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Rosa-dosVentos osa-dos-V

Posies e Direes na Arte Contempornea


PAULO SERGIO DUARTE
Organizador

EVA GRINSTEIN CECILIA BAY BOTTI GAUDNCIO FIDELIS JOS FRANCISCO ALVES PAULO SERGIO DUARTE JUSTO PASTOR MELLADO FELIPE EHRENBERG TICIO ESCOBAR GABRIEL PELUFFO LINARI

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Rosa-dos-Ventos: Posies e Direes na Arte Contempornea The Wind Rose: Positions and Directions in Contemporary Art

Esse livro parte integrante do projeto editorial da 5 Bienal do Mercosul - Histrias da Arte e do Espao, realizada em Porto Alegre de 30 de setembro a 04 de dezembro de 2005. This book is an integral part of the editorial project of the 5th Mercosur Biennial Stories of Art and Space, Porto Alegre, September 30th December 4th, 2005. Todos os direitos pertencentes aos autores e a Fundao Bienal de Artes Visuais do Mercosul. Essa publicao no pode ser reproduzida, em todo ou em parte, por quaisquer meios, sem a prvia autorizao por escrito da Fundao Bienal de Artes Visuais do Mercosul e do autor. All rights belong to the authors and Fundao Bienal de Artes Visuais do Mercosul. This publication cannot be totally or partly reproduced in any form or by any means without permission from both parts. Publicado por/Published by Fundao Bienal de Artes Visuais do Mercosul Rua dos Andradas 1234, 10 andar/Sala 1008 Porto Alegre- RS - Brasil CEP 90020-008 www.bienalmercosul.art.br

Porto Alegre, setembro de 2005.

Rosa-dos-ventos: posies e direes na arte contempornea. Org. Paulo Srgio Duarte. Porto Alegre, Fundao Bienal de Artes Visuais do Mercosul, 2005. p. ilust.

1.Arte contempornea Amrica Latina - Mercosul - Ensaios

CDU : 7 (8=6)

Bibliotecria responsvel: Ariete Pinto dos Santos CRB/10 - 422

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Rosa-dosVentos osa-dos-V
Posies e Direes na Arte Contempornea
PAULO SERGIO DUARTE
Organizador

EVA GRINSTEIN CECILIA BAY BOTTI GAUDNCIO FIDELIS JOS FRANCISCO ALVES PAULO SERGIO DUARTE JUSTO PASTOR MELLADO FELIPE EHRENBERG TICIO ESCOBAR GABRIEL PELUFFO LINARI

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5 BIENAL DO MERCOSUL
Realizao

Fundao Bienal de Artes Visuais do Mercosul


Patrocinadores Master

Gerdau Petrobras Santander Cultural / Banco Santander


Patrocinador do artista homenageado Amilcar de Castro

Refap
Patrocinador da Mostra Direes do Novo Espao e da Obra Permanente de Mauro Fuke

Ipiranga
Patrocinador da Obra Permanente de Jos Resende

Lojas Renner
Patrocinador do Ncleo Contemporneo de Pintura

Nacional
Patrocinador do Ncleo Histrico de Pintura

Vonpar
Patrocinadores dos Artistas Convidados

MasterCard Souza Cruz


Patrocinador do livro Uma Histria Concisa da Bienal do Mercosul

Habitasul
Patrocinador da Ao Educativa

Gerdau
Apoiador da Ao Educativa

RBS
Patrocinadores de Segmentos

Varig Cia. Area Oficial Ferramentas Gerais Ferramenta


Apoiadores da 5 Bienal do Mercosul

Blue Tree Towers, Digitel, Engex, Fibraplac, Grupo Avipal, ICBNA, Maiojama, Master Hotis, Nestl, Perto, Plaza Hotis, Porto Alegre Convention & Visitors Bureau, Randon e Tintas Renner
Apoio Governamental

Secretara de Relaciones Exteriores de Mxico Embajada de Mxico en Brasil Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes / Mxico Direccin General de Asuntos Culturales Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores Comercio Internacional y Culto/Cancilleria Argentina
Apoio Institucional

Governo Federal Ministrio da Cultura Lei Rouanet Governo Estadual Secretaria da Cultura LIC
Projeto auditado por

PricewaterhouseCoopers

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Sumrio/Contents

Mensagem do Presidente da Repblica 5 Bienal de Artes Visuais do Mercosul/ Message from the president of Brazil to the 5th Mercosur Visual Arts Biennial

Luiz Incio Lula da Silva Presidente da Repblica/President of Brazil


Se oriente, rapaz, pela constelao da 5 Bienal de Artes Visuais do Mercosul/Get your bearings, boy, from the 5th Mercosur Visual Arts Biennial constellation

Gilberto Gil Ministro de Estado da Cultura/Brazils Minister of Culture


Arte argentino en P orto Alegre/ Argentinean art in Porto Alegre Porto
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Embajadora Gloria Bender Directora General de Asuntos Culturales - Cancillera Argentina/General Director for Cultural Affairs - Argentinean Chancellery
Palabras de la Embajadora de Mxico/ Words by Mexicos Ambassador to Brazil
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Cecilia Soto Gonzlez Embajadora de Mxico en Brasil/Mexicos Ambassador to Brazil


Refletindo sobre o presente/ Reflecting about the present
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Elvaristo Teixeira do Amaral Presidente da Fundao Bienal e Artes Visuais doMercosul/ Chairman - Mercosur Biennial of Visual Arts Foundation
Prefcio/ Foreword
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Paulo Sergio Duarte Curador Geral/Chief Curator


Ping pong y bienalidad: algunos problemas del arte contemporneo en torno a los gestos invisibles/ Ping pong and bienality: a few problems in contemporary art regarding invisible gestures

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Eva Grinstein [Argentina]


La postmodernidad en el corazn de Amrica del Sur/ PostModernity at the hearth of South America
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Cecilia Bay Botti [Bolivia]


Arte pblica no contexto da Bienal do Mercosul / Public art in Mercosul/ the context of the Mercosur Biennial

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Jos Francisco Alves [Brasil]

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O comportamento das bienais: apontamentos para uma psicologia do perfil institucional/ The behavior of biennials: notes for a psychology of institutional profile

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Gaudncio Fidelis [Brasil]


A R osa-dosVentos: posies e direes na arte Rosa-dososa-dos-V contempornea/ Wind Rose: positions and directions in contemporary art

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Paulo Sergio Duarte [Brasil]


V Bienal del Mercosur: analisis de coyuntura regional/ 5th Mercosur Biennial: regional conjuncture analysis

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Justo Pastor Mellado [Chile]


Latitudinario/ Latitudinal
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Felipe Ehrenberg [Mxico]


Zona en litigio: los extraos lugares del arte en los tiempos del esteticismo total / A disputed zone: the strange total/ places of art at the age of total aestheticism

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Ticio Escobar [Paraguay]


Espacio y regin en el arte contemporneo: una mirada histrica, poltica y cultural/ Space and region in contemporary art: a historical, political and cultural approach

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Gabriel Peluffo Linari [Uruguay]


Curadores/ Curators Verso para o ingls ingls/English Version
81 85

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Mensagem do P residente da R epblica Presidente Repblica 5 Bienal de Artes Visuais do Mercosul


A Bienal do Mercosul j se consagrou como um dos principais acontecimentos culturais do pas. Ratifica o interesse brasileiro em construir alicerces mais slidos na nossa relao com os pases-irmos da Amrica Latina, buscando, na arte e na cultura, terreno frtil para o conhecimento mtuo e a troca de experincias nas diversas reas da atividade humana. Em sua 5 edio, a Bienal j incorpora curadores e artistas do Brasil, Argentina, Bolvia, Chile, Mxico, Paraguai e Uruguai, nos dando esperana de que um dia possamos reunir representaes artsticas de todos os pases latino-americanos. Quero felicitar os organizadores tambm pelo esforo em ampliar a compreenso do pblico sobre a arte contempornea, pois acredito que sem esse componente educativo jamais conseguiremos democratizar o acesso da populao aos bens culturais. Sinto-me honrado, como cidado e como Presidente, de ver o Brasil sediar mais uma edio desta mostra to relevante para a arte latino-americana.
Luiz Incio Lula da Silva
Presidente da Repblica

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Se oriente, rapaz, pela constelao da 5 Bienal de Artes Visuais do Mercosul


Se fosse o caso de buscar no meu velho ba de prata uma cano ou um pedao de cano que eu pudesse cantar para a 5 Bienal do Mercosul, eu possivelmente cantaria assim: Se oriente, rapaz, pela constelao do Cruzeiro do Sul. Hoje, mais do que nunca, o Brasil se orienta pelo sul, pela significao da Amrica do Sul, pelos mltiplos dilogos sul-sul. Penso que a evocao dessa msica na abertura do catlogo da 5 Bienal do Mercosul tem ainda um outro sentido. Afinal, a constelao do Cruzeiro do Sul, embora tenha 52 estrelas, popularmente identificada por cinco estrelas de visibilidade especial, que compem uma espcie de pentagrama csmico, referncia fundamental para as aventuras de navegadores de mares e fantasias. No caso da bienal, trata-se de um pentagrama de curadoria, igualmente orientador, que serve de referncia para o pblico em sua aventura pelos movimentos dos artistas do sul que aqui compartilham as suas criaes. H na programao quatro vetores principais (Da Escultura Instalao, Transformaes do Espao Pblico, Direes do Novo Espao e Persistncia da Pintura) e ainda um quinto, especialmente dedicado ao escultor Amilcar de Castro, sntese e dnamo dos demais vetores que formam o Cruzeiro do Sul da bienal. notvel que esses cinco vetores tratem da constelao das experincias de espao na arte contempornea. Essa constelao de arte coloca em discusso a escrita da histria da arte, abre espao para outras vozes e sugere questes sobre o lugar que teria no mundo contemporneo uma histria da arte, com a pretenso de ser uma histria universal da arte. A tradio da Bienal do Mercosul mantm-se e renova-se com esses cinco vetores. A sua dimenso popular, o seu dilogo vigoroso com a cidade, a sua perspectiva educacional e o seu olhar atento para a juventude esto garantidos e reafirmados, assim como o seu carter de Cruzeiro do Sul, de marco orientador para a arte no Mercosul, assim como para os artistas e cidados do sul.
Gilberto Gil
Ministro de Estado da Cultura

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Arte argentino en P orto Alegre Porto


Una nueva edicin de la Bienal del Mercosur nos convoca, auspiciando que este evento constituya, otra vez, la posibilidad de que las artes plsticas de nuestros pases dialoguen y profundicen sus puntos de encuentro, sus diferencias y sus diversos lenguajes y soportes. Para el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Comercio Internacional y Culto, y desde la Direccin de Asuntos Culturales, participar en la 5 Bienal del Mercosur no es slo una cita cultural ineludible, sino una portunidad de fortalecer los aspectos de integracin de nuestros pases, convencidos de que esa herramienta nos acerca y profundiza nuestros vnculos. A la ciudad de Porto Alegre, con la cual compartimos una tradicin histrica, la Argentina llega con un envo representado por jvenes artistas, que a travs de su obra muestran distintos aspectos fundamentales en la creatividad plstica de esta compleja contemporaneidad. De la mano de la curadora Eva Grinstein se desprende una mirada sinttica y profunda, a travs de la reunin de un grupo de obras en las que se identifican las preocupaciones, las tensiones y las tendencias del arte contemporneo de la Argentina. A lo largo de las ediciones de esta Bienal, podemos decir que la ciudad de Porto Alegre se ha convertido en un obsevatorio fundamental y privilegiado de las artes plsticas en la regin. El registro de obras, instalaciones y los sucesivos captulos histricos, permiten analizar detenidamente los rasgos que caracterizan nuestra produccin artstica. A la Fundacin de la Bienal, nuestro reconocimiento por haber instalado en el calendario de las artes plsticas internacionales este encuentro de la cultura y de la integracin.
Embajadora Gloria Bender
Directora General de Asuntos Culturales Cancillera Argentina

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Palabras de la Embajadora de Mxico


Mxico se siente muy honrado de participar en la 5 Bienal del Mercosur, en especial, de haber sido convertido en elemento integral de este encuentro, que en pocos aos hemos visto transformarse en patrimonio cultural de Amrica Latina. Me enorgullece usar la palabra patrimonio, an cuando tradicionalmente se piensa en ste como parte del pasado, ya que en realidad el patrimonio es un activo de la memoria, el que nos posibilita construir realidades ms humanas, tolerantes y respetuosas, que permitan crear, inventar, tender puentes, comunicarnos. La Bienal del Mercosur se ha convertido en un generador de dilogos interculturales, en los que damos forma a nuestras semejanzas y fomentamos nuestras variantes y la movilidad gestada en nuestro personalsimo mestizaje cultural. Las artes visuales son un lenguaje comn, un arte consumado, un cdigo que nos identifica y nos enlaza a pesar de las diferencias, o mejor dicho, sumndolas, enriqueciendo nuestro rico y variado universo cultural. Son, sin lugar a duda, la seal ms poderosa que pueda tener Mxico en la vecina regin. Quiz nunca como ahora, la desfronterizacin de las artes, las relaciones del mercado global, las telecomunicaciones, los medios electrnicos por mencionar algunos de los factores ms determinantes han generado un impacto tan profundo en culturas regionales. Por eso, la Bienal del Mercosur es una generosa invitacin para continuar construyendo esa compleja trama que es la vecindad entre pases.
Cecilia Soto Gonzlez
Embajadora de Mxico en Brasil

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Refletindo sobre o presente


Cada um de ns tem um papel a desempenhar dentro de um todo. Se o desempenhamos bem, as noes de valor que geramos contribuem no s para o engrandecimento da sociedade em que vivemos, como retorna na forma de dividendos para ns mesmos. Assim, ao realizarmos a Bienal do Mercosul, buscamos contribuir efetivamente para o desenvolvimento de uma sociedade mais justa e contempornea. Menos provinciana em sua constituio e mais sintonizada com as grandes inovaes que todos queremos dividir e das quais desejamos participar. Nesta sociedade to cheia de desafios, enfrentamos esse que fazer uma bienal coletivamente. Junto a nossos patrocinadores e aos poderes pblicos municipais, estaduais e federal, realizamos a quinta edio da Bienal do Mercosul. Foram muitos aqueles que trabalharam incansavelmente durante todos estes meses que precederam ao evento. Nossos conselheiros, em uma atitude de parceria como poucas, mostraram-se os grandes colaboradores neste que o maior evento de arte da Amrica Latina. Ao longo desse processo, discutimos, pensamos, trabalhamos e pusemos em prtica muitas idias de vrios profissionais que compem a complexa engenharia de montar uma exposio desse porte. Em meio a dificuldades e alegrias, visamos excelncia que o pblico merece e ao adequado emprego das verbas que generosamente nos foram destinadas. A responsabilidade de realizar um evento dessa dimenso merece uma reflexo. Nesse processo, refletimos sobre aqueles que nos deixaram um legado das bienais anteriores e que tornaram possvel um lastro de visibilidade que nos abriu caminhos. Portanto, ao refletirmos sobre a contemporaneidade, entramos em sintonia com aquilo que uma bienal oferece de melhor: a produo artstica atual. ela nossa fonte de inspirao, um instrumento de reflexo e produo de pensamento. A publicao Rosa dos Ventos-Posies e Direes na Arte Contempornea que apresenta os textos reflexivos dos curadores da 5 Bienal do Mercosul, uma contribuio inestimvel para o meio que se engrandece com a produo terica desses profissionais. Desde o seu incio, a Bienal do Mercosul tem deixado um patrimnio de contribuio terica para a comunidade artstica de valor inestimvel. Desse modo, pensamos em contribuir com nossa parte para a reflexo do pensamento contemporneo sobre a arte e as suas instncias. Se a obra de arte nossa prioridade, a partir dela que promovemos o dilogo e a reflexo, tornando, assim, o universo mais rico, mais interessante e, por que no dizer, mais humano ao promover a produo daquilo que o mais genuno da expresso humana: o pensamento. Porque pensar , antes de tudo, uma expresso de liberdade.
Elvaristo Teixeira do Amaral
Presidente da Fundao Bienal e Artes Visuais do Mercosul
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Prefcio

O projeto de publicaes da 5 Bienal do Mercosul e a origem deste livro

Em 1 de junho de 2004, quando apresentei diretoria da Fundao Bienal de Artes Visuais do Mercosul o projeto desta quinta edio, fiz questo de salientar que a legitimao da bienal, um pouco alm dos limites estreitos disso que chamado sistema da arte, e para que cumpra um efetivo papel de catalisadora da mais instigante produo artstica local e dos pases nela envolvidos, alm da ampliao do pblico dessa produo, dependia, do meu ponto de vista, de encar-la como um processo cultural, no qual a funo educativa ocupava um lugar importante. Essa viso educativa tem um sentido amplo, no se limitando ao estrito sentido pedaggico ou didtico do termo. E est muito longe de se reduzir capacitao de mediadores/monitores que recebem os visitantes da mostra com a difcil para no dizer impossvel misso de torn-la acessvel, em poucos minutos, ao olhar leigo e embrutecido pelo consumo cotidiano dos produtos da indstria do divertimento e da publicidade. Um dos pilares desse ponto de vista encontra-se em substituir o volumoso e nico catlogo da mostra por uma srie de publicaes, mais portteis e com vida mais extensa nas estantes de livrarias, correspondendo aos desdobramentos em vetores do tema geral da mostra: Histrias da Arte e do Espao. Assim, a 5 Bienal do Mercosul apresenta sete livros/catlogos. Quatro so temticos, coincidindo com os vetores em que esto distribudos os artistas e suas obras: Da escultura instalao, Transformaes do espao pblico, Direes no novo espao e Persistncia da pintura. Os quatro volumes sero lanados em novembro de 2005, para incluir nas suas ilustraes as obras tal como apresentadas na exposio em seus diversos espaos, com exceo do volume Transformaes do espao pblico, que trar os projetos das obras permanentes na orla do rio Guaba, que margeia a cidade de Porto Alegre de Norte a Sul, elaborados pelos artistas convidados e executadas ao longo da bienal, uma vez que as obras permanentes no puderam estar prontas para sua inaugurao, em face tanto de problemas tcnico-operacionais quanto de problemas financeiros. Nes17

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ses livros estaro documentados, igualmente, os critrios de montagem da mostra: em lugar de apresentar as obras separadas pelos respectivos pases de origem Argentina, Bolvia, Brasil, Chile, Mxico, Paraguai e Uruguai , elas encontram-se distribudas pelos vetores em funo das afinidades de linguagens. Somavam-se, no projeto original de publicaes, mais dois volumes j disponveis no momento da abertura da mostra: Amilcar de Castro Uma retrospectiva, o catlogo do artista homenageado, e Uma histria concisa da Bienal do Mercosul. Este ltimo, includo a partir da proposta de seu autor, Gaudncio Fidelis, curador adjunto da 5 Bienal, constitui, desde j, um documento de referncia para futuras investigaes a respeito da instituio. Este que voc tem em mos, intitulado Rosa-dos-Ventos posies e direes na arte contempornea, nasce de uma proposta de Justo Pastor Mellado, curador do Chile, na primeira reunio de curadores da 5 Bienal do Mercosul, realizada em Porto Alegre. Diante de meu projeto de publicaes voltadas a substituir o nico e grande catlogo por livros menores, que dessem conta de cada um dos vetores em que est conceituada a mostra, nos quais constassem no s o resultado dos trabalhos de cada um dos artistas, mas tambm estudos sobre cada um dos temas, Mellado sugeriu um volume que reunisse sozinho os textos de todos os curadores. Os demais curadores acataram sua proposta. Como considero que a nica forma de renovar essa j centenria instituio da bienal promover, entre outras medidas mais importantes, uma construo colegiada do processo de sua realizao e que um curador geral no deve impor um formato a seus parceiros, acatei imediatamente a sugesto, apesar das dificuldades oramentrias. Os textos so publicados aqui em suas lnguas originais espanhol ou portugus e em ingls, e estaro disponveis traduzidos em portugus, espanhol e ingls no site da Bienal do Mercosul (www.bienalmercosul.art.br).
Os textos

O resultado positivo. Temos aqui ensaios livres de diferentes experincias curatoriais que no precisam conformar-se ao tema geral bem amplo: Histrias da Arte e do Espao A arte contempornea e suas relaes com as transformaes da noo de espao. So posies que indicam direes nesse continente cultural latino-americano e que mostram como complexo, no mundo atual, reduzir as questes culturais e, particularmente, as artsticas oposio local/global, mesmo em situaes to idiossincrticas quanto as de nossos diferentes pases. Comento alguns aspectos desses textos pela ordem de aparecimento no livro. Eva Grinstein, curadora da Argentina, leva-nos a visitar aes do grupo La baulera, estabelecido formalmente como associao sem fins lucrativos desde 2002, em So Miguel de Tucum, capital da provncia de Tucum, no noroeste argentino. Paradoxalmente, o grupo no participa da representao de seu pas na 5 Bienal do Mercosul. Um dos argumentos da curadora que, por se constituir de 10 membros, o grupo praticamente esgotaria sozinho o nmero de 16 artistas participantes daquela representao indicado pelo curador geral. Na verdade, o nmero era apenas indicativo para nortear o gerenciamento de custos e a ocupao de espaos. representao chilena foi sugerido o nmero de 12, que, entretanto, traz 25 artistas, entre eles dois coletivos. Acredito mais na resposta dada pela prpria Eva Grinstein, segundo a qual a integrao de La baulera na representao argentina trairia a prpria prtica da liberdade inerente s aes do grupo. As observaes de Eva Grinstein so absolutamente pertinentes e confirmam, de modo irrefutvel, a afirmao de Beral Madra, crtica e curadora turca que coordenou a 1 (1987) e a 2 (1989) Bienal de Istambul: The institution biennale has become too heavy, too expensive and too sophisticated to catch the spirit of the art of these out-of-the-way territories. Ou reinventamos a instituio bienal para que ela passe a ser um processo contnuo de interaes e
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construo comum de nossos pases e regies, ou, cada vez mais, essa forma institucional ter de concorrer com a feira de arte feita pelo mercado e para o mercado , que j extrapola seu mbito promovendo atividades como mostras especiais de artistas, conferncias e debates, e que tambm marca a cidade na qual se realiza. O texto de Eva Grinstein abre-nos o caminho para a reflexo sobre as efetivas produes instveis e a sua inadequao s megaexposies em que se transformaram as bienais. Cecilia Bay Botti, curadora da Bolvia, apresenta-nos o drama de uma situao social e cultural adversa inscrita no mundo globalizado. De seu testemunho chegamos ao limite do trgico ao qual as teorias das ps-modernidades, que circulam no sistema da arte, teimam em dar as costas. Uma bienal latino-americana tambm se diferencia, na medida em que no se isola no limbo desse pseudo-sistema para preservar ilaes de crticos e curadores. Seguem-se as contribuies dos curadores do Brasil. Meu texto e o do curador adjunto Gaudncio Fidelis em certo sentido se complementam. Gaudncio aponta como as coisas deveriam ser; indica e esmia as diferenas de funes entre museus de arte contempornea e bienal, bem como os papis de cada uma das instituies em um sistema da arte ideal (noidealizado). Eu tento apontar algumas tendncias do mundo contemporneo que sobredeterminam a vida cultural e, em boa parte, ditam-lhe o curso, contrariando a plena realizao das funes que Gaudncio detalhou e analisou. So os termos em que esto postos no mundo. Arrisco, igualmente, indicar mudanas no mtodo de construo de uma bienal que poderiam colaborar para contrariar essas tendncias e a elas no permanecer subjugados. Jos Francisco Alves, curador assistente da 5 Bienal do Mercosul, e um mestre, no melhor sentido da palavra, na questo da obra pblica, apresenta-nos um quadro histrico das obras pblicas, alm de suas transformaes e seus dilemas no mundo contemporneo. Justo Pastor Mellado, curador do Chile, traz uma proposta estratgica ao refletir sobre a Bienal do Mercosul. Mellado transporta para o seu texto no somente uma inteligncia crtica, como tambm uma contribuio aos percursos das bienais no Brasil, a partir da de So Paulo, e a sua experincia como curador de seu pas na 1, 2 e 3 Bienal do Mercosul. Seu enfoque histrico consubstancia e refora a posio de que uma bienal como esta necessita transformarse em um processo cultural sem interrupo, a comear pela implantao de um centro de estudos cujos objetivos no podem ser cumpridos pela academia. Felipe Ehrenberg, curador do Mxico, conduz uma original anlise do multiculturalismo de seu pas e do continente cultural latino-americano. Empreende uma anlise crtica da civilizao da imagem que no respeita nenhum tipo de fronteira, ao mesmo tempo em que discute as fices nacionais que constroem arcabouos ideolgicos sob os quais mantm as precrias unidades nacionais. Ao diagnosticar a situao particular do Mxico quanto produo de arte contempornea, demonstra as conseqncias da inaptido dos colecionadores locais ao incorporarem os novos valores. Ehrenberg tambm faz a apresentao dos artistas mexicanos na 5 Bienal do Mercosul. Ticio Escobar, curador do Paraguai, contribui com um estudo de longo alcance sobre o fenmeno da estetizao generalizada da cultura atual e a problematizao da arte contempornea diante dessa situao ditada pela indstria da imagem. Comparando a ditadura do significante que vigorou na alta modernidade com o assalto das narrativas na produo de arte nos dias de hoje, desenvolve uma crtica contundente e aponta os inevitveis impasses que decorrem desse novo contexto. A densidade de seu estudo extrapola o mbito conjuntural e deve ser objeto de reflexo para quem esteja empreendendo trabalhos em torno da teoria da arte. Finalmente, Gabriel Peluffo Linari, curador do Uruguai, utiliza sua acuidade e experincia como historiador da arte para traar as grandes linhas de um estudo que merece desenvolvimento posterior: Espao e regio na arte contempornea: um olhar histrico, poltico e cultural. Ele se detm nas questes mais atuais e formula sugestes de direcionamento institucional. Tenho o
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privilgio de ser citado logo no incio de seu texto, quando, em nossas reunies preparatrias, salientei algumas diferenas em nossos processos histricos, ditados tanto pelas oposies entre o projeto hispnico e o lusitano quanto pelas diferenas das civilizaes autctones, mas, acredito, sobretudo pela longevidade do sistema escravista no Brasil, que foi o ltimo a ser abolido no continente em 1889 e que marca o pas at os dias atuais. A tardia introduo da imprensa e do ensino superior no Brasil, bem como a codificao como crime o fato de se alfabetizar um escravo, no podem ser subestimados quando pensamos em nossos handicaps em relao aos nossos vizinhos. Se Portugal legou-nos uma formidvel unidade lingstica, que costura essa incrvel colcha de retalhos cultural que nos constitui, preciso no esquecer as diferenas entre as culturas visuais de Portugal e da Espanha. O esforo de construo de uma cultura visual no Brasil encontra obstculos histricos bem diferentes daqueles que se oferecem aos pases colonizados pela Espanha, porm essa j outra discusso. Em Rosa-dos-Ventos posies e direes na arte contempornea, temos um conjunto de textos que indicam que no estamos diante de um mero evento, mas sim de um processo de trabalho cultural que ir alm, nos intercmbios, projetos de exposies menores, cursos e seminrios.
Paulo Sergio Duarte
Curador Geral

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Ping pong y bienalidad


Algunos problemas del arte contemporneo en torno a los gestos invisibles

Eva Grinstein
[Argentina]

