October 10, 2007 - Mercosul Biennial Foundation - In Porto Alegre, Brazil
October 10, 2007

In Porto Alegre, Brazil

September 1 to November 18, 2007

Porto Alegre, Brazil
Opening times: 9:00 to 21:00,
Sunday to Sunday


Jennifer Allora/Guillermo Calzadilla, Francis Alÿs (with Cuauhtemoc Medina and Rafael Ortega), Miguel Amat, Chiho Aoshima, Juan Araujo, Magdalena Atria, John Baldessari, Laura Belém, Muu Blanco, Daniel Bozhkov, Waltercio Caldas, Beth Campbell, Pablo Chiuminatto, Adolfo Couve, Minerva Cuevas, Milton Dacosta, Leopoldo Estol, Öyvind Fahlström, José Gabriel Fernández, León Ferrari, Fischli and Weiss, Harrell Fletcher, Ceal Floyer, Jaime Gili, Beatriz González, Alberto Greco, Josefina Guilisasti, Jorge Gumier Maier, Rivane Neuenschwander, João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva, William Kentridge, Nesrine Khodr, Fernanda Laguna, Nelson Leirner, Lux Lindner, Aníbal López, Fernando López Lage, M7red, Jorge Macchi, Terrence Malick, Francisco Matto, Sylvia Meyer, Steve McQueen, Cildo Meireles, Leticia El Halli Obeid, Yoshua Okon, Alejandro Otero, Alvaro Oyarzún, Cecilia Pavón, Alejandro Paz, Liliana Porter, Walid Raad, Sara Ramo, Bárbaro Rivas, Steve Reich, Dario Robleto, Steve Roden, Osvaldo Salerno, Jesús-Rafael Soto, Annika Ström, Katie van Scherpenberg

Curatorial Team
Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, Chief Curator
Luis Camnitzer, Pedagogical Curator
Alejandro Cesarco, Co-Curator of Conversas
Moacir dos Anjos, Co-Curator of Zona Franca
Ticio Escobar, Co-Curator of Tres Fronteiras
Inés Katzenstein, Co-Curator of Zona Franca
Luis Pérez-Oramas, Co-Curator of Zona Franca

For the 6th edition of the Mercosul Biennial, the proposal is to internationalize the project, while maintaining a connection to the southern cone of South America (a biennial from rather than of the Mercosul countries), while asking the question of how a biennial should contribute educationally to a predominantly local audience. Moving away from the model of national curatorships, the structure of the biennial is more open and organic. The biennial has also created the figure of a pedagogical curator to ensure that communication with the artworks is placed above their value as objects of consumption.

The central metaphor of the Biennial is The Third Bank of the River, a title taken from a short story by the Brazilian writer João Guimarães Rosa. The third bank represents any ‘third space’ that breaks a previously existing binary opposition (right/left, good/bad, social/formal, local/global). The third bank is also used as a central idea in the education program, seeing art as a form of encouraging critical thinking and independent perspectives in the audience.

The 6th Mercosul Biennial is structured into six exhibitions. Three monographic and three collective. The exhibitions are:

Jorge Macchi: the first comprehensive overview of the work of this contemporary artist, including a new commission in collaboration with Edgardo Rudnitzky, performed by the Symphony Orchestra of Porto Alegre. Organized in collaboration with the Blanton Museum of Art.

Öyvind Fahlström: The first presentation of the work of this Brazilian/Swedish/American artist in his native country. The exhibition consists of his maps of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Francisco Matto: The first retrospective of this pioneer Uruguayan modernist. Matto studied with Joaquín Torres-García in the 1930s, and then developed his distinctive body of work, fusing Pre-Columbian and contemporary art.

Conversas (Conversations): An exhibition in which nine artists are invited to select two other works to show alongside theirs. The curators then select a fourth work, creating nine mini-exhibitions of four works each.

Zona Franca (Free Zone): Four curators choose up to six projects each, with total freedom from thematic, geographic, or technical limitations. The projects are shown each in their individual space.

Tres Fronteiras (Three Borders): An international artist-in-residence program in which four artists (Daniel Bozhkov, Minerva Cuevas, Jaime Gili, Aníbal López) visited the triple border region where Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay meet, an area of complex social, economic, ethnic, and ecological tensions.

As part of its commitment to transparency and accountability, soon after the 6th Biennial closes, the Mercosul Biennial Foundation will present its results and financial accounts to the community in a special exhibition. The Mercosul Biennial Foundation also intends to show a significant proportion of the works in touring exhibitions after the Biennial closes in Porto Alegre. These shows will tour to the Mercosul capitals of Buenos Aires (Argentina), Montevideo (Uruguay), Asunción (Paraguay), Santiago (Chile), and other cities in Brazil (São Paulo, Curitiba, Vitoria) in over 12 exhibitions throughout 2008.

The Mercosul Biennial is also organizing a major international symposium on art and education from October 17-19, 2007. Participants include Harrell Fletcher, Anton Vidokle, Bruce Ferguson, Simon Scheikh, Santiago Eraso, Ted Purves and others. More information on www.bienalmercosul.art.br

Mercosul Biennial Foundation
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