Saturday, 3 October 2009


Claire Fontaine, 'Mamõyguara opá mamõ pupé', neon, 2009

Panorama da Arte Brasileira
Museu de Arte Moderna de Sao Paulo
curated by Adriano Pedrosa

One of the most important exhibitions in Brazil, the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art’s 'Panorama da Arte Brasileira' (Panorama of Brazilian Art) celebrates its 40th birthday. The controversial edition entitled 'Mamõyguara Opá Mamõ Pupé' is curated by Adriano Pedrosa. Instead of exhibiting Brazilian artists as it has been the norm in the Panorama exhibition, Pedrosa has decided to exhibit foreign artists whose work has been influenced by Brazilian art and culture.

The decision to hold a Panorama da Arte Brasileira without local artists is not arbitrary. Over the last few decades, Brazil has come to occupy a place of reference internationally in several creative areas of art and architecture, especially from the 1950s, with Oscar Niemeyer’s modernism and Lygia Clark, Lygia Pape, and Helio Oiticica’s neoconcretism. The idea is to question the idea of a territorial view of art that classifies artists and art production according to the country and region in which it is produced. In a globalized world, where physical frontiers are becoming less and less determinant in the cultural evolution of nations, as information channels multiply and become more accessible, emblematic artistic manifestations from a wide range of places serve as inspiration for new creators, regardless of their origins.

According to Pedrosa, Brazil’s exhibition agenda is already overwhelmingly focused on Brazilian artists. The curator believes there is a bigger need for international exhibitions in Brazil; and because the Panorama is a biennial exhibition, it would be difficult to propose a significant new view of Brazilian work, given the short interval of time for substantial changes in the country’s artistic panorama.

The name of this edition, 'MAMÕYGUARA OPÁ MAMÕ PUPÉ', echoes this proposal. It means 'FOREIGNERS EVERYWHERE' in Tupi (the now extinct language of Brazil before the arrival of the Europeans), and comes from a work by Claire Fontaine presented in the form of a neon. The Portuguese translation, 'ESTRANGEIROS POR TODA PARTE' will also be displayed. The original expression is taken by the artists from the name of a group of Italian anarchists who struggle against xenophobia. The translation in Tupi, by Professor Eduardo Navarro, specialist in Tupi at the Universidade de São Paulo, keeps the double meaning that a) there are foreigners everywhere and that b) no matter where they go artists are foreigners.

There are two categories of artists in the exhibition. The first and most numerous is of artists who already have a career recognizably influenced by aspects of Brazilian culture. In this case, there was a curatorial concern with exploring careers in which Brazil’s influence can clearly be seen, as opposed to artists who occasionally use more obvious aspects, like a foreign visitor who only absorbs the culture superficially. The second category consists on Panorama’s artists-in-residence initiative, which provided younger artists with an interest in Brazilian culture and art with up to eight weeks of immersion in São Paulo. The greatest concern wasn’t the work to be exhibited, but the process of mediation with Brazilian Culture and its possible influence in the artists work. The artists-in-residence are: Adrián Villar Rojas, Alessandro Balteo Yazbek, Claire Fontaine (James Tennant Thornhill and Fulvia Carnevale), Jose Dávila, Juan Pérez Aguirregoicoa, Mateo López, Runo Lagomarsino, and Tove Storch.

In Pedrosa's words, “While with anthropophagy, Brazilian modernist intellectuals appropriated European culture to digest it and produce something of their own, now it is Brazilian culture that is being cannibalized by foreigners.”