Una, dos, tres, ocho personas entran, casi al mismo tiempo, a una biblioteca pblica. Entran en separado, como si no se conocieran, aunque s se conocen, y cada una pide un libro. Se sientan a leer. Silencio de biblioteca. En un momento determinado, a partir de una seal muda que se hacen entre ellos, comienza a escucharse un sonido absurdo pero absolutamente inconfundible: es el pique rapidsimo de una pelota de ping pong, golpeando contra el piso. Otro pique. Y otro; varios. La sensacin general es de desconcierto, curiosidad, los otros lectores se distraen y algunos sonren. No se entiende bien qu es lo que pasa, pero est claro que ese sonido no pertenece, no debera estar ah. El toque de la pelotita contra el piso es tan rpido que las autoridades del lugar no distinguen, a primera vista, de dnde procede el ruido. Antes que encuentren la respuesta a su pregunta, la pelota ya est otra vez guardada en el bolsillo. Son pelotas de ping pong? Qu hacen en una biblioteca? De pronto, la sospecha en torno a la peligrosidad potencial de lo fuera de lugar se vuelve ms inquieta y aparece un guardia que ha sido llamado por alguien, el bibliotecario, tal vez. Los ocho misteriosos lectores confabulados se levantan, devuelven sus libros y se retiran de la sala, sin decir nada y sin esperar a que los echen. Realmente no se trata de generar un incidente mayor; es a todas luces en lo menor de la situacin donde est el sentido: un acto de micro terrorismo ridculo, juguetn, un ataque subversivo demasiado sutil para los tiempos que corren. Esta accin que me toc presenciar en calidad de testigo (se fue el formato que estipularon para admitir la presencia de otros), forma parte de la serie Las barricadas invisibles y fue realizada por el grupo La Baulera en la Biblioteca del Congreso de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, el lunes 29 de noviembre de 2004, a las 16 horas. Form parte de la programacin de Estudio Abierto, evento anual organizado por la Subsecretara de Patrimonio de la Ciudad y que consiste en la revaloracin rotativa de diferentes barrios porteos mediante exposiciones artsticas, apertura de talleres privados y otras actividades, propiciando, adems, el acercamiento entre arte
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contemporneo y edificios histricos. Las otras dos acciones que realiz el grupo durante su corta estada en Buenos Aires se desarrollaron en el cruce de una calle (donde fingiendo no conocerse se agacharon simultneamente en el paso cebra para atarse los cordones) y en una confitera, donde en mesas separadas leyeron, todos al mismo tiempo, el peridico tucumano en formato tabloide La Gaceta. Como parte de la edicin de Estudio Abierto centrada en el eje de la Avenida de Mayo avenida que une, literalmente, el Congreso de la Nacin y la Casa de Gobierno, atravesando en su recorrido innumerables edificios ligados a la construccin institucional del pas-, fueron planificadas una serie de performances e intervenciones urbanas. La vertiente de realizaciones al aire libre procuraba ampliar el programa, sumando la siempre seductora ocupacin del espacio pblico, que en principio garantizara cierta cuota de sorpresa en comparacin con la ms previsible instalacin de objetos e imgenes en espacios cerrados. Pero La Baulera -grupo al que convoqu, como curadora asistente del evento- desbord toda expectativa institucional, incluso personal: las tres acciones que ese colectivo realiz en la zona de Avenida de Mayo eludieron elegantemente cada uno de los presupuestos (no me refiero al econmico) de lo que debera ser una accin en el espacio pblico. En primer lugar, el grupo no concibe sus intervenciones como si fueran espectculos; no realizan convocatoria al pblico ni especifican el lugar, da y hora en que actuarn. No miden el xito de sus acciones en funcin de la cantidad de espectadores ni de la calidad del comentario de los expertos. En segundo lugar, a diferencia de muchos otros grupos que operan de manera annima en el espacio pblico, no es la difusin de un ideario poltico lo que los impulsa: en todo caso, se trata de un ideario cuya poltica es la potica, que no se transmite panfletariamente sino que se desliza de manera oblicua en la propia materia intangible y frgil de sus apariciones. En tercer lugar, continuando con esta vocacin de autonoma en relacin a los parmetros oficiales del arte contemporneo, el grupo no se esmera en el registro y la documentacin de sus piezas, no las somete al juicio de la crtica o de otros artistas ni concibe la opcin de integrarlas en el mercado del arte. Para ellos el rdito, est claro, es tan efmero y contundente como lo puede ser un minuto de leve desorientacin social, unos segundos de desacople entre lo esperable y lo que sucede, un sonido que no debera ser escuchado en el silencio de una biblioteca. El colectivo La Baulera trabaja y vive en la capital de Tucumn, una de las tantas provincias castigadas por dcadas -siglos- de desequilibrio entre Buenos Aires y el resto de la Argentina. Dirigido por Jorge Gutirrez, est integrado por artistas provenientes de las artes plsticas y escnicas, quienes desde 1993 comenzaron a confluir en varias ideas grupales para, finalmente, constituirse en Asociacin Civil sin fines de lucro en el ao 2002. Hoy, La Baulera gestiona su propio Centro de Arte Contemporneo en San Miguel de Tucumn, abierto a proyectos de otros artistas y soporte de mltiples actividades. En paralelo y en simultneo con la tarea de programar su propio espacio, los miembros del grupo continan efectuando sus pequeas apariciones pblicas, espontneas o ejecutadas como respuesta a invitaciones curatoriales. La tozudez con la que actan, asumiendo las ventajas pero tambin los riesgos del trabajo asociativo; su manera de vincularse con la institucionalidad sin desvirtuar sus convicciones estilsticas e ideolgicas; su desenvolvimiento pblico desligado de los clichs del arte contemporneo; su participacin activa e inclusiva dentro del espacio comunitario, a travs del gerenciamiento del Centro La Baulera y el modo extraoficial con el que, en definitiva, contribuyen a construir cultura en el contexto urgente de una provincia agobiada por sus necesidades extremas; todos
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estos motivos, y otros, hacen de La Baulera un caso que creo pertinente analizar en el marco de esta quinta edicin de la Bienal del Mercosur, en la medida en que condensa buena parte de las preocupaciones, problemticas y grandes zonas obscuras de nuestro desempeo, al menos en lo que concierne al funcionamiento de la constelacin regional en la que estamos inmersos. Grupos como La Baulera ponen en evidencia algunos de los conflictos planteados en la institucin arte a partir de la evidente y progresiva transformacin que, acechando desde la esfera de la prctica, impacta directamente en el campo de la teora. El territorio en el que actualmente desarrollamos nuestra operatoria profesional asiste a una acumulacin de rupturas alimentadas por el conceptualismo, el situacionismo, la desmaterializacin y la revolucin digital, etc.- que ya han logrado poner en juicio los parmetros que hasta hace unas dcadas parecan indicar el camino. La calidad relacional de las nuevas estticas, la integracin en el sistema de lo que un par de dcadas atrs hubiramos considerado contracultural, la enmaraada relacin entre arte y activismo poltico, el cuestionamiento de los conceptos de originalidad o autenticidad a partir de las flamantes posibilidades brindadas por la tecnologa digital, posibilidades que derivan de una poca plagada de apropiaciones e intertextos, circulaciones de sentido voltil, no necesariamente identificable con objetos: todas esas variaciones, vislumbradas paulatinamente desde la revolucin Duchamp y desplegadas con mayor fuerza desde la segunda mitad del siglo pasado, dibujan un panorama en el que algunas reglas dejan de resultar vlidas y en el que urge sentar las bases, desde la experiencia, de nuevas formas de relacin e intercambio entre prctica y teora, entre arte e institucin, entre obras y espectadores. Una de las principales cualidades del arte contemporneo, con la que es necesario negociar, radica en la eleccin de formatos que son, a primera vista, extra-artsticos por parte de individuos o colectivos que operan en los bordes de lo museable y de lo galerizable, por ejemplo, desarrollando sus prcticas directamente en la esfera pblica, en el seno de la comunidad, por fuera de las instituciones sealadas histricamente para acoger y contener ese producto al que entendemos, o entendamos, como la obra de arte. Esta clase de experiencias en las que ya no rinde hablar de imgenes u objetos sino, en todo caso, de procesos, conceptos, dispositivoschocaran con nuestra miopa si hoy nos emperamos en caracterizarlas como alternativas, antiinstitucionales o contraculturales. Tanto en Argentina como en el resto del circuito latinoamericano -las coyunturas de los pases centrales, menos exigidas econmicamente, generan otras respuestas y, por lo tanto, requieren otros puntos de vista para su interpretacin- estas iniciativas se colocan, en primera instancia, al margen de las leyes del mercado, pero en su mayora no se posicionan programticamente en contra de las instituciones y, en general, resultan fciles de integrar en el circuito oficializado de circulacin, exhibicin e intercambio, es decir, se prestan a ser sumadas dentro del mismo circuito que pareca creado a la medida de aquellos otros objetos e imgenes que hoy ceden terreno al valor de la experiencia. Como efecto de esta actitud poco hostil, que distingue claramente las nuevas prcticas de sus predecesoras sesentistas o setentistas, en Argentina ha surgido en los ltimos aos una tendencia de colaboracin y mutuo aprovechamiento -entre artistas e instituciones- que delinea modelos efectivos de parainstitucionalidad: se trata de la proliferacin de emprendimientos autogestivos, independientes y paralelos a la red establecida por las polticas oficiales y las empresas privadas. En muchos casos, la financiacin que hace posible la existencia de estas asociaciones de artistas deriva directamente del apoyo de las instituciones ms fuertes. Es un caso que podramos caracterizar como de sano parasitismo, la sangre es chupada pero nadie muere: para garantizar la continuidad de la vida es necesario no asesinar a la fuente del poder. El sistema institucional
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se diversifica y perpeta adaptndose a las reformulaciones propuestas desde el campo de la prctica, operando como mediadores decisivos la curadura, la teora y la investigacin del devenir del presente. La Baulera se cuenta entre esas experiencias que negocian, da tras da, los bordes de su capacidad o voluntad de inscripcin en el circuito argentino y, eventualmente, global. Como la galera Belleza y Felicidad fundada por dos poetas, sede de exposiciones, conciertos y proyectos editoriales-, como Ramona revista de textos sobre arte que prescinde de toda imagen-; como las residencias El Basilisco o el ciclo de encuentros de discusin Trama; como el proyecto Venus, que ofrece una feria virtual de intercambio de bienes y servicios; como los multiespacios Vox, de Baha Blanca, Casa XIII, de Crdoba, El Levante, de Rosario, MOPT, de Mar del Plata o Sonoridad Amarilla, de Buenos Aires, por nombrar slo algunos de los emprendimientos artsticos que han dinamizado la escena argentina durante los ltimos aos. Como todos ellos, La Baulera y los artistas que convergen en ella asumen activamente la labor en pos de la confrontacin directa con sus pares y con la comunidad. Trabajan por la visibilidad de sus obras individuales y colectivas, construyendo, por sus propios medios, la clase de espacios que les resultan ms interesantes, menos rgidos y menos gobernados por imperativos de compra y venta de bienes de consumo. En el contexto argentino, la irrupcin y multiplicacin de este tipo de propuestas anticip y luego coincidi con una etapa de fuerte movilizacin social que propici el cambio de gobierno y de rumbo poltico en el pas. En este sentido, la tarea de los colectivos artsticos que funcionan desde fines de los noventa creci en sintona con una bsqueda generalizada de nuevas opciones y modelos, asumiendo una vocacin claramente reparatoria y constructiva. Se trata, en la mayora de los casos, de recomponer tcitamente, y desde la microaccin cultural, el entramado de relaciones mortalmente amenazadas durante los no tan lejanos aos de la dictadura. Se trata, en definitiva, de instaurar unas formas nuevas en las que no sea necesario atravesar un escalonamiento jerrquico para acceder a la circulacin de ideas, imgenes, objetos y sentidos. La asimilacin de estas propuestas no siempre resulta feliz y, tal vez, ha llegado el momento, pasada una primera dcada de cierta sorpresa inicial, seguida por una paulatina aceptacin, de que en nuestra condicin de mediadores y observadores activos nos aboquemos con la mayor delicadeza posible a la consideracin responsable de cada caso. La incorporacin de experiencias de corte social, solidario o comunitario suele garantizar a las instituciones artsticas museos, bienales, galeras, ferias- una aparente cuota de progresismo que, ltimamente, ha desencadenado una sobredemanda incompatible con la energa que rige la actividad de estos grupos, naturalmente insertos en la esfera social. Entre los mltiples problemas vinculados a la inscripcin institucional de estas experiencias asociativas impulsadas por artistas, el menor no es el de la tergiversacin de formas y contenidos a la que son sometidas como requisito para poder ser integradas. As, hemos asistido en los ltimos tiempos a diversos tipos de adecuacin forzada, que terminan convirtiendo a grupos alegremente festivos e indolentes en adalides de un comportamiento poltico del que no tienen ninguna conciencia o, por el contrario, hemos presenciado la banalizacin y resignificacin, en el contexto del gran negocio del arte global comprometido, de propuestas explcitamente opuestas a la circulacin del arte en su formato para compra y venta. Las responsabilidades, por supuesto, son compartidas: para los artistas son tentadoras esas instancias de legitimacin de alto nivel que, adems, garantizan el acceso a recursos esquivos en el campo del trabajo independiente; para los curadores funcionan, sin duda, algunas modas y lneas de trabajo internacionales,
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derivadas, probablemente, de la satisfaccin real de poder relacionarse con producciones ms frescas y menos regidas por los mandatos del mercado; para las instituciones es una manera de ajustarse a la direccin de los tiempos que corren y de asegurar la carrera de la contemporaneidad, an anclada en la persecucin de lo nuevo. Retomando el caso de La Baulera, espina dorsal de este texto, vale la pena mencionar tambin la cuestin de la fijacin de los pequeos gestos. Este tema no menor, al que haca una rpida referencia Paulo Herkenhoff, en Buenos Aires, durante los foros de discusin de la ltima Feria arteBA, desenvuelve una serie de problemas para los que an no hemos encontrado respuesta, o cuyas respuestas son todava parciales y aisladas. Ejerciendo un intento de autocrtica, como la que propona unos prrafos atrs, me pregunto (y me respondo) por qu no he convocado al colectivo La Baulera a que formara parte de la representacin argentina en esta edicin de la Bienal del Mercosur. La pregunta se desprende de mi -a estas alturas evidente- inters por la actitud esttica del grupo. Las respuestas revelan varios de esos puntos conflictivos, de los que hablaba al principio: La Baulera tiene entre ocho y diez integrantes. Por lo tanto, si los invitaba a participar hubieran tomado el cupo argentino por completo. Hagamos un ejercicio de imaginacin, que es a lo que, en definitiva, nos dedicamos. Supongamos que hubiera podido acordar con los directivos de la Bienal esta invitacin a un nico colectivo, en una edicin que ha asumido el esfuerzo de ampliar la cantidad de artistas por pas para enriquecer los envos nacionales. Cul sera el rdito para la institucin, para el pblico y para el resto de los participantes si el grupo se atuviera, fiel a sus principios, a desarrollar Las barricadas invisibles como su nombre lo indica, es decir, en el borde de la visibilidad? Cmo se convoca al pblico, si las acciones se producen por irrupcin sorpresiva en lugares que los artistas no desean anticipar? Qu imgenes de registro se envan a la prensa o se publican en los catlogos, si lo que queda de sus incursiones suele ser apenas un puado de fotos confusas, tomadas con una cmara escondida en la cartera de una de las integrantes del grupo? Cmo se justifica ante los patrocinantes, organizadores e instituciones colaboradoras, incluida la Cancillera Argentina, la apuesta por un colectivo de artistas enamorados de la inutilidad de los pequesimos gestos? Se los invita a hacer una obra diferente, por encargo, sujeta a los requerimientos de espectacularidad propios del sistema de bienales, sistema que implica una velada competencia por la visibilidad por parte de los numerosos artistas involucrados? A pesar de estar convencida de que ser testigo casual de una accin de La Baulera podra depararle a un hipottico espectador altos beneficios perceptivos y emocionales, reconozco mi propia falta de imaginacin para lograr sumarlos sin traicionar esa libertad que me resulta tan atractiva de su trabajo. Si algo ha conseguido este accionar tenaz de las asociaciones e iniciativas de artistas en la Argentina de los ltimos aos, es la ampliacin del circuito y una consecuente mayor posibilidad de insercin de los artistas en espacios diseados como lugar de encuentro de la comunidad ms cercana y, a la vez, abiertos a la mirada de los dems. Aunque el funcionamiento de esta nueva red de proyectos gestionados por artistas es deslumbrante dentro del contexto local, a nivel transnacional la difusin es todava tibia y slo muy lentamente comienza a vislumbrarse la participacin en un tejido geogrfico mayor. El sistema de bienales, ferias y grandes exposiciones internacionales se topa con limitaciones concretas de comunicacin e informacin que acotan innecesariamente la presencia del arte argentino en el exterior a unos pocos nombres que se repiten porque son lo bueno conocido. Pero hay an mucho bueno por conocer y en esa direccin se estructura la presencia argentina de este ao en la Bienal, a travs de un envo de diez artistas, que intenta expandir el conocimiento acerca de una nueva generacin de reconocido desempeo
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local y escasa insercin internacional. La mayora de ellos ha crecido al calor de los colectivos y espacios que se multiplicaron tanto en Buenos Aires como en el resto del pas durante los aos recientes. Como La Baulera, conciben sus gestos en torno a sentidos poticos antes que polticos, instaurando, en todo caso, de manera sesgada, la contundencia poltica de la opcin potica, personal o grupal, visible o invisible. Cuando encontremos la forma de bienalizar el sonido fugaz de una pelotita de ping pong resonando en el lugar equivocado, probablemente habremos encontrado varias respuestas a los problemas que el arte contemporneo nos plantea hoy. Mientras tanto, a modo de provisoria reivindicacin personal, vaya este rescate discursivo en el que, casi sin querer, ese pequeo gesto invisible se vuelve absolutamente protagnico.
Buenos Aires, julio de 2005.

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La postmodernidad en el corazn de Amrica del Sur


Cecilia Bay Botti
[Boliv ia]

La produccin de las artes plsticas en Bolivia, en los ltimos aos, se ha vuelto eclctica, sin una tendencia que se pueda identificar, contrastando con las tendencias mundiales homogeneizadoras de esta era, en la que las preocupaciones existenciales despuntan. La pintura, figurativa y paisajstica, con tcnicas tradicionales, es la que ms se produce y la que goza de mayor aceptacin entre el pblico nacional. A travs de ella se tiene un fuerte referente de identidades nacionales y de la historia. Las instalaciones, los videos, el arte digital u objetual son de escasa produccin y de menor aceptacin por parte del pblico que, ante la falta de manejo de cdigos de lectura, de textos de orientacin crtica en la prensa o en publicaciones especializadas y de hbitos de asistencia a lugares donde se exhiben estas manifestaciones postmodernas, guarda distancia con estas manifestaciones artsticas, desconfiando de sus propias apreciaciones, incomodndose e, incluso, descalificndolas. En los ltimos veinte aos, estas artes han dado algunos giros a paso lento en relacin a la produccin contempornea mundial. Los nuevos medios tecnolgicos an no han sido asimilados como nuevas posibilidades de lenguaje entre la nueva generacin de artistas, salvo raras excepciones. Los artistas digitales se encuentran en proceso de gestacin. Los de las generaciones de ms 25 aos vienen trabajando, paralelamente, la pintura, la escultura, los objetos, las instalaciones, la fotografa, la performance, el grabado y el video. Los creadores bolivianos no son proclives a manifestarse a travs de un arte inmaterial debido, tal vez, a razones socioeconmicas y culturales. Es posible que uno de los motivos sea la importancia que se da a las relaciones humanas, el hecho de que an se conserven ritos y costumbres grupales que tratan de los valores existenciales y trascendentales, a las sociedades pequeas de fuertes estructuras familiares, a los hbitos del contacto fsico en las relaciones de amistad, a aquella necesidad de sentir la materialidad. Los artistas en Bolivia an no se han
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apropiado, como herramienta de trabajo, de la Internet, del sintetizador de sonidos, de la robtica, del lser, del photoshop y de otras tecnologas con las que los artistas contemporneos producen net art, light art, video art, communication art, sound art y otras, con la que se logra un lugar preferente en las exhibiciones artsticas actuales en museos, bienales u otros eventos culturales. Sin embargo, en este tiempo se han obtenido importantes logros de visibilidad en el escenario internacional debido a varios factores que tratar de explicar mas adelante. El acariciado deseo de traspasar los mrgenes del territorio que lo engendr late bajo la piel de casi todos los artistas, a manera de prueba de universalidad. Este deseo por pocos realizado es, generalmente, costoso por los esfuerzos intelectuales, emotivos, fsicos y econmicos que demanda, porque se debe estar en el momento, en el lugar y con el contacto preciso. Los artistas de este pas que lo han logrado, que han conseguido estar en escenarios internacionales y, por consiguiente o por consecuencia, que son reconocidos tambin en su territorio, son casi todos los que tuvieron la posibilidad de formarse o vivir en pases lejanos, combinando su esencia con las enseanzas y la vida de las grandes metrpolis del arte, como Nueva York, Londres, Alemania o Pars. Entre ellos, recordemos a quienes han dejado, o estn dejando, marcas profundas en la historia del arte boliviano: Cecilio Guzmn de Rojas, Mara Luisa Pacheco (USA), Marina Nez del Prado (USA, Francia ), Gil Iman (Europa), Ins Crdova (Europa), Oscar Pantoja (Europa,Venezuela), Alfredo La Placa (Francia), Fernando Montes (Inglaterra), Ricardo Prez Alcal (Mxico), Ral Lara (Argentina), Gustavo Lara (Argentina), Enrique Arnal (Francia), Graciela Rod Boulanger (USA, Francia), Marcelo Calla (Bruselas), Fernando Rodrguez Casas (USA), Gastn Ugalde (Canad), Roberto Valcrcel (Alemania), Sol Mateo (Blgica), Cecilia Lampo (Alemania), Ramiro Garavito (Venezuela), Keiko Gonzlez (USA), Raquel Schwartz (Israel), Valia Carvallo (Europa) o Narda Alvarado (Holanda). Algo que caracterizaba al arte que se produca en pocas pasadas eran las motivaciones internas, los compromisos ideolgicos, polticos, sociales o histricos. Hoy, las nuevas generaciones abrazan preocupaciones existenciales, visiones personales sobre la realidad externa, reflexiones sobre el mismo arte. Muchas veces sin objetivos claros, se sienten confrontados a un dialogo universal desde su arraigada bolivianidad. Se trabaja en un arte con referentes pluriculturales, de pertenencia, que al mismo tiempo posea cualidades universales, donde un francs, un brasileo o un alemn puedan interesarse intelectual o emocionalmente por la obra, encontrar cualidades que puedan fluir en otros contextos. El complejo tejido intercultural en el que nos desenvolvemos desplaza la necesidad de poseer una identidad nacional hacia la conciencia de llevar consigo muchas identidades, como caracterstica de esta contemporaneidad, sin perder nuestras particularidades, sin perder los propios rasgos ni el deseo de seguir siendo nosotros mismos, particulares y autnticos. La sociedad boliviana, inmersa en una magra economa e incomprensiblemente dejada en manos de polticos corruptos y funcionarios burcratas, est signada por la intolerancia entre clases sociales, con una historia de dominacin y abandono para con los habitantes del campo, a la que se suma una falta de capacidad de armar un concierto entre las mltiples culturas que cohabitan un territorio comn desde 1825. En el campo, un elevado porcentaje de pobladores desconocen los servicios bsicos de luz, agua, alcantarillado y salud. La educacin escolar parece haberse detenido hace dcadas. La produccin agrcola casi no cuenta con tecnologa, las vas camineras son precarias y escasas. Esto, y muchas otras razones que mantienen postergado al pas, provoca el descontento y la movilizacin en busca de cambios apremiantes. Entonces, las manifestaciones sociales resultan ser las ms autnticas performances y acciones que se
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hayan visto. Tal vez por ello ese gnero no se haya desarrollado ni tenga la fuerza que tiene en otros contextos. Slo para dar una idea de la magnitud y agudeza de ello, describir un par de ejemplos: en las ltimas dcadas se ha vuelto comn en grupos de diversos sectores que, a manera de protesta, se crucifiquen, semidesnudos, en lugares cntricos de la ciudad, en las crceles o universidades, atndose o clavndose (literalmente) a una cruz. Otros, o los mismos, ante la indiferencia de las autoridades y al no obtener resultados, se cosen la boca con hilo y aguja llevando a extremos las huelgas de hambre. Hay quienes se han tapiado, quedando en el absoluto aislamiento y oscuridad, o se han enterrado hasta el cuello, pasando das inmovilizados a la intemperie. Se han visto grupos de mujeres y hombres desnudos entrar a rezar a una iglesia y siendo inmediatamente expulsados amablemente por los policas. An ms comn es ver a cientos, y hasta miles, de mineros marchando por las cntricas calles de la sede de gobierno, explotando dinamita en las calles, mientras los transentes los miran impvidos. Estas manifestaciones estn cargadas de simbolismos, metforas, esttica y fuertes contenidos que cuestionan y transforman a los individuos. El artista de la performance o del happening, ante esta realidad, encontrar un difcil desafo. Y existe quien lo toma; un grupo feminista, Mujeres Creando, que realiza acciones pblicas de protesta, repudio y bsqueda de toma de conciencia ciudadana en temas de gnero, de homosexualidad, de racismo o de segregacin social, llegando, con su actividad, a tener programas estelares en televisin y a lograr que coleccionistas de arte incorporen a sus fondos sus trabajos en video. Estas mujeres, admiradas y odiadas a la vez, han ocupado tanto aceras como salas de museos, desconcertando a empricos y profesionales que buscan una casilla para ubicarlas. Sobre el uso de multimedios, los artistas que estn trabajando con ms frecuencia son los jvenes. Como ejemplo, menciono a dos artistas representativos en ese campo: Sol Mateo, que recurre en sus ltimos trabajos a la fotografa, a la televisin y a la computadora al mismo tiempo y que con una esttica sacra habla de lo profano. El artista Joaquin Snchez, de nacionalidad paraguaya, radicado hace seis aos en Bolivia, realiza su obra Tejidos. En un ambiente oscurecido, el espectador se siente sin un referente de lugar ni tiempo. En una performance-instalacin-body art-proyeccin combina medios que permiten, con gran poesa y belleza, la construccin de metforas sobre la existencia humana. Snchez, en otra obra, Sin culpa, toma varios medios combinando el registro de una performance grupal, el video con la fotografa y con la instalacin. La fotografa, con alguna excepcin, an se concibe de una manera bastante conservadora, tanto en sus formas como en sus contenidos. La tecnologa digital est empezando a dar nuevas posibilidades creativas a los artistas, a la vez que, al abaratar sus costos, democratiza su uso. Con el Photoshop empiezan a encontrar nuevas maneras de expresarse. La fotografa combinada con medios computarizados ampla su mundo. Las instalaciones, desde hace aproximadamente una dcada, gozan de mayor popularidad tanto entre los creadores como entre el pblico. Destacan en ese campo Raquel Schwartz, Valia Carvallo, Ramiro Garavito, Angelika Heckl, Tatiana Fernndez, Erica Ewel y Ligia de Andrea. Existen dos artistas que marcan con fuerza una presencia a lo largo de los ltimos 30 aos, por su gran capacidad de movilidad y versatilidad para absorber los cambios de lenguaje y de pensamiento. Ellos son Roberto Valcrcel y Gastn Ugalde. Valcrcel, de una intelectualidad aguda, se ha expresado con su arte a travs del happening, la pintura, la instalacin, la fotografa, los objetos, los letreros,... principalmente en el campo conceptual, en la reflexin del arte y en la comprensin de los comportamientos humanos, dando alternativas para significar las cosas.
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En este caso, pasa de un medio a otro sin mezclarlos, ms bien por pocas, profundizando en cada campo. Gastn Ugalde, quien tambin ha manejado una multiplicidad de medios (pintura, escultura, grabado, fotografa, video, instalaciones, performances), posee una gran capacidad de captar lo espiritual de los seres humanos y del entorno donde se encuentra, pudiendo ser ste Pars o Viacha, se apropia del mundo, l est, habita los lugares y establece relaciones intensamente, volcando, luego, en sus obras, esa fuerza que lo caracteriza. En sus obras y en su manera de expresarse, muchas veces catica, deja traslucir un profundo vnculo con la cultura andina. Ambos artistas sirven como referente en las expresiones artsticas a las nuevas generaciones.

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Arte pblica no contexto da Bienal do Mercosul


Jos Francisco Alves
[Brasil]

A arte ao ar livre, ou a arte destinada a um pblico circulante, ou ainda a Arte Pblica com maisculas, como esse vasto campo foi enfim denominado a partir do ltimo quartel do sculo XX, o territrio mais antigo onde se materializa o fenmeno artstico. Tal perspectiva pode ser vista das cavernas pr-histricas s primeiras civilizaes (egpcios, gregos, romanos, etc.): arte para a coletividade, seja para impor vises de mundo, seja para iludir o pblico, seja para emocionar os coraes. O sculo XIX consolidou para a Arte Pblica uma vocao ou funo comemorativa quase irredutvel sua plena constituio. O sculo seguinte foi acompanhado da tentativa de fazer do espao pblico um local vivel para a arte no-comemorativa, simplesmente contemplativa. A partir da, uma nova linguagem no-figurativa tambm reivindicou seu lugar ao sol fora das paredes de museus, galerias e ambientes domsticos. O que nos interessa analisar neste momento so as possibilidades do espao pblico como terreno para receber uma arte contempornea, e suas inquietantes questes, colocada em local aberto e comissionada para existir de forma permanente. A arte no-figurativa permanente ao ar livre, de carter comemorativo, teve sua origem sob os auspcios socialistas em duas experincias. A primeira ocorreu na Rssia Bolchevista, na curta fase de liberdade artstica, com o projeto elaborado por Nikolai Kolli, em 1918, para comemorar as vitrias dos Vermelhos contra os Brancos, ou seja, os exrcitos contra-revolucionrios. A segunda, ocorrida na Alemanha, em 1922, constituiu-se no primeiro memorial comemorativo nofigurativo construdo: o Monumento aos Mortos na Revoluo de Maro (Walter Gropius). Nos ltimos 30 anos, a disputa entre comemorao pblica figurativa versus no-figurativa teve momentos de efervescente discusso, especialmente em torno do clebre Memorial aos Veteranos do Vietn (Maya Lin, 1981) na capital americana. A reao daqueles que queriam um monumento tradicional de guerra, que ilustrasse de maneira literal os feitos militares, foi bas31

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tante forte, porm a questo foi vencida por uma proposta radical, antimonumental no sentido histrico do monumento tradicional e absolutamente no-figurativa. Esse memorial posteriormente se tornou o monumento comemorativo mais visitado dos Estados Unidos. Nos debates para a construo do memorial para as vtimas do 11 de Setembro, no prprio lugar da tragdia, o WTC, comisso de seleo do concurso internacional de projetos, optou por uma forma no-figurativa, arquitetural,1 enquanto a maioria dos milhares de projetos enviados foi figurativa. As restries ao projeto escolhido por parte das famlias dos mortos nos atentados terroristas foram as mais fortes. Entre elas, havia os que queriam um tipo diferente de literalidade: que o monumento incorporasse o som da tragdia. Na Amrica Latina, essa questo tem sido muito pouco debatida, uma vez que a prpria insero da arte contempornea no sistema institucional ainda precria. O que no dizer sobre a produo localizada no espao pblico. No Brasil, o processo de discusso da forma de comemorao pblica da memria dos mortos e desaparecidos do Regime Militar (1964-1984) cercouse tambm de um certo debate, novamente no sentido de uma disputa entre arte figurativa versus no-figurativa. Entretanto, nesse caso, os modelos criticados foram justamente as representaes literais figurativas do sofrimento dos prisioneiros polticos, tais como o Monumento Tortura Nunca Mais, em Recife (1993), e a proposta homnima, ainda em projeto, de autoria do arquiteto Oscar Niemeyer, que consiste em uma comprida estrutura inclinada, como uma enorme lana, que espeta na ponta uma figura humana pendurada. Em Buenos Aires, a memria s vitimas do regime militar argentino (1976-1983) tema de um notvel projeto, o Parque da Memria Monumento s Vtimas do Terrorismo de Estado (1999), para o qual foram selecionados e convidados 14 projetos,2 de artistas como o americano Dennis Oppenheim e o brasileiro Nuno Ramos. A questo, nesse caso, ficou dividida pelo fato de que, talvez pela quantidade de trabalhos, as linguagens foram as mais diversas, sem predomnio de nenhuma delas, figurativa ou no. No Rio Grande do Sul, dois exemplos atestam a potencialidade da arte no-figurativa como comemorao pblica: os monumentos a Zumbi (Cludia Stern, 1997) e aos Mortos e Desaparecidos do Regime Militar (Luiz Gonzaga, 1995). Curiosamente, nenhum deles evocou qualquer restrio quanto s suas linguagens, desprovidas de apelo figurativo. Os exemplos mencionados apontam para uma melhor aceitao da comemorao pblica em formas no-tradicionais, especialmente de linguagem no-figurativa, impensvel at pouco tempo atrs. Tal situao pode ser creditada ao fato de que elas tendem a se adequar mais a uma linguagem moderna da paisagem urbana, na qual esto em sua maioria inseridas. Ou, talvez, indiquem que a arte contempornea est realmente sendo mais aceita, inclusive neste terreno caudaloso a esfera pblica, no s em seu sentido fsico, do urbanismo, mas tambm como possibilidade cultural significativa para a vida das pessoas. Voltando ao tpico principal do presente texto, a questo a ser enfrentada a validade das situaes nas quais a arte pblica contempornea a qual, bom que se frise, no se restringe arte no-figurativa insere-se no terreno pblico ao ar livre, desvinculada da arquitetura (ao contrrio, por exemplo, da arte permanente em estaes de metr, viadutos, prdio pblicos, etc.) e longe dos espaos expositivos convencionais. Suas potencialidades surgem com fora a partir dos programas oficiais americanos, da dcada de 1960, que colocaram obras clebres em espaos ao ar livre, como, por exemplo, os programas Arte em Lugares Pblicos (do National Endowment for the Arts/NEA) e Arte-na-Arquitetura (da Administrao de Servios Gerais/GSA do governo federal). So obras resultantes desses programas as conhecidas esculturas La Grande Vitesse (A. Calder, 1969), na cidade de Grand Rapids (Estado de Michigan), e
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Arco Inclinado (Richard Serra, 1981), na cidade de Nova York. Esta ltima ficou conhecida por suscitar um dos maiores captulos pela disputa do poder cultural nos Estados Unidos, que resultou na destruio da escultura, em 1989, pelos prprios comissionadores, a GSA, sob a alegao da m recepo da obra por parte da audincia especfica de onde a pea estava situada.3 No entanto, foram justamente esses projetos que impulsionaram grandes corporaes a comprar monumentais obras pblicas, de renomados artistas, como sinal de distino cultural, como, por exemplo, o Cubo Vermelho (Isamu Noguchi, 1971), em Nova York. No Brasil, essa postura das corporaes tambm se tornou uma prtica, como a obra Portal, de Franz Weissmann, uma pea-prtico gigantesca de acesso ao complexo empresarial de um banco com matriz em So Paulo. Paulatinamente, a arte contempornea ganhou terreno no espao urbano, mas ainda assim como uma espcie de adorno. Mesmo que tardiamente, o poder pblico no Brasil foi tambm conquistado por essa idia de comissionar arte sem objetivos comemorativos e realizada por importantes artistas. Os jardins de esculturas da Praa da S, em So Paulo, e do Parque da Catacumba, no Rio de Janeiro, ambos de 1978, so exemplos disso. O importante refletir sobre como se procedeu essa aceitao pblica de comissionar obras de arte para a ornamentao do espao coletivo e ao ar livre. Entretanto, pelo estado de conservao da maioria das peas de arte decorativas pelo Brasil, percebemos que tal produo ainda no se consolidou perante uma determinada audincia. Seu papel como divulgao da arte contempornea precisa ser devidamente estudado e debatido. Nas dcadas de 1980 e 1990, uma srie de aes no plano internacional indicou novos rumos para o comissionamento de uma arte ao ar livre, relacionados com as propriedades fsicas e espirituais dos locais onde foram instaladas, grosso modo, com duas tendncias. Por um lado, as obras de arte ou atividades artsticas voltadas para as questes do genius loci tomaram um sentido mais temporrio e muitas vezes de carter ativista; por outro lado, as obras voltadas para as especificidades fsicas dos locais tomaram um sentido mais permanente e funcional. Essa ltima tendncia incorporou tambm certos aspectos de movimentos que surgiram na dcada de 1960, como a earth art e a land art, e at mesmo o minimalismo. Todavia, assimilaram tais referenciais dentro de (novas) questes levantadas sob a tutela do urbanismo, voltadas a uma melhor habitabilidade dos locais pblicos, sobretudo novos espaos, muitos deles renovados, que necessitaram de obras de arte especificamente projetadas para os locais a fim de darlhes novas caractersticas um novo sentido a cada local. Esse tipo de perspectiva foi implementado com sucesso nas renovaes urbanas de Barcelona, na Espanha, e em outras localidades na Gr-Bretanha e nos Estados Unidos. No Brasil, algumas obras comissionadas com essa perspectiva foram bem-sucedidas, como a Escultura para o Rio (Waltrcio Caldas, 1997), que se fixou como marco do lugar, trazendo para a esfera pblica questes interessantes no plano da arte contempornea, sem ser exclusivamente um adorno ou, como atualmente se passou a dizer, um equipamento pblico. nessa perspectiva que a curadoria da 5 Bienal do Mercosul promove mais uma vez um seguimento de obras em espao pblico com o objetivo de problematizar a Arte Pblica, tema intimamente ligado s questes do espao na produo artstica. J que hoje no nos causa mais estranheza, ou mesmo nos traz dificuldade, apontar o que ou no a arte contempornea (nos espaos museolgicos, nas bienais, etc.), cabe-nos agora falar da existncia de uma arte pblica contempornea. Esta que seria uma arte pblica contempornea permanente, no-direcionada comemorao, nem simples colocao da obra de museus na rua, tem como elementos interligados
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a paisagem e o pblico que faz parte dela. Na sociedade brasileira atual, esse pblico recebeu uma denominao genrica, banalizada, de usurio. Assim, no se pode pensar em arte pblica hoje, no contexto urbano, sem pensar nos usurios dos locais (praas, parques, etc.). Isso no quer dizer que tal produo adote literalmente o papel de atender a esse pblico, como j foi mencionado, transformando a obra de arte em equipamento urbano, o que seria um retrocesso por trazer novamente para o terreno da arte a atribuio de uma funo ou utilidade. A arte pblica, nessa perspectiva enfocada, deve tomar o sentido da arte contempornea, que o de perturbar uma determinada ordem estabelecida (embora no caso da arte pblica no se quer que seja a ordem pblica a ser perturbada). A perturbao aqui referida sinnimo de inquietao, da capacidade de tais obras de arte suscitarem problemas. No mesmo sentido, essas obras devem colaborar para transformar o espao pblico, para alterar a vida cotidiana de forma instigante, sem ser arquitetura, nem paisagem, no sentido escultrico que estabeleceu Rosalind Krauss em seu prestigiado ensaio A Escultura no Campo Ampliado.4 Tal perturbao pode ser tambm mal recebida, como o foi por aqueles que no quiseram entender a transformao proposta pelo Arco Inclinado, de Richard Serra, uma interessante mudana do espao fsico e uma sutil alterao da vida cotidiana da audincia em seus itinerrios mecnicos dirios. A escultura, ao interromper a livre circulao do local, perturbava aquela certa normalidade a qual todos ns, de algum modo, estamos acostumados. Ao faz-lo, promovia uma desconfortvel situao de reflexo diria ao lembrar constantemente o quanto somos incapazes de interromper nossa rotina, ou de como nos sujeitamos a pequenas regras do espao pblico, o que na verdade fazemos obrigatoriamente sem perceber. Fazlo, entretanto, por causa de uma obra de arte parece ter conferido visibilidade ao problema. As obras permanentes ao ar livre propostas para serem construdas nesta 5 Bienal do Mercosul, de autoria de Carmela Gross, Jos Resende, Mauro Fuke e Waltrcio Caldas, so apenas o incio do tratamento proposto para essa questo e so fundamentais para o entendimento de uma arte pblica atual, ainda que dentro de uma perspectiva do urbanismo como forma de organizao paisagstica confortante ou desconfortante de um local pblico. Essas obras foram pensadas como sendo necessariamente integradas ao espao pblico, desvinculandose totalmente de qualquer outro propsito que no seja o de permitir que sejam usufrudas pelo pblico.5 Esse projeto um exerccio para a questo proposta hoje, assim como foi um exerccio, uma experimentao, o jardim de esculturas da 1 Bienal do Mercosul, em 1997, ao instalar obras de arte em um parque pblico de Porto Alegre. O resultado ao longo do tempo no foi dos melhores, uma vez que o jardim vem sendo paulatinamente destrudo por atos de vandalismo, o que apenas ilustra uma das formas mais comuns de reao arte colocada em reas pblicas abertas. Em muitas sociedades, os bens colocados em espao pblico sofrem um maior ou menor processo de depredao, de acordo com fatores socioculturais, e com a arte pblica no seria diferente. Contudo, devemos perguntar por que a arte no consegue ser salvaguardada de to sistemtico processo de destruio.6 Uma das respostas talvez seja outra pergunta: por que a arte ainda se mantm distante da vida das pessoas? A produo de obras de arte pblica dentro das bienais , por que no dizer, um processo de grande complexidade. Logstica, infra-estrutura e poltica so todos fatores determinantes na realizao de tais exposies, que agora se somam quelas problemticas decorrentes da realizao de obras de arte ao ar livre. No caso da produo de obras desse porte, que se constitui praticamente em obras de carter de engenharia civil na sua execuo, tais fatores tornam-se ainda mais acirrados. As negociaes entre poder pblico e privado7 , bem como os fatores determinantes e expressos na subjetividade de seus agentes, tornam o projeto de realizar complexas obras de arte pblica um
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intrincado processo operacional. Assim, trabalhar com arte contempornea ao ar livre , antes de tudo, promover o exerccio poltico de negociaes entre as diversas instncias envolvidas e a prpria materializao da obra no espao pblico, em que questes como segurana, viabilidade, durabilidade e recepo pela audincia so apenas alguns dos fatores a serem levados em considerao.8 Muito provavelmente, o vandalismo no espao pblico observado em Porto Alegre no seja exemplificativo do comportamento social no espao pblico brasileiro e latino-americano, por questes especficas que devem ser problematizadas e discutidas pelas instncias culturais e administrativas da cidade que sedia a Bienal do Mercosul. Desse modo, buscamos no aprofundar esse grave problema ao comissionar trabalhos que possibilitem um enfrentamento civilizado de tal situao, ao propor um vetor com obras de arte que em seus aspectos construtivos tornemse parte da vida cotidiana da populao. Assim, a partir das quatro obras pblicas da 5 Bienal do Mercosul, pretendemos promover discusses ainda inexistentes no panorama da arte pblica latino-americana. Entre elas, a precariedade dos mecanismos governamentais na conservao do ambiente ao ar livre somada ao vandalismo, sintomas da situao da esfera pblica. Nesse sentido, creio que a arte pblica possa ser um mecanismo importante para promover tais discusses, j que esses trabalhos, alm de se constiturem como bens culturais no espao pblico, trazem em si a propriedade de acrescentar outros elementos a essa problemtica, tais como uma posio crtica a respeito desse espao. Se grande parte das discusses em torno de arte pblica tem girado em torno da sua viabilidade como um fenmeno artstico realmente significativo, justamente essa questo que nos pode fazer pensar sobre as intricadas questes envolvidas na constituio desse espao como um terreno das disputas entre os diversos interesses pblicos e privados por parte de seus diversos agentes. Nesse sentido, caberia perguntar: a arte pblica pode abrir novas perspectivas educacionais para o grande pblico a fim de familiariz-lo com a produo contempornea? J que proporciona maneiras de pensar o espao pblico criticamente, possvel que sim. Mas, para tanto, no basta apenas que essas obras sejam impostas ao espao pblico sem que, em primeiro lugar, sejam efetivamente pensadas para existir nesse espao e sem que estejam inseridas em um processo de reflexo sobre o seu papel nesse mesmo espao como objetos culturais de potencial educativo no sentido mais amplo do termo. Ou seja, elas devem possibilitar o exerccio da reflexo de seus cidados em relao no s arte, mas a um conjunto de relaes entre o indivduo e a sociedade. Outra questo importante, j mencionada, a conservao das obras no espao pblico, a qual tem sido um tpico sempre presente em projetos de obras de arte contempornea feitas para espaos abertos, visto que a viabilidade desses trabalhos diz respeito tambm sua condio de durabilidade em um espao cuja circulao e exposio muito grande. Por isso, h um outro aspecto que deve ser levado em considerao: um dos grandes papis da arte pblica o de transformar o espao pblico em um ambiente cultural. Muito do que tem sido discutido sobre arte pblica carrega como pano de fundo, ainda que muitas vezes de forma velada, um tpico sumamente importante para a sociedade urbana: a relao entre aquilo que reflexo de nosso comportamento no espao pblico, onde esto expressas muitas das tenses e dos problemas que envolvem a vida pblica democrtica (ou no), e suas implicaes, como violncia, qualidade de vida e outros problemas sociopolticos que sempre existiram. Se, por um lado, a arte no necessariamente tem de estar ligada a tais questes, ao menos como abordagem temtica, por outro no possvel pensar a produo colocada nesses espaos pblicos como totalmente desconectada do contexto descrito. Esse ambiente seria determinante em definir um espao civilizatrio, j que a cultura a manifestao de um processo educativo no qual escolhas de
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comportamento so feitas. Esse ambiente passaria a ser tambm aquele onde se demonstra, atravs das obras de arte que esto dispostas no espao pblico, o comportamento de um povo, uma vez que a conservao das obras pblicas, sem falar em sua qualidade, a demonstrao de como nos comportamos em relao a determinados princpios ticos e estticos.

