The Bienal de São Paulo was created in 1951, following the model of the Biennale di Venezia, with the aim of putting local artists into dynamic contact with the international art scene, and simultaneously inscribing the city of São Paulo in a sophisticated network of cultural centres.
A project of the São Paulo magnate Francisco Ciccillo Matarazzo, the Bienal de São Paulo’s history has been plagued by a strange mix of personalism and official diplomatic relations. In 1962, when it was dissociated from MAM-SP and became a public foundation (Fundação Bienal de São Paulo, FBSP), its mixture of private and public funds became the subject of open discussion in the local press. Despite this problematic conflation of official and personal economic and political interests, the first
biennial on the American continent managed to succeed in creating an unprecedented influx of artworks, art professionals and ideas in the region, generating an institutional space for the display and theorisation of avantgarde art and other artistic expressions. The success of the exhibition, mirrored by its longevity, did not come without an unstable trajectory, marked by crises, interruptions, constant reconfigurations and one infamous boycott in 1969.
Regardless of its relevance for the history of modern and contemporary art as well as the field of exhibition histories, the Bienal de São Paulo does not have an extensive critical literature that reflects its longevity.
To help address this lacuna, OBOE Journal will receive articles that examine the Bienal de São Paulo from diverse perspectives. Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:
– The position of the Bienal de São Paulo in the (South) American art
– The Bienal de São Paulo as a temporary museum;
– Special Rooms and other exhibitions during the Bienal de São
– Private interest and public policies at the Bienal de São Paulo;
– The function of the jury and awards;
– The cultural diplomacy and national representations at the Bienal
de São Paulo;
– The relationship of the Bienal de São Paulo with other large-scale
exhibitions such as the Biennale di Venezia;
– The context of the Cold War and Neoliberalism;
– Curatorial statements;
Submission deadline: May 1, 2023
Notification of acceptance: June 1, 2023
Details on the submission can be found HERE