• Adrián Villar Rojas (Rosario, Argentina, 1980)
• Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck (Caracas, Venezuela, 1972) – with Eugenio Espinoza (San Juan de los Morros, Venezuela, 1950)
• Armando Andrade Tudela (Lima, Peru, 1975)
• Carlos Garaicoa (Havana, Cuba, 1967)
• Cerith Wyn Evans (Llanelli, Wales, 1958)
• Claire Fontaine (Fulvia Carnevale and James Thornhill), (Paris, France, 2004)
• Damián Ortega (Mexico City, Mexico, 1967)
• Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster (Strasbourg, France, 1965)
• Franz Ackermann (Neumarkt-Sankt-Veit, Germany, 1963)
• Gabriel Sierra (San Juan Nepomuceno, Colombia, 1975)
• Jennifer Allora (Philadelphia, USA, 1974) & Guillermo Calzadilla (Havana, Cuba, 1971)
• Jorge Macchi (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1963)
• Jorge Pedro Núñez (Caracas, Venezuela, 1976)
• Jose Dávila (Guadalajara, Mexico, 1974)
• Juan Araujo (Caracas, Venezuela, 1971)
• Juan Pérez Aguirregoikoa (San Sebastian, Spain, 1963)
• Julião Sarmento (Lisbon, Portugal, 1948)
• Luisa Lambri (Como, Italy, 1969)
• Mateo López (Bogota, Colombia, 1978)
• Marjetica Potrc (Liubliana, Slovenia, 1953)
• Mauricio Lupini (Caracas, Venezuela, 1963)
• Nicolás Guagnini (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1966) – with Carla Zaccagnini (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1973), Nicolás Robbio (Mar Del Plata, Argentina, 1975), Pablo Siquier (Argentina, 1961) and Valdirlei Dias Nunes (Bom Sucesso, Brazil, 1969)
• Pedro Reyes (Mexico City, Mexico, 1972)
• Runo Lagomarsino (Lund, Sweden, 1977)
• Sandra Gamarra (Lima, Peru, 1972)
• Sean Snyder (Virginia Beach, USA, 1972)
• Simon Evans (London, Great Britain, 1972)
• Superflex (Copenhagen, Denmark, 1993)
• Tamar Guimarães (Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 1967)
• Tove Storch (Arhus, Denmark, 1981)

Adriano Pedrosa is a curator, writer and editor and lives in São Paulo. Pedrosa grew up in Brasília during the 1970s, where he studied in the Escola Paroquial Santo Antônio. He has published in Artforum (New York), Art Nexus (Bogota), Art+Text (Sydney), Bomb (New York), Exit (Madrid), Flash Art (Milan), Frieze (London), and Lapiz (Madrid), among others. He was adjunct curator of the 24th Bienal de São Paulo (1998), curator of the Museu de Arte da Pampulha, Belo Horizonte (2001-2003), co-curator of the 27th Bienal de São Paulo (2006), and artistic director of the 2nd Trienal Poli/Gráfica de San Juan (2009). His other curatorial projects include: F[r]icciones (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, 2000-2001, with Ivo Mesquita), Farsites: Urban crisis and domestic symptoms (InSite_05, San Diego Museum of Art, Centro Cultural Tijuana, 2005) and Panorama da Arte Brasileira (Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, 2009). He is currently director-interlocutor of the Programa Independente da Escola São Paulo—PIESP.

About PANORAMA da arte brasileira:
Panorama da Arte Brasileira was conceived by Diná Lopes Coelho in 1969, when the Museu de Arte Moderna was going through a period of reconstruction of its collection (donated in full by its founder, Ciccillo Matarazzo, to the University of São Paulo, in 1963, which gave origin to the Museu de Arte Contemporânea) and came to occupy the Bahia Pavilion, a building designed by Lina Bo Bardi for the 5th Bienal Internacional de Arte de São Paulo, where it remains to this day. A rare example of continuity in institutional practices in Brazil, the exhibition has been held every two years, without interruptions, since 1995 (prior to that it was held annually and divided into categories such as painting, sculpture, etc.).

Panorama da Arte Brasileira 2009
Curated by Adriano Pedrosa
MAM Sao Paulo
Opening: October 3, 2009 (Saturday) from 6pm
Exhibition open from: October 4 to December 20, 2009
Address: Parque do Ibirapuera (Av. Pedro Álvares Cabral, s/nº - Portão 3)
Tel. (11) 5085-1300

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