Notas O projeto vencedor, Reflecting Absence (Michael Arad e Peter Walker, 2003), foi divulgado em 6 de janeiro de 2004. Disponvel em: <http://www.parquedelamemoria.org.ar/parque/ver_plano.htm>. Acesso em 16 ago. 2005. Os projetos, em sua maioria, ainda no foram executados. 3 O Arco Inclinado esteve instalado na esplanada do edifcio-sede de um complexo de rgos do governo federal americano, a Federal Plaza; portanto, contou com uma audincia quase exclusiva de funcionrios dessas reparties. 4 Escultura no Campo Ampliado. Traduo de Elizabeth Carbone Baez. Rio de Janeiro: Gvea, 1985. Publicado originalmente na revista October, n. 8, New York, Spring 1979, p. 30-44. 5 Assim, a perspectiva desses trabalhos de modo algum se constitui em utilitria. Eles so pensados para existir em um contexto cultural, em que a comunidade seja levada em considerao. Sabe-se tambm que, na maioria das vezes, os artistas tendem a pensar suas obras pblicas como parte integrante do trabalho realizado em estdio; obviamente, nem sempre essa produo adequada s prerrogativas dos espaos ao ar livre. 6 Algumas das obras oferecidas cidade pela Fundao Bienal do Mercosul foram restauradas em 2002, como o caso, por exemplo, dos trabalhos de Carlos Fajardo e Alusio Carvo. Ver A Escultura Pblica de Porto Alegre: histria, contexto e significado (Porto Alegre: Artfolio, 2004, p. 193), de lavra do presente autor. 7 Contudo, cabe salientar que, nesse caso, as negociaes entre a Fundao Bienal e a Secretaria Municipal do Meio Ambiente de Porto Alegre foram de absoluta cooperao e boa vontade, uma exceo que no se confirma em muitos lugares. 8 Como exemplo, o simples fato da movimentao de poucas pessoas na medio do terreno onde seria instalado o trabalho de Carmela Gross, com a equipe da Bienal, os engenheiros e a prpria artista, j chamou a ateno de usurios do local, que perguntaram insistentemente: O que vocs vo fazer a?.
2 1

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O comportamento das bienais


Apontamentos para uma psicologia do perfil institucional

Gaudncio Fidelis
[Brasil]

Como o prprio ttulo deste texto sugere, bienais podem ser pensadas como um organismo. Elas possuem de fato uma forma orgnica que, no mbito das instituies que as promovem, reage a influncias externas ao mesmo tempo em que respondem a essas foras com igual intensidade de impacto atravs da produo que veiculam. Bienais, no mais das vezes, confundem-se com as prprias instituies que as produzem. sabido que exposies bienais constituem instituies em si e, por isso mesmo, em determinados momentos viro a colidir com uma srie de valores estabelecidos pelas prprias instituies que as patrocinam. No h, salvo raras excees, uma diferena significativa entre tais instituies e os eventos que geram. Por essa razo, no final desse processo, acabam por tornar-se uma coisa s. Se, por um lado, ganham visibilidade pela bienalidade de suas aes, por outro contabilizam para si toda a complexidade comportamental de um evento cuja especificidade tende a torn-lo desafiador e, portanto, contrrio prpria idia de institucionalidade. Assim, cabe-nos entender que cada um desses organismos institucionais refere-se a uma tipologia especfica de acordo com cada instituio que, por sua vez, diferente de acordo com o objeto de sua guarda e tambm com o objetivo e a maneira pela qual se constitui. Instituies museolgicas, centros culturais, pblicos ou privados, e bienais, s para citar alguns exemplos, tem cada um suas peculiaridades. No possvel comparar instituies culturais em termos das especificidades de seus organismos e de como estes reagiro s demandas dos seus mais diversos pblicos e dos agentes que tero influncia sobre elas. Por exemplo, no podemos comparar centros culturais oriundos do conceito de marketing cultural com instituies museolgicas, j que a disposio dessas instituies de atender sua clientela em essncia diversa. Museus tm um carter seletivo e discriminatrio no atendimento de seu pblico, enquanto os centros culturais de mltiplas atividades buscam dar um atendimento aos mais diversos estratos sociais, sem uma distino relacionada ao objeto de sua veiculao.1
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A meu ver, grande parte da crise institucional gerada nas instituies relacionadas a exposies no Brasil deve-se falta de uma compreenso de seu papel no mbito do espectro institucional, ao tentarem comportar-se ou ao se verem foradas a isso como instituies cuja tipologia no corresponde ao perfil expositivo e pouco ou nenhum parentesco guardam com as mesmas. Tal condio surge mais agudamente quando comparamos instituies cujo objeto o mesmo, ainda que com objetivos diferenciados, como o caso de bienais e museus cujo objeto, em ambos os casos, a arte contempornea. claro que grande parte desse comportamento agravado pela precariedade institucional: instituies tm de responder exaustivamente a uma enorme demanda, que muitas vezes pouco ou nada tem a ver com o objeto de seu trabalho. Bienais so, por excelncia, organismos cujo objeto de trabalho por si s instvel ou, melhor dizendo, veiculado em um estado instvel.2 Elas so produzidas por instituies de veiculao da produo e no vo alm disso, porque no tm, em princpio, a misso de conservar e preservar a produo nem de promover leituras contnuas e sistemticas sobre o objeto de sua guarda. Assim, errneo pensar que ao trabalhar com um objeto to instvel, porque muitas vezes ainda em experimentao ou em fase de teste diante da visibilidade pblica, esse objeto no venha a trazer para a instituio boa parte do carter do qual est imbudo, ou seja, um alto grau de instabilidade. Isso exigiria da instituio um movimento contrrio, isto , um maior grau de estabilidade para absorver tal condio e ainda ser capaz de responder s suas j naturais demandas internas. Por isso, em primeiro lugar, preciso entender como esse organismo funciona, como ele se relaciona com seus agentes externos e como responde a mudanas estruturais internas. No caso de uma bienal, principalmente se esta for jovem, ter de dar respostas a uma srie de demandas, algumas das quais talvez nem possa de fato absorver sob pena de provocar fissuras em seu organismo constitutivo. A sua capacidade ou no de dar tais respostas e de manter uma integridade interna que far com que possa sobreviver ao longo do tempo sem que uma crise de identidade venha a atingir o cerne daquilo que constitui sua razo de ser em ltima instncia: a realizao de sua exposio bienal, em que se busca veicular a produo conforme os padres de iseno e qualidade requeridos. Instituies bienais so mais resistentes provincianizao do que parecem. Seu comportamento tende a extrapolar as subjetividades que venham a se impor em seus modelos de gesto. Elas so poderosas mquinas de produo de conhecimento e gerao de infra-estrutura institucional, mobilizando, assim, um enorme aporte de recursos humanos e financeiros em movimentos rpidos e peridicos, bienalmente, como sabemos. Dessa forma, bienais so em essncia eventos que costumam concentrar todo o seu aporte de recursos em um s momento. No entanto, alguns modelos internacionais tm tentado sistematicamente romper com tais paradigmas comportamentais ao imprimir rotina institucional um processo de continuidade no intervalo de seus eventos.3 Bienais tendem prioritariamente a se reportar a uma audincia internacional cosmopolita e a desconsiderar questes locais. Um grande esforo tem sido despendido por algumas delas para se reportar a especificidades locais, mas sempre a uma audincia maior que as bienais tendem a privilegiar. Isso ocorre porque a produo veiculada deseja ganhar visibilidade internacional, razo pela qual as bienais de fato so realizadas. Diga-se de passagem, tal inteno independe da vontade poltica que seus agentes venham a imprimir a tais instituies. Sendo assim, as produes geralmente apresentam um vocabulrio legvel a especialistas e iniciados e/ou a um pblico cuja rotina de circulao por tais exposies consiste mais em uma parada dentro da rotina de trabalho. Por essa razo, as bienais tendem a estar ligadas a valores
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neoliberais que reforam a mobilidade e o cosmopolitismo em uma perspectiva multiculturalista. Portanto, pensar o comportamento das bienais no mbito de uma viso localizada e especfica, para a qual uma poltica de valores correspondente a demandas regionais seria naturalmente vivel, abordar a questo sob uma perspectiva errnea. Queiramos ou no, os efeitos da globalizao sobre tais eventos so inevitveis. Ainda que lutemos contra seus supostos efeitos nocivos, muitos de ns no querem abdicar justamente de seus benefcios, como circulao global de bens de consumo, veiculao da informao de maneira democrtica (embora esteja cada vez mais restrita a quem detm o poder aquisitivo), e assim por diante. A arte e a sua veiculao, igualmente, no fogem a tal estrutura. A circulao do objeto artstico mudou e com ela o prprio objeto. Hoje muitas obras j so veiculadas em razo de sua constituio material, ou seja, menor volume para transporte e maior eficincia no impacto visual e conceitual de sua realidade material. Talvez no imaginssemos que a chamada desmaterializao da arte passaria por um outro estgio, a saber: aquele de sua veiculao sob uma perspectiva exclusiva da rapidez e da eficincia de sua realidade material. Nesse sentido, grandes eventos transnacionais, entre os quais as bienais constituem exposies emblemticas, tm sido os principais responsveis por esse mais novo fenmeno. Atualmente, a grande questo posta aos projetos curatoriais a de sua viabilidade tcnica e financeira, que no se resume simplesmente a cifras, mas abrange um conjunto de fatores logsticos para os quais a materialidade da obra passa a ser tambm um aspecto fundamental. O transporte , sem sombra de dvida, a primeira questo posta a quaisquer dessas instituies. Se, por um lado, tais exposies tm forado cada vez mais possibilidades at ento impensadas em termos de transporte de obras de grande complexidade, por outro, a acirrada competio por obras de artistas de perfil internacional e o grande nmero de exposies em que participam tm levado curadores e administradores a buscar produes de grande impacto e mxima facilidade de transporte e viabilidade tcnica de montagem. Em vista disso, o perfil da produo internacional est mudando radicalmente. As instituies internacionais vem-se obrigadas a dar suporte aos nomes consolidados pelo circuito, enquanto a incluso de obras com um perfil voltado a grandes mostras transnacionais cada vez maior. Hoje h uma gerao de artistas cuja obra j tem sido formada com o intuito de ascender a um patamar de veiculao especfico, isto , aquele das grandes mostras internacionais cujas dificuldades logsticas, de espao de exibio e visibilidade so igualmente competitivas e complexas. Ainda que vrios curadores tentem negar, o fato que muitas de suas escolhas vm sendo determinadas pela viabilidade de veiculao da obra do artista em questo. A despeito de que nomadismo e perspectivas multiculturais tenham-se tornado tema de grande parte da produo contempornea e, por conseqncia, de projetos curatoriais, muitas obras passaram a se adaptar a uma perspectiva de constituio material condizente com requerimentos de veiculao e eficincia econmica exigidos por tais instituies. Diversos artistas tambm tm abordado essas questes como tema. No caso brasileiro, o exemplo mais significativo e emblemtico talvez seja a obra de Jac Leirner. Seu trabalho surge justamente em um momento em que as exposies transnacionais no eram to comuns quanto o so hoje em dia. Por esse motivo, a obra da artista adiantou-se a essa virada estratgica por meio da qual um quadro complexo de profissionalizao do meio comea a se configurar de maneira consistente e, por que no dizer, pervasiva. Ela tematiza, no por acaso, o fluxo intermitente da transformao de bens culturais em bens simblicos de consumo. 4 Alm disso, incide sobre as instituies museolgicas e a problemtica do colecionismo. Se, por um lado, fala-se da arte e da institucionalizao do
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objeto artstico, por outro, essas relaes so pensadas na condio de circulao das obras em um fluxo de capital internacional. Cabe lembrar que um dos ideais das bienais transcender barreiras polticas e, por essa razo, subestimam sobretudo o conceito de estado-nao onde se instituem as relaes de poder. Tambm no por outro motivo que as bienais estruturam-se como uma espcie de poder paralelo em que novas perspectivas de modernidade so disputadas com o Estado. Por isso, elas tm de lidar com uma engenharia poltica que pressupe uma ambigidade inerente: reportar-se a uma poltica de relaes locais e, ao mesmo tempo, a uma complexa engenharia de diplomacia internacional, tanto no que se refere relao com os artistas como aos seus agentes estrangeiros. Os curadores so indivduos nomdicos que transitam de um evento a outro, enquanto as instituies vem-se obrigadas a responder a uma demanda internacional que ultrapassa demandas locais. Dessa forma, bienais estabeleceram novos paradigmas entre a periferia urbana e o centro, assim como suas relaes com as instituies. Na maioria das vezes, as bienais surgem em um contexto competitivo, no qual cidades lutam por novas possibilidades de investimento na rea turstica e de infra-estrutura em uma perspectiva cada vez mais globalizada. Nessa escala competitiva, as cidades precisam cada vez mais de atrativos que possam servir a uma classe privilegiada que tem recursos suficientes para viajar e circular por tais exposies e, simultaneamente, responder a uma demanda de profissionais para um meio que cresce a cada dia. Convm salientar que, se a arte necessita da exposio como um meio para sua veiculao, esse meio que passa a se tornar uma extenso da arte fundamentalmente artificial.5 Daniel Buren j havia escrito em seu antolgico ensaio The Function of the Studio6 que a obra modifica-se no trajeto do estdio para a exposio, j que aquele seria o nico lugar onde ela existiria em seu estado ideal de exibio. Buren considera que a obra totalmente estrangeira ao espao de exposio e que acaba sendo inevitavelmente modificada no trajeto estdio/museu ou galeria. Essa modificao acontece essencialmente pela condio de que a obra sempre apresentada na exposio em uma situao idealizada. Bienais, por sua vez, tendem a descontextualizar ainda mais essas obras. Mesmo que muitas delas cada vez mais sejam criadas especialmente para os eventos, grande parte do que nelas se exibe precisa sofrer uma adaptao para que possa adequar-se ao espao em questo, assim como s relaes estabelecidas entre obras. Se verdade que as bienais possibilitam a execuo de muitas obras in situ, tambm verdade que tal procedimento derivativo da posio crtica adotada pela produo artstica em relao ao espao idealista do cubo branco to cuidadosamente preservado pelo modernismo. A questo que agora, frente a uma demanda de visibilidade para o trabalho baseada em parmetros competitivos, tal perspectiva crtica desapareceu das obras site-specifics, restando apenas sua origem histrica como referncia. Se, por um lado, teramos de adotar uma perspectiva adorniana em sua crtica ao tratamento de objetos fora de seu contexto histrico e de suas condies materiais, situao que ele chamou de uma ...prtica conservadora que no dispe de uma critica economia politica,7 por outro, temos de perceber que as exposies so, antes de tudo, dispositivos que constroem conhecimento atravs de relaes espaciais tanto em sua disposio fsica como nas relaes que estabelecem entre obras.8 As exposies so e sempre sero vistas parciais dos objetos e de sua histria. atravs delas que o objeto artstico contemporneo adquire sentido no somente em sua exibio circunstancial, em determinado momento de uma exposio, mas tambm no somatrio dessa trajetria expositiva. Tais exposies (e as bienais, mais do qualquer outro
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tipo de exposio, tm um papel fundamental nesse processo) constituem o sentido de determinadas produes ao constituir uma intricada teia de significado gerada pela trajetria de exibio que essas obras conseguem, atravs delas, acumular.9 Assim, as bienais tm sido cada vez mais disputadas como projetos autorais por parte de seus curadores justamente porque precisam satisfazer um pr-requisito bsico sem o qual no podem existir: por se constiturem como eventos nicos em termos de uma leitura distintiva de obras, ou seja, cada evento visto como uma nova perspectiva de leitura de obras, que elas passam a ser um espao de disputa de produes de elite. Desse modo, sem um projeto curatorial forte, as bienais tendem a ser negligenciadas e relegadas a segundo plano em um sistema vido pela institucionalizao de suas produes.10 Mais do que quaisquer outras exposies, tendem a falar sob a voz autoritativa do curador. Cabe lembrar, entretanto, que a noo tradicional de autoria como a de um indivduo que imprime caractersticas prprias a um determinado projeto dificilmente realizada em uma bienal em que vrios curadores so responsveis por um projeto de exposio. Nesse caso, o resultado final seria um somatrio de elementos acumulados durante o processo como expresso da vontade desses vrios indivduos. Tal perspectiva de trabalho representa uma democratizao dos procedimentos de escolha, e seu resultado final representa uma combinao de fatores no mais da vezes indistinguveis. Mesmo assim, as bienais constituem o lugar da liberdade de expresso curatorial. Ainda que enfrentem grandes resistncias em seu organismo institucional, via de regra permitem uma maior inovao em projetos do que os museus normalmente permitem. Isso se d porque, se as bienais no ocupassem um espao destinado a criar novas possibilidades de leitura de obras,11 sua prpria existncia seria questionada.12 Outra questo pouco discutida a especificidade da categoria institucional assumida pelas bienais. Uma vez que elas so instituies em fluxo, centradas fortemente na subjetividade de seus curadores escolhidos a cada dois anos, devem adaptar-se a cada novo evento a todo um novo estilo de trabalho. Esse processo garante a renovao contnua de seus pressupostos institucionais, porm impede a consolidao de procedimentos institucionais estveis, que dariam a instituio um perfil mais definido. Entretanto, parece-me um erro pensar que possvel haver estabilidade pela via da consolidao dos procedimentos, j que isso representaria engessar a estrutura pela qual as bienais vm ser o que so: eventos de ponta em uma perspectiva diferenciada de institucionalizao. preciso entender que, nesse caso, a institucionalizao deve ocorrer na esfera externa de constituio de um perfil institucional, ou seja, naquilo que a instituio consegue reverter como parmetros de viabilidade e flexibilidade, credibilidade e capacidade de comunicao com seus diversos pblicos.13 No h dvida de que a Bienal de Artes Visuais do Mercosul pertence a um circuito internacional. Seria adotar uma atitude suspeita dizer que ela ainda se encontra circunscrita a um universo exclusivamente local. No entanto, pertencer ao circuito internacional sobretudo estar ligado condio conjuntural em que se configura o sistema da arte contempornea. Ou seja, esse sistema que se estrutura como sendo um aparato de fluxos, no qual determinadas conexes so eventualmente interrompidas na periferia de uma network, est em tese aberto a toda e qualquer bienal que venha a surgir desde que com um perfil internacional. Ter tradio j no mais uma credencial requerida para participar do circuito internacional, como foi o caso de bienais com uma trajetria histrica consolidada, como as de Veneza e So Paulo. Aporte financeiro e circulao da produo internacional passam a ser, na verdade, a mais importante credencial. Embora possamos questionar a existncia efetiva de um sistema de arte fora do
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centro, ainda assim ele existe e funciona, ressalvado o fato de que s realmente estruturado no centro com seus colecionadores, galerias e instituies museolgicas globais. Nesse sentido, as bienais so instituies cujo perfil j nasce ligado a uma genealogia institucional pertencente ao mainstream, justamente por terem seu olhar voltado para uma elite internacional que tem em vista a circulao de valores globais e que est associada a um fluxo de circulao de bens de capital internacional. Bienais so, por excelncia, seres sem histria e eventos com um perfil a-histrico.14 Ainda assim elas possuem o desejo de, atravs de uma retrica da inscrio do objeto artstico em linhas de tempo com nfase na contemporaneidade, procurar impor o contemporneo como categoria histrica. As obras que exibem e a sua trajetria devem rapidamente dar lugar a outras que as sucedero. importante notar que as bienais adotam cada vez mais estratgias de exibio similares aos museus em sua abordagem muitas vezes historicista da produo contempornea. Um dado importante a ser analisado que, ao contrrio do que acontece historicamente com o espao do museu desde o final da dcada de 1960 e incio da dcada de 1970, quando este passa a ser atacado como espao institucionalizante e abordado por estratgias artsticas as mais diversas, as bienais no sofrem o mesmo ataque. Se, por um lado, seus projetos curatoriais so criticados crtica dirigida, portanto, aos seus agentes, e no noo de instituio , por outro sua espacialidade institucional nunca tematizada como objeto de crtica institucional da mesma maneira que museus e outras instituies, inclusive o cubo branco da galeria, normalmente o so. Sendo assim, podemos considerar as bienais como uma instituio que j nasceu imune crtica institucional feita pela produo artstica. E, se tal crtica eventualmente acontece, neutralizada na medida em que o que no pretende a reafirmao do objeto artstico atravs da qual realiza essa prpria crtica. Sabese que uma das caractersticas do mecanismo de institucionalizao o prprio enclausuramento dentro de um processo de afirmao territorial. Sem dvida, as instituies bienais no fugiriam regra em sua incessante busca de estabilidade que se confunde com a constante tentativa de institucionalizao a que aspiram.

Notas
Cabe ressalvar que os objetos de veiculao referem-se a centros culturais, que em geral no se responsabilizam pela manuteno do acervo, enquanto os objetos sob sua guarda referem-se a instituies museolgicas. 2 No caso da produo veiculada por museus, ainda que grande parte dela tambm seja veiculada por bienais, esta j est, ao entrar na instituio, por assim dizer avalizada. Os museus so instituies instituintes, e isso faz parte de sua prpria natureza. 3 Os casos que mais vm obtendo sucesso so, na minha opinio, a Documenta de Kassel (no uma bienal) e a Manifesta, talvez a mais bem-sucedida nesse empreendimento. No caso da Documenta, tal condio faz-se sentir de maneira mais visvel porque seu perodo de organizao de quatro anos, ou seja, uma srie de atividades programada durante esse perodo. Cabe lembrar, porm, que tanto a Documenta como a Manifesta so atividades essencialmente voltadas a um pblico especializado. 4 Note-se que o trabalho de Jac Leirner consolida-se na dcada de 1990, perodo em que as exposies de escala mundial ganham momentum. 5 Sobre esta questo, ver o texto Arte contempornea e instituies: a problemtica envolvida na circulao do objeto artstica, de minha autoria, publicado em 21.12.2004, e disponvel em: <http://iberecamargo.uol.com.br>. 6 The Function of the Studio, in Contemporary Art: From Studio to Situation, organizado por Claire Doherty. London: Black Dog Publishing, 2004. p. 16-23. (Publicado originalmente em October, Fall, 1979, p. 51-58). 7 Theodor Adorno, Valry Proust Museum, in Prisms, traduo de Samuel e Sherry Weber (Cambridge, Mass.: 1981, p. 176). 8 No possvel falar em produo de conhecimento sem falar em Michael Foucault. Ningum mais do que ele abordou as implicaes da relao poder/conhecimento na constituio do discurso. De acordo com Foucault, o discurso uma forma autoritativa de descrever, e o poder exercitado regulando aquilo que descrito.
1

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9 Logicamente, outras exposies que no as bienais produzem o mesmo efeito em obras. Entretanto, por contextualizarem o objeto artstico em situaes muito diferenciadas em eventos cujos projetos curatoriais tendem mais freqentemente a produzir situaes de exibio que de fato buscam impor novas leituras s obras, as bienais tm um efeito muitas vezes mais significativo na trajetria de determinados trabalhos. 10 Isso o que faz com que determinadas bienais tornem-se paradigmticas em uma categoria de exposies que se reporta a um sistema internacional de circulao de obras. Nesse caso, alguns exemplos valem ser mencionados: a II Bienal de Johannesburg de 1998, sob o ttulo Trade Routes: History and Geography, a XXIV Bienal de So Paulo de 1998, cujo tema foi a antropofagia, e a 50 Bienal de Veneza sob o ttulo Dreams and Conflicts-The Viewers Dictatorship, s para citar alguns. 11 Utilizo aqui a palavra novo no no sentido original, mas como aquilo que ainda no se apresentou ao pblico de determinada forma. 12 No por outra razo, as bienais com forte componente historicista em seus projetos de exposio tm sido criticadas por estarem ocupando demais o lugar de instituies museolgicas. Em muitos casos, tais exposies tm tentado preencher lacunas institucionais deixadas por museus ou outras instituies. 13 Essa flexibilidade deve, inclusive, responder a uma capacidade de adaptao de recepo s crticas externas. Uma vez que o fluxo de interesses aos quais uma bienal est sujeita vem de diversos segmentos interessados e que tais segmentos, a que chamamos de pblico, tm, uma agenda especfica, a instituio deve estar preparada para dar respostas imediatas a essas diversas demandas. 14 Isso ocorre apesar de tentativas historicistas de projetos curatoriais, como o de Katherine David para a Documenta 10. Ainda assim, David buscou adotar um carter retrospectivo, mas com um olhar voltado para o futuro.

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A R osa-dosVentos Rosa-dososa-dos-V
Posies e direes na arte contempornea

Paulo Sergio Duarte


[Brasil]

Os termos do mundo

A arte e suas instituies no escapam ao fenmeno da globalizao, que coincide com o redirecionamento neoliberal da economia e o conseqente recuo da presena do Estado como empreendedor de polticas compensatrias a partir da dcada de 1970. O avano acelerado da mercantilizao dos processos polticos, sociais e culturais uma das marcas desse momento que chega at os dias atuais. Se o homem unidimensional que a cultura pessimista de esquerda de Herbert Marcuse1 projetava para as sociedades industriais avanadas no se efetivou, o que se verifica a tendncia sociedade tornar-se unidimensional tendo suas camadas, antes coordenadas por relativa autonomia, achatadas em um nico plano governado pela lgica do mercado no qual a cultura aparece no posto privilegiado da commodity por excelncia. Estes so os termos do mundo em que vivemos. Mesmo em contextos como o norte-americano, nos quais o capital privado sempre foi ativo e hegemnico na construo dessas instituies, a comear pelos museus, a retrao dos recursos pblicos ditados pelo neoliberalismo fez-se sentir. A diminuio expressiva dos recursos do National Edowment for the Arts e seus congneres, a partir do governo Reagan, torna-se visvel quando museus tradicionalmente mais vetustos e discretos na sua relao com o universo do shopping so levados a multiplicar os quiosques de vendas de produtos por todos os seus andares para angariar recursos extras, ainda que estes representem uma parte pouco significativa de suas receitas. A relao entre arte e consumo, antes estranha ou pelo menos mediada simblica e fisicamente, agora ganha naturalidade: o valor de troca da gravata ou do chaveiro e o valor artstico das obras habitam lado a lado. O consumo de mercadorias e a fruio esttica de obras de arte, agora ntimos, confundem-se. Momento particularmente sintomtico dessa nova conjuntura foi a deciso do British Museum, em 1986, em pleno governo Thatcher, de alugar a Sala Egpcia para festas como
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casamentos e banquetes corporativos, devido carncia de recursos para a sua manuteno. O ponto culminante desse processo recente a poltica de Thomas Krens frente do Guggenheim, no qual a arte pode ser subsumida tranqilamente para calar a operao publicitria de grifes famosas e a prpria marca do museu torna-se uma espcie de franchising cultural em seu processo de internacionalizao. Ali est realizada de modo efetivo a identidade final entre arte/cultura/economia de mercado em uma totalidade sem fronteiras internas, na qual as mesmas leis pretendem governar as antes diferentes esferas. Embora mais visveis para o visitante do museu, esses sintomas so apenas a cereja do bolo. Quando observamos as incorporaes de obras contemporneas nas colees de museus bastante conhecidos, tanto na Europa quanto nos Estados Unidos, manifesta-se um outro quadro mais contundente. Desprovidos de recursos significativos para traar uma poltica de aquisio, principalmente de obras estrangeiras, a comear por aquelas de artistas dos pases emergentes, os curadores ficam merc das doaes por parte de mecenas e/ou marchands. Estes no so uma novidade, mas estavam orientados pelas listas de obras traadas pelas equipes de curadores e previamente aprovadas pela instituio. Enfraquecidos na sua posio institucional de virtuais compradores, os curadores de museus invertem os papis: so os mecenas que apresentam as obras a serem doadas. Assim, no lugar do valor histrico, esto presentes obras de artistas cujos marchands tm uma poltica agressiva de oferta s instituies. Importantes museus ostentam no catlogo de suas colees contemporneas artistas de algumas poucas galerias, enquanto outros de indubitvel valor esto ausentes por no estarem articulados com esses marchands combativos. Muitos curadores de museus esto conscientes desse fato; contudo, na ausncia de fundos que lhes dem a necessria autonomia na execuo de uma poltica de aquisies, so levados a aceitar essa posio subalterna ao mercado para no perder oportunidades. H toda uma construo de valores de bens simblicos que subvertida. O papel institucional do museu, no que diz respeito arte contempornea, fica afetado. Em muitos museus, o mapa da produo contempornea est em boa parte determinado diretamente, sem mediaes, pelos termos do mundo. apressado, em um mundo em transio acelerada, apontar mais do que tendncias e passar a construir teorias definitivas. A situao acima descrita no pode ser generalizada. Para nos mantermos no estrito exemplo americano, instituies como o MOMA e o Dia Center, entre outras, parecem no subordinar estratgias culturais presso de mercado. O processo de consumao dos termos do mundo ainda no est inteiramente realizado e os focos de resistncia, quando existem no interior do capitalismo avanado, devem-se nitidamente separao do mundo administrativo e do dinheiro do mundo dos valores estticos. Isso ocorre graas existncia de poderosos fundos financeiros bem administrados por especialistas que no se orientam nem se confundem com aqueles que dirigem as estratgias culturais das instituies os administradores e os gerentes dos recursos contentam-se em ser instrumentos para a realizao dos objetivos culturais. A ocorrncia em elevada freqncia da relao promscua entre o mercado e a consagrao de valores artsticos um dado novo no campo da arte. Esse nervo fica mais exposto nos pases de liberalismo nefito, como o Brasil. Curadores ligados ao mercado e a interesses privados ocupam postos institucionais duplicando-se em tarefas incompatveis entre si, ao menos do ponto de vista tico; aqui, porm, no o lugar para descer a esses detalhes. O mapa da produo contempornea est determinado pela mercantilizao generalizada dos processos polticos, sociais e culturais. E toda uma interessante teoria sobre a diferena das funes do
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museu de arte contempornea e das bienais torna-se frgil quando confrontada com a realidade e suas prticas. Entre o que deveriam ser e o que efetivamente so existe a distncia de um abismo.
Curadores, bienalizao e produo artstica

