Monday, 27 September 2010


work after censored

Brigada Internacional from Argentina participating in the Bienal supporting Dilma, the presidential candidate of the PT

censored video

visti the 29 Sao Paulo Bienal website

Sao Paulo is Burning: The Spectre of Politics at the Biennal

"The 29th Sao Paulo Biennial is anchored in the idea that it is impossible to separate art and politics." In view of the events of the past 48 hours, there are serious reasons to doubt the honesty of this statement.

The work that is shaping up to become the most interesting at the Sao Paulo Biennial has not been made by any artist, but by the institution itself, when it issued the order to cover some imposing panels with plain paper, to prevent visitors from seeing two large photographs: the friendly, attractive face of Dilma Rousseff opposite the sour expression of José Serra, her Social Democratic rival in Brazil’s presidential elections.

The Argentinean artist Roberto Jacoby’s work for the biennial consisted of socialising his space and allowing it to be managed by the Argentinean Brigade for Dilma, which openly proceeded to spread propaganda in favour of the Workers’ Party (PT) candidate as Lula’s successor, choosing to be part of an exceptional historic moment of unity, solidarity, redistribution and democracy that is opening up in Latin America.

According to the – not very convincing – justification that has been issued by the Sao Paulo Biennial Foundation, a report by the Electoral Attorney General’s office has decreed that the work qualifies as an “electoral offense” in that breaks the law that prohibits the “transmission of propaganda of any nature” in spaces that are run by public authorities. However, the Biennial itself had contacted the legal authorities in the first place to report the work that they had invited.

In a statement to the press, one of the curators of the Biennial, Agnaldo Farias, declared that “we can not contest the court ruling, because we even run the risk of going to jail. If we had known in advance that the work dealt with Dilma, we would have warned the artist, because we’d have known there would be problems.” The curators’ arguments that they had been “taken unawares” by the evolution of the work does not stand up to scrutiny, given that the censured photograph is included in the Biennial’s catalogue and web site.

The only possible response to this cowardly statement is a question: what does an established art curator think he is asking for when he invokes the word “politics”? Aside from this specific case, it is not unusual to see curatorial projects that use the link between “art and politics” to exhibit documentary cemeteries or portraits of faraway strange or poor people. Jacoby’s political artwork at this Biennial effectively opposes the disempowerment of political art that is currently exercised in the institutional mainstream.

So what happens when an artist is serious about the need to turn an artistic space into a public space, in order to generate political confrontation – rather than false consensus – in real time, and in the very belly of the art system? El alma nunca piensa sin imagen / The soul never thinks without images – which is the title of the work – does not just consist of electoral propaganda in favour of Dilma: the section of the exhibition allocated to Jacoby was also transformed into a machine for producing antagonism between different opinions, taking sides and forcing the art establishment to become involved in a discussion on the verifiable fact that, today, in a geopolitical space like Latin America, there is more experimentation, more creativity and – ultimately – more hope in the realm of politics – from institutions to social movements – than in the contemporary art system.

Jacoby is participating in the Biennial on two counts, given that he is also part of the collective of artists, sociologists and militants from several Argentinean cities who produced the historic exhibition Tucumán Arde (Tucumán is Burning) in 1968, a project that is mistakenly documented on the Biennial web site – and this is a serious and telling symptom – as a work by the Grupo de Arte de Vanguardia of the city of Rosario. Tucumán Arde was closed down at the labour union headquarters in Buenos Aires, due to pressure from the army during the dictatorship of General Onganía: its provocation consisted in overflowing the art system in order to embrace the social protest against the existing system. The other way round, El alma nunca piensa sin imagen seems to have been censured for having brought into the centre of the art system an activity in favour of a non-artistic process that takes place in the political institution. The Argentinean Brigade for Dilma exhibits it as something much more real – in that it is more imperfect and ultimately complex – than the immaculate halo that usually surrounds the word “politics” in curatorial texts.

Buenos Aires / Sao Paulo, September 23rd , 2010

To publicly support this declaration, email:

Please support, distribute, and publish in your blogs.

Members of the Argentinean Brigade for Dilma:

Adriana Minoliti, Alejandro Ros, Ana Longoni, Alina Perkins, Cecilia Sainz, Cecilia Szalkowicz, Daniel Joglar, Fernanda Laguna, Francisco Garamona, Florencia Hipolitti, Paula Bugni, Hernán Paganini, Javier Barilaro, José Fernández Vega, Julia Ramírez, Kiwi Sainz, Laura Escobar, Lidia Aufgang, Lucas Rubinich, Mariano Andrade, Mariela Scafati, Mariela Bond, María Granillo, Nacho Marciano, Roberto Jacoby, Santiago Villanueva, Syd Krochmalny, Tomás Espina, Víctor Florido, Victoria Colmegna.

Supporting this declaration (updated: 25/9/2010)

