: Southern Panoramas
October–December 2015

Southern Panoramas: 57 artists from 24 countries to show new works and projects at the Festival’s 19th edition, scheduled for October to December 2015 in São Paulo

Associação Cultural Videobrasil and Sesc São Paulo are announcing the shortlist of artists selected from the calls for entries for the 19th Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil: Southern Panoramas, set to run from October to December 2015. Artworks and brand new projects by 57 artists from 24 countries have been selected for the Festival. 

The committee in charge of selecting artworks and projects to be commissioned for the Festival comprises the curators Bernardo de Souza (Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil), Bitu Cassundé (Ceará, Brazil), Júlia Rebouças (Sergipe, Brazil) and João Laia (Lisbon, Portugal), working under the guidance of Solange Farkas, the Festival’s general curator. The participation of artists via open call is a unique and democratic strategy to outline a broad panorama of the artistic production of the global South—which is extremely heterogeneous and dynamic, but shares a central issue: the difficulty in entering the global art scene. “Despite the significant geopolitical changes that constantly rearrange the notions of North and South, the need remains to work for an art and culture scene in areas that must invent new forms of circulation and visibility,” says Farkas, the founder and director of Videobrasil.

Read the Curatorial Committee’s statement and the list of artists selected for the 19th Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil: Southern Panoramas

The selection work is an invaluable opportunity to confront art production from the global South. Given the deep socioeconomic and cultural changes experienced by the countries of that region, the outlines that define this South are gradually changing in their statute. Even though economic indicators and political instances have altered the conditions of some of these localities as they relate to the rest of the world, the fact remains evident that there are huge regional disparities. Thus being, art production reacts to history and future promises, old and new political orders, affections, projects, and alterity. In a poetical, but also critical way, one can feel one’s way through a few points of tension and inflexion in the scenario that sets itself forth. 

With the experience of this geopolitical South as our starting point, we set out to select artworks and artists, our senses sharp to identify, amidst the pieces and portfolios, what are the issues that animate and move art production from the region. From out of 3,000-plus submissions, we were able to make out a body of works that had both commonalities and differences. 

Generally and speculatively speaking, we have detected three major scenarios or environments. The first could be defined by an enhancement of the idea of crisis, when it becomes urgent to address political and social issues that manifest themselves first and foremost in the subject’s condition in the world, the way one relates and deals with others. A documentary-like tone appears here, denunciatory, but also propositional. Another set of works explores a post-utopian environment beyond human presence, from whence the subject is absent or objectified. The landscapes are barren and the relationship with time is ambiguous. History seems flexible and historical narratives juxtapose onto oft-indistinct layers. Finally, a third set ushers in possibilities for a new engagement of the subject with the world. Many of the artworks address the man-nature connection, or nature as a great power system. Here, the artists act performatively, presenting themselves as agents of this interweaving. While these issues are frankly attempts at finding common points, it is clear that the potential readings and understandings of the artworks in question are not limited to them.  

Although artworks in various supports and media have been selected (photography, engraving, sound art, sculpture and installation), video and film stand out in number and quality of propositions. Producing images, in motion or otherwise, set within the exhibition venue or as a proposed immersive film experience, appears to be an important strategy in our time and region. Finally, performance, whose history entwines with the history of video art and of the Festival itself, retains a prominent role, a central element to contemporary visual arts and the very language of video.

–curatorial committee
19th Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil

Check the list of selected artists for the 19th Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil: Southern Panoramas 

Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil
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