J se sabe, no de hoje, que a realidade tambm existe na produo dos discursos que a ela se refere. As narrativas tomam o aspecto da realidade e superpem-se ao Real. A abordagem crtica do problema das construes discursivas por Jacques Derrida em sua filosofia desconstrucionista foi deslocada de seus contextos rigorosos para permitir, em nome de um relativismo generalizado, um mundo sem alfndega de idias. No campo da teoria da arte tudo passa; o verdadeiro vale-tudo. A produo artstica, desde meados dos anos 1960 e durante a dcada de 1970, abriu frentes crticas em diferentes direes. A land art e obras pblicas in situ colocavam em xeque os espaos tradicionalmente ocupados pelas obras: galerias, museus, bases e pedestais em praas. A arte conceitual com freqncia se tornava agudo instrumento crtico do prprio sistema da arte, de seus agentes e instituies. Explorando outro veio, de cunho mais sociolgico, a arte incorporava a seus temas e narrativas as lutas tnicas e dos direitos civis, de libertao sexual tanto das mulheres quanto dos homossexuais e a crtica a mltiplos aspectos da sociedade industrial avanada. Essa conjuntura, que redefinia profundamente o conceito de identidade antes simploriamente associado nacionalidade e s posies polticas de esquerda e de direita , foi, ento, submetida a uma matriz complexa envolvendo mltiplas variveis. Essa descoberta de uma formidvel diversidade foi definida como multiculturalismo. Resultado da reflexo sobre importantes lutas polticas e sociais em diferentes territrios, o multiculturalismo tornou-se um laissez-faire terico no campo da arte. Ao novo liberalismo econmico corresponde, na arte, a ascenso de um territrio terico que denega a histria e elege temas no balaio ps-moderno, temas fartos luz do multiculturalismo e das teorias psicanalticas. As instituies, sejam museus, sales, bienais, galerias comerciais, passam a existir em um limbo terico impermevel aos termos do mundo. Tudo seria como deveria ser, segundo uma teoria desligada da realidade concreta na qual as instituies so compartimentos to estanques quanto as sees de uma loja de departamentos uma espcie de Bloomingdales ou Galeries Lafayette que recebem os contedos eleitos pelos curadores. Os temas e as linguagens das obras, por sua vez, seriam os responsveis pela definio de sentido. Se no alto modernismo as obras seriam mnadas privilegiadas, vacinadas contra o mundo, que exalavam significados formais independentes dos circuitos nos quais se inscreviam, agora retornamos a um primitivismo de vanguarda que no fica nada a dever ao substancialismo da fsica medieval: um trabalho feminista porque utiliza como matria-prima absorventes internos para compor um imenso lustre; outro, na mesma linha, um vdeo cientfico de cirurgia plstica de restaurao de um hmen, uma espcie de ready made didtico extrado de uma aula de Medicina, mas a ele atribudo elevada voltagem, posto que no est sendo apresentado no anfiteatro da faculdade para futuros doutores, e sim em uma bienal de arte.2 Ao exagero da busca do sentido pura e exclusivamente nos elementos pticos da obra de arte que ocorria no formalismo moderno, o mundo contemporneo assiste simples exibio de contedos aos quais no se coloca nenhuma exigncia de reorganizao formal. A festa aparentemente progressista; dados os contedos, o mtodo seguramente conservador. A obra teria o poder de se autocontextualizar a partir de seus prprios temas. Por mais absurdo que parea, a um neoliberalismo econmico corresponde, ou ao menos coincide, um neoliberalismo
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terico que constri e vende a teoria de um sistema da arte. E no lhe faltam consumidores, a comear pelos prprios pares que a produzem e a reproduzem. Essa conjuntura terica tem incio no final dos anos 1970, quando emergem, entre os srios profissionais da crtica e dos museus, as vedetes curadoras. A situao um prato feito. O terreno est aberto e qualquer exigncia de potncia potica imediatamente tachada de formalismo. Travestidos de tericos ou inventores originais, investem nesse novo star-system. Nenhum deles prope mudanas no processo institucional falido; ao contrrio, trabalham na preservao de suas reservas de mercado de trabalho. Surge, ento, o novo curador, diferente daquele profissional mergulhado nas pesquisas, nos arquivos e nas reservas tcnicas dos museus que de vez em quando d o ar de sua graa na prestao de contas dos resultados de sua pesquisa em publicaes acadmicas ou nos catlogos das exposies que resultaram de muitos anos de trabalho. O novo curador independente; mesmo que esteja vinculado a uma instituio. Alm disso, suas investidas autorais so atrevidas e sobretudo personalizadas. Apresenta teses de consistncia duvidosa em exposies cujos custos alcanam a ordem dos milhes de dlares. As obras de arte e, com elas, a histria da arte sero manipuladas para servir ao roteiro autoral luz de uma das muitas teorias ps-modernas, talvez alguma que ele mesmo tenha acabado de inventar. J na dcada de 1970, vrios crticos apontavam a impotncia de sales e bienais de arte para cumprir sua funo de detectar e mostrar a produo contempornea mais instigante ou, se quiserem, instvel. Entretanto, o mundo foi palco de um fenmeno na direo inversa dessas avaliaes. Em lugar de serem estudadas as transformaes necessrias na instituio bienal para que pudesse incorporar no seu processo, alm da mostra peridica, o instrumento de rastreamento da produo e de sua difuso permanente em trabalhos de pesquisa e educativos no sentido mais amplo do termo, a dcada de 1990 assistiu banalizao das bienais: surgiram pelo mundo mais de cinqenta instituies desse tipo. Esse fenmeno j tem um termo para design-lo bienalizao e estudado a partir de seus sintomas: os mesmos curadores, os mesmos artistas, os mesmos marchands circulam em todas as bienais. uma espcie de revezamento programado de um sistema da arte que se distancia da produo que no foi includa entre os eleitos. Em 2005, na 51 Bienal de Veneza, diante do projeto curatorial de Rosa Martinez de romper limites e ir Sempre um Pouco mais Longe 3 , a crtica e curadora turca Beral Madra, que coordenou a 1 e a 2 Bienal de Istambul, em 1987 e 1989, observa que To go always a little further should be the motto for many art scenes which are not discovered yet. The institution biennale has become too heavy, too expensive and too sophisticated to catch the spirit of the art of these out-of-the-way territories. 4 isso que no enfrentado por essas mostras. As mostras bienais devem ser transformadas, e a Bienal do Mercosul, entre as mais de cinqenta existentes no mundo, pode contribuir para essa mudana. Por estar inscrita em condies bastante particulares, ela pode propor mudanas na instituio para no ser apenas mais uma entre as dezenas de bienais. A Bienal do Mercosul a Bienal de Porto Alegre. Toda bienal age sobre a cidade que a produz e a ela pertence. A cidade de Porto Alegre e o estado do Rio Grande do Sul, pela sua economia e pela sua produo artstica, literria, teatral, musical e cinematogrfica, j contriburam para deslocar o monoplio do eixo Rio-So Paulo, que h muitos anos centraliza a eficcia cultural e dita rumos da produo contempornea. A densidade e a qualidade da produo cultural local permitem identificar um plo seguro para efetivamente irmos um pouco mais longe, no nos contedos, e sim nos processos. Por seu recorte regional, a Bienal do
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Mercosul pode construir o tema de cada edio em um seminrio no qual participariam curadores de todos os pases envolvidos na mostra. Exposies e debates em cada pas deveriam preceder a preparao da mostra final em Porto Alegre. Finalmente, encerrada a mostra, uma programao especialmente traada para a regio metropolitana de Porto Alegre capitalizaria o evento por meio de um programa educativo amplo, envolvendo desde a capacitao de professores at estudos avanados, trabalhando de modo permanente as grandes questes da arte contempornea. No h impasse, mas escolhas: ou agimos para apontar e traar novos caminhos, rompendo com a lengalenga das bienais, ou aceitamos passivamente o avano da mercantilizao generalizada dos processos enfeitados pelos teatros curatoriais.
A 5 Bienal do Mercosul: histrias da arte e do espao

Ao escolher como tema as transformaes das noes de espao e suas relaes com a arte contempornea, sob o ttulo Histrias da Arte e do Espao, a 5 Bienal do Mercosul toma uma posio: um investimento dessa natureza e dessa dimenso, em um pas no qual parte significativa de sua populao sequer completa os estudos bsicos, no deve ser o lugar para a apresentao de teses pessoais do curador. Para isso existem exposies de menor porte e seus respectivos catlogos, projetos locais e revistas acadmicas, cujo lugar no a maior mostra de arte latino-americana. Procura-se, ento, um fio condutor que possa estar presente tanto na experincia das obras quanto no cotidiano do visitante, seja leigo, seja especializado. Esse fio, por suas caractersticas conceituais, no fecha a mostra em torno de uma particularidade; ao contrrio, as transformaes da noo de espao abrem-se de tal forma que os curadores dos pases participantes no tm seu trabalho subsumido pelo tema proposto pelo curador geral do Brasil. A questo do espao em sua relao com a arte goza de tal amplitude que a torna mais um quadro de referncia a ser levado em considerao na anlise das obras do que um roteiro ou uma receita a serem seguidos. A fora do projeto no se encontra na autoria pessoal, mas na autoridade e no peso de sua prpria questo. E mais: no interior do pandemnio de teorias do balaio ps-moderno, no qual conceitos circulam livremente pelo planeta, como o capital financeiro, sem barreiras ou controle, investe-se em um assunto mais que clssico, um tema que se confunde com a prpria questo da arte. Pierre Francastel j lembrava no fim da primeira metade do sculo passado: Todas as artes plsticas so artes do espao. A noo da Forma no lhes exclusiva e freqentemente se comete, ao falar delas, o erro de empregar esse termo sem suficientes reservas. (...) no existe arte plstica fora do espao e quando o pensamento humano se exprime no espao toma necessariamente Forma plstica. E prossegue: , portanto, capital estudar a Forma plstica em funo da noo de espao. Tanto mais que essa noo varivel segundo pases e pocas. 5 Em que pesem as revises inevitveis nos aspectos genticos do mtodo de Francastel, ainda fundamentados nas pesquisas de Piaget, depois das contribuies de Lvi-Strauss na antropologia, de Georges Canguilhem e de Alexandre Koyr nas suas respectivas histrias da cincia, de Jacques Lacan na psicanlise e dos estudos de Foucault sobre as descontinuidades estruturais nas histrias e na construo de seus discursos6 , a afirmao do espao como um territrio comum a todo fenmeno plstico no somente resiste, como as transformaes dessa noo podem ser claramente detectadas nas mais vigorosas obras contemporneas. Esse territrio comum pode ser tomado como o eixo de uma rosa-dos-ventos, a partir do qual podemos examinar diferentes posies e direes da arte contempornea. As transformaes da noo de espao funcionariam, desse modo, como uma espcie de sistema de referncia global, tal como as
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coordenadas geogrficas, sobredeterminante, no qual podemos identificar os sistemas narrativos locais determinados por seus objetos especficos, como aqueles movidos em torno de estratgias particulares: polticas do corpo, referncias tnicas, crtica sociolgica, polticas de gnero e de sexualidades, crtica ao sistema da arte s suas instituies e aos seus agentes , investigaes que mobilizam novos recursos tecnolgicos, poticas idiossincrticas, pesquisas formais de linguagem, bem como retomadas puramente conceituais. A hiptese seria a de que, sobre o territrio terico da noo de espao e suas variantes histricas e culturais, seria possvel, a partir de um paradigma mais resistente ao relativismo generalizado pelo desconstrucionismo, examinar as interaes entre essas microrregies narrativas e suas estratgias em determinadas obras e explorar seu alcance potico. Em torno desses sistemas locais, de suas estratgias e tticas, enfim, das diferenas ditadas pelo multiculturalismo, que se movem as diversas ps-modernidades na arte. O sistema referencial ditado pelas transformaes da noo de espao forneceria uma dupla ncora: a sincrnica, cuja funo seria a mesma de uma invariante estrutural o elemento comum a todas as microrregies do continente espacial, independentemente de suas estratgias narrativas particulares; a diacrnica, que permitiria estabelecer os ndices de ruptura e/ou de continuidade das narrativas especficas com o recente passado moderno. Permita-se um trusmo: a dimenso histrica do fenmeno artstico, se uma viso genealgica for aceita necessariamente dissociada da noo evolutiva de progresso, isto , uma viso no-gentica , encontra-se no somente nas continuidades e infiltraes do passado, nas negaes e rupturas com esse passado, mas tambm nas experincias artsticas que, por razes socioculturais, desenvolvem-se margem do chamado sistema da arte. Retomado o eixo histrico, trata-se de inclu-lo no repertrio de referncias combinado com os demais, tal como as diversas noes e camadas de espao que esto em jogo na produo contempornea. Poderia surgir uma teoria da arte conjugando-se as transformaes da noo de espao e histria que no eclipse, em nome de valores paradigmticos, a diversidade da produo contempornea. A disperso e a diversidade contemporneas assumem a figura do fragmento sobretudo quando desconectadas de um territrio comum. Assim, sem prejuzo dos contextos especficos e das dinmicas particulares a cada estratgia narrativa ou formal, a dimenso histrica seria restaurada tanto na distribuio espacial dos diferentes territrios quanto em suas relaes com a herana moderna. O fragmento elevado ao estatuto efetivo de diferena. A denegao ou mesmo o recalque da histria advm de se tomar a Histria como acervo de valores do passado, espcie de unidade de medida e bssola que inibiria a leitura do presente. A nfase na transformao histrica e cultural da noo de espao neutralizaria a funo de superego da histria, ao mesmo tempo em que colaboraria para pensar com mais rigor a produo contempornea que se apresenta com freqncia, principalmente em megaeventos, como um verdadeiro bricabraque fazendo a festa de indigncias tericas.

Notas
1 Marcuse, Herbert. One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society. Boston: Beacon Press, 1964. (Publicado em portugus sob o ttulo Ideologia da Sociedade Industrial. Rio de Janeiro: Zahar Editores, 1968.) 2 Refiro-me explicitamente s obras de Joana Vasconcelos (A Noiva, 2001. Ao inoxidvel e absorventes internos. 470 x 220 x 220 cm. Coleo de Antonio Cachola, Campo Maior) e de Regina Jos Galindo (Himenoplastia, 2004. Performance para a mostra coletiva Cinismo all Espacio Contexto). Ambos os trabalhos foram exibidos na exposio Sempre um pouco mais longe. C, com curadoria de Rosa Martinez, na 51 Bienal de Veneza de 2005. O trabalho de Galindo recebeu o prmio para Jovem Artista da Bienal.

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3 Rosa Martinez tomou para o ttulo de sua mostra uma frase de Corto Maltese: Sempre um pouco mais longe (Sempre un p pi lontano). 4 Madra, Beral. The Last Bi-Entertainment ., Jul 2005. In:Disponvel em: <http://www.europist.net/ ?sayfa=makale_detay&id=56>. Leitura da pgina em 08/07/2005. Beral Madra coordenou a 1 (1987) e a 2 (1989) Bienal de Istanmbul. Foi curadora da representao turca em trs edies da Bienal de Veneza (43, 45 e 49) e j organizou 20 vinte exposies internacionais na Turquia e na Alemanha. Desde 1990, Ela dirige desde 1990 o BM Contemporary Art Center. 5 Francastel, Pierre. Espao gentico e espao plstico. In: A Realidade Figurativa. Coleo Estudos. 2.ed. So Paulo: Editora Perspectiva, 1993. p. 123. O texto foi originalmente publicado na Revue desthtique, t. 1, fasc. 4, oct.-dc. Paris: 1948, p. 349-380. Posteriormente foi includo em La Ralit figurative. Paris: Denol-Gonthier, 1965. 6 Para esses autores cf.: Lvi-Strauss, Claude. As Estruturas Elementares do Parentesco. So Paulo, Rio de Janeiro: Editora da Universidade de So Paulo, Editora Vozes, 1976. Particularmente o Captulo 7: A iluso arcaica [Primeira edio em francs: 1949]. Ibidem. O Pensamento Selvagem. Rio de Janeiro: Jorge Zahar Editor, 1983. Particularmente os dois primeiros captulos: A cincia do concreto e A lgica das classificaes totmicas [Primeira edio em francs: 1962]. Canguilhem, Georges. Le Normal et le Pathologique. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1966. [Trata-se da edio da tese de doutorado em Medicina de Canguilhem, defendida em 1943 O Normal e o Patolgico acrescentada do estudo Novas resflexes a respeito do normal e o patolgico]. Ibidem. tudes dHistoire et de Philosophie des Sciences. Paris: Vrin, 1968. Koyr, Alexandre. tudes Galilennes. Paris: Hermann, 1940. [Estudo pioneiro sobre a descontinuidade entre a noo medieval de impectus (impulso) e o conceito de inrcia na explicao do movimento na fsica moderna, tendo como conseqncia a demonstrao da primazia de um racionalismo complexo, que introduz o pensamento estruturado como a linguagem, sobre um empirismo ingnuo que acredita na repetio da experincia crua como geradora de conhecimento]. Lacan, Jacques. Escritos. Rio de Janeiro, Jorge Zahar Editor, 1998 [Primeira edio em francs: 1966]. Foucault, Michel. Histria da Loucura na Idade Clssica. So Paulo: Perspectiva, 2002 [Primeira edio em francs: 1961]. Ibidem. O Nascimento da Clnica. Rio de Janeiro: Forense Universitria, 1984 [Primeira edio em francs: 1963]. Ibidem. As Palavras e as Coisas: uma arqueologia das cincias humanas. So Paulo: Martins Fontes, 1990 [Primeira edio em francs: 1966].

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V Bienal del Mercosur


Analisis de coyuntura regional

Justo Pastor Mellado


[Chile]

Una bienal es antes que nada un dispositivo de intensificacin de una escena artstica determinada. Intensificar significa acrecentar las tasas de densidad institucional de una formacin. Lo anterior supone la existencia de instituciones que carecen de la consistencia requerida para significar como tales y para consolidar una formacin artstica. De ah que la produccin inicial de una bienal obedezca a la lgica de la intervencin institucional. Es decir, una bienal aparece, bajo ciertas condiciones de puesta en escena de los deseos inscriptivos de un grupo socialmente decisorio, en el seno de una comunidad local con aspiraciones de reconocimiento orgnico en un plano global. El proyecto en cuestin expresa la compleja necesidad simblica que posee un grupo humano determinado acerca de la dimensin imaginaria de su representacin del poder. Lo cual nos sita en medio de una coyuntura histrica ya conocida; aquella mediante la cual el arte se instala para garantizar, en el imaginario de las elites, la fortaleza de una economa. La historia de la Bienal de So Paulo puede ser suficientemente reveladora de esta situacin, en la regin del Cono Sur del continente. No slo respecto de un modelo de produccin especfico sino, ms que nada, de una economa discursiva. Lo que una bienal pone en circulacin, no son tanto las obras, sino unos discursos sobre las obras; pero, sobre todo, unos discursos sobre las condiciones de produccin y circulacin de los discursos. Una bienal es, por estas razones, no slo una produccin para-museogrfica, sino un dispositivo editorial. Es as como la consistencia de una bienal se verifica en un continuum de la historia institucional de la que se define como momento de aceleracin de transferencias. De este modo, una bienal vendra a ser una discontinuidad cuyo propsito es incrementar la consistencia de una continuidad que ha dado muestras de obstruccin interna. As, en la vida de una ciudad, la puesta en pie de una bienal indicara la existencia de un momento institucional auto-potico que operara como una alarma constructiva. Por eso, me resulta fundamental pensar cul es la situacin que, en una ciudad, precede a la invencin de una bienal, sobre
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todo de la segunda mitad del siglo XX en adelante. Si seguimos de cerca la reflexin de Jean Clair acerca de la eclosin de los museos de arte contemporneos en la segunda mitad del siglo XX y su relacin con las estrategias de sacralizacin de stos como nuevos templos en los que se reconstruye la relacin del hombre con la muerte, nos damos cuenta de que se trata de montajes realizados en zonas directamente comprometidas con las destrucciones de la segunda guerra, por lo cual no resulta del todo arbitrario imaginar que la resacralizacin musealizante corresponde al cierre simblico del Plan Marshall. Esta situacin no es la que corresponde a un proyecto latinoamericano de musealizacin. Habr que preguntarse por el nmero de museos de arte contemporneo fundados desde los aos 50 en adelante en el continente sudamericano y cul ha sido su perspectiva institucional. Sobre todo si comparamos la situacin de Colombia y Venezuela, respecto a la situacin brasilea. Esta zona, en la guerra fra y en la posguerra fra, no deba ser considerada, en principio, como zona museificable, a condicin, claro est, respecto de su pasado precolombino. Deba, ms que nada, reconocerse como zona de recepcin de itinerancias de producciones museales de primer mundo. Y, como resulta lgico, era necesario, al menos, disponer de una estructura de acogida de dichas exposiciones, en condiciones mnimas aceptables. Pero todo esto tendra su lado positivo en la formacin de colecciones nacionales y en la consolidacin de espacios de exhibicin temporal para los artistas locales. Y con eso, ya estaba satisfecha la peticin de reconocimiento de una identidad hacia adentro. Lo que ensay la escena brasilera desde mediados de los aos 50 en adelante fue el desarrollo de una identidad hacia afuera. Sin embargo, para eso deba recurrir a la figura de la bienal, como dispositivo de transferencia y aceleracin destinado a poner a So Paulo en el mapa del arte contemporneo. No era mi intencin formularlo de esta manera, pero todo parece indicar que el desarrollo de la musealidad satisface el desarrollo hacia adentro, mientras que una bienal se instala como vector de desarrollo hacia fuera. O bien, que la musealidad supone consolidacin de colecciones, vertidas hacia el trato de una memoria local endogmica, mientras que una bienal recurre a la aventura y a la experiencia de la apertura. En este sistema de encuadre de los deseos institucionales, la musealidad sera manaco-depresiva, mientras que la bienalidad sera la expresin de una histeria expansiva. La bienalidad brasilera resulta ser un fenmeno que recin comienza a ser estudiado en la historiografa crtica y en el anlisis de los discursos sobre arte, ya que ha dado lugar a la constitucin de un objeto de trabajo, al reconocimiento de una institucin poltica que ha marcado una modalidad de trato entre el arte brasilero y el arte de los pases hispanoamericanos. Esta distincin recupera un factor que no suele ser considerado en el estudio de estas relaciones; a saber, el Efecto Tordesillas. No debemos confundirnos: el arte brasilero no se reconoce, de manera necesaria, bajo la designacin de arte latinoamericano. Las bienales reproducen, en el terreno simblico, la distincin geopoltica y teolgica entre lo hispano y lo lusitano, como dos modelos diferenciados de poltica colonial. Sobrepuestas como categoras a las distinciones entre desarrollo hacia adentro y desarrollo hacia afuera, lo hispano y lo lusitano remiten a relaciones igualmente distantes y diferenciadas entre lo internacional y lo regional. Mario Pedrosa se pregunta en A bienal de c para l, texto corto que fuera editado en Mundo, Homem, Arte em crise, en 1975, bajo el cuidado de Aracy Amaral, en la Coleccin Debates, de la Editora Perspectiva: Que efeitos, que repercusses trouxe para a expanso da arte moderna no Brasil a srie de bienais que se sucederam primeira? La respuesta no se deja esperar: seu primeiro resultado foi o de romper o crculo fechado em que se desenrolavam as
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atividades artsticas do Brasil, tirando-as de um isolacionismo provinciano. En este sentido, resulta necesario estudiar la lgica de formacin de la Bienal del Mercosur, en una fase distinta de desarrollo del capitalismo brasilero. Instalada en Porto Alegre, ha estado atravesada por el deseo de des-paulistanizacin de la bienalidad y, sin embargo, ha tenido que replicar su modelo expansivo. No sin que ello manifieste su deseo de reconocimiento geopoltico a travs de una ficcin comparativa que conduce a la capital de un Estado Federal a establecer relaciones de paridad con capitales de Estados Nacionales de la regin. Ya no se trata de romper con una dinmica endogmica, sino de asegurar la expansin regional del arte brasilero, que slo haba mirado hacia Europa y Estados Unidos. De este modo, la Bienal del Mercosur nos trae el arte brasileo de regreso, disponindolo, exhibindolo en la frontera hispana. La hiptesis de la rplica del modelo expansivo tiene que ver con la importacin que hace Porto Alegre de la capacidad paulistana de produccin de bienales. Al cabo de cinco bienales, Porto Alegre ha sabido absorber y reinvertir dicha experiencia, de modo que la produccin de la bienal ha adquirido dimensiones de dinamizacin cultural de la ciudad, de un modo que, probablemente, no se haba previsto. Sin embargo, no se ha convertido en un polo de atraccin y de dinamizacin del arte regional. En esto, sin crermelo demasiado, el desarrollo de la bienal ha sido calculadamente retardado, porque de lo contrario obligara a Porto Alegre a tomar iniciativas regionales que no estara en condiciones polticas de sostener. Una bienal como esta, con este criterio moderado de desarrollo, satisface plenamente el razonable expansionismo gaucho. Lo que debe quedar claro, desde la perspectiva de un analista no brasilero, es que en toda bienal, en su inicio, siempre hay un capitn de industria. En 1951, el gesto improvisado de apariencia aventurera de Cicilo Matarazzo corresponda a una decisin de superestructura que, a nivel de infraestructura, se asentaba en un dinamismo nuevo que mova las energas productivas de So Paulo. Resulta necesario re/leer A bienal de c para l, de Mario Pedrosa, para entender la dimensin de mi argumento. Es decir, para entender las razones de infraestructura que nos permiten sostener que una bienal slo funciona en ciudades que poseen un fuerte sector terciario. Al menos, en el So Paulo de 1950 esta hiptesis funcionaba. En cincuenta aos, el capitalismo regional brasileo presenta unas particularidades que obligan a considerar, hoy, al capitalismo financiero como un soporte decisivo en la reproduccin de la bienalidad. Lo anterior obliga a entablar estudios avanzados acerca de la estructura econmica de Rio Grande do Sul y de las ensoaciones de su clase poltica y empresarial respecto de las posibilidades de expansin atribuibles a un pacto de naturaleza econmica como el Mercosur. Con todo, la Bienal del Mercosur ha ido significativamente ms adelante de todo lo que el Mercosur, en trminos econmicos, ha podido alcanzar. La bienal ha permitido construir una ficcin cultural que sobrepasa las obstrucciones de los desequilibrios aduaneros o las restricciones de cuotas de importacin. El hecho que debe ser dimensionado es que la circulacin de discurso, de obras, de artistas, de referencias, etc., ha instalado a Porto Alegre como un lugar de atraccin de energa y de aceleracin de intercambios en un mapa en construccin. Justamente, esta es una tarea para la Fundacin Bienal de Artes Visuales del Mercosur: instalar en su seno un dispositivo de estudio que construya a la brevedad un archivo, un centro de documentacin propio y apropiado a las nuevas exigencias de los estudios curatoriales. Esta demanda no puede ser satisfecha por el aparato universitario. ste posee sus propias lgicas de desarrollo, que a veces difcilmente responden a las exigencias de avance formal de los diversos dispositivos de aceleracin del arte contemporneo. La bienal establece relaciones no acadmicas
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entre sus objetos y se reconoce como una unidad activa de pensamiento. Existe una historia econmica de la bienal, que debe ser reconstruida como un aporte a la circulacin regional del arte contemporneo, pero concentrada en el valor de lo que el artista y pensador uruguayo Pedro Figari denomin, a comienzos del siglo XX, regionalismo Crtico. Esta hiptesis fue retomada por Jorge Glusberg, a finales de los 80, en el seno de un debate sobre la posibilidad de afirmar procedimientos de garantizacin regional, en los momentos en que su estrategia de colocacin internacional del arte argentino ya haba experimentado sus mayores logros, como lo fue el Premio Itamaraty, otorgado al Grupo de los Trece en la XIV Bienal de So Paulo, en 1977, por su obra Ecosistemas Artificiales. Veinte aos ms tarde, en 1997, se inaugur la I Bienal del Mercosur. Jorge Glusberg no fue curador del envo argentino. Probablemente pensaba que le corresponda el honor, en funcin del manejo de la memoria inscriptiva del propio Centro de Arte y Comunicacin de Buenos Aires. Mi hiptesis resulta verosmil, en la medida que el diagrama curatorial de dicha bienal desplazaba, en cierta forma, el rol que haba tenido el CAYC en la organizacin de una plataforma regional autolegitimante. Estos esfuerzos se haban concentrado en el desarrollo de las Jornadas de la Crtica de Buenos Aires, que durante la dcada de los 90 congregaron a los principales crticos y curadores del mundo en esa capital. Pero no sera Buenos Aires quien tendra la facultad y la capacidad de montar una bienal, sino Porto Alegre. En parte, porque Glusberg destin sus esfuerzos a dirigir el Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. No es un dato menor el que el propio museo intentara en dos ocasiones, en el 2000 y en el 2002, montar una Bienal de Buenos Aires. En este sentido, cometi el error estratgico de no tener en consideracin elementos que ya estaban en la formacin de la propia Bienal de So Paulo como, por ejemplo, el responder a una coyuntura poltica y econmica especfica, en la que estaban comprometidos los capitanes de la industria y algunos operadores polticos de primera lnea (Ademar de Barros y Jnio Quadros). Pero debi haber sabido que en su inicio la propia bienal signific detener el desarrollo del museo. Se piensa que la bienal proviene de una iniciativa del MAM. A juzgar por el anlisis de Mario Pedrosa, Matarazzo y Lourival Gomes Machado no juegan el mismo juego. En definitiva, un museo es un dispositivo de memorizacin, mientras que una bienal es un dispositivo de especulacin. En el sentido fuerte de la palabra. Cuando Jorge Glusberg asume la direccin del Museo de Bellas Artes de Buenos Aires, inicia su momento de repliegue. Frederico Morais, al producir el concepto de la Primera Bienal del Mercosur, no toma en consideracin el acumulado conceptual que Jorge Glusberg haba vertido en el libro Retrica del arte latinoamericano, sino ms bien propone una reconstruccin que considera la experiencia del CAYC como una entre tantas, en un intento por confeccionar un mapa de las relaciones de arte y poltica que quisiera recomponer los efectos del discurso de Marta Traba. Analizado en perspectiva, la variable del antiimperialismo entra a jugar un nuevo rol en la reflexin del cono sur. En cierto sentido, Frederico Morais le reprocha al CAYC el no haber considerado dicha variable en su apertura internacional. Lo cual significa que despolitiza la proyeccin formal de las obras del CAYC y apunta a recuperar una fase anterior del arte argentino, que la discursividad de Glusberg haba desestimado. Me refiero al papel jugado por Tucumn Arde y Alberto Greco en la coyuntura anterior a la formacin del CAYC. Si bien que de Greco lo que se exhibi, bajo la curatora de Irma Arestizbal, fue la pintura de los aos 60. Asumiendo una cierta distancia histrica, me parece posible sostener que el proyecto de Frederico Morais en la Primera Bienal del Mercosur se planteaba en la filiacin del discurso de Marta Traba. De este modo, la Primera Bienal del Mercosur luchaba ms contra el fantasma
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discursivo de Jorge Glusberg, en la reconstruccin de una idea del arte latinoamericano, a riesgo de ir a contracorriente de lo que la crtica ascendente brasilera comenzaba a sostener. Ya ha pasado casi una dcada desde aquella primera bienal. La realizacin de la XXIV Bienal de So Paulo impidi que el guin de Frederico Morais fuese ledo con detencin y generosidad. Esta bienal, al poner a circular la hiptesis de la densidad del arte brasilero en la escena de produccin internacional, apuntaba a desautorizar, sin proponrselo de modo directo, toda mirada posible sobre un eje de articulacin regional. La propia desautorizacin manifiesta de buena parte de la crtica brasilera hacia el guin de Paulo Herkenhoff colabor con el desvo de la propia mirada brasilera hacia la produccin de Porto Alegre. Es ms: Porto Alegre deba luchar contra el efecto reconstructor del Panorama del arte brasilero, que organiza el Museo de Arte Moderno de So Paulo. Y, adems, tuvo que soportar la arremetida cultural de un proyecto como Brasil 500 aos, que concentr las energas discursivas en una polmica que redefina, nuevamente, las coordenadas, no ya del arte brasilero, sino de la historia de las imgenes en Brasil, desde su nacimiento hasta hoy. Frente a estas interpelaciones inevitables, la Bienal del Mercosur mantuvo su ruta de crucero, estabilizando diplomticamente su frente, gracias a la conduccin de Fabio Magalhes en la IIa y IIIa bienal, abriendo dos lneas de trabajo que, si bien no fueron pensadas de antemano, terminaron por constituir lneas de accin coherentes. Me refiero, el primer lugar, al reconocimiento de la bienal como un dispositivo de intervencin de la ciudad y, en segundo trmino, al efecto institucional de su funcionamiento. Esto quiere decir que la bienal, al no disponer de un nico lugar de emplazamiento, se vio obligada a ocupar espacios fabriles y comerciales que haban sido desafectados, poniendo en valor zonas y edificaciones a las que los propios habitantes haban dado vuelta la espalda. Esto signific, en los hechos, convertirse en dispositivo de induccin de mejoramiento urbano. Y, por otro lado, la sola existencia de la bienal favoreci la formacin de nuevas instituciones culturales de carcter privado, pero que paradojalmente- desarrollan polticas pblicas. De ah que la especificidad de la Bienal del Mercosur se haya construido en total coincidencia con los deseos inscriptivos de una ciudad que la ha reconocido como vector de desarrollo humano, con efectos directos en la modificacin de la calidad de vida de sus habitantes. La V Bienal del Mercosur obliga a repensar su estabilidad y sus modos de reproduccin institucional. La bienal no es un evento que se realiza cada dos aos, sino una manera de asegurar la presencia de una construccin institucional que va ms all de una exhibicin. Existe una plataforma educativa que debe ser fortalecida y su existencia ha significado una interpelacin positiva al sistema de enseanza formal de las artes en las escuelas. Pero esto puede ser tan slo un aspecto reparatorio obligatorio, que corresponde a una poltica de expansin razonable destinada a demostrar de modo diferido la utilidad social de la bienal. As y todo, los efectos reales de su sola existencia denota el estado de avance de negociaciones intrapolticas y econmicas de los diversos agentes que constituyen la Fundacin. No cabe duda que los efectos orgnicos de la bienal se han hecho sentir en la propia consistencia de la escena plstica local. Podra, en este punto, reproducir con una pequea variacin la propia frase de Mario Pedrosa al analizar el efecto de la Bienal de So Paulo en la expansin del arte moderno en Brasil y de la propia modernidad brasilea. De este modo, se podra escribir que el primer resultado de la Bienal del Mercosur fue romper el crculo cerrado en el que se desarrollaban las actividades artsticas de Rio Grande do Sul, rescatndolas de un aislacionismo provinciano. Por tanto, hay que recibir a la bienal como un dispositivo acelerador
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de prcticas y de escrituras, que mediante la articulacin de relaciones de relativa permanencia con escenas plsticas regionales, se jug a convertirse en un polo de atraccin de un nuevo arte latinoamericano, que comenzaba a ser producido en el cono sur del continente y que tena una gran necesidad de legitimacin internacional. Lo anterior me conduce a proponer la realizacin de estudios comparados entre las escenas artsticas argentina, chilena, uruguaya, paraguaya, boliviana y peruana, en la coyuntura de 1997, que es el ao de la I Bienal de Artes Visuales del Mercosur. No hay que dejar pasar el pequeo gran detalle que signific invitar de modo especial, a dicha bienal, a Venezuela, pas con cuya escena artstica no haba relaciones significativas de parte de las escenas del cono sur. Y esa fue la lgica, al invitar a Colombia, en la segunda versin. Es decir, la obligatoriedad de articular relaciones con escenas cuya produccin era insuficientemente conocida, teniendo en perspectiva el reconocimiento por parte de estas escenas de la poltica de expansin de Porto Alegre como una ciudad clave de la zona Atlntica del Sur. Sin lugar a dudas, esta perspectiva geopoltica permite establecer relaciones simblicas, de Estado a Estado, entre Porto Alegre y las dems capitales de la regin, como ya lo he sealado. Es a instancias, en parte, de la propia Bienal del Mercosur que se inaugura la Bienal de Lima, que alcanza a tener cuatro versiones, y que signific para el arte peruano contemporneo adquirir una visibilidad internacional de envergadura. Resultaba evidente que desde el cono sur se haban levantado iniciativas que intentaban desplazar la exclusividad del eje de legitimacin. La bienal no sera la nica institucin que colabor con esta apertura de un nuevo frente regional de problemas. De hecho, el naufragio de la Bienal de Lima seala indicios de cmo no es posible mantener una bienal sin el compromiso de desarrollo con la ciudad que la acoge. Y una ciudad resulta ser algo ms complejo que su gobierno municipal o prefectura. Una ciudad es un pacto social complejo que compromete la vida de millones de ciudadanos, en todas las dimensiones de la produccin cotidiana. La Bienal del Mercosur debe montar una unidad de estudios destinada, entre otros objetivos, a escribir esta historia comparada de la que he hablado. No slo resulta necesario reconstruir la coyuntura de 1997, sino proyectar y dimensionar el alcance de los desarrollos paralelos de las escenas artsticas consideradas y que forman un complejo artstico del cono sur. No hay otra manera de recuperar esta inversin en el terreno del discurso de la crtica y de la historiografa. Tanto ms cuanto, en el curso de la ltima dcada, han tenido lugar la consolidacin de nuevas experiencias institucionales, tanto a nivel de la musealidad como de iniciativas de autoproduccin artstica en ciudades como Buenos Aires, Rosario y Asuncin. Esto quiere decir que Porto Alegre sostiene una bienal gracias a la mirada que ejerce sobre, y a la vez recibe desde, su contexto internacional inmediatamente cercano. Quizs en esto resida su capital simblico mayor: el haberse convertido en una posibilidad real de legitimacin orgnica regional, en el contexto de una lucha internacional por las validaciones hegemnicas del arte contemporneo. Falta, sin embargo, asegurar las condiciones de un circuito regional concertado que permita que instituciones museales flexibles puedan extender, en cada escena, el impulso conectivo de la Bienal del Mercosur. Falta, del mismo modo, que la Bienal del Mercosur comprenda la necesidad de apoyar el fortalecimiento de dichas instituciones. Por slo nombrar cuatro, que permitiran articular un primer tringulo de reconocimientos transversales: Museo de Arte de Lima (Per), Museo del Barro (Asuncin del Paraguay), Museo de Arte Contemporneo de Rosario (Argentina), Museo Municipal Juan Manuel Blanes (Montevideo). Sin embargo, cabe preguntarse sobre el modo de articulacin de una bienal respecto de
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una red de museos que, todos ellos, representan diversos intereses curatoriales y que poseen fortalezas diferenciadas. De hecho, entre los que he mencionado hay dos que provienen de iniciativas privadas y los otros dos pertenecen a la esfera pblica. Sin que por ello signifique abrigar una consideracin voluntariosamente optimista, la bienal representa un polo de experimentacin en el terreno de la educacin, del montaje, de la curatora compartida, de las relaciones polticas, etc Los museos que he mencionado, cada uno en su respectiva escena, desarrollan tareas que no son las de un museo clsicamente organizado. Ms bien, se trata de museos que deben asumir labores de un centro de arte contemporneo, sin serlo, al tiempo que desarrollan polticas de archivo, sin ser un centro de documentacin, al tiempo que organizan en su seno unidades flexibles de estudio y crtica. Se trata de museos que he denominados migrantes, que se habilitan en la tensin entre tradicin y ruptura, entre lo continuo y lo discontinuo, para asegurar la continuidad de procesos amenazados por el fantasma de la sequa orgnica. Lo anterior no debe ser entendido como una red de museos que recibiran el hilvn formal de la produccin institucional de una bienal. Todo lo contrario, la Bienal del Mercosur, en la regin y para la regin, no se construy como una bienal tpica, sino como una anomala institucional cuya especificidad se ha jugado en la afirmacin de un modelo de intervencin de la historia del arte regional, cuya densidad permite pensar estrategias de consolidacin de garantizaciones micropolticas.