Marcelo Expósito (Barcelona/Buenos Aires), Gachi Hasper (Buenos Aires), Diana Aisenberg (Buenos Aires), Cecilia Sainz (Buenos Aires), Federico Geller (Buenos Aires), Helena Chávez (México), Fernanda Nogueira (Sao Paulo), Miguel López (Lima), Francisco Reyes Palma (México), Marina de Caro (Buenos Aires), Octaviano Moniz Barreto (Bahia), Damián Ríos, Inés Patricio (Rio de Janeiro), Hugo Salas, Guadalupe Maradei (Buenos Aires), Federico Brollo (Buenos Aires), Hugo Vidal (Buenos Aires), Leo Ramos (Resistencia), Ramiro Larraín (Buenos Aires), Inés Martino (Rosario), Compartiendo Capital (Rosario), David Gutiérrez Castañeda (México/Bogotá), Hernán Rodolfo Ulm (Argentina), Beba Eguía (Buenos Aires), Ricardo Piglia (Buenos Aires), Mariana Serbent (Mendoza), Laura García Hernàndez, Magdalena Jitrik (Buenos Aires), José Curia, Leandro Katz (Buenos Aires), Adrián Pérez (Buenos Aires), Eduardo Grüner (Buenos Aires), Carolina Senmartín (Còrdoba), Mariana Botey (México), Carlos Aranda (México), Daniel Duchowney (Argentina), Aldo Ambrozio (Brasil), Carlos Banzi (Argentina), José Luis Meirás (Buenos Aires), Gabriela Nouzeilles (Princeton), Lía Colombino (Asunción), Museo del Barro (Asunción), Taller Crìtica (Asunción), Fernando Davis (Buenos Aires), William López (Bogotá), José Ignacio Otero (Buenos Aires), Leonardo Retamoso Palma (Santa María), Emilio Tarazona (Lima), Ricardo Resende (Sao Paulo), María Cristina Pérez (Rosario), Gustavo López (Bahía Blanca), Marcelo Diaz (Argentina), José Luis Tuñón (Comodoro Rivadavia), Carlos Dias (Brasil), Claudia del Río (Argentina), Juan Manuel Burgos (Còrdoba), Marcos Ferreira de Paula (Sao Paulo), Amalia Gieschen (Argentina), Suely Rolnik (Sao Paulo), Cristina Ribas (Rio de Janeiro), André Mesquita (Sao Paulo).


Roberto Jacoby's Proposal for the Bienal (in spanish and portuguese):
Proyecto General
Oficina de campaña en apoyo de Dilma Rousseff

Instalación de una oficina de campaña en favor de Dilma Rousseff en la Bienal de Sao Paulo, por las elecciones presidenciales de Brasil el 3 de octubre de 2010.

Todo el espacio (unos 130 metros cuadrados) estará cubierto con afiches de la campaña del PT, banderas, carteles, volantes, camisetas, pins y pasacalles.

Habrá un escenario con micrófono y parlantes, donde se harán conferencias, palestras y el público de la Bienal podrá hablar libremente.

Se proyectará un video de Spots de opiniones a favor de la candidatura de Dilma Rousseff.

Se instalarán computadoras con wifi, impresoras, mesas de serigrafía, máquinas para fabricar pins, se producirán afiches, volantes, camisetas, jingles, y se registrará las opinones del público en diversos formatos. El público también podrá escribir cartas con sus opiniones y pegarlas en las paredes.

La Brigada Internacional Argentina de apoyo a Dilma viajará a Brasil y realizará talleres, paneles y actividades diversas durante el 20 y el 26 de Septiembre.

Se invita a artistas, intelectuales y activistas para el desarrollo de estas actividades hasta el 12 de Diciembre.



22 artistas e intelectuais argentinos viajam a SP para participar do projeto. Elles sempre usaram as camisetas da Brigada.

• Instalamos nos nossos 200 metros quadrados uma “unidade básica” do Partido dos Trabalhadores, de Lula para fazer campanha a favor de sua candidata Dilma Rousseff. Esta eleição é absolutamente decisiva para nossas vidas: se o Brasil cai nas mãos da direita ou seja Serra, tchau América Latina, tchau Argentina. O futuro ficará para mais adiante. Para isso esperamos contar com o apoio do PT y de activistas sociales y culturales.

No espaço haverá:
o Uma gigantografia cuja imagem adjunto no iste email.
o Um cenário (também uma caixa para guardar nossas coisas)
o Um microfone
o Duas caixas de som
o Duas luzes par 1000
o Luz ambiente com um dimmer
o Paredes com cartazes, reproduzindo uma unidade básica
o Faixas, etc.
o Mesas de trabalho, serigrafia, etc.
o Laptops com acesso à Internet
o 1 ou 2 impressoras.
o Scanner
o Um liquidificador e frutas
o E coisas necessárias que forem surgindo
• O que nós faríamos seriam oficinas, conversas, conferências, danças, técnicas gráficas, etc., relacionados com Dilma e as eleições.
• Dirigimo-nos sobretudo às pessoas jovens, estudantes e universitários que gostariam de fazer parte da campanha, mas que não estão no PT e não sabem o que e nem como fazêlo.
• Convidaremos a pessoas interessadas e aos assistentes da bienal para que se integrem a fazer as coisas, participar das palestras, ouvir as rádios, etc.
• Por exemplo: oficina de jingles ou ritmos, cartazes, broches, panfletos, fanzines, teatro de fantoches, etc.
• Tudo será feito na hora e distribuído no momento.
• Teremos um blog onde subiremos no momento as produções para que em qualquer parte do Brasil qualquer pessoa possa fazê-los. Criaremos uma red através de Factbook e Twitter.
• As atividades estarão programadas por faixa de horários para que não se sobreponham, evitando que se perturbem: por exemplo, que um orador esteja falando e que se esteja batucando ao mesmo tempo.
• Como apoio à campanha desde Argentina, faremos uma série de clips de celebridades argentinas conhecidas entre todos nós ou que sejam fáceis de contatar. Os clips se filmarão com celulares, i-pods ou blackberrys e se subirão ao blog. Também estarão num monitor na sala.
• Tudo mais

1 comment:

  1. "exceptional historic moment of unity, solidarity, redistribution and democracy that is opening up in Latin America."

    Well, that's one way to put it. I'm sure that under the PT regime, human rights will see the wondrous flowering that has been observed under Castro and Chavez, along with the vast economic prosperity that these regimes enjoy.