Mercosur Biennial 12
Feminine(s): visualities, actions and affections
April 16–August 31, 2020
Three months of world-wide isolation have gone by. Museums are closed, as well as biennials and fairs. The Mercosur Biennial, which has been held in Porto Alegre, Brazil, for over 20 years, should have started its 12th edition—Feminine(s): visualities, actions and affections—on April 16, but we have not been able to install it in the exhibition spaces.
Our first concern was to know how our team and the artists were. We asked them to send us a video from wherever they were. After just a few days, we found ourselves with 54 testimonials of affection, connecting 70 artists from more than 20 countries and four continents. We then thought to do an on-line Biennial. We did it because we asked ourselves: is the world we knew back in March the world we want to return to? What do we do “in the meantime”? For two months we organized the exhibition—or experience—with all its videos and photographs on the Biennial website. At this time, art shows its relevance so we can all think and reflect together.
We started an Educational Program for which 1,400 educators applied. Today, the Biennial thrives thanks to on-line classes that reach thousands of students in Brazil. We have created specific programs to energize the corridors of this art experience, building meeting spaces between artists, curators, the public and educators. The voices of black women were participating in first person on these actions, taking their perspective as the conceptual axis for the creation of labs and activities.
“An exhibition is a tornado.” “An exhibition is not just what we see.” These were some of the sentences we utter when we think of works of art in a physical space. With the works available on-line, we now know that the Biennial is what we had to do to stay active and close together “in the meantime.” What we have experienced in these months has an impact on our lives, on our thoughts, and on our bodies. Our future in art will probably not look like our past.
We dreamed about installing this Biennial in a physical space, but sanitary measures will regulate our wish. No art program can put human lives at risk. Given the world’s standstill, we chose to think about this critical present. We do not believe things will go back to “normal” after the pandemic.
The Mercosur Biennial 12 invites you to visit its website to find out more about its artists and their works, as well as watch the cell phone recordings they shot from where they were during this pandemic. We hope to meet you in the city of Porto Alegre, with the works and the artists. Meanwhile, we share with you what we have done in these three months, and we invite you to discover the on-line version of the 12th Biennial.
Mercosur Biennial 12 Artists:
Alejandra Dorado, Aline Motta, Ana Gallardo, Ana Lira invites Marta Supernova, Ola Elhassan and Suelen Mesmo, Arpilleras MMDH, Brígida Baltar, Carmela Gross, Carole Condé & Karl Beverigde, Cecilia Vicuña, Chiachio & Giannone, Claudia Paim, COCO, Cristina Schiavi, Dana Whabira, Daniela Ortiz, Eliana Otta, Elina Chauvet, Élle de Bernardini, Eneida Sanches, Esther Ferrer, Eugênia Vargas, Fátima Pecci, Geta Bratescu, Gladys Kalichini, Gonzalo Elvira, Grete Stern, Guerrilla Girls, Gwladys Gambie, Helô Sanvoy, Janaína Barros, Janet Toro, Jessica Kairé, Joiri Minaya, Jota Mombaça, Judy Chicago, Juliana dos Santos, Juliana Góngora, Juliana Vidal, Julieta Hanono, Kan Xuan, Kimiko Yoshida, La Vaughn Belle, Lídia Lisboa, Liliana Porter e Ana Tiscornia, Liuska Astete Salazar, Lorraine O’Grady, Lucia Laguna, Lungiswa Gqunta, Marcela Astorga, Maruch Sántiz Gómez, Mirella Maria, Mónica Mayer, Mujeres Públicas, Musa Michelle Mattiuzzi, Natalia Iguiñiz, Nosotras Proponemos, Nury Gonzalez, Pau Delgado Iglesias, Paz Errazuriz, Pedro Lemebel, Priscila Rezende, Rahima Gambo, Renata Felinto, Rosana Paulino, Sandra de Berduccy, Santarosa Barreto, Sebastián Calfuqueo, Vera Chaves Barcellos, Zorka Wollny.