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Latitudinario
Felipe Ehrenberg
[Mxico]

El mundo-imagen es la superficie de la globalizacin. Es nuestro mundo compartido. Empobrecida, oscura, superficial, esta imagen-superficie es toda nuestra experiencia compartida. No compartimos el mundo del otro modo. El objetivo no es alcanzar lo que est bajo la superficie de imagen: sino ampliarla, enriquecerla, darle definicin, tiempo. En este punto emerge una nueva cultura. Susan Buck-Morss

La era de la imagen en la era de la perplejidad

La creatividad es un impulso humano irrefrenable. Nada detiene o puede obstaculizar al imaginario colectivo. La humanidad cristalizar sus visiones para hacerlas imagen a como d lugar, sea desde el territorio de las artes visuales, sea a campo abierto, en el ancho mundo. Cada amanecer nuestras miradas confrontan horizontes pletricos de poderosas visiones, nuevas imgenes creadas con materiales, soportes, tcnicas y tecnologas que van de lo ms arcaico a lo ms actual. Al elemental carboncillo y todo lo que le sigui, se suman la fotografa, el cine, el video y la digitalizacin virtual. Ms an, los graffitis de aerosol singularizan la piel de nuestras ciudades y la urbe es oteada a travs de las vidrieras del mnibus, intervenidas y rayadas con diamantes industriales; y ahora... las fotos celulares! Slo en el 2005 se habrn tomado 40 billones de fotos con el televisfono? Nuestros espacios fsicos se transforman en un sinnmero de split screens de annima y luminosa simultaneidad. Jams haba La Imagen sondeado de manera tan profunda, tan ntima, en lo ms recndito de nuestra intimidad colectiva. Ayer percibamos al artista como supremo y nico creador de imgenes. No ms: nunca habamos visualizado tanto, ni nos habamos sumergido en visiones creadas por tantos individuos no especializados, cada una de cuyas imgenes tiene su razn de ser: nada es verdad, nada es mentira, todo es segn el cristal con que se mira. Desde hace por lo menos 52 siglos y medio, l@s artistas plstic@s se relacionaron con su prjimo de manera inmediata y sin intermediarios. Terminada la obra en el espacio de trabajo
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de su autor, pasaba de manera directa al mbito de la comunidad, los templos y hogares de toda la grey, del sbdito al monarca. La Imagen ilustraba temas tan regionales como universales, entendiendo como universal las creencias de la regin. El arte era endogmico y las obras eran contempladas merced al conocimiento compartido por toda la colectividad (la misma que con el tiempo convertimos en Gran Pblico y, luego, en consumidores). La capacidad del pintor y el escultor para revelarnos visiones, sus posibilidades epifnicas, se mantenan sujetas a los lmites que determinaba el grupo dominante de la comunidad. El arte era unidireccional. No existiendo en el mundo otro artificio y otros artfices para crear imgenes, l@s artistas eran juzgad@s por su pericia tcnica. Su tecnologa era fundamental. As, la imagen tridimensional ha ido del barro a la madera a la piedra al metal al plstico a materiales combinados, hasta llegar a la instalacin; y la imagen plana ha ido del fresco a la encustica al temple al leo al acrlico. En su afn por mejorar su tecnologa, l@s artistas han transitado de la pintura a la fotografa que pari al cine que pari a la TV que pari a la holografa que pari a photoshop que parir a...1 Se trata de conocimientos acumulables no excluyentes. En el arte, como en la medicina, se incrementa la eficacia con base en cada vez mejores herramientas. La mayor parte de la tecnologa requerida para visualizar que hoy usamos descansa en cimientos inventados por artistas. En el siglo XV, el innovador gtico Jan Van Eyck invent la pintura al leo, revolucionario avance tecnolgico cuya utilidad monopoliz la pintura hasta que el mexicano David Alfaro Siqueiros invent la pintura acrlica. Adems de mquinas blicas y escenografas mecnicas, Da Vinci invent la servilleta (y hasta una mquina para lavarla); de paso, descubri la cmara oscura, de utilidad mnima hasta su magistral uso por Johannes Vermeer (1632-75). Para cuando Eadweard Muybridge inventa su zoopraxiscope, la aplicacin de tcnicas, materiales y soportes ya se ha extendido ms all del arte. Irrefrenable, La Imagen encuentra cada vez ms espacios para llegar a nuestras miradas (incluyendo video esculturas y sper carreteras electrnicas!): de muros privados y pblicos a espacios impresos a la estereoscopa a la pantalla de plata al video-monitor a los espacios tan estrictamente privados- de la comunicacin cibertecnolgica (vide W. Benjamin2 ). De este proceso se ocupa, en buena medida, la obra de Fernando Llanos y Erick Beltrn, expuesta en esta Bienal. El destino del arte es inexorable: bifurcarse para continuar vigente; si por algo podemos caracterizarlo es por su afn de inventar en pos del cambio y de proponer en busca del entendimiento. Al ampliar su radio de accin en lo tcnico, l@s artistas tambin profundizan en lo conceptual. La conversin del arte en masa crtica (la cantidad mnima de un material fisionable para causar una reaccin en cadena) agudiza el distanciamiento que media entre artistas y espectadores. Mientras l@s primer@s enfrentan la cada vez ms compleja tarea de compartir sus motivos con su pblico, los segundos son obligados a ponderar en torno y a travs de las obras expuestas a su mirada. Hoy en da, las artes son exogmicas, pluridireccionales. Ante lo inslito, la comunidad zozobra. Empieza a sospechar que l@s artistas ya no cumplen con la razn primigenia de las artes, la de proponer, interpretar y traducir el entorno compartido. En su perplejidad, percibe al pintor tradicional como proveedor de bienes de lujo faranicos, a la vez que teme enfrentarse a l@s no convencionales; desconfa de lenguajes criptogrficos que parecen referirse ms a lenguajes criptogrficos que a la realidad del pblico. L@s artistas son percibidos como impostores: cortesan@s o payas@s. La verdad sea dicha: l@s artistas no han cambiado; continan buscando el dilogo con encono3 , algunos con harto humor, como lo demuestra Franco Aceves Humana, con su imaginario crtico de arte.

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Aqu, all, acuy: global, local, glocal 4 o qu?

Toda sociedad renueva de manera cclica sus artes (y sus creencias). Repentinos o graduales, los cambios apremian cuando la prctica del arte se deja alcanzar por las reglas del juego, cuando los criterios que se erigen en su entorno se rigidizan al grado de obstaculizar o impedir la creacin. Es cuando l@s artistas buscan nuevos equilibrios. Nunca es fcil atentar contra la ortodoxia. Es tal el peso de la opinin (doxa) del pblico, que tiende a convertirse en ley (o dogma), por errneos, anacrnicos o imprecisos que puedan ser los conceptos que sustentan los criterios compartidos. Si en la primera mitad del siglo XX fue difcil para las vanguardias artsticas europeas legitimar proposiciones consideradas radicales a primera vista, para l@s artistas de la Amrica Latina la experimentacin sigue plagada de obstculos que se antojan insuperables, no es el menor de ellos la ms reciente amenaza: una mercadotecnia cuya voracidad convierte la innovacin en novedad (hip becomes hype). Los escollos son asaz conocidos. Mientras los ciudadanos siguen adelante con sus vidas, en esclerticas instituciones pblicas proliferan funcionari@s, gestores y promotores que, fieles a la Ley de Parkinson5 , inhiben el pensamiento original. En su eurocentrismo, inevitablemente a la zaga del modelo, pierden de vista el mapamundi, cuyos colores ya no corresponden a las lneas punteadas. Ante la (ciber) comunicacin sin fronteras, sus acciones implotan, llegan incluso a afectar las relaciones internacionales de Mxico. 6 Ibero/amer/indios, franco/amer/indios, afro/euro/indo/nipo/sino/americanos: Basco-purpechas en Erongarcuaro Totonaco-catalanes en Papantla Nhua-ahs en Zacapoaztla Yruba-fufulds en Panam Argen-mexicanos en Buenos Aires y Mxico Nipo-lusitanos en Brasil Franco-canadienses en Quebec Cubano-riqueos en Nueva York Yoruba-gallegos en Cuba Afro-inds?indios7 en Jamaica ...Serbo-croatas, anglo-sajones y yugo-eslavos en Newsweek & Time...! Desgeograficadas, las nuevas cartografas son culturales, sus esponjosos espacios sujetos a vaivenes inditos: la brutal desigualdad social y el racismo cuyo nico origen es la polarizacin del capital; el narcotrfico elevado a prcticas corporativas empresariales que conducen a las ms altas esferas de aparatos de gobierno; las prcticas polticas que sustituyen la res publica por una mercadotecnia demencial; los desplazamientos de individuos y poblaciones y el terror que, en consecuencia de todo lo anterior, movilizan ejrcitos y ponen en jaque a civiles; absolutamente todo repercute en los avatares de la cultura. La violencia envilece al alma, convierte nuestros sueos en pesadilla. Desplazad@s, reubicad@s... La gente vive la proximidad impuesta. Sea por causa de exilios o por fronteras movedizas (en el fondo es lo mismo) los espacios que rehabitamos estn circundados por el desconcierto y el miedo a perdernos, a perder a los propios y lo propio. Son espacios incluyentes: a la vez que conservan valores tradicionales, mutan con vertiginosa velocidad. Se trata del espacio de intimidad al que se refiere Nstor Garca Canclini, del cual surgen Frida Kahlo, Joseph Conrad, Driss Chrabi, Leonora Carrington, Chinua Achebe, V. S. Naipul,
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Mercedes Ruibal, Ngugi wa Thiongo, Rafael Alberti, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Ulises Carrin, Shyam Selvadurai, Gmez Pea o Lila Downs, cuyas complejas vidas transcurren acaso como la de quien lea esto, o como la de nuestros padres o abuelos. El futuro de la globalizacin, apunta Garca Canclini, ser decidido por ciudadanos multiculturales. Sus obras literarias, visuales, musicales o cinematogrficas responden al entendido de que es en la otredad del arte que se gesta el entendimiento, acaso hasta la reconciliacin.8 El trabajo intelectual apoya la circunstancia siempre y cuando, es preciso decirlo, sus voces sean odas. La tarea a la que hoy nos enfrentamos tod@s, l@s creador@s, y las sociedades de las que surgen, es reconocer y aprovechar la caracterstica multidireccional de las artes y, ms significativo, de ubicarnos frente a ellas para comprender.9 Quiz la nica manera que tienen hoy en da l@s artist@s para expresarnos sus visiones es desconstruyendo, ideando como dice Derrida- palancas de intervencin activa, estratgica y singular. Buscan desmembrar el pasado inmediato para, con sus guijarros, construir un presente futuro, buscando en todo mantener canales abiertos para dialogar. Hogao, los dilogos se dan por otros motivos que los de antao, bajo otras circunstancias, en otros espacios!
Vis--vis

Referirse a Mxico como tierra de mestizaje y sincretismo o lugar de choque de tres culturas es apenas maniquesmo grosero. El oneroso centralismo que rige la vida poltica y social del pas entero, inculca desde el aula y por todos los medios, mitos y leyendas nacionalistas forjados por la mente novo-hispana an antes de la Independencia. Su ostentoso orgullo por las glorias pasadas de las culturas vencidas, no obstante, es incapaz de eliminar el racismo soterrado que desdea el presente de stas, cuyo imaginario slo puede expresarse de manera limitadamente regional o en el extranjero. Para comprobarlo, basta aproximarse a la poesa y al teatro, a la danza, las artes plsticas y al cine que surge del seno de la numerosa ciudadana norteamericana de origen mexicano, muchos de cuyos antepasados nunca migraron sino que fueron vctimas de la refronterizacin. Los conflictos de un mestizaje avergonzado supuran de manera cclica hasta hacer crisis la ms reciente, la rebelin maya conocida como movimiento neo zapatista. Estos momentos incendian inevitablemente el alma de la mayora de los artistas, en especial los transterrados de Mxico. El territorio, como la equis de su nombre, ha sido cruce de caminos desde tiempos anteriores a la invasin europea, a principios del siglo XVI. Lecho de culturas originales tan distintas entre si como el dans es diferente al libans, Mxico es transitado a lo largo y ancho de dos grandes y activos ejes migratorios, este-oeste y norte-sur. Su cosmovisin est marcada por el catolicismo impuesto por el invasor ibrico y sus descendientes. Almacn de un vasto acervo cultural, nuestro imaginario se nutre con los de otros pueblos minoritarios: libaneses, sefardes, vascos, yorubas, chinos, gitanos, italianos, malinks, rusos y germanos... Todos estos sueos copulan sobre el lecho, enorme y robusto, que continan tejiendo nuestros pueblos discriminados: el maya, el purhpecha, el nhua (del cual surgi el imperio azteca), el ahu, el wixrika (huichol), el mixteca (cuna de Rufino Ramayo), el zapoteca (de donde es Francisco Toledo), y muchos ms... Desde la Revolucin de 1910, que protagonizaron Pancho Villa y Emiliano Zapata (plido el primero, moreno el segundo), la herencia de las naciones preibricas trasmite paradigmas ineludibles a nuestras artes. 10 No existe mexicano alguno que crezca sin convivir con la generosa riqueza de sus mltiples estticas, las cuales, por no ser de origen europeo, son denominadas eufemsticamente cultura popular.
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Nuestras primeras naciones motivaron siempre al arte mexicano, hasta la actualidad, como lo demuestran, cada quien a su manera, los hermanos Einar y Jamex de la Torre y Mariana Castillo. Mientras que sta ltima (heredera, tambin, de Ulises Carrin) hurga en los espacios del inconsciente colectivo por medio del refranero popular, los hermanos De la Torre se regocijan con la fragilidad del vidrio para recristalizar los iconos ms entraables del Mxico globalizado. Quien mejor sintetiza las contradicciones actuales inherentes al choque internacional de paradigmas, la otredad, es el artista Guillermo Gmez Pea, cuya obra surge en el territorio que perdi Mxico tras la guerra unilateral que le declararan los Estados Unidos (1846-1848), y que culmin con la toma de la Ciudad de Mxico. La memoria de la bandera enemiga ondeando en el Palacio Nacional persiste en nuestro imaginario, lo que da lugar a quiz la mayor contradiccin que padece el pas -su vecindad con los EUA- y que sirve como combustible adicional a la eterna bsqueda del mexicano por una identidad propia, quiz, incluso, por espacios propios.11 No en balde el arquitecto y artista Pedro Len de la Barra se preocupa por el anonimato al que son reubicadas y desterrados incontables seres annimos por las turbulencias globalizadoras del desarrollismo econmico en nuestro continente. La ubicua y agresiva presencia del vecino pas sin nombre propio agudiza el conflicto identitario de los mexicanos 12 : homogenizadas las etnias bajo el gentilicio de mexicano, en ingls sinnimo de bandolero, su nuevo gentilicio -latino, a secas- lo iguala a semejantes muy distintos. Devaluada su autoestima al compararse con el mundo desarrollado, el mexicano medio repudia su pasado y busca modelos de comportamiento allende sus fronteras. El conflicto es magnificado bajo la lupa de la Capital, ciudad conmovedoramente provinciana a la vez que luminosamente cosmopolita, sitio donde se forma la mayora de nuestros artistas y desde donde buscan proyectarse. Si bien la bsqueda de identidad sigue pulsando de manera cclica, ha dejado de ser una obsesin y cede paso a otras inquietudes en el medio acadmico y cultural. Esto es evidente en las propuestas de Elvira Santamaria, Carlos Amorales, Csar Martnez, Manuel Rocha y Mariana Castillo. Por su versatilidad, no es fcil clasificar de manera temtica la obra de artistas como Pablo Len De la Barra, Mauricio Guilln o Pablo Vargas Lugo. En todo caso, se trata de artistas que hurgan en preocupaciones universales, el Nuevo Humanismo en el mundo, consecuencia de la globalizacin de los conceptos. Sus obras, en extremo incitantes, son ricas en pistas que, querindolo o no, heredarn a generaciones futuras. El arte en Mxico refleja todas las contradicciones que hoy afligen a las artes en la Amrica Latina; sirvan como muestra dos botones dignos de estudio: a) la inexperiencia de nuestro mercado, que lleva a la compra-venta exenta de cualquier control fiscal, a excesos mercadotcnicos y al lavado de cantidades astronmicas de dinero, consecuencia de la incapacidad del Estado de atender los asuntos de la cultura en la enseanza; b) el uso creciente del idioma ingls para definir, titular y promover la produccin de arte, que refleja la desolada voluntad por comunicar nuestras ideas a como d lugar, an fuera del pas. El primer ejemplo pone en evidencia la ausencia de una legislacin coherente con las necesidades del pas, requerida para normar los asuntos de cultura y estimular las artes. El segundo, no menos dramtico, podra ser considerado consecuencia de los anteriores. En buena medida, el uso del ingls por artistas mexicanos es respuesta al escaso inters que tiene por su obra el compatriota con capacidad adquisitiva. La falta de oportunidades los convierte en trashumantes; viajeros en pos de pblico y mercados, viajan antes que nada a los EUA y Europa (internacionalizacin eurocntrica?). Esto los distancia ms y ms de sus connacionales. Es un hecho que el espaol, la cuarta lengua ms hablada en el mundo, ocupa el
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segundo lugar como instrumento de comunicacin. Obligados a usar el ingls para establecer sus dilogos en el extranjero, l@s artistas recurren al ingenio. Sin duda, quien mejor resume la cuestin de nuestro bilingismo obligado es Ulises Carrin, quien alguna vez intent convencer a Octavio Paz -sin lograrlo- de que se puede crear poesa mexicana an escribiendo en ingls. Sus primeros dos libros, considerados seminales, fueron Arguments y Looking for poetry/Tras la poesa (1973-74 Beau Geste Press, Inglaterra). Considerado uno de los abuelos del movimiento del libro-objeto -es, de hecho, figura de culto a nivel internacional- fue un artista de artistas, y es gracias a los esfuerzos de Martha Hellion que un pblico mayor empieza a conocer su obra. El lenguaje fue la materia prima de Ulises Carrin, anot Ulises Leyva, lo explor y lo trabaj en un campo de percepcin ms amplio, que trascendi en las artes visuales, desarrollando una serie de conceptos tericos acerca de la obra como producto cultural. Su trabajo artstico es una aportacin muy importante a la literatura y al arte contemporneo... De entre el sedimento que qued tras los grandes debates ideolgicos y estticos que se libraron en el territorio del modernismo mexicano, surge el Movimiento Grupal de los setenta. En la Amrica Latina, quiz l@s primer@s en trocar el espacio del atelier por la calle -de manera sistemtica y colectiva- fueron l@s mexican@s, en 1974. Sustituyendo las herramientas tradicionales por la fotocopia, la plantilla y la reproduccin en offset, se dejaron invadir por las imgenes en su entorno inmediato y, adaptndose a medios callejeros de produccin, pasaron a emular la grfica misma de la calle, el diario, los carteles y rtulos comerciales, hasta coladeras y enrejados. La invasin de la urbe en su mbito privado los oblig a replantear su relacin con lo cotidiano y a investigar cmo el espacio fsico de la Ciudad de Mxico influa en los individuos, visual y emotivamente. Gran parteaguas en el arte actual del pas, el conceptualismo dinmico de los grupos marca la transicin de la imagen, de la era plstica a la era visual (el trmino visual, que nos llega del ingls, no se acomod en las lenguas romances sino hasta la dcada de los 70). Es posible detectar, a treinta aos de distancia, la impronta de aquel impulso, que marc camino y le abri laterales de significancia al arte actual, incluyendo el del problemtico retorno a la pintura, resuelto con enorme ingenio, un gran tino y, en ocasiones, un delicado y potico humor, por artistas como Boris Viskin, y Franco Aceves. En un provocador texto publicado en 1994, Teresa del Conde se preguntaba Qu aborda el arte mexicano de hoy?13 Su respuesta, generosa en exceso, sigue vigente una dcada despus. Sin duda alguna, hay artistas que continan afanosamente buscado el dilogo con el verdadero pueblo, el Gran Pblico lego. Lo cierto es que la mayora prefiere ir en pos de un pblico especializado y, por su conducto, del coleccionismo. Estamos ya muy lejos de las violentas y maniqueas confrontaciones que caracterizaron los aos cincuenta, en plena Guerra Fra, cuando nacionalistas trasnochados y mulos de decadencias vanguardistas se liaban a golpes. El asunto de la interlocucin se escapa de las brumas ideolgicas para resolverse en el ciberespacio. Es tal la supremaca de La Imagen que resulta cada vez ms difcil aprehenderla para resguardar las artes plsticas o visuales. Frente a la intermediabilidad a la que se refiere Silvestra Mariniello, nos vemos obligados a considerar las herramientas y los dispositivos de la manera sugerida por Michael Foucault: son tambin elementos de un entorno disponible y por lo tanto es necesario ir mas all de lo material y simblico para considerar el espacio potencial o transicional dentro del cual los dispositivos no son slo instrumentos o instituciones alienantes, sino que representan un aspecto del mundo que corresponde a nuestra disposicin inventiva.14
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No slo proliferan herramientas y conceptos, proliferan artistas. Ao con ao, cada vez ms egresad@s de cada vez ms escuelas de arte cada vez ms tecnologizados (menos ideologizados?) buscan su lugar en un sistema de distribucin basado en valores y criterios que va perdiendo vigencia, lo que nos obliga a revisar de nuevo la funcin sealizante del museo de la que habla el venezolano Flix Suazo, que busca domesticar las obras que expone y su sentido...15 . La globalizacin ha hecho que el proceso de la informacin, las telecomunicaciones y, por supuesto, el entretenimiento (incluidas las artes) sean ya el principal sector de la economa posindustrial.16 Ante la polisemia, se desvanece el monopolio de la exgesis. Hoy, cada quien es capaz de encontrar la explicacin que ms le plazca frente a cualquier creacin arte, imagen o artefacto, cada vez parece importar menos- que se ponga al alcance de su mirada. Tal y como la conocamos, se desvanece La Crtica quiz hasta La Curadora. El misterio de la tarea curatorial se revela cuando la riqueza multifactica de la antologa entra en contacto con las mil y una cabezas del pblico. Me parece que lo que hace tan importante a bienales celebradas en Amrica Latina -y por su circunstancia especial, esta Internacional del Mercosur- es que pueden/deben estimular la apertura de dilogos en lenguas romances, comprobadamente otro universo conceptual y, por lo tanto, campo frtil para otro tipo de ideas y preocupaciones. El coro de voces reunido para esta 5 Bienal fue constituido de manera precisa con base a la muy particular visin que tienen de los mundos que habitan, por la honestidad de sus propuestas, por su pericia, claro, pero de manera especial por su capacidad para provocar el dilogo. Ni cortesanos ni payasos, quiz lo mejor sera que ell@s -y tod@s l@s artistas del mundo- fueran percibid@s como bufones o juglares, como aquellos seres a quienes les es permitido mostrar la verdad tanto al soberano y su corte como a los sbditos, por mucho que sta peque o incomode.

Notas
1 Muy en breve cualquier artista sabr como comprender y darle uso a : a six-pipe, 14-CPU Silicon Graphics Onyx2 InfiniteReality2 system, driving six Barco Reality 9300 LCD projectors, double-stacked to deliver front-projected, edge-blended, passive stereoscopic images to a huge cylindrical screen. 2 Walter Benjamin, 1936; Das kunsterk im Zeitalter seiner Technischen Reproduzierbarkeit. 3 La perplejidad es general. Las instituciones pblicas se ven obligadas a responder con exhibiciones como Big Bang Destruccin y creacin en el arte del siglo XX; Centre Pompidou, Pars: junio 2005 a febrero 2006. La muestra rene obras de arte moderno y contemporneo, aunando artes plsticas, fotografa, cine, vdeo, arquitectura, diseo y literatura, confrontando las obras y las tendencias desde principio del siglo XX hasta nuestros das. 4 Lucy Lippard; 1997; The Lure of the Local: Senses of Place in a Multicultural Society, The New Press, NY. La influyente autora mezcla estudios culturales, historia, geografa y arte contemporneo para explorar nuestros mltiples sentidos de lugar. 5 Nada que ver con la enfermedad, su paradjico dictado puede resumirse as: Al crecer una empresa, sus dirigentes buscarn regular su vida interna remplazado sus ms dinmicos elementos, cuya inventiva pueda causar intranquilidad, con personal cuya incompetencia asegure obediencia: A mayor tamao de la empresa, mayor su anacronismo. 6 30 de junio, 2005: La emisin, en Mxico, de una estampilla postal con la figura del personaje de la tradicional tira cmica, Memn Pingun, irrita a afroamericanos en EUA, quienes sealan que el sello es racista. Jesse Jackson considera que ...Bush debera presionar a Mxico para retirarla del mercado, argumentando que insulta a las personas alrededor del mundo. La Casa Blanca caracteriza el sello como racista, sentenciando: (estas) imgenes... no tienen lugar en el mundo actual. El gobierno mexicano necesita tomar esto en cuenta... Es totalmente inapropiado y lo hemos dejado muy claro. El Servicio Postal Mexicano emiti cinco estampillas en homenaje a la cultura popular mexicana y la caricatura en Mxico y a sus creadores. Memn Pingun, un nio afrocubano de labios anchos y grandes ojos, fue creado en 1943, en Mxico, por la editora hispanocubana Yolanda Vargas Dulch, y desarrollado por el hispanomexicano Sixto Valencia Burgos. Los medios de Mxico se indignan: ...en medio de profundos y serios problemas como la guerra de guerrillas... en Irak, el gobierno... se ocup de

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la estampilla de Memn Pingun... La reaccin de la Casa Blanca... refleja... cmo el poder de la prensa estadounidense puede sacar de contexto cualquier situacin y por encima de los verdaderos intereses de (la) relacin bilateral MX-EUA. 7 Con mil disculpas por el adjetivo indio, convertido en peyorativo; a la hora de googlear, veo con azoro que el espaol ha sido incapaz de resolver su quincuacentenario dilema: devaluada la palabra indio, no cuenta con un apelativo para del ciudadano de la India. 8 Nstor Garca Canclini, 1989. Culturas hbridas. Estrategias para entrar y salir de la modernidad, Grijalbo, Mxico. Nstor Garca Canclini, 1999. La globalizacin imaginada, Grijalbo, Mxico Buenos Aires Barcelona 9 Lo interesante en el caso del rap es que no es slo un movimiento cultural, es un sntoma, una seal de un reacomodo geolgico de la sociedad, explica el socilogo brasileo Marcelo Coelho, columnista cultural de Folha de So Paulo desde 1990. Citado por Bruno Torturra Noguera en la revista Trip, #134, jun. 2005, pp. 80, SP, Brasil. 10 Guillermo Bonfil Batalla, 1986, La teora de control cultural en el estudio de los procesos tnicos, Anuario Antropolgico, Editora Universidade de Brasilia, Brasilia. Guillermo Bonfil Batalla, 1987, Mxico Profundo: Una civilizacin negada, Secretara de Educacin Pblica y Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropologa Social, Mxico. 11 Lase Vecinos distantes por Alan Riding, y Mxico en la frontera del caos, por Andres Oppenheimer 12 (tan lejos de Dios y tan cerca de los EE.UU...) 13 Teresa del Conde y Enrique Franco Calvo, Historia mnima del arte mexicano del siglo XX; www.arts-history.mx/artmex/ 14 Michael Foucault, 1992, Voluntad del saber, historia de la sexualidad, Siglo XXI, Mxico. 15 Flix Suazo, El museo contra la polisemia, (http://www.museosdevenezuela.org/Documentos/Articulos/ RevistaImagen003.shtml ). 16 Piedras Ernesto: El aporte total de la cultura al Producto Interno Bruto [PIB] (de Mxico) es del 6.7%, por lo que es fundamental para la economa de Mxico; Cunto vale la cultura? 2005, coedicin SACM - SOGEM, Mxico.

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Zona en litigio
Los extraos lugares del arte en los tiempos del esteticismo total

Ticio Escobar
[P araguay] Paraguay]

Introduccin

Este texto parte de la vinculacin de los conceptos de arte y espacio, tema que constituye la propuesta-eje de la V Bienal del Mercosur. No pretende, sin embargo, desarrollar el alegato curatorial de esa bienal, sino trabajar ciertas cuestiones que desencadena aquel tema en el mbito de la discusin crtica contempornea. Para hacerlo, no considera el problema del espacio en el arte sino el del espacio del arte: su incierto lugar en el contexto de los escenarios globales. All, la autonoma de lo artstico, aparece sbitamente en entredicho: la subsistencia de un territorio propio zozobra ante el avance de dos frentes invasores empujados, respectivamente, por contenidos y formas extra-artsticos. Superpuestos, ambos trastornan el concepto de arte y remiten a la pregunta acerca de las posibilidades crticas que tiene hoy el quehacer artstico en medio de un escenario sobredeterminado estticamente por las lgicas comunicativas, mercantiles y polticas de la cultura de masas.
Retornos

Luego del largo predominio moderno del significante, se produce una contraofensiva fuerte de los contenidos temticos, discursivos y contextuales del arte. De golpe, las dimensiones semnticas y pragmticas adquieren una presencia irrefutable, que ocurre en detrimento de la hegemona del lenguaje: tanto las preguntas relativas a lo real de las cosas (el retorno ontolgico) como a las condiciones de enunciacin y recepcin de la obra, a sus efectos sociales (el tema de la performatividad), colapsan la esfera del arte. En este sentido deben ser considerados la vuelta de las narrativas, las mezclas transdisciplinales, la irrupcin de los contextos sociales, la presencia asediante de realidades, o de espectros de realidades, que rondan los cotos, anteriormente fortificados, del arte y se filtran en su interior promoviendo la implosin del baluarte.
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Cuando el arte deja de basar sus argumentos en los puros valores de la forma y logra desencastrar la circularidad de su propio lenguaje y abrirlo a la intemperie de la historia, de sus vientos oscuros y sus turbios flujos, entonces sus pulcros recintos se ven saludablemente contaminados por figuras y discursos, textos, cuestiones y estadsticas provenientes de extramuros. Otros sistemas de expresin y sensibilidad, signos de culturas remotas subalternas, advenedizas , se instalan en los claustros aspticos reservados al arte ilustrado. E ingresan los temas polticos, interdictos por la posmodernidad. En un primer momento, aparecen ellos en formato menor y perfil bajo, como temas micro-polticos, ms relacionados con las demandas movidas por identidades que por las grandes causas globales (o antiglobales); pero, progresivamente, se proyectan al espacio pblico y se vinculan con debates ms amplios que incluyen la propia vocacin transgresora del arte y la redefinicin de conceptos que parecan ya extinguidos, como los de utopa y emancipacin. Tambin ingresan reflexiones correspondientes a mbitos extranjeros: la antropologa, la sociologa y el sicoanlisis y, cada vez ms, la mismsima filosofa. Y, por ltimo, se apresura en colarse la preocupacin acerca de los propios circuitos del arte, sus dispositivos institucionales, la economa de su distribucin y consumo. Todos estos contenidos tienen un sentido discursivo y se mueven en el horizonte del concepto, levantado por el proyecto ilustrado y cumplido en clave moderna. La modernidad del arte culmina en el arte conceptual: en el punto ms alto de un largo proceso autorreferencial a lo largo del cual la produccin artstica opera en circuito cerrado, impulsndose en el anlisis de sus propios lenguajes. El retorno de lo conceptual, lo llamado pos-conceptual, se ubica ya en otro lado, fuera del crculo de la representacin. El concepto ya no busca identificar el dispositivo analtico puro, el mecanismo ltimo de la forma el que logra hacer el clic, producir el flash del significado, sino que atae a pensamientos, documentos y relatos referidos a acontecimientos que ocurren en otro lado y exigen ser inscriptos en este. Ahora bien, este lado se encuentra indefinido con respecto a aquel otro, y mal podra servir de espacio de inscripcin si carece de espesor y contornos, si no puede marcar pausas ni establecer diferencias en medio del maremgnum que sostiene y el trfico atropellado que cruza su suelo. El revoltijo de los contenidos revela una paradoja central del arte contemporneo. Si se han borrado los lmites, entonces ya no existe afuera ni adentro y resulta difcil registrar algo que sucede ah mismo, sin distancia; es decir: desmontada la escena de la representacin, todo se vuelve inmediato y presente y no resta margen para la mirada. Cancelada esa distancia el cerco que impone la forma, las imgenes del arte desbordan el crculo de la escena y se acercan democrticamente a otras formas culturales, al acontecer de las prosaicas realidades, al discurrir concreto de la vida y a las gestiones de la escena pblica. Pero las cosas no son tan fciles, claro. Si el arte sacrifica los contornos de su espacio, ste se disuelve en la llanura infinita de los paisajes globales. Pero tambin puede deshacer sus perfiles dentro del permetro de las propias instituciones del arte: especialmente durante los aos noventa, hubo exposiciones en las cuales resultaba muy difcil distinguir la obra de los discursos que la completaban o suplantaban. La re-emergencia de lo conceptual promueve no slo la hegemona de textos, discursos y narrativas, de contenidos que sobrepasan los linderos trazados por la forma, sino, tambin, la reflexin acerca del alcance de esos lmites; es decir, la discusin acerca del estatuto contingente de lo artstico: una obra puede recibir el ttulo de arte no desde la investidura de la forma, sino segn su inscripcin en un texto especfico, un lugar, una posicin de enunciacin determinada. Y este hecho vuelve inestable el espacio del arte: lo hace depender de una construccin histrica y pragmtica; de
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una decisin que tiene efectos performativos no slo en la dimensin de lo esttico sino en la de las prcticas sociales.
El asalto de las formas

Aliado al primero, el segundo frente avanza empujado por formas, por un raudal de formas, y corresponde al llamado esteticismo difuso de la cultura actual: el ancho paisaje de la experiencia (pblica y privada) se encuentra hoy tibiamente diseado en clave de belleza publicitaria y meditica. Una belleza blanda que, formateada por las industrias culturales y concertada por slogans, logos y marcas, ocurre por encima de los brutales conflictos que desgarran el lado oscuro de la globalizacin (y que, estilizados, sirven como insumos melodramticos de la industria del entretenimiento y el espectculo). La belleza es comprendida ac en su sentido clsico de conciliacin y armona: no se trata de desconocer el infortunio, sino de formatearlo para su mejor consumo; se trata de alisar los pliegues, descifrar los enigmas, aclarar, explicar, volver obvio el acontecimiento de modo que devenga evento. Que lo inexplicable despierte la curiosidad y lo brutal excite, que escandalice un poco sin levantar cuestiones nuevas. No se esconden los desastres de la guerra: se muestra su detrs imposible. Esa operacin, que ecualiza las disonancias y transparenta el sentido, constituye un obstculo serio para la vocacin transgresora del arte.
Agenda indcil

Las tradicionales estrategias vanguardsticas, basadas en el impacto, la provocacin y la innovacin constante, son asumidas suavemente por un sistema econmico cultural omnvoro, capaz no slo de neutralizar la desobediencia, sino de nutrirse de ella, de promoverla y demandarla, de pagar muy bien por sus gestos. Por eso, no es slo que la perversin deja de ser subversiva, como seala Zizek,1 sino que hecho ms grave an la subversin pasa a ser productiva. Es que la moderna utopa de acercar el arte a las masas, de estetizar la vida, se ha cumplido, pero no como logro tico y poltico de las vanguardias, sino como conquista del capital triunfante. La mercantilizacin de la cultura, tanto como la culturalizacin del mercado, ha provocado un mundo de imgenes conciliadas. Y esta metstasis de la bella forma significa otro agravio al espacio del arte, que aparece hoy desfondado, que ya no puede desmarcar sus signos de lo expuesto en las vitrinas, las pasarelas y las pantallas. Podra sostenerse que debemos simplemente aceptar un cambio de paradigma epocal (epistmico, en el sentido de Foucault): el modelo de arte concebido en trminos vanguardsticos e ilustrados, basado en la autonoma de la forma y en el encuentro intenso con la obra, habra sido, por fin, relevado por las modalidades de recepcin masiva y liviana del diseo, la publicidad y la comunicacin. Nuestro presente encomienda al arte ministerios nuevos que dependen, ahora, de las necesidades del pancapitalismo; lo deca crudamente Heinrich Fseli ya a fines del S. XVIII: En una estirpe religiosa el arte produce reliquias; en una militar, trofeos; en una comercial, artculos de comercio.2 As, la poca del arte crtico, exclusivista y minoritario, se habra cancelado en aras de la democratizacin del consumo esttico. Segn este supuesto, el pronstico de Benjamin, la muerte del aura, se ha cumplido y ha sido anulada la distancia que aislaba la obra de arte y apelaba dramtica, profundamente, a la subjetividad del receptor. Pero, una vez ms, las cosas no son tan simples. La hiperestetizacin no puede cubrir ciertas zonas de experiencia que la cultura actual mantiene, empecinadamente, habilitadas. Ms que zonas, sean quiz bordes y mrgenes, extremos, que constituyen lneas de conflicto y

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negociacin, trincheras a veces, en torno a las cuales se litigan puestos y se acuerdan convenios, treguas o acomodos. Est claro que, por diversos motivos impulsados por posiciones diferentes, contrapuestas a veces, la cultura occidental no se encuentra dispuesta a tirar por la borda su tradicin crtica e ilustrada. Una herencia venerable que asegura para algunos la continuidad de un horizonte emancipatorio y significa, para muchos, la vigencia de un material rentable para las industrias culturales, as como la persistencia de sectores que siguen consumiendo obstinadamente sus productos y, aun, la emergencia de nuevos targets, usuarios de sofisticaciones y extravagancias. De hecho, el arte de filiacin ilustrada contina. Y lo hace tanto en sus versiones vanguardistas y experimentales como academicistas (el bel canto, el ballet clsico, las bellas artes en general).
Elogio de la vanguardia
nete al grupo ms pequeo Goethe

Esta sobrevivencia expresa sin duda el carcter promiscuo de un escenario propicio a mezclar registros pluriculturales. El paisaje actual, hbrido, definitivamente impuro, se constituye mediante matrices que mezclan configuraciones premodernas, modernas y contemporneas: figuras, imgenes y conceptos provenientes de la cultura popular (indgena, mestiza-campesina, popular-masiva), la ilustrada, la tecnomeditica y la aplicada al diseo industrial y la publicidad. Los impulsos crticos de la cultura aquellos que discuten los lmites del sentido establecido y desafan la estabilidad de las representaciones sociales pueden manifestarse en el interior de cualquiera de estas configuraciones, repercutir sobre las otras y alterar, as, aunque fuere mnimamente, el intrincado y provisional mapa de toda situacin cultural. Sin embargo, algunas formaciones podran contar con mejores oportunidades que otras para asumir esos impulsos. La retrica de la publicidad y los medios masivos se encuentra demasiado limitada por la lgica instrumental que condiciona cada jugada suya y sustrae todo margen a lo gratuito, lo excesivo y lo inexplicable. El diseo, la moda y, en general, las artes aplicadas, indiscutibles proveedores de insumos artsticos en cualquier cultura, han olvidado en sta las razones de vnculos rituales y oscuros significados sociales, ajenos a la lgica de lo rentable; determinados por los designios del consumo, slo parecen tener derecho al lado suave de la belleza: parecen tener clausurado el momento de la pregunta. Entonces, el desvaro deviene extravagancia, capricho glamoroso que coquetea con el borde sin cruzarlo. Es posible que existan en este mbito posibilidades de transgredir el cdigo. Quiz en los mbitos hegemonizados por el nuevo capitalismo avanzado puedan ciertos creadores operar en un margen de autonoma con respecto a las industrias de la comunicacin, el diseo y la publicidad; un intersticio donde la oposicin forma/funcin obedezca a los impulsos del deseo o asuma la inquietud de la belleza, su otro costado, el que pliega la ltima cifra. Pero estas situaciones constituiran casos raros: como seala Perniola, en los terrenos vaporosos, seductores, de la publicidad, la informacin y la moda, lo imaginario opaca el llamado radical de lo real.3 Por eso, aunque se encuentre seriamente comprometido con el devenir triunfal de la cultura masiva, el viejo modelo moderno vanguardstico parece encontrarse, si no menos expuesto, s mejor posicionado para refugiar principios de resistencia en el contexto de ese mapa complicado. Su propia historia le ha dotado de experiencia contestataria: ha surgido precisamente tras la misin de ocupar el lugar diferente, de trabajar el momento de la alteridad, sospechar de sus
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propios dispositivos de representacin e imaginar otros porvenires. Revelara no slo inocencia, sino mala fe sostener que esa misin se ha cumplido, pero el empeo en llevarla a cabo dot a muchas prcticas del arte de cierta destreza disidente y, en sus mejores casos, logr precipitar algunas producciones densas y marcar puntos agudos que sealan posibles lneas de fuga, derroteros alternativos. Por otra parte, a pesar de que el arte vea progresivamente copados sus circuitos por la lgica del espectculo masivo, su tradicin minoritaria no slo le ha llevado a exclusivismos aristocratizantes, sino que le ha permitido cautelar zonas oscuras de la experiencia colectiva, movilizar los imaginarios histricos y complejizar las matrices de la sensibilidad social. Por eso, a la par que denunciar el elitismo de las vanguardias, su autoritarismo y su vocacin redentorista, debera rescatarse su momento fecundo y recuperar su aporte valioso. Esta operacin restauradora podra invocar el carcter minoritario y particular del arte amparndose en el reconocimiento de las diferencias que proclama nuestro presente. En la misma direccin en que se admiten trabajos diversos de significacin en los campos disparejos de la cultura actual, las minoras productoras de cultura, en el decir de Juan Acha, deberan ser consideradas no como poseedoras de la clave final, representantes de la totalidad social y guas del camino correcto, sino como sectores alternativos que actan paralelamente, a los muchos otros que animan la escena de la cultura, y a las fuerzas hegemnicas que la comandan. Desde sus lugares dispersos y sus inventivas plurales pueden, una vez ms, lanzarse apuestas anticipadoras, aunque stas no pretendan ya salvar la historia ni sealar su rumbo verdadero, sino mantener abiertos espacios de pregunta y de suspenso que promuevan jugadas (contingentes) de sentido. La reconsideracin de lo vanguardstico lleva a dos cuestiones. La primera recuerda que las minoras crticas del arte deben asumir los desafos de toda minora: romper el enclaustramiento sectario y buscar articulaciones con otros sectores sobre el horizonte del espacio pblico. La segunda, demanda la deconstruccin de ciertas figuras altisonantes, como vanguardia, emancipacin y utopa. Para que puedan ellas justificar sus presencias interdictas por la posmodernidad, deben abjurar de sus orgenes sustancialistas y ser encaradas como azarosos productos histricos. Entonces podrn seguir habilitando cierto necesario momento de suspenso, cierto dispositivo de prrroga, que estorbe la figura de conciliacin propuesta por el esteticismo ubicuo de los transmercados.
Las vanguardias del Sur

De hecho, a pesar de que se proclame con nostalgia o entusiasmo la mescolanza de todas las formas estticas, es indudable que sobreviven modalidades eruditas, fiduciarias del gran arte. Y aunque muchas de ellas transiten canales mediticos y circuitos masivos, el sistema tradicional del arte contina codo a codo o enredado con las otras conformaciones que se imponen en el panorama de la cultura contempornea (el diseo industrial, la publicidad, las industrias culturales, las tecnologas de la informacin y la comunicacin, las nuevas formas de cultura masivo-popular: figuras todas estas entremezcladas y poco diferenciables entre s). Es obvio que, para sobrevivir, aquel sistema ha debido reacomodar sus instituciones a los libretos de la lgica cultural hegemnica y, en consecuencia, compartir cuotas con el mercado y retroceder a veces hasta el lmite de su disolucin. Pero, a un costado, o en medio, de la espectacularizacin de los megamuseos (el efecto Guggenheim), la ferializacin de las bienales y la mediatizacin de las imgenes, subsisten instancias alternativas o prcticas orilleras posicionadas a contramano del sentido concertado.
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En las regiones perifricas el arte local no es lo suficientemente rentable en trminos de mercado trasnacional, por lo que su produccin ocurre con cierta autonoma con respecto a las instancias de poder (contra el costo de la precariedad y la falta de apoyo institucional). Aunque toda figura de incontaminacin identitaria resulte hoy insostenible, no conviene pasar por alto ciertas caractersticas especficas que adquiere el tradicional sistema especializado de las artes (galeras, museos, crtica, publicaciones) en cuanto inmediatamente desvinculado de las redes trasnacionales. Fuera de toda tentacin de saludar las penurias del aislamiento y condenar la masificacin, y ms all de cualquier fantasa que aspire a un afuera de la hegemona del mercado, es indudable que esta marginalidad, al mismo tiempo que pospone conveniencias, abre posibilidades de prcticas alternativas. Necesariamente, los bajsimos presupuestos de los museos, muestras y ediciones acarrean restricciones graves, as como lo hacen el desinters de los medios de comunicacin en la produccin local y la falta de apoyo que sufre sta con respecto a los sectores empresariales y el Estado. Pero, paralelamente, estos efectos perniciosos provocan ciertos beneficios secundarios, no solamente derivados de la mayor independencia en relacin a la lgica productivista que acta sobre la institucin-arte global, sino provenientes del plus de ingenio e inventiva que requiere la escasez de medios (las ventajas de la adversidad, dira Toynbee). Este hecho determina otra caracterstica propia del hacer cultural desarrollado en las periferias: la necesidad de construir trama institucional, as como la de demandar al Estado el cumplimiento de sus obligaciones en el plano de la cultura. La gestin estatal debe no slo garantizar la vigencia de los derechos culturales, sino desarrollar polticas pblicas que aseguren la continuidad de minoras productoras de cultura local ante la expansin avasallante de modelos comunicativos y mercantiles de la cultura trasnacional de masas. La situacin recin descrita tiene dos consecuencias bsicas sobre el derrotero del arte crtico desarrollado en las periferias latinoamericanas. En primer lugar, involucra a aqul en la tarea de construccin de esfera pblica (local, pero tambin regional y, en principio, global) y, consecuentemente, lo fuerza a vincularse con la constitucin de un espacio ciudadano efectivo (haceres fundamentales para la consolidacin democrtica en el Cono Sur, ante los cuales el arte contemporneo no puede permanecer ajeno). En segundo lugar, lo aparta de cierta tendencia euronorteamericana a basar las estrategias crticas del arte en la agresin a las propias instituciones que lo canalizan. Es que la impugnacin del sistema del arte no tiene mucho sentido en regiones carentes de una institucionalidad bien arraigada en ese terreno; una institucionalidad que, en parte, requiere ms bien ser apuntalada y, aun construida, que desmontada. Por eso, parte de la contestacin levantada desde lugares perifricos, antes que recusar las instituciones locales del arte carentes de poder y de solvencia se adscribe a las direcciones que buscan desmarcarse del esteticismo flccido generalizado y recuperar la tensin conceptual y el nervio potico que podran diferenciarlas.
El arte bajo sospecha

La inundacin de formas livianas, tanto como las de contenidos extranjeros, que sufre el mbito del arte es condicin o consecuencia de la prdida de su autonoma. La produccin artstica ya no se encuentra separada de los complicados quehaceres que traman lo social y esta confusin trastorna gravemente el concepto de arte, basado en la disyuncin fatal entre el contenido y la forma y el predominio final de sta. Liberados en sus fuerzas, cruzados en su accin, el contenidismo del arte contemporneo y el formalismo esteticista que lo invade atacan este concepto por ambos flancos y dislocan el equilibrio de las notas bsicas desde las que se constituye.
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En trminos lgicos, cualquier concepto se define por el juego entre su comprensin (las notas que constituyen su contenido) y su extensin (su alcance, la cantidad de objetos referidos por l). Ambos momentos se relacionan en forma inversa: a mayor comprensin, menor extensin; es decir, cuanto ms notas tiene un concepto, se condensa y se restringe y se aplica a menos objetos: decrece en su extensin. Y viceversa. Sucede que cuando la extensin del arte se hace infinita, los requisitos que lo definen (su comprensin) tienden a desaparecer para que puedan entrar todos los objetos. (En trminos hegelianos, el ser universal abstracto corresponde a la nada). Segn cierta ancdota, poco seria en sus fuentes, pero verosmil y sugestiva, una dama cursi coment ante Oscar Wilde que el mundo sera maravilloso si fuera todo l poesa. Sera horrible, contest el escritor, no tendra poesa. Si todo fuese arte, nada alcanzara a diferenciarse como para serlo realmente. El esteticismo desaloja el espacio del arte y lo deja sin lugar. Las notas del arte, basadas en la distancia que impone la forma, se diluyen cuando sta permite que todo se acerque demasiado. Esta es la apora de los espacios del arte. El desafo que debe enfrentar la produccin artstica contempornea en cuanto no acepta la muerte del arte. Porque sta podra haber sido una salida: de hecho, viene siendo propuesta desde Hegel como una posibilidad para nombrar el cambio radical que viene incubando ya la modernidad a partir de Kant. Pero no, el arte contina y hay que darle un nombre. Una reaccin razonable es el antiesteticismo contemporneo. Un medio de asegurar un espacio propio para el arte podra consistir en la instauracin de un terreno paralelo, diferente al regido por la forma esttica. Esta opcin constituye una de las tendencias dominantes. Es cierto que el arte moderno cuestion un concepto de belleza basado en los cnones del gusto, el estilo y la armona, pero nunca (o casi nunca, pensemos en el camino de Duchamp) abandon la perspectiva privilegiada de la esttica, basada en la jerarqua de las disciplinas, la percepcin retiniana y la conciliacin formal. Hoy se tiende a considerar el valor de una obra ms por su performatividad social, su orientacin hacia lo real y su espesor narrativo y conceptual antes que por sus cualidades tcnicas o compositivas, o bien por su adscripcin a gneros o tendencias. El problema es que el antiesteticismo ms radical termina coincidiendo de nuevo con el contenidismo: el dficit de forma produce un incremento abusivo de los contenidos, una desbandada que significa la inversin refleja del formalismo. En este caso, vuelven las notas del arte a diluirse, y vuelve l a perder sus fueros: sin la distancia de la forma, que contornea un espacio mnimo, las obras se disuelven en ideas, en documentos, en biografas personales, en protesta poltica, en remedo de rituales exticos o texto literario. En el contexto del pensamiento contemporneo, se podra, si no resolver una cuestin que ser encarada justamente como irresoluble, s movilizarla y promover emplazamientos provisionales desde donde considerar el concepto de arte no como una esencia, sino como un constructo histrico. No se trata de anular la oposicin forma/contenido, sino de plantearla como una tensin contingente, zafada del guin de conceptos a priori y destinos forzosos. Al desconectar ambos trminos entre s y soltarlos fuera del cuadro de una disyuncin fatal, uno y otro quedan oscilando, librados a la eventualidad de juegos imprevisibles: los litigios, alianzas y desencuentros que promueven movimientos azarosos y proyectos dispares. Si ninguna postura se encuentra predeterminada en los mbitos inciertos de la cultura, menos lo estar en los descampados del arte. Derrida trabaja un concepto potente que puede impulsar el curso de esta reflexin, como el de tantas otras que transitan el pensamiento actual: el de prergon. Esta figura pone en entredicho la concepcin de marco como ventana de la representacin, como umbral infranqueable del espacio del arte, lmite que separa, tajante, la
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imagen de su contexto, lo interior y lo exterior: lo que pertenece al dominio intrnseco de la obra y lo que le resulta ajeno, contextual o accesorio. El prergon es un indecidible: mitad obra, mitad fuera-de-obra; ni obra ni fuera-de-obra4 , no busca una sntesis entre el adentro y el afuera, sino que se ubica en el lugar del entre ambos y habilita, as, una zona de oscilacin, un pliegue que posterga la presencia plena e impide la plena clausura. El lugar el deslugar donde nos ubica la figura de prergon permite desestabilizar no slo el encierro del encuadre fsico de la obra y la fijeza del espacio de la representacin, sino tambin las formas institucionales de enmarcado: los circuitos y discursos que sustentan el sistema del arte y amurallan su espacio. Y esta posicin resulta adecuada para discutir el concepto de arte basado en la oposicin entre un adentro incontaminado suyo y un afuera amenazante; para deconstruir la disyuncin instalada entre el afn de borrar totalmente el marco (el esteticismo difuso) y el de sellarlo definitivamente (la autonoma del arte). Desde esta postura aportica, fluctuante, puede postularse la construccin de espacios propios del arte, espacios de disputa, nunca definitivamente conquistados, traspasados siempre por figuras y discursos oriundos del otro lado, proyectados a los terrenos fortuitos de la historia, asomados a la intemperie umbra de lo real. El concepto de arte basado en la antinomia forma/contenido ya no puede sostenerse. Por un lado, la forma ha dejado de constituir la rbrica del sentido; por otro, el contenido ha perdido la funcin de avalar la presencia, convocar la verdad. Disuelto el pacto esencial, ambos momentos se deslizan de sus puestos y se enfrentan en pugnas que debern ser asumidas mediante jugadas coyunturales. Y que nunca podrn ser cabalmente dirimidas. En el remanente que deja abierto ese pleito nunca zanjado pueden abrirse espacios nuevos, provisorios siempre, donde tramite el arte sus expedientes. Espacios que actan ms como emplazamientos y parapetos precarios que como feudos o enclaves. Espacios sin lindes claras, no acotadas por murallas, sino puntuados por trnsitos, por pasos apurados, por posiciones rpidas de las vanguardias nuevas (de las vanguardias de siempre) que saben, que deberan saber, que si ya no hay ni adentro ni afuera, todo es intemperie o todo es cripta, y que cada tramo a ser ganado en pos del sentido se juega a ciegas, sin norte prefijado y sobre un lmite que no cierra nada.

Notas
1 2 3 4

Slavoj Zizek. El frgil absoluto, Pre-textos, Valencia, 2002, pg. 38. Cit. en Jos Jimnez, Teora del arte, Tecnos/Alianza, Madrid, 2002, pg. 191. Mario Perniola. El arte y su sombra, Ctedra, Coleccin Teorema, Madrid, 2002, pg. 26 y sgtes. Jacques Derrida. La verdad en pintura, Paidos, 2001, pg. 130.

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Espacio y regin en el arte contemporneo


Una mirada histrica, poltica y cultural

Gabriel Peluffo Linari


[Uruguay]

Espacios estticos y polticos en la regin luso-rioplatense

Durante las conversaciones que acompaaron el proceso de trabajo preparatorio de la V Bienal del Mercosur, el Curador General, Prof. Paulo Sergio Duarte, hizo por un momento referencia a lo que consideraba una impronta comn del arte producido en el Ro de la Plata hasta bien entrado el siglo XX, como resultado de la herencia dejada all por la cultura visual hispana, en contraposicin a la presunta dispersin del arte producido en Brasil, como consecuencia de una herencia lusitana que l estimaba desprovista de la complejidad y densidad cultural registradas en el resto de la Pennsula Ibrica. Este comentario, sin dudas interesante y discutible, vena, sin embargo, a inscribir en el debate el problema de los espacios estticos como zonas de construccin simblica, tributarias de los espacios de poder poltico, desde la colonia hasta el momento actual. Sera posible, si seguimos este razonamiento, realizar una cartografa de las estticas predominantes en las elites intelectuales de esta regin latinoamericana desde el siglo XIX, considerando el estrecho vnculo que stas mantuvieron con las correspondientes elites del poder poltico hasta principios del siglo XX, o con los grupos polticos que se constituyeron bajo banderas ideolgicas de izquierda despus de 1930. En el caso de Brasil, este mapeo se complica, en la medida que la heterogeneidad cultural distribuida en un territorio particularmente diverso - ya Comte haba advertido que la patria, para cumplir su funcin mediadora entre la familia y la humanidad, no puede poseer un territorio excesivamente grande-, gener distanciamientos y complicidades subregionales que desbordaron las fronteras poltico-territoriales del estado imperial y tuvieron consecuencias sobre el proceso cultural republicano del estado federativo. La idea de considerar como determinantes en el arte regional las herencias lusitana y espaola puede pasar por alto el hecho de que el perodo matricial para la gestacin de un arte
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al servicio de la elites polticas locales se inicia en el siglo XIX, con fuertes influencias francesas durante la monarqua de Brasil -que contravienen la herencia barroca colonial- y con predominantes influencias italianas en el caso rioplatense. Los procesos de transculturacin introducidos por la modernidad temprana en los pases de la regin, a travs de una serie de operativas de reconversin del capital cultural importado de Europa, redistribuyen social y geogrficamente ese capital, de modo que el primitivo mapa colonial del arte en la regin queda radicalmente desdibujado. Las elites intelectuales nacionales, que irn constituyndose como soporte receptivo de las influencias europeas y como agentes de readaptacin local de las mismas, modelarn espacios estticos cada vez ms autnomos, es decir, cada vez menos tributarios del espacio poltico estatal. Sin embargo, esos espacios estticos an brindarn buenos servicios a la construccin poltica de imaginarios nacionales durante toda la primera mitad del siglo XX. Pero lo harn -aun cuando son indiscutibles las complicidades y reciprocidades intelectuales rioplatenses- a travs de procesos relativamente encerrados en las fronteras territoriales nacionales durante ese perodo. Los primeros contactos significativos entre agentes del campo intelectual riograndense y ciertos sectores de artistas politizados uruguayos, ocurre hacia 1952, cuando algunos dibujantes y pintores de Montevideo toman contacto, en Bag, con Glenio Bianchetti y Glauco Rodrigues que acababan de fundar el Club de Gravura de Bag, el que ser tomado como modelo para fundar el Club de Grabado de Montevideo en 1953. Si bien el espacio esttico y el espacio poltico se redefinen a partir de la posguerra -y Portinari ser uno de los principales agentes de esa redefinicin del realismo esttico en el mbito luso/rioplatense- el vnculo Montevideo-Bag inaugura en esta subregin una relacin especfica entre espacios polticos y estticos, basada en el recurso tcnico-poltico del grabado. Paralelamente, surgen en este mbito geogrfico una serie de manifestaciones que, aunque algo desplazadas en el espacio y en el tiempo, marcan, en su conjunto y en los precarios vnculos regionales que estimulan, un momento histrico del arte concreto luso-rioplatense. El arte abstracto-concreto en el Ro de la Plata tiene un polo inicial de irradiacin de ideas en Montevideo, con Torres Garca, pero adquiere un sentido de produccin grupal en Buenos Aires, manteniendo, desde sus orgenes, una relacin conflictiva con el Universalismo Constructivo. No puede extraar, entonces, que Toms Maldonado -fundador del movimiento Arte Concreto Invencin en Buenos Aires- escribiera, en 1946, su clebre alegato titulado Torres Garca contra el Arte Moderno. El concretismo rioplatense nace, as, unido al concepto de invencin en el arte, pero nace tambin bajo el signo del Manifiesto Perceptista de Ral Lozza, para quien la obra de arte sera un objeto material en s mismo y para s mismo, un objeto de percepcin, una pura apariencia. La revista argentina Arturo (1944) pona de manifiesto estas tensiones entre el invento objetual y el evento visual. En ella, el uruguayo Carlos Mara (Rohd) Rothfuss, propona la obra de marco recortado en un artculo que titul El marco, un problema de la plstica actual. All sostiene que el marco rectangular es un resabio de la ventana propia de la pintura del Renacimiento y que solamente cuando tiene la forma que le impone la estructura interna de la obra alcanza el valor de lmite espacial concreto. Rhod Rothfuss propone, como soporte del arte, un objeto que determina desde dentro sus propios lmites externos. Esta relacin entre el adentro y el afuera de la obra, es un asunto capital del concretismo regional, que ocup tambin a Lygia Clark y a Helio Oiticica, que est implcita en el Manifiesto
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Perceptista de Lozza y estar, tambin, en cierta medida, en el concepto de no objeto de Ferreira Gullar. El concretismo rioplatense tiene su correlato brasilero en las obras tempranas de Lygia Clark, Judith Lauand o Geraldo de Barros. Lo interesante es que el artista concreto apareca, ante el espacio esttico del neorrealismo poltico, como un individuo enajenado por ilustrar mediante un correlato artstico- el progreso tecnolgico y sus procesos de abstraccin lgica. Sin embargo, no faltaban entre los forjadores de ese espacio esttico militantes del mismo espacio poltico en el que abrevaban los realistas sociales. En verdad, el artista concreto apareca tan interesado por el colectivo social como cualquiera de sus colegas cultores del realismo politizado. Esto se verifica tanto en la preocupacin del movimiento invencionista por insertar al artista en la produccin material de la vida cotidiana, como en el inters demostrado por las relaciones sociales entre el arte y las patologas mentales. En Brasil, artistas geomtricos del primer perodo, como Mavigner y Serpa, haban trabajado durante la dcada del cuarenta en el programa arte y terapia del Instituto Psiquitrico D. Pedro II de Ro de Janeiro. En Argentina, el grupo concreto inicia sus primeras experiencias en las tertulias que realizaba en casa del sicoanalista Enrique Pichon Rivire, un socialista estudioso de las relaciones entre arte y locura. En Uruguay, por su parte, Mara Freire haba iniciado sus exploraciones en el arte abstracto y en sus lindes con el arte concreto, a partir de las experiencias colectivas que realiz despus de 1945 con sus alumnos del Liceo de la Colonia del Sacramento. Estos hechos confirman que la gestacin del abstractismo geomtrico y del concretismo en la regin tuvo lugar en condiciones que propiciaron nuevas formas de socializacin de la experiencia esttica. Esta socializacin march unida a una profundizacin de la conciencia crtica en el momento histrico de una separacin definitiva, en la regin, entre el significado de los espacios estticos y la ndole ideolgica de los espacios polticos.
Crtica y automarginalidad del arte en el espacio cultural contemporneo

El proceso de la economa tardocapitalista no remite solamente a una lgica de circulacin y apropiacin de bienes materiales en el marco de la sociedad de consumo, sino que remite a una estructura de poder basada en la apropiacin de inteligencia por parte de los aparatos administrativos del capital financiero y del empresariado global. La mercanca fundamental de ese sistema es el conocimiento resultante de la inteligencia apropiada (el creativo es cada vez ms un servidor de las empresas que detentan la propiedad intelectual), concentrado en los recursos de las tecnologas militar, biogentica e informacional. La llamada sociedad de la informacin no es otra cosa que el aspecto visible de los flujos comunicacionales que responden a esa estructura de poder. Hay una lgica ciega que gua la trama de las decisiones polticas sobre la base, ya no de una Razn Instrumental acotada a los parmetros de la industria -como en los tiempos de Max Weber-, sino de una infraestructura informacional destinada a servir a una economa que galvaniza y administra a su favor el pensamiento til (o pensamiento fuerte) aplicado a cambios acelerados tanto en los alcances destructivos del poder militar como en el potencial transformador que es capaz de desarrollar la biotecnologa planetaria. Este proceso reductivo (en extensin) de las capacidades humanas para aplicarlas (intensivamente) a la produccin de una determinada banda de conocimiento subsidiaria de la cultura empresarial global (superpuesta cada vez ms a las antiguas culturas poltico-territoriales y tnico-sociales) es una de las caractersticas centrales de la llamada posmodernidad y una de las
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determinantes del proceso de crisis de la tradicin humanista clsica; crisis general, dentro de la cual debemos incluir la del lugar del arte como topos de una posible redencin social, en tanto se consideraba capaz de contrarrestar, crtica y epistemolgicamente, el fundamentalismo de la Razn Instrumental. De hecho, el sistema internacional del arte contemporneo -infraestructura legitimante y contexto especfico de ese tipo de produccin- puede ser visto como una sobrevivencia histrica necesaria para la cultura empresarial global, en la medida en que alberga estrategias de representacin y simbolizacin capaces de complementar la dinmica interna de esta cultura que, convertida en conciencia oculta de las pulsiones destructivas del capitalismo, encuentra en el sistema del arte un vehculo para descargar los apremios morales e institucionales de la autoculpabilizacin. El fantasma de esta culpa est -junto al rdito econmico de la cultura artstica- en la base de cualquier posibilidad de concordatio entre la cultura empresarial global y un campo del arte internacionalizado que, obviamente, tambin tiene sus propias reglas de mercado. Sin embargo, este campo (en un sentido laxo, no estrictamente bourdiano) se constituye con aqul conjunto de prcticas artsticas que, por mantener una relativa autonoma del discurso, no han sido an absorbidas por los propsitos inherentes a la cultura empresarial global, aun cuando esas prcticas se valgan, como sucede desde los aos sesenta, de las propias operaciones formales y conductuales del mercado para elaborar su propia estrategia crtica. Esta necesidad de la existencia de un campo del arte, mirada desde esa cultura empresarial, no es la misma necesidad que la vivida por los agentes individuales e institucionales (artistas, curadores e historiadores, universidades de arte, museos de investigacin, etc...) que promueven, a travs del arte, una produccin de conocimiento otro, cuya otredad se mide, sobre todo, por su oposicin a la produccin hegemnica de conocimientos tcnico-instrumentales o poltico-empresariales. Por consiguiente, ambas necesidades se relacionan mediante el doble expediente de la coincidencia y de la conflictividad. Porque lo que resulta propiciatorio de posibles acuerdos -el hecho de que una de las partes requiera, en ocasiones, del poder econmico de la otra y, sta ltima, de la investidura simblica que le ofrece la primera- resulta tambin confirmatorio de hondas diferencias: la produccin de conocimiento que cultivan uno y otro campo de la actividad intelectual -sin descuidar que la relacin de poder entre ambos es totalmente asimtrica- son producciones teleolgicamente diferentes. Podra llegar a decirse, incluso, que son producciones pertenecientes a modelos de interpretacin del mundo y a proyectos existenciales esencialmente conflictivos entre s. La especificidad lingstica y la autorreferencialidad del arte contemporneo es parte de esta marginalidad epistemolgica asumida frente al poder adquirido por aquella otra esfera del saber: la del conocimiento tecnocrtico aplicado. Es decir, es parte de la conciencia de su fracaso histrico como soporte de un proyecto de redencin individual y colectiva, pensado en la modernidad temprana. El hecho de que el arte contemporneo se retraiga sobre su propio tiempo interior y sobre los vestigios ancestrales de un saber visual y conceptual de tipo acumulativo le permite ser portador de una peculiar dimensin crtica de la cultura, aun cuando esta dimensin no tenga un sentido programtico en l. Lo hace mediante el poder adquirido para administrar un tiempo y un saber que es extrao o marginal para la cultura empresarial global de la posmodernidad. En sta, prevalecen el tiempo y el pensamiento permanentemente actualizados que nutren su propia dinmica cognitiva autocomplaciente; contrariamente al tiempo y el pensamiento acumulados, que propician la distancia necesaria para la produccin de conocimiento crtico.
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Las prcticas de arte -dice Justo Pastor Mellado- actan all donde otras formas de conocimiento han dimitido. Las ciencias humanas, en hispanoamrica, han dimitido. No han sido derrotadas. Han dimitido para asegurar sus propias condiciones de conocimiento como productoras de insumos para una industria de la gobernabilidad que deposita en la globalizacin su garanta y legitimidad, como nueva forma de democracia subordinada. Puede pensarse que las instituciones del arte, en nuestros pases latinoamericanos, pueden encontrar su insercin social y su funcin ideolgica en la medida que contribuyan a conformar un polo de produccin de pensamiento crtico y una apertura de modelos interpretativos, en oposicin dialctica (para no hablar de una oposicin lineal, simplemente de tipo contradiscursivo) al polo de apropiacin de inteligencias convergentes que hegemoniza la cultura economicista y tecnocrtica del empresariado global. El arte contemporneo asume esta contradictio (no del todo ajena a sus orgenes histricos) como uno de los aspectos que lo constituyen, en la medida que en ella reside la bsqueda de sentido llevada a cabo por distintas prcticas simblicas que se debaten en el orden cultural mundial del tardocapitalismo, eufemsticamente llamado en la academia primermundista: poscolonial.
Espacio, lugar y contexto en el arte de la regin

En una carta reciente, la curadora costarricense Virginia Prez Ratton, me deca lo siguiente: ahora hay una circulacin continua de artistas y proyectos en la regin, a nadie se le ocurre trabajar en el mbito provinciano de los circuitos nacionales -eso es cosa del pasado, dichosamentesino que los artistas, los msicos, en general la gente de las artes, concibe sus proyectos con un sentido de inclusividad regional, y eso para mi es un factor decisivo en la construccin del LUGAR, de un espacio de confrontacin y legitimacin propio, malgr tout le monde...... Al mencionar este problema del lugar del arte en nuestras sociedades actuales -y del discurso de lugar en el arte contemporneo- estamos obligados a replantearnos la nocin de contexto, que ha incorporado otras dimensiones que trascienden lo territorial, y la hacen ms compleja como categora sociolgica y cultural. La redefinicin de la idea de contexto, trae aparejada una redefinicin -aunque sea provisional y de carcter instrumental para explicar nuestro punto de vista- de la propia nocin de legitimacin en el campo del arte. Un problema que subyace en estas consideraciones es que el contexto del arte y del artista ha dejado de ser, tambin en nuestros pases, el topos social en el que tradicionalmente haba anidado y ha pasado a ser el sistema de discursos y de hablantes especializados, sin importar en qu lugar del mundo estn. Es ms, puede decirse que, hoy en da, el arte y el artista viajan con su propio contexto. Ese contexto ambulante adquiere, de una manera simblica, definicin y densidad, entre otras cosas, en el formato del catlogo. El corpus escritural y terico reemplaza, as, al cuerpo social como interlocutor del arte (aunque nunca totalmente). Esa parcial dislocacin y ubicuidad del contexto del arte, por un lado favorece la dinmica entre circuitos locales, circuitos regionales y circuitos globales, pero por otro crea una tensin a la que se ven sometidas las prcticas artsticas, entre la oferta de visibilidad internacional y la necesidad de insercin local, tensin que se traduce en dilemas ticos y polticos para el artista. Esto nos lleva al segundo de los aspectos sealados: la posibilidad actual de que el arte acte como una herramienta constructora de identidades, es decir, constructora de comunidades de sentido y, por lo tanto, de tejido social. Por un lado es capaz de construir o consolidar identidades microgrupales a nivel local y, por otro, en la medida que es absorbido por circuitos
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de mercado a escala internacional, es capaz de conformar - a travs de mediadores especficosuna audiencia selecta dentro de la nueva clase media global. Esa es otra manifestacin de la doble tensin que sealbamos antes, una tensin que define la posibilidad, o no, de que el arte sea un efectivo agente de crtica cultural (que, hoy en da, no puede verse de otra manera que como una autocrtica del sistema a travs del arte). No puede dejarse de lado, en este sentido, el hecho de que las prcticas artsticas originadas en imaginarios regionales latinoamericanos durante buena parte del siglo XX han sido, al mismo tiempo que prcticas estticas, ejercicios de conceptualizacin y crtica poltica, as como mecanismos complejos de identificacin grupal. Esta tradicin conceptualista latinoamericana, que por lo general no rinde cuentas a la teora de la desmaterializacin del arte, es el crdito que actualmente poseen esas prcticas artsticas regionales para desarrollar su capacidad crtica y sus hbitos de insercin colectiva, para articular lenguajes y para suturar tejidos sociales cuya urdimbre ha sido resentida o destruida. Actualmente, a escala local y regional, la dimensin crtica potencialmente implcita en el arte comienza por la instrumentacin institucional de nuevas posibilidades para la interlocucin social local y regional. La conquista de estos espacios relacionales constituye un primer gesto de crtica cultural frente a la inercia de las instituciones heredadas y frente al atvico conformismo de los mercados. Es en este sentido que nos parece necesario reivindicar los vnculos regionales entre instituciones dedicadas a la formacin y exposicin de colecciones, a la formacin terico-analtica, a la investigacin histrica y a la produccin artstica. Nuestras instituciones culturales y artsticas, actuando en forma paralela a los circuitos del mercado, deben ser de alguna manera antiinstitucionales, deben tener una poltica de permanente autocrtica para la permanente transformacin de s mismas, generando anticuerpos contra la rumiacin cultural. Se hace imprescindible orientar la tarea institucional hacia la constitucin de archivos de fuentes primarias para la labor historiogrfica, de archivos actualizados de produccin y musealizacin contemporneas para la formacin curatorial, de nuevos escenarios para el debate terico, de microespacios experimentales de produccin y exhibicin artstica no competitivos y hacia el estmulo de prcticas comunicacionales no convencionales como las que llevan a cabo actualmente en nuestros pases muchos grupos de jvenes que actan como guerrilleros que asedian a la institucin del arte desde prcticas sociales de tipo relacional (una relectura del situacionismo). De distintas maneras, la consolidacin de esta trama institucional tendera a compatibilizar las configuraciones locales de identidad y de inclusin social mediante su insercin activa en las dinmicas culturales de la globalizacin.

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Cecilia Bay Botti (1962, Bolivia) Es graduada en Ciencias de la Comunicacin Social por la Universidad Catlica Boliviana; obtuvo un Pos Grado en Crtica de Arte en la Universidad Santo Toms de Aquino, en La Paz, Bolivia. Fue Directora de la Casa Museo Nez del Prado, en La Paz, durante siete aos. Actualmente es directora de la Galera Oxgeno en la ciudad de Santa Cruz de la Sierra y Consejera de la Fundacin Cultural del Banco Central de Bolivia. Es columnista del peridico La Razn, de La Paz y realiza Curaduras de Arte desde hace diez aos. Eva Grinstein (1973, Argentina) Es Lic. en Ciencias de la Comunicacin (Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, UBA-Universidad de Buenos Aires) y miembro de la Asociacin Argentina e Internacional de Crticos de Arte. De 1994 al 2000 se desempe como crtica de arte del diario El Cronista (Buenos Aires, Argentina). Durante 20022003 integr el Departamento de Artes Plsticas de Casa de Amrica (Madrid, Espaa). En 2004 fue curadora del envo argentino a la bienal PR 04 (San Jos, Puerto Rico). Actualmente dirige el rea de Artes Visuales del Centro Cultural RojasUBA (Buenos Aires, Argentina) y es corresponsal de las revistas Art Nexus (Colombia), Flash Art (Italia/EUA) y Arte Contexto (Espaa). Felipe Ehrenberg (1943, Mxico) Nelogo, co-fundador de Beau Geste Press (Inglaterra, 1968 a 1974). Miembro fundador del Grupo Proceso Pentgono (mediados de los 70), fue figura clave del Movimiento Grupal en Mxico. Co-curador de FLUX-Shoe, exhibicin itinerante del movimiento Fluxus; curador de Frente a frente y da por da, primera exhibicin fronteriza MX/ EUA; Amrica en la mira ; Testimonios de Latinoamrica ; Cuerpo y cosmos , itinerante internacional de arte precolombino. Ensayista y columnista, imparte seminarios sobre experimentacin en el arte, promocin cultural y, de manera especial, sobre la administracin profesional del artista. Miembro designado del Sistema Nacional de Creadores (1993-99); Fundacin Fulbright, Guggenheim, Premio Perpetua, Premio Femirama. Desde mayo del 01 funge como agregado cultural de Mxico en Brasil.

CURADORES

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Gabriel P eluffo Linari (1946, Uruguay) Peluffo Es arquitecto graduado en la Universidad de la Repblica e investigador en historia del arte nacional y latinoamericano, con publicaciones, cursos y seminarios dictados sobre el tema desde 1985. Ha realizado curadoras de exposiciones histricas y de arte contemporneo. Fue becado por la John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, en 1995, y particip en grupos de conferencia como becario de la Fundacin Rockefeller (1994 a 2003). Es Acadmico de Nmero de la Academia Nacional de Letras (Uruguay) y se desempea, desde 1992, como director del Museo Municipal Juan Manuel Blanes, de Montevideo. Gaudncio Fidelis (1965, Brasil) Gaudncio Fidelis nasceu em 1965 em GravataRS (Brasil). graduado em Artes Plsticas pelo Instituto de Artes da Universidade Federal do Rio Grande Sul (UFRGS), Brasil. Mestre em Arte pela New York University (NYU) e doutorando em Histria da Arte pela State University of New York (SUNY). Foi diretor do Instituto Estadual de Artes Visuais (RS). Foi fundador e primeiro diretor do Museu de Arte Contempornea do Rio Grande do Sul. Foi curador do Ciclo Arte Brasileira Contempornea do Instituto Estadual de Artes Visuais. Jos F rancisco Alves (1964, Brasil) Francisco Jos Francisco Alves nasceu em 1964 em SananduvaRS (Brasil). Mestre em Teoria, Crtica e Histria da Arte pelo Instituto de Artes da Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Brasil, e especialista em Gesto e Patrimnio Cultural pela ULBRA. Foi diretor do Instituto Estadual de Artes Visuais do Estado e do Museu de Arte Contempornea do Rio Grande do Sul. Foi Coordenador de Artes Plsticas da Secretaria Municipal de Cultura de Porto Alegre. professor do Atelier Livre da Prefeitura de Porto Alegre. Justo P astor Mellado (1949, Chile) Pastor Es licenciado en Filosofa por la Pontificia Universidad Catlica de Chile. Posee una Maestra y un D.E.A (Diploma de Estudios Avanzados) en Filosofa por la Universidad de Provenza (Francia). Dirige, actualmente, la Escuela de Artes Visuales y Fotografa de la Universidad UNIACC (Santiago
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de Chile). Dirigi la Escuela de Artes de la Pontificia Universidad Catlica. Ha sido curador de envos de arte chileno a las bienales del Mercosur, So Paulo, Lima, Cuenca y Lieja, entre otros. Ha escrito diversos ensayos sobre arte chileno y arte latinoamericano contemporneo. Paulo Sergio Duarte (1946, Brasil) Paulo Sergio Duarte nasceu em 1946 em Joo Pessoa-PB (Brasil). pesquisador e professor do Centro de Estudos Sociais Aplicados (CESAP) da Universidade Candido Mendes, no Rio de Janeiro. Projetou e implantou o Espao Arte Brasileira Contempornea (Espao ABC) no Instituto Nacional de Artes Plsticas da Funarte em 1979, tendo dirigido essa instituio entre 1981 e 1983. Nesse perodo, presidiu a Comisso Nacional de Artes Plsticas. Foi o primeiro diretor do Pao Imperial/Iphan entre 1986 e 1990. Leciona Teoria e Histria da Arte na Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage, no Rio de Janeiro, e membro do conselho de curadores da Fundao Iber Camargo, em Porto Alegre. autor de diversos livros e ensaios publicados sobre arte moderna e contempornea. Ticio Escobar (1947, Paraguay) Curador, crtico de arte y promotor cultural. Director del Museo de Arte Indgena, Centro de Artes Visuales, Asuncin. Entre 1991 y 1996 fue Director de Cultura de la Municipalidad de Asuncin. Entre 1998 y 2003 fue Presidente del Captulo Paraguayo de la Asociacin Internacional de Crticos de Arte. Desde 1984, obtiene varias distinciones por su trabajo, la ltima de las cuales es el Premio Bartolom de las Casas, otorgado por Casa de Amrica, Madrid, en el ao 2004. Tiene publicados 10 ttulos sobre arte indgena, popular y contemporneo, entre los cuales se encuentran Una interpretacin de las artes visuales en el Paraguay. Dos tomos, 1982 y 1984, El mito del arte y el mito del pueblo, 1986, La belleza de los otros (arte indgena del Paraguay), 1993, La maldicin de Nemur. Acerca del arte, el mito y el ritual de los indgenas ishir del Gran Chaco Paraguayo, 1999 y El arte fuera de s, 2004. Presidente de AICA Paraguay (Asociacin Internacional de Criticos de Arte, capitulo Paraguayo)

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English V ersion Version

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The W ind R ose Wind Rose


Positions and Directions in Contemporary Art
PAULO SERGIO DUARTE
Editor

EVA GRINSTEIN CECILIA BAY BOTTI GAUDNCIO FIDELIS JOS FRANCISCO ALVES PAULO SERGIO DUARTE JUSTO PASTOR MELLADO FELIPE EHRENBERG TICIO ESCOBAR GABRIEL PELUFFO LINARI

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Message from the president of Brazil to the 5th Mercosur Visual Arts Biennial
The Mercosur Biennial has established itself as one of the major cultural events in the country. It underscores Brazils interest in building more solid foundations for our relationship to our fellow countries in Latin America, seeking, in art and culture, a fertile ground for mutual knowledge and exchange of experiences in the distinct areas of human activity. In its 5th edition, the Biennial already incorporates curators and artists from Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Mexico, Paraguay, and Uruguay, giving us hope that one day we will be able to bring art representations from all Latin American countries together. I want also to congratulate organizers on their effort to enhance the publics understanding of contemporary art, since I believe that without such educational component we will never be able to grant the population democratic access to cultural assets. As a citizen and as the President, I feel honored to see Brazil hosting one more edition of such a relevant exhibition for Latin America.
Luiz Incio Lula da Silva
President of Brazil

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Get your bearings, boy , from the boy, th 5 Mercosur Visual Arts Biennial constellation
If I had to search my old silver trunk for a song or a line in a song that I could sing at the 5th Mercosur Biennial, I would possibly sing like this: Se oriente, rapaz, pela constelao do Cruzeiro do Sul (Get your bearings, boy, from the Southern Cross constellation). Today, more than ever, Brazil looks to the South, for the significance of South America, for the multiples SouthSouth dialogues. I think that evoking that song at the opening of the 5th Mercosur Biennial catalog has yet another meaning. After all, the Southern Cross constellation, even though it includes 52 stars, is popularly known for its five most visible ones, which make up some kind of cosmic pentagram a world reference for sailors of seas and fantasies. In the case of this Biennial, it is a curatorship pentagram, equally guiding, which is a reference for the public in their adventure around southern artists that are here to share their creations. The programming includes four main vectors (From sculpture to installation; Transformations in Public Space, Directions in the new Space, and The persistence of Painting) and yet a fifth one, especially dedicated to sculptor Amilcar de Castro a synthesis and a dynamo for the other vectors of the Biennials Southern Cross. It is remarkable that those five vectors are related to the constellation of the experiences of space in contemporary art. That art constellation raises the debate on the writing of art history; it opens space for other voices; and it suggests questions about the role that an art history would play in the contemporary world aspiring to be a universal art history. The tradition of the Mercosur Biennial is maintained and renewed with those five vectors. Its popular dimension, its vigorous dialogue with the city, its educational perspective, and its careful look to the youth are guaranteed and reasserted, just as its Southern Cross-like character, as a guiding mark for art in Mercosur as well arts and citizens in the South.
Gilberto Gil
Brazils Minister of Culture

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Argentinean art in P orto Alegre Porto


A new edition of the Mercosur Biennial calls upon us, heralding the event once again as the possibility for the arts in our countries to dialogue and strengthen their agreements, their differences, and their several languages and supports. For the Ministry of Foreign Relations, International Trade, and Cult as well as being at the Board of Cultural Affairs, the 5th Mercosur Biennial is not only a mandatory cultural meeting, but also an opportunity to strengthen the aspects of integration that are of interest to our countries, convinced that such tool brings us closer and strengthens our ties. To the city of Porto Alegre, with which we share a historical tradition, Argentina comes with a delegation representing young artists who through their work has distinct crucial aspects in the plastic creativity of this complex contemporaneity. From the hands of curator Eva Grinstein comes a synthetic and deep approach through the gathering of a group of works in which concerns, tensions, and trends of Argentinean contemporary art are identified. Along the editions of this Biennial, we can say that the city of Porto Alegre became a core and privileged observatory over the arts in the region. The records of works, installations, and the successive historical chapters allow to thoroughly analyze the traits that characterize our art production. Our acknowledgement goes to the Biennial Foundation for placing this encounter of culture and integration in the calendar of international arts.
Ambassador Gloria Bender
General Director for Cultural Affairs Argentinean Chancellery

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Words by Mexicos Ambassador to Brazil


Mexico is honored to take part in the 5th Mercosur Biennial, especially for being an integral element of this meeting that after a few years has become part of Latin Americas cultural heritage. I feel proud to use the word heritage, even though it is traditionally though of as part of the past, because such heritage is actually a memory asset the one that gives us the means to build more humane, tolerant, and respectful realities, which allows creating, inventing, putting up bridges, communicating between ourselves. The Mercosur Biennial has turned into a generator of intercultural dialogues, in which we shape our similarities and foster our variants and the mobility gestated in out highly personal cultural mestizaje. Visual arts are common language, a consummate art, a code that identifies us and entwines us in spite of the differences, better said, adding them, enriching our rich and diverse cultural universe. They are undoubtedly the most powerful mark that Mexico could have in the neighboring region. The debordering of arts, the relations in the global market, telecommunications, electronic media to mention some of the more determinant factors have created, perhaps more than ever, such a deep impact on regional cultures. That is why the Mercosur Biennial is a generous invitation to keep on building that complex plot that is vicinity between countries.
Cecilia Soto Gonzlez
Mexicos Ambassador to Brazil

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Reflecting about the present


Each of us has a role to play within a whole. If we play it accordingly, the notions of value we generate contribute not only to enhance the society in which we live in but also come back as dividends for ourselves. Therefore, by promoting the Mercosur Biennial, we seek to effectively contribute for the development of a fairer and more contemporary society that is less provincial in its constitutions and more in harmony with great innovations we all want to share and in which we all want to take part. In this society so full of challenges, the one we face is to make a biennial collectively. Together with our sponsors and municipal, state, and federal authorities, we carry out the 5th edition of the Mercosur Biennial. Many people have worked tirelessly during all the months that preceded the event. Our advisors, in an attitude of partnership not found that often, are great contributors to this art event, which is the largest in Latin America. Along the process, we have discussed, thought, worked, and applied several of the ideas of many professionals that are part of the complex engineering involved in assembling an exhibition of such scale. Amidst difficulties and joys, we aimed at the excellence the public deserves and the proper employment of funds that were generously provided to us. The responsibility of carrying out an event of such dimension deserves reflection. In the process, we reflected about those who left us a legacy of previous Biennials and allowed a track of visibility that opened roads for us. Therefore, when reflecting about contemporaneity, we enter in an agreement with the best a biennial can offer: current art production. It is our source of inspiration, a tool for reflection and knowledge production. The publication The Wind Rose, which features reflective texts by curators of the 5th Mercosur Biennial, is an invaluable contribution to the field, which is enhanced by those professionals theoretical production. From the start, the Mercosur Biennial has left a priceless heritage of theoretical contribution for the art community. Therefore, we think of contributing our part to a reflection of contemporary thinking on art and its structures. The work of art being our priority, it is the starting point for the promotion of dialogue and reflection, therefore making the universe richer, more interesting and why not more humane by promoting the production of what is the most genuine in human expression: thinking. Because thinking is above all an expression of freedom.
Elvaristo Teixeira do Amaral
Chairman Mercosur Biennial of Visual Arts Foundation

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Foreword

The project of publications of the 5th Mercosur Biennial and the origin of this book On June 1st, 2004, when I presented the project for this 5th edition to the board of the Mercosur Biennial of Visual Arts Foundation, I insisted that the legitimation of the biennial, a little beyond the narrow limits of what is called art system, and in order for it to play an effective catalyzing role over the most exciting local art production depended on seeing it as a cultural process in which the educational function is relevant. That is educational role in a broad sense, not limited to the strict pedagogical or didactic meaning of the word. And it is very far from just the training of mediators/facilitators that welcome visitors to the exhibition with the hard not to say impossible mission of making it accessible in a few minutes for the lay eye hardened by consumerist everyday life of entertainment and advertisement industry products. One of the pillars of that viewpoint resides in replacing the single and bulky catalog of the exhibition with a series of publications more portable and with a longer life in bookstore shelves which corresponds to the vector into which the exhibitions general theme unfolds: Stories of Art and Space. Therefore, the 5th Mercosur Biennial presents seven books/catalogs. Four of them are thematic, corresponding to the vectors into which artists and their works are distributed: From Sculpture to Installation; Transformations in Public Space; Directions of the New Space; and The Persistence of Painting. The four volumes will be launched in November 2005 to include the works as they are presented at the exhibitions in their several spaces, except for the volume Transformations in Public Space, which will feature the projects of permanent works along the Guaba riverbank, which surrounds Porto Alegre from North to South. Those works will be made by guest artists and built during the Biennial, since the permanent works could not be ready for their opening in face of so many technical and operational as well as financial problems. Those books will also document the criteria for exhibitions assemblage: instead of presenting the works separated by their respective countries of origin Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Paraguay, and Uruguay , they are distributed along vectors based on language affinities. The original project included two other volumes already available at the exhibitions opening: Amilcar de Castro a Retrospective, the catalog for the honored artist, and A concise history of the Mercosur Biennial. The latter, included after author and adjunct curator Gaudncio Fidelis suggestion, is already a
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reference for future investigations on the institution. This volume, called The Wind Rose - Positions and Directions in Contemporary Art, comes from a proposition by Justo Pastor Mellado, Chiles curator, at the first meeting of curators for the 5th Mercosur Biennial in Porto Alegre. In face of my project of replacing the single and large catalog with smaller books that covered each of the vectors that are conceptually included in the exhibition, resulting not only in works of each of the artists, but also studies about each of the themes, Mellado suggested a volume that included texts written by all curators. The other curators accepted his proposal. Since I think the only way to renew that century-old institution of the biennial is to promote, among other more important measures, a group construction of its process and that a chief curator should not impose a format to his or her partners, I immediately accepted the suggestion, despite budget difficulties. The texts are published here in their original languages Spanish or Portuguese and in English; and will be available translated into Portuguese, Spanish, and English at the Mercosur Biennial website (www.bienalmercosul.art.br). The texts The result is positive. Here we have free essays from distinct curatorial experiences that do not have to adjust to the wider general theme: Stories of Art and Space - Contemporary Art and its Relations to the Change in the Notion of Space. They are positions that point out directions in this Latin American cultural continent and that show how complex it is in todays world to reduce cultural and especially art issues to the local/ global opposition, even in situations as idiosyncratic as those in our distinct countries. Next, a few comments on some aspects of these texts as they appear in the book. Eva Grinstein, the curator of Argentina, takes us on a visit to La baulera, a group formally established as a non-profit association since 2002, in So Miguel de Tucum, capital of the Northwestern Argentinean province of Tucum. Paradoxically, the group is not included in its countrys representation to the 5th Mercosur Biennial. One of the curators arguments is that, since it has 10 members, the group would take all 16 places for Argentinean artists established by the chief curator. In fact, the number was only an indication to guide cost management and occupation of spaces. To the Chilean representation, 12 artists were suggested; but they are bringing 25 artists including two groups. I would rather believe Eva Grinsteins answer that including La baulera in the Argentinean representation would betray the very practice of freedom inherent to the groups actions. Eva Grinsteins remarks are absolutely appropriate and are an undeniable confirmation of the words of Beral Madra critic and curator that coordinated the 1st (1987) and 2nd (1989) Istanbul Biennials: The institution biennale has become too heavy, too expensive and too sophisticated to catch the spirit of the art of these out-of-the-way territories. Either we reinvent the biennial as an institution to make it undergo a permanent process of interaction and the common construction of our countries and regions or that institutional form will have to increasingly compete with the art fair made by the market and for the market which already extrapolates its domain by promoting activities such as artists special exhibitions, conferences and debates, and which also marks the city that hosts it. Eva Grinsteins text opens way for reflection on the unstable productions and their inappropriateness for the megaexhibitions biennials have turned into. Cecilia Bay Botti, curator of Bolivia, presents us with the drama of an adverse social and cultural situation inscribed in globalized world. Her testimony brings us to the limit of the tragic, to which the theories about post-modernities that circulate within the art system insist in turning their backs. A Latin American biennial also stands out as it is not isolated in the limbo of that pseudo-system in order to preserve presumptions by critics and curators. Next come the contributions by the Brazilian curators. My text and that of adjunct curator Gaudncio Fidelis are somehow complementary. Fidelis points out how things should be; he indicates and minutely explains the different functions between contemporary art museums and biennials as well as each institutions role within an ideal (non-idealized) art system.

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I have to point out some contemporary world trends that overdetermine cultural life and, in a high degree, dictate its course, opposing the plain realization of the functions Fidelis detailed and analyzed. Those are the terms in which the world is established. I would also risk pointing out changes in the method of construction of a biennial that could contribute to counter those trends and not to remain subjected to them. Jos Francisco Alves, assistant curator to the 5th Mercosur Biennial and a master in the highest sense of the world on the subject of public art, presents a historical overview of public works as well as their changes and their dilemmas in contemporary world. Justo Pastor Mellado, curator of Chile, brings up a strategic proposal when reflecting about the Mercosur Biennial. Mellado transports to its text not only critical intelligence, but also a contribution for the trajectories of biennials in Brazil, starting from So Paulos, as well as his experience as his countrys curator at the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Mercosur Biennials. His historical approach strengthens and reinforces the position that a biennial such as this one needs to turn into a nonstop cultural process, starting by establishing a center of studies whose aims cannot be met by academia. Felipe Ehrenberg, curator of Mexico, carries out an original analysis of multiculturalism in his country as well as the Latin American continent. He conducts a critical analysis of the civilization of image that knows no boundaries at the same time as he discussed national fictions that build ideological frameworks under which they keep precarious national unities. By diagnosing Mexicos particular situation regarding production of contemporary art, he shows the consequences of local collectors ineptness when incorporating new values. Ehrenberg also presents Mexican artists to the 5th Mercosur Biennial. Ticio Escobar, curator of Paraguay, contributes a long-reach study about the phenomenon of generalized aesthetization of current culture and the debate on contemporary art in face of such situation dictated by the image industry. By comparing the dictatorship of the significant that was in force during high modernity to the assault of narratives in current art production, he develops a sharp criticism and points out the unavoidable impasses resulting from that new context. The density of his study extrapolates the conjuncture domain and must be the object of a reflection for those who are carrying out work on art theory. Finally, Gabriel Peluffo Linari, curator of Uruguay, uses his sharp eye and experience as an art historian to outline a study that deserves to be developed further: Space and criticism in contemporary art: a historical, political and cultural approach. He deals with the most up-to-date issues and makes suggestions for institutional directions. I have the privilege of being mentioned right at the beginning of the text, when, in our preparatory meetings, I underscored some differences in our historical processes, dictated both by the oppositions between the Hispanic and Lusitanian projects and by the differences in autochthonous civilizations. However, I believe, especially by the longevity of the slavery system in Brazil the last one to be abolished in the continent in 1889 and that leaves its marks in the country to this day the late introduction of press and higher education in Brazil, as well as the fact that educating a slave was considered a crime, cannot be underestimated when we think of our handicaps vis--vis our neighbors. While Portugal left us a remarkable linguistic unity, which sews that incredible cultural quilt that constitutes us, we must not forget the differences between Portuguese and Spanish visual cultures. The efforts for the construction of a visual culture in Brazil finds historical obstacles that are very distinct from those offered to countries colonized by Spain. But that is another discussion. In the Wind Rose - Positions and Directions in Contemporary Art, we have a set of texts that indicate that we are not before a mere event, but rather a process of cultural work that will go beyond that, in interchanges, smaller exhibition projects, courses, and seminars.

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Ping pong and bienality


A few problems in contemporary art regarding invisible gestures

Eva Grinstein
[Argentina]

One, two, three, eight people enter a public library almost at the same time. They come separately as if they did not know each other, although they do. Each of them requests a book. They seat to read. There is silence in the library. At a given moment, after they silently signal to each other, an absurd but unmistakable sound starts: the very fast noise of a pin-pong ball hitting against the floor. Another noise, and yet another one several. The general feeling is one of disconcert, curiosity; the other readers are distracted and some of them smile. It is not clear what is going on, but it is clear that such sound does not belong; it should not be there. The touch of the small ball against the floor is so quick that authorities in the place cannot tell right away where it comes from. Before they find the answer to their question, the ball is already back in the pocket. Are those ping-pong balls? What are they doing in a library? The suspicion about the potential danger of the out-of-place immediately becomes more awkward, and a guard shows up after being called by somebody, perhaps the librarian. The eight contriving mysterious readers get up, return their books, and leave the room, saying nothing and without waiting to be thrown out. It is not really about causing a major incident; meaning resides precisely in the minor details of the situation: a ludicrous act of miniterrorism, mockery, a subversive attack too subtle for these days. That action, which I came to watch as a witness (that is the format established to admit the presence of others), is part of the Las Barricadas Invisibles series and was carried out by the La Baulera group in the Buenos Aires Library of Congress, on Monday, November 29th, 2004, at 4 pm. Is was part of the program of Open Studio an annual event organized by the citys Heritage Subsecretariat and which consists of the alternate revaluing of distinct neighborhoods through art exhibitions, opening private studios and other activities, as well as putting contemporary art together with historical buildings. The other two actions carried out by the group during its short stay in Buenos Aires were developed on a street corner (where, pretending not to know each other, they simultaneously got down on the striped floor to tie their shoelaces) and in a pastry shop, where, sitting at separate tables, they all read at the same time Tucumns tabloid La Gaceta. As part of the edition of Open Studio centered on the axis of Mayo Avenue which literally connects the National Congress and the Government House, crossing several buildings linked to the countrys institutional construction a series of urban performances and interventions were planned. The production of outside events was intended to widen the program by adding the always seductive occupation of public space that would ensure a certain amount of surprise as compared to the more predictable inside installation
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of objects and images. But La Baulera a group I called as the event assistant-curator surpassed all institutional expectation, including the personal one: the three actions carried out by that group around Mayo Avenue elegantly deceived each of the assumptions (I am not referring to the economic one) of what should be an action in public space. Firstly, the group does not conceive their interventions as spectacles; they neither call the public nor establish the place, day and time they will act. They do not measure the success of their actions as a function of the number of spectators or the quality of expert commentaries. Secondly, differently from several other groups that operate anonymously in public space, what drives them is not to spread political ideas; anyway, it is a conception whose politics is poetics itself, which is not transmitted pamphletarily but rather slides obliquely on the very intangible and fragile matter of its appearances. Thirdly, keeping its vocation for autonomy from official parameters of contemporary art, the group makes no effort at recording and documenting its performances or subjects them to the judgment of the critics or other artists, and it does not conceive the option to integrate them into the art market. To them what is to be gained is clearly as ephemeral and striking as a minute of slight social disobedience can be, or seconds of detachment between the expected and what really takes place: a sound that is not supposed to be heard and the silence of a library. La Baulera works and lives in the capital of Tucumn, one of the provinces stricken by decades centuries of inequality between Buenos Aires and the rest of Argentina. Directed by Jorge Gutirrez, they include artists coming from visual as well as performing arts, who started in 1993 to converge on several collective ideas to finally constitute the non-profit civil association in 2002. Today, La Baulera manages its own Contemporary Art Center in San Miguel de Tucumn, which is open to projects of other artists and supports multiple activities. In parallel and simultaneously to the task of managing the use of its own space, members of the group keep carrying out their own public performances, spontaneous or after curatorial invitations. The stubbornness with which they act, taking on advantages but also risks of associational work; their way of being linked to institutionality without harming their stylistic and ideological convictions; their public development detached from contemporary art clichs; their active and inclusive participation in community space through the management of the La Baulera Center; and the unofficial way they definitely contribute to build culture in the urgent context of a province that suffers from extreme needs all those and other reasons make La Baulera a case worth examining within the framework of this fifth edition of the Mercosur Biennial, because it brings together a great deal of concerns, problems, and large dark zones of our action, at least in what concerns the workings of the regional constellation we are immersed in. Groups such as La Baulera bring to light some of the conflicts of art as institution after the evident and gradual transformation which, looking from the sphere of practice, has a direct impact in the field of theory. The territory where we currently carry out our professional operation witnesses an accumulation of breaches fed by conceptualism, situationism, dematerialization, and digital revolution, etc that have already been able to put to trial parameters that until a decade ago seemed to point the way. The relational quality of new aesthetics, the integration into the system of what a couple of decades ago we would have considered countercultural; the entangled relationship between art and political activism; the challenging of concepts of originality or authenticity from the blazing possibilities granted by digital technology possibilities that emerge in times plagued by appropriations and hypertexts; circulations of volatile meaning not necessarily identifiable with objects: all those variations gradually seen since the Duchamp revolution and developed more strongly since the second half of the last century draw a landscape in which some rules are no longer in force and where it urges to establish the experiential bases of new forms of relationship and interchange between practice and theory, art and institution, works and spectators. One of the core qualities of contemporary art, with which we have to negotiate, is rooted in the choice of formats that at first sight seem extra-artistic by individuals or groups that operate in the borders between the museable and the gallerizable, for instance, developing their practices directly in the public sphere, in the middle of the community, out of institutions historically marked to welcome and contain the product we see or used to see as the work of art. Such class of experiences in which there is no longer a point in speaking of images or objects, but rather of processes, concepts, devices would collide with our own short-sightedness if we were to try to characterize them today as alternative, anti-institutional or countercultural. In Argentina as well as in the rest of the Latin American circuit the economically less demanded contexts of Central American countries generate distinct answers and therefore require distinct points of view for their interpretation those initiatives are positioned initially at the margin of market laws,
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but they mostly do not stand programmatically against institutions and, by and large, are easy to integrate into the officialized circulation, exhibition and interchange circuit, that is, they lend themselves to be added to the same circuit that seemed to be created as those other objects and images that today make way for the value of experience. As an effect of that not much hostile attitude, that clearly makes a difference between the new practices of its 1960s and 1970s predecessors, in recent years in Argentina there has been an emergent trend towards collaboration and mutual benefit between artists and institutions which outlines effective models of para-institutionality: it is the proliferation of self-managed enterprises, independent from and parallel to the network established by State policies and private companies. In many cases, the funding allowing the existence of those artists associations comes directly from stronger institutions. It is a case we could characterize as healthy parasitism: blood is sucked but nobody dies; in order to ensure the continuity of life it is necessary not to murder the power source. The institutional system is diversified and perpetuated by adapting to reformulations proposed from the field of practice, with curatorship, theory, and investigation on the becoming of the present as decisive mediators. La Baulera is one of those experiences that negotiate on a day-by-day basis the limits of their ability or will to be inscribed within the Argentinean and occasionally global circuit. With the Belleza y Felicidad Gallery founded by two poets, which hosts exhibitions, concerts and editorial projects such as Ramona, a magazine with art texts that does without any image; the El Basilisco residence Program or the Trama debate series; project Venus, which offers a virtual fair for interchange of goods and services; the multispaces Vox in Baha Blanca, Casa XIII in Crdoba, El levante in Rosario, MOPT in Mar del Plata or Sonoridad Amarilla in Buenos Aires, only to mention some of the art ventures that have dynamized the Argentinean scene in recent years. As all of them, La Baulera and artists that converge on it actively assume the task in search of direct confrontation to its peers and the community. They work for visibility of their individual and group works, building by their own means the kind of spaces they consider more interesting, less stiff, and less governed by imperatives based on consumer goods trade. In the Argentinean context, the emergence and multiplication of those kinds of proposals anticipated and thus coincided with a stage of strong social mobilization that allowed changing the government and the countrys political course. Therefore, the task of art groups working since late 90s has grown in accordance to a generalized search for new options and models, assuming a clearly reparatory and constructive vocation. In most cases, it is about recomposing tacitly and based on cultural microcreation the entanglement of relations deadly threatened during the not-so-distant dictatorship years. It is definitely a question of establish new forms in which it is not necessary to go through a hierarchy to have access to the circulation of ideas, images, objects, and meanings. The assimilation of such proposals is not always smooth and time might be ripe, after a decade of a certain initial surprise followed by gradual acceptance, for us, mediators and active observers, to approach each case as attentively as possible. The incorporation of experiences of social, solidarity or community character to organizes for art institutions museums, biennials, galleries, fairs an apparent quota of progressiveness that has lately set in motion an overdemand incompatible with the energy that marks the activity of those groups, naturally present in the social sphere. Among the multiple problems linked to the institutional inscription of those associational experiences encouraged by artists, there is also an evasiveness of forms and contents to which they are subjected as a condition to be able to be integrated. Therefore, we have been watching several types of forced adjustment that end up converting joyfully festive and indolent groups into caudillos of a political behavior they are not aware of. Or, on the contrary, we have seen banalization and re-signification, within the context of the great implicated global art business, of proposals explicitly opposed to the circulation of art in its commercial form. Responsibilities are certainly shared: for artists, such high-level legitimation spaces are tempting, which also guarantees access to fleeting resources for independent work; for curators, certain international fashions and lines of work certainly operate, which are probably derived from the real satisfaction of being able to relate to fresher productions not so determined by market directives; for institutions, it is a way to adjust to the direction of current times and ensure the career of contemporaneity, although anchored in the search for the new.

Back to the case of La Baulera the spinal cord of this text the issue of fixation of small gestures is also worth mentioning. The subject, which is not less important, to which Paulo
Herkenhoff made a quick reference in Buenos Aires during the debates in the last arteBA Fair, develops a series of problems for those of us who have not yet found answers, or whose answers are nevertheless partial
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and isolated. Exercising an intention of self-criticism as proposed a few paragraphs above, I ask (and answer) myself why I have not called on the group La Baulera to be part of the Argentinean representation in this edition of the Mercosur Biennial. The question escapes my by now evident interest in the groups aesthetic attitude. The answers reveal several of those conflictive points mentioned earlier: La Baulera has 8 to 10 members; so if they had been invited, they would take over the complete Argentinean quota. Let us exercise our imagination, which is, after all, what we do. Suppose we could have agreed with the Biennials board on such an invitation to a single group, in an edition that has taken on the effort to broaden the number of artists per country in order to enrich national participation. Which would be the advantage for the institution, for the audience, and for the rest of participants if the group insisted, following their principles, in developing The Invisible Barricades as its name implies, that is, at the border of invisibility? How can we call on the public when actions happen by surprising irruption at places the artists are not willing to anticipate? Which images are sent to the press as a record or published in catalogues when what is left from their incursions is only a bunch of confused pictures taken with a camera hidden in the bag of one of the groups members? How is it possible to justify before sponsors, organizers and partner institutions including the Argentinean Foreign Office investing in a group of artists infatuated with the uselessness of tiny gestures? Should they be invited to do a different work, by commission, being subjected to the spectacle-like requirements typical of biennial systems which entail a hidden competition for visibility among numerous artists involved? While agreeing that being the casual witness of an action by La Baulera might grant a hypothetical spectator high perceptive and emotional benefit, I recognize my own lack of imagination to bring them on without betraying that freedom that is so attractive in their work. If something was achieved by this brave movement of associations and initiatives by artists in Argentina in recent years, it was the broadening of the circuit and a resulting larger possibility for insertion of artists into spaces designed as places for encounter of the closer community and sometimes open to the view of others. Although this new network of artist-managed projects is dazzling within the local context, its international diffusion is weak and only very slowly we start to see its participation in a larger geographic tissue. The system of biennials, fairs, and large exhibitions faces real communication and information restrictions, which unnecessarily limits the presence of Argentinean art abroad to a few repeated names because they are well known. But there still are lots of well done things to be known, and Argentinean presence this year in the Biennial goes in that direction, through ten artists sent with the intention of broadening knowledge about a new generation with acknowledged local performance and scarce international presence. Most of them have grown under the warmth of groups and spaces that have multiplied both in Buenos Aires and in the rest of the country in recent years. As La Baulera, they conceive their gestures around meanings that are poetic rather than political, establishing, although in a biased way, the political strength of poetic, personal, or group option, whether visible or invisible. When we find the way to biennialize the fleeting sound of a tiny ping-pong ball resounding in the wrong place, we will probably have found several answers to the problems posed today by contemporary art. In the meanwhile, as a provisional personal claim, here is this discursive recovery in which this small invisible gesture becomes almost involuntarily absolutely protagonistic.
Buenos Aires, july 2005.

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Post-Modernity at the hearth of South America


Cecilia Bay Botti
[Bolivia]

Art production in Bolivia in recent years has become eclectic, without a trend that can be identified by contrasting it to the world uniforming trends of present times, in which existential concerns stand out. Figurative and landscape painting in traditional techniques has the largest production and enjoys the most acceptance within the national audience. It provides a strong referent for national identities and history. Installations, videos, digital and object art have scarce production and lower acceptance by the public who, vis-vis the lack of mastery of reading codes, critical guidance texts in the press, or specialized publications, and the lack of habit to visit places where those post-modern expressions are presented, stay away from such art expressions, suspicious of their own appreciation, felling discomfort and even downplaying them. In the last twenty years, those arts have undergone some slow turns regarding contemporary world production. New technological media have not yet been assimilated as new language possibilities among the new generation of artists, with rare exceptions. Digital artists are under gestation. Those belonging to generations over 25 have been working in parallel with painting, sculpture, objects, installations, photography, performance, printing, and video. Bolivian creators are not prone to express themselves through immaterial art, maybe for socioeconomic and cultural reasons. One of those reasons might be the importance given to human relations even though rites and costumes about existential and transcendental values are preserved to small societies of strong family structures, physical contact habits in friendship relations, to a need to feel materiality. Artists in Bolivia have not yet taken the Internet, the sound synthesizer, robotics, lasers, Photoshop and other technologies as their tools used by contemporary artists to produce net art, light art, video art, communication art, sound art, and others, with which it is possible to get a favored place in current exhibitions at museums, biennials, and other cultural events. However, important visibility achievements have been produced in the international scenario due to factors that I will explain later. The longed-for trespassing of borders of the territory that engendered them pulsates under the skin of all artists as a proof of universality. That desire come through for few is usually costly for the intellectual, emotional, and economic efforts it demands, because one has to be in the right place, at the right time, and in touch with the right people. Artists who have achieved that in this country, that have gotten to be in international scenarios and therefore have been recognized also in their territory are nearly all who had the chance to study or live abroad, combining their essences with the teachings and life of large art metropolises
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such as New York, London, Germany, or Paris. Among them, let us remember those who have left deep marks in the history of Bolivian art: Cecilio Guzmn de Rojas, Maria Luisa Pacheco (USA), Marina Nuez del Prado (USA, France), Gil Iman (Europe), Ins Crdova (Europe), Oscar Pantoja (Europe, Venezuela) Alfredo La Placa (France), Fernando Montes (England), Ricardo Prez Alcal (Mexico), Ral Lara (Argentina), Gustavo Lara (Argentina), Enrique Arnal (France), Graciela Rod Boulanger (USA, France), Marcelo Calla (Brussels), Fernando Rodrguez Casas (USA), Gastn Ugalde (Canada), Roberto Valcrcel (Germany), Sol Mateo (Belgium), Cecilia Lampo (Germany), Ramiro Garavito (Venezuela), Keiko Gonzles (USA), Raquel Schwartz (Israel), Valia Carvallo (Europe), Narda Alvarado (The Netherlands). Art produced in the past was characterized by inner motivations and ideological, political, social, and historical commitments. Nowadays, the new generations embrace existential concerns, personal visions about external reality, reflections on art itself. Often with no clear objectives, they feel challenged to universal dialogue by their rooted bolivianness. The art they work on had multicultural referents related to belonging, at the same time as it possesses universal qualities, where a Frenchmen, a Brazilian, or a German might take an intellectual or emotional interest on the work, finding qualities that might flow in other contexts. The complex intercultural fabric in which we develop displaces the need to possess a national identity towards awareness of bearing multiple identities, as a characteristic of this contemporaneity, without losing our unique particularities, and losing neither the very traits nor the desire to keep being ourselves particular and authentic. Bolivian society immerse in a weak economy and incomprehensibly left in the hands of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats is marked by intolerance among social classes, with a history of domination and abandonment of rural residents and inability to establish a pact among the multiple cultures that have lived in a common territory since 1825. In rural areas, a high percentage of dwellers do not know basic electricity, water, sewerage systems, and health services. Schooling seems to have stopped decades ago. Agricultural production has almost no technology; roads are precarious and scarce. Those and many other reasons that keep the country backwards cause discontentment and mobilization for urgent changes, so social demonstrations are ultimately the most authentic performance and actions ever seen. Maybe that is why such genre has not developed and does not have the power it enjoys in other contexts. Only to provide an idea of their magnitude and intensity, I will present a couple of examples: in recent decades, it has become commonplace that groups from distinct segments protest by crucifying themselves naked in central places of the city, in prisons or universities, tying or binding themselves (literally) to a cross. Others, or the same ones, in face of the indifference by authorities and lack of results, sew their mouths with needles and threads, taking hunger strikes to extremes. There are those who have shut themselves, staying in absolute isolation and obscurity, or buried themselves to their necks, spending days immobilized under the weather. Groups of naked women and men have been spotted while entering churches for prayer being gently thrown out on the spot by policemen. Even more common is to see hundreds and even thousands of miners marching thorough La Pazs central streets, blowing up dynamite in the streets while passers-by watch them fearless. Those demonstrations are loaded with symbolisms, metaphors, aesthetics, and strong contents that question and transform individuals. The artist of the performance or the happening, before such reality, will face a hard challenge. And there are those who accept it: a feminist group called Mujeres Creando (Women Creating), carries out actions of public protest, repudiation, and search for citizen awareness on gender, homosexuality, racism and racial segregation issues, to the degree of having TV shows and art collectors incorporate their video works to their funds. Those admired and hated women have occupied both sidewalks and museum rooms, troubling volunteers and professionals who sought a little room to place them. Young artists are the ones to have worked more often with multimedia. As representative of that field, there are: Sol Mateos works resort at once to photography, television, and computer, speaking of the profane using sacred aesthetics. Joaquin Sanchez, an originally Paraguayan artist who has been living in Bolivia for six years, carried out his work called Tejidos (Tissues). In a darkened environment, the viewer feels deprived of a referent for both place and time. In a kind of performance-installation-body art-projection, he combines media that allow, with great poetry and beauty, to construct metaphors about human existence. In other work called Sin Culpa (Guiltless), Snchez takes on several media, combining the recording of a group performance, video, and photograph with installation.
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Photography, with a few exceptions, is still seen in a very conservative fashion both in form and content. Digital technology is staring to open new creative possibilities to artists, since, as it lowers costs, it democratises uses. With Photoshop, they start to find new ways of expressing themselves. Photography, combined with computer media, widens their world. Installations, since nearly a decade ago, enjoy more popularity both among creators and the public. In that field, Raquel Schwartz, Valia Carvallo, Ramiro Garavito, Angelika Heckl, Tatiana Fernandez, Erica Ewel, and Ligia de Andrea stand out. Two artists have a strong presence along the last 30 years for their high mobility and versatility to absorb changes in language and thought: Roberto Valcrcel and Gastn Ugalde. Valcrcel, who has a sharp intellectuality, has expressed himself with his art through happening, painting, installation, photography, objects, lettering, Specially in the conceptual field, in reflecting about art and understanding human behaviors, providing alternatives to signify things. In that case, he goes from one medium to another without mixing them, by periods, going deep in each field. Gastn Ugalde who has also worked with multiple media, painting, sculpture, print, photography, video, installations, performances has a great ability to capture the spiritual in human beings and the his surroundings, whether it is Paris or Viacha. He appropriates the world, he is, he inhabits the places and established strong relationships, thus giving his works the strength that characterizes him. In his works and in his manner of expression, often chaotic, a deep bond with Andean culture can be seen. Both artists are references of artistic expressions for the new generations.

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Public art in the context of the Mercosur Biennial


Jos Francisco Alves
[Brazil]

Outdoor art, or art whose public is circulating, or still Public Art capitalized as this vast field had been after all designated from the last quarter of the 20th century on, is the oldest territory where the art phenomenon materializes. Such perspective can be seen from prehistoric caves to early civilizations (Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, etc.): art for the collectivity, whether in order to impose worldviews or to deceive the public, or yet to touch hearts. The 19th century consolidated a commemorative vocation or function for public art that is almost irreducible to its plain constitution. The following century came with the attempt to make the public space into a viable place for art that is not commemorative but rather simply contemplative. From then on, a new nonfigurative language also claimed its place under the sun off museum, gallery, and domestic environment walls. Our interest at this moment resides on the possibilities for public space as a territory to receive contemporary art and their uneasy issues, located outdoors and commissioned to exist in a permanent form. Permanent outdoor non-figurative art of commemorative character had its origin under the auspices of the socialists in two experiences. The first one took place in Bolshevist Russia, during the short period of artistic freedom, with Nikolai Kollis 1918 project to celebrate the victories of Reds over Whites, that is, counterrevolutionary armies. The second one, in 1922 Germany, came to be the first non-figurative commemorative memorial to be built: the Monument for the March Revolution Dead (Walter Gropius). In the last thirty years, the dispute between figurative and non-figurative public commemoration underwent moments of heated debate, especially around the famous Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Maya Lin, 1981) in the American capital. Reaction was very strong by those who wanted a traditional war monument illustrating military deeds in a literal way, but the dispute was won by a radical anti-monumental in the historical sense of traditional monument and absolutely non-figurative proposal. That memorial later became the United States most visited commemorative monument. In the debates about the construction of a memorial to the victims of September 11th at the site of the tragedy, the WTC, the selection commission for the international design contest chose a non-figurative, architectural form,1 while most of the thousand of designs presented were figurative. The strongest restrictions were to the design chosen by some of the families of people killed in the terrorist attack. They included some that wanted a different kind of literality: that the monument incorporated the sound of the tragedy. In Latin America, that issue has not been debated much, since the very location of contemporary art within the institutional system is still precarious what about production located in public spaces? In
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Brazil, the debate over the form of public commemoration regarding those killed and missing during the Military Regime (1964-1984) also included a certain controversy, again regarding a dispute between figurative and non-figurative art. However, in that case, the models criticized were precisely literal figurative representations of the suffering of political prisoners, such as Recifes Torture Never More Monument (1993), and the homonymous proposal by architect Oscar Niemeyer still under design which consists of a long tilted structure with a huge spear with a human figure hanging from its tip. In Buenos Aires, the memorial to the victims of Argentinas military regime (1976-1983) is the subject of a remarkable design called Memory Park A Monument to the Victims of State Terrorism (1999), for which fourteen designs2 were selected and invited, such as those by American Dennis Oppenheim and Brazilian Nuno Ramos. In this case, there was a division because, perhaps given that amount of works, there were several languages without a predominant one, whether figurative or not. In Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, two examples bear witness to the potential of non-figurative art as public commemoration: the monuments to Zumbi (Cludia Stern, 1997) and Dead and Missing during the Military Regime (Luiz Gonzaga, 1995). Interestingly, none of them evoked any restriction over their languages, which were deprived of figurative appeal. The examples mentioned above point to a better acceptance of public commemoration in nontraditional forms, especially those with non-figurative language, which was unthinkable until recently. Such situation might be credited to the fact that they tend to adjust more to a modern language of the urban landscape, in which most of them are located. Or, perhaps, they indicate that contemporary art is really being accepted more easily, even in this controversial terrain public sphere not only in its physical sense related to urbanism, but also as a significant cultural possibility for peoples lives. Back to the central topic of this text, the issue to be faced is the validity of situations in which contemporary public art which, it should be stressed, is not restricted to non-figurative art is located in the outdoor public territory detached from architecture (as opposed, for instance, to permanent art in subway stations, underpasses, public buildings, etc.) and away from American official programs in the 1960, which placed famous works in public spaces, such as Art in Public Places (by the National Endowment for the Arts/NEA) and Art in Architecture (by the Federal Governments General Services Administration/ GSA). Renowned works are a result of those programs, such as La Grande Vitesse (A. Calder, 1969), in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Tilted Arc (Richard Serra, 1981) in New York City. The latter was known for raising one of the strongest episodes in the disputes over cultural power in the United States, which resulted in the destruction of the sculpture in 1989, by the commissioners themselves the GSA allegedly because of bad reception of the work by the specific public from where it was located.3 However, such projects were precisely those to encourage large corporations to buy monumental public works by renowned artists as a sign of cultural distinction, such as Red Cube (Isamu Noguchi, 1971) in New York City. In Brazil, that also became a common corporate practice, for instance, the work Portal, by Franz Weissmann, a gigantic porticopiece at the entrance to the business complex of a bank headquarters in So Paulo. Contemporary art has gradually gained ground in urban space, but still as some kind of adornment. Although late, public authorities in Brazil were also convinced by the idea of commissioning art for no commemorative reason and made by renowned artists. The sculpture gardens at So Paulos S Square and Rio de Janeiros Catacumba Park, both dating from 1978, are examples of that. The core question is how was the public acceptance to commissioning works of art for ornamentation of public outdoor space. However, judging by the state of conservation of most decorative art pieces all over Brazil, we realize that such production has not yet been consolidated before a certain audience. Its role as an element of publicizing contemporary art still needs to be properly studied and debated. In the 1980s and 1990s, a series of international actions pointed out new directions for commissioning outdoors art, related to the physical and spiritual properties of the place they were installed, by and large with two trends: on the one hand, works of art or art activities oriented to the issue of genius loci took on a more provisional and often activist character; on the other hand, works directed to physical specificities of the places took on a more permanent and functional sense. This latter trend also incorporated some aspects of movements emerging in the 1960s, such as earth art and land art, and even minimalism. However, they assimilated such references within (new) issues raised under urbanism, towards a better livability of public places, especially new ones, many of them renewed, which needed specifically designed works of art in order to grant those places new characteristics a new sense to each place. That kind of perspective was successfully implemented in urban renewals in Barcelona, Spain, and
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other places in Britain and the United States. In Brazil, some works commissioned under that perspective were successful, such as Sculpture to Rio (Waltrcio Caldas, 1997), which became a reference for the place, bringing to public sphere interesting issues from the point of view of contemporary art, not necessarily and adornment or, as they say now, a public equipment. It is from that perspective that curators of the 5th Mercosur Biennial once again promote a segment including work in public space in order to bring up the issue of Public Art closely linked to matters of space in art production. Since it is no longer strange or difficult for us to point out what is and what is not contemporary art (at museological spaces, at biennials, etc.), we now have to speak about the existence of a public contemporary art. Such permanent public contemporary art, not directed to commemoration or to mere placement of the work in street museums, has as its related elements the landscape and the public included in it. In todays Brazilian society, that public has been given a general banalized name: user. Therefore, it is not possible to think about public art today in the urban context without considering the places (squares, parks, etc.) users. That does not mean that such production literally takes on the role of serving that public as had been pointed out, turning the work of art into urban equipment, which would be a retrocession for it brings back to art the attribute of a function or usefulness. In this perspective, public art should take on the meaning of contemporary art, which is to disturb a certain established order (even though in the case of public art the disturbance of the public order is not desirable). Disturbance here is a synonym to uneasiness the ability of those works to raise problems. In the same sense, those works should contribute to change public space, to alter everyday life in an instigating way, without being architecture or landscaping in the sculpture sense established by Rosalind Krauss in her highly praised essay Sculpture in the expanded field.4 Such disturbance can also be ill received, as it was by those who did not want to understand the change put forward by Richard Serras Tilted Arc, an interesting change in public space and a subtle alteration in everyday life for the audience in their daily mechanical itineraries. The sculpture, by interrupting free circulation in the place, disturbed that normality to which all of us are somehow used. Therefore, it promoted an uncomfortable situation of daily reflection by permanently reminding us of how incapable we are to interrupt our routine or how we are subjected to small rules of the public space, which in fact we do without realizing it. However, to do it because of a work of art seems to have given the problem visibility. Permanent outdoor works proposed to be built in this 5th Mercosur Biennial, by Carmela Gross, Jos Resende, Mauro Fuke, and Waltrcio Caldas are only the beginning of the treatment proposed to the issue and are crucial to understand, even though under a perspective of urbanism as a way of landscape organization of a public space whether comforting or discomforting. Those works were thought of as necessarily integrated into public space, totally detached from any purpose other than allowing the public to make good use of them.5 This project is an exercise to the issue posed today, just as the 1997 1st Mercosur Biennial sculpture garden was an exercise, an experiment, by installing works of art in a Porto Alegre public park. The result as time went by was not the best, since the garden has been gradually vandalized, which is only one of the most common reactions to art located in public areas. In many societies, assets placed in public spaces suffer a larger or smaller process of despoiling according to sociocultural factors, and it would be no different with public art. Nevertheless, we should ask why that art could not be protected from such a systematic process of destruction.6 One of the answers might be yet another question: why is art still away from peoples lives? The production of public art within biennials is, why not, a highly complex process. Logistics, infrastructure, and politics are all determinant factors for such exhibitions, now added with problems resulting from making outdoor works of art. In the case of production of works in that scale, which are virtually civil engineering works in their execution, such factors become even more troublesome. Negotiations between public and private spheres7 as well as factors determining and expressed in the subjectivity of their agents, make the project of realizing public works of art an intricate operational process. Therefore, working with outdoor contemporary art is above all promoting the political exercise of negotiating between the several stakeholders and the materialization of the work itself in the public space, in which safety, feasibility, durability, and reception by the audience are only a few of the issues to be taken in account.8 Vandalism in public spaces seen in Porto Alegre is much likely not exemplar of social behavior in Brazilian and Latin American public spaces, given specific issues that should be raised an debated by cultural and administrative bodies of the city that hosts the Mercosur Biennial. Therefore, we seek not to worsen that
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serious problem by commissioning works that allow facing the situation in a civil way and proposing a vector with works of art that in their constructive aspects become part of the populations everyday life. Therefore, after the four public works of the 5th Mercosur Biennial, we intend to promote unprecedented debates within the scenario of Latin American public art. They include the weakness of government mechanisms for conservation of outdoor environment, added to vandalism symptoms typical of the public sphere. I thus believe that public art can be a relevant mechanism to promote such debates, since those works, besides being cultural assets within public space, bear the property of adding other elements to that problem, such as a critical position regarding that space. While most debates on public art have surrounded its feasibility as a really significant art phenomenon, that point is precisely what can make us think about the intricate issues involved in the constitutions of that space as a territory for disputes between the distinct public and private interests of its several agents. Therefore, it begs the question: can public art open new educational perspectives for the general public in order to make it familiar with contemporary production? That is possible since it provides ways to creatively think about space. But that would demand more than those works being imposed on public space. They should be first effectively conceived to exist in that space and located within a process of reflection about their role in it as cultural objects with educational potential in the broader sense of the term. That is, they should allow their citizens the exercise of reflection regarding not only art but also a set of relations between the individuals and society. Another important issue mentioned above is the conservation of works in public space, which has always been present in contemporary art projects made for outdoor spaces, since the feasibility of those works is also related to their durability in a space of high circulation and exposure. That is why there is yet another aspect to be considered: one of the major roles of public art is that of turning the public space into a cultural environment. Much of what has been said about public art carries in the background, although often not explicitly, an extremely important topic for urban society: the relationship between what is a reflection of our behavior in public space where many of the tensions and problems involved in democratic (or not) public life are expressed and their implications such as violence, life quality, and other sociopolitical problems that have always existed. While art does not necessarily have to be linked to such issues at least not as a thematic approach , it is not possible to think about the production placed in those public spaces as being totally disconnected from the context described. That environment would be determinant to define a civilisational space, since culture is the expression of an educational process in which behavioral choices are made. That environment would also become that where the peoples behavior would be demonstrated through works of art displayed in public space, since the conservation of public works not to mention their quality is a display of how we behave in relation to certain ethical and aesthetical principles.

Notes
The winning project, Reflecting Absence (Michael Arad & Peter Walker, 2003), was released on January 6th, 2004. Available at: <http://www.parquedelamemoria.org.ar/parque/ver_plano.htm>. Accessed on August 16, 2005. Most projects have not been executed yet. 3 Tilted Arc remained installed at the esplanade of a complex of the American federal government agencies, the Federal Plaza; its audience therefore included almost only servants from those agencies. 4 Sculpture in the Expanded Field. in October, no. 8, New York, Spring 1979, p. 30-44. 5 Therefore, the perspective of those ways is by no means utilitarian. They are conceived to exist in a cultural context in which the community is taken into account. It is also known that artists often tend to think of their public works as an integral part of the work done in the studio; of course that production not always fits the characteristics of outdoor spaces. 6 Some of the works offered to the city by the Mercosur Biennial Foundation were restored in 2002, as is the case of works by Carlos Fajardo and Alusio Carvo. See my work A Escultura Pblica de Porto Alegre: histria, contexto e significado (Porto Alegre: Artfolio, 2004, p. 193). 7 However, it must be said that, in that case, negotiations between the Biennial Foundation and Porto Alegres Environment Department were marked by absolute collaboration and goodwill, which is often not the case in several places. 8 As an example, the mere circulation of several people when the lot where Carmela Gross work would be installed was being measured, together with the Biennial team, engineers and the artist herself, drew attention of the places users, who kept asking: what are you going to do there?
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The behavior of biennials


Notes for a psychology of institutional profile

Gaudncio Fidelis
[Brazil]

As suggested by the very title of this article, biennials can be seen as organisms. They really have an organic form that, within the domain of the institutions they promote, reacts to external influences while responding to those forces with similar impact through the production they exhibit. Biennials often cannot be told from the very institutions that produce them. It is a known fact that biennial exhibitions are institutions in themselves, and that is precisely why sometimes they will collide with a series of values established by the very institutions that sponsor them. With few exceptions, there is no significant difference between such institutions and the events they generate. Therefore, at the end of that process they become the same thing. While they gain visibility because of the bienniality of their actions, they assume all behavioral complexity of an event whose specificity tends to make it challenging and thus contrary to the very idea of institutionality. Therefore, we must understand that each of those institutional organisms refers to a typology specific to each institution, which, in turn, is distinct according to the object of its guardianship as well as its objective and constitution. Museological institutions, culture centers whether public or private and biennials, to mention only a few, have each their peculiarities. It is not possible to compare cultural institutions for the specificities of their organisms and how they will react to the demands of their distinct audiences and the agents that will influence them. For instance, culture centers derived from the concept of cultural marketing cannot be compared to museological institutions, since the willingness of the latter to serve their clientele is essentially distinct. Museums have a selective and discriminative character when serving their audience while multiple-activity culture centers seek to serve distinct social strata without any distinction regarding the object they exhibit.1 As I see it, a large part of the institutional crisis generated in institutions linked to exhibitions in Brazil is due to lack of understanding of their role within the institutional spectrum by attempting to behave or by being forced to do so as institutions whose typologies do not correspond to the exhibitional profile to which they have little or no similarity. Such circumstance emerges more sharply when we compare institutions whose object is the same, although with distinct aims as is the case of biennials and museums whose object is in both cases contemporary art. Of course most of that behavior is worsened by institutional precariousness: institutions have to respond exhaustively to a huge demand that often has little or nothing to do with the object of their work.
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Biennials are essentially organisms whose object of work is stable by itself, better said, exhibited in an unstable state.2 They are produced by institutions aimed at exhibiting production and do not go beyond that, because in principle their mission is neither to conserve and preserve production nor to promote continuous and systematic readings on the object under its guardianship. It is therefore a mistake to think that, when working with such unstable object because it is often under experimentation or test to public visibility that object will not bring into the institution a large part of the character it is charged with, that is, a high degree of instability. That would demand an opposite movement from the institution, that is, a higher degree of stability in order to absorb that condition and still be able to respond to its natural demands from within. For that reason, it is necessary to understand first how that organism works, how it relates to external agents, and how it responds to internal structural changes. In the case of a biennial especially a young one it will have to respond to a series of demands, some of which it might not even be able to really absorb at the risk of causing fissures in its constitutional organism. Their ability or inability to provide such answers and maintain its internal integrity is what will make it able to survive as time passes without an identity crisis hitting the core of what constitutes its ultimate reason dtre: carrying out its biennial exhibition, where it attempts to exhibit production according to required standards of fairness and quality. Biennial institutions are more resistant to provincialization than they seem to be. Their behavior tends to extrapolate subjectivities that might impose themselves to their management models. After all, they are powerful machines for knowledge production and generation of institutional infrastructure, therefore mobilizing a huge amount of human and financial resources in quick and periodic movements biennially, as we know. Therefore, biennials are in essence events that usually concentrate all their resources on a single event. Nevertheless, some international models have systematically attempted to break away from such behavioral paradigms by conferring on institutional routine a process of continuity within its events.3 Biennials tend to report to a cosmopolitan international audience as a priority and ignore local issues. Some of them have made real efforts to report to local specificities, but it is always a larger audience that biennials tend to privilege. That occurs because the production they exhibit wishes to gain international visibility which is the reason for biennials to be held in the first place. By the way, such intention does not depend on the political will its agents confer on such institutions. Therefore, productions usually present vocabulary readable to experts and adepts and/or to an audience whose routine circulation in such exhibitions is more like a break from work. That is why biennials tend to be related to neoliberal values that reinforce mobility and cosmopolitanism in a multiculturalist perspective. Therefore, thinking the behavior of biennials within a situated and specific view to which a policy of values corresponding to regional demands would be naturally feasible means approaching the issue from a wrong perspective. Whether we like it or not, the effects of globalization on such events are unavoidable. While we might fight its harmful effects, many of us are not willing to give up its very benefits such as global circulation of consumer goods, conveying information in a democratic way (even though it is increasingly limited to those with purchase power), and so on. Art and its exhibition cannot escape that structure either. Circulation of the artistic object has changed and the object itself has changed with it. Nowadays many works are already exhibited because of their material constitution, that is, a smaller volume to be transported and higher effectiveness by the visual and conceptual impact of its material reality. Perhaps we would not imagine that the so-called dematerialization of arte would undergo yet another stage, namely: that of its exhibition under an exclusive perspective of expeditiousness and effectiveness of its material reality. Therefore, large-scale transnational events of which biennials are emblematic exhibitions have been to a large extent responsible for that new phenomenon. Today the major issue posed to curatorial projects is their technical and financial feasibility, which is not only about figures, but includes also a range of logistic factors for which the works materiality becomes also a crucial aspect. Transportation is certainly the first issue posed to any such institution. While such exhibitions have forced an increasing number of possibilities so far not considered in terms of transporting high-complexity works, rough competition for works of international profile artists and the large number of exhibitions they take part in have led curators and administrators to seek high-impact production as well as maximum ease of transportation and technical feasibility for assembling. In view of this, the profile of international production is changing at a fast pace. International institutions are forced to support names that are strong within the circuit, and the inclusion of works oriented towards large transnational exhibitions is increasing. There is now a generation of artists whose work has been built in order to ascend to a specific exhibitional level, that is, that of the major
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international exhibitions whose difficulties in terms of logistic, space, and visibility are equally competitive and complex. Although many curators try to deny it, several of their choices have been determined by the feasibility of exhibiting the work of the artist in question. Despite nomadism and multicultural perspectives having become the theme for large part of contemporary production and therefore for curatorial projects, many works started adapting to a material constitution perspective in agreement with requirements of exhibition and economic efficiency demanded by those institutions. Several artists have also approached such issues as their themes. In Brazil, perhaps the most significant and emblematic case is the work of Jac Leirner. Her work emerges precisely in a moment when transnational institutions were not as common as they are today. For this reason, it anticipated that strategic turn by which a complex scenario of professionalism of the field starts to be configured in a consistent and why not pervasive way. Not by chance, its themes include the intermittent flow of the transformation of cultural goods into consumer symbolic goods.4 Besides, it relates to museological institutions and the problem of collectionism. While discourses point to art and the institutionalization of the artistic object, those relations are thought of as circulation of works within and international capital flow. It should be noted that one of the ideals of biennials is to transcend political barriers; they therefore underestimate above all the concept of nation-state where power relations are instituted. It is also for no other reason that biennials are structured as some kind of parallel power where new perspectives of modernity are disputed with the State. That is why they have to deal with some kind of political engineering that presupposes an inherent ambiguity by reporting at the same time to a policy of local relations and to a complex engineering of international diplomacy both in terms of its relationship to artists and to their foreign agents. Curators are nomadic individuals who move from one event to the other; institutions, in turn, are forced to respond to an international demand that goes beyond local demands. Therefore, biennials have established new paradigms between urban periphery and the center as well as their relations to institutions. Most of the times, biennials emerge within a competitive context where cities struggle over new possibilities for tourism and infrastructure investment in an increasingly globalised perspective. In that competitive scale, cities need an increasing number of attractive features that might serve a privileged class with enough resources to travel and circulate in such exhibitions while responding to the demand of professionals for a field that grows on a daily basis. Note that while art needs exhibitions to be shown, that field, which becomes an extension of art, is essentially artificial.5 Daniel Buren had already written in his anthological essay The Function of the Studio6 that the work changes on its way from studio to exhibition since that is the only place it would exist in its ideal exhibition condition. Buren sees the work as totally foreign to the exhibition space and it ends up unavoidably changed on its way from studio to museum or gallery. Such change occurs essentially because the work is always displayed at the exhibition in an idealized situation. Biennials, in turn, tend to increasingly decontextualize those works. Even though several of them are being created specially for the events, most of what its exhibited in them needs to be adapted to fit the space in question as well as the relations established between works. While it is true that biennials allow the execution of several in situ works, it is also true that such procedure derives from the critical position adopted by artistic production regarding the idealistic space of the white cube so carefully preserved by modernism. The point is that nowadays, in face of a demand for work visibility based on competitive parameters, such critical outlook has disappeared from site-specific works, leaving only its historical origin as a reference. While on the one hand we would have to adopt Adornos perspective in his critique to the treatment of objects out of their historical context and material conditions a situation the author called a ...conservative practice that lacks a critique of political economy,7 on the other hand we have to perceive that exhibitions are above all devices that construct knowledge through spatial relations both in their physical dispositions and in the relationship they establish between the works.8 Exhibitions are and will always be partial views on objects and their history. It is through them that the contemporary art object acquires meaning not only in its circumstantial display at a given moment during an exhibition, but also in the whole of that exhibitional trajectory. Such exhibitions and biennials, more than any kind of exhibition, play a crucial role in that process constitute the meaning of certain production by creating an intricate web of meanings generated by the exhibition trajectory those works are able to accumulate through those productions.9 Therefore, biennials have been increasingly disputed over
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by its curators as authorial projects, precisely because they need to meet a basic prerequisite without which they cannot survive: it is because they are constituted as unique events in terms of a distinctive reading on the works i. e., each event is seen as a new perspective of reading of works that they become a space of dispute for elite production. Therefore, without a strong curatorial project, biennials tend to be neglected and left in the back burner of a system that is eager to institutionalize its productions.10 More than any other exhibition, they tend to speak through the curators authoritative voice. It should be stressed, though, that the traditional notion of author as an individual that confers his own characteristics on a given project is not usually realized in a biennial in which several curators are in charge of an exhibition project. In that case, the final result would be a sum of elements accumulated during the process as expression of the will of those several individuals. Such perspective of work represents democratization in selection procedures and their final result is a combination of mostly indistinguishable factors. Even so, biennials constitute the locus for curatorial freedom of expression. Even though they face strong resistance in their institutional organism, by and large they allow more innovation in projects than museums usually do. That is because if biennials did not occupy a space directed to creating new possibilities to read works, 11 their very existence would be challenged.12 Another issue that is not discussed much is the specificity of the institutional category assumed by biennials. Since they are flowing institutions strongly centered on the subjectivity of their curators chosen every two years, at each new event they must adjust to a whole new work style. That process guarantees the continuous renewal of their institutional assumptions but prevents the establishment of stable institutional procedures that would grant the institution a more defined profile. However, it seems to be a mistake to think that there might be stability through establishing procedures, since that would mean freezing the structure by which biennials come to be what they are: cutting-edge events under a differential perspective of institutionalization. It must be understood that, in that case, institutionalization should take place within the external sphere of the constitution of an institutional profile, that is, in that what the institution is able to revert as parameters of feasibility and flexibility, credibility, and ability to communicate to its distinct audiences.13 There is no doubt that the Mercosur Biennial of Visual Arts belongs to an international circuit. To say that it is still circumscribed to an exclusively local universe would be suspicious. Nevertheless, belonging to the international circuit means above all being linked to the contextual circumstance in which the contemporary art system is configured. That is to say that such system structured as an apparatus of flows, in which certain connections are occasionally interrupted in the periphery of a network, is supposedly open to all and every biennial that might emerge as long as it has an international profile. A tradition is no longer a required credential to take part in the international circuit, as was the case of biennials with a consolidated historical trajectory, such as those of Venice and So Paulo. Financial resources and circulation of international production become in fact the most important credential. Even though we might question the effective existence of an art system away from the center, it still exists and works, except that it is mainly structured at the center with its collectors, galleries and global museological institutions. Therefore, biennials are institutions whose profile is born already linked to an institutional genealogy that belongs to the mainstream, precisely because they are oriented towards an international elite with the circulation of global values in mind and associated to an international flow of circulation of capital goods. Biennials are essentially historyless beings and events with an historical profile.14 Nonetheless, they wish, through a rhetoric of inscription of the art object within timelines that stress contemporaneity, to impose the contemporary as a historical category. The works they exhibit as well as their trajectory must quickly make way for others that will succeed them. It is important to note that biennials are increasingly adopting exhibition strategies similar to museums in their sometimes historicist approach to contemporary production. An important aspect to be observed is that, contrary to what has usually happened to the museum space since late 1960s and early 1970s when it comes under attack as an institutionalizing space and is approached by distinct art strategies biennials do not suffer the same attack. While their curatorial projects are criticized criticism directed, therefore, to their agents and not to the notion of institution , their institutional spatiality is never a theme for institutional criticism as museums and other institutions, including the white cube of the gallery, usually are. Therefore, we can see biennials as institutions that are already born immune to artistic productions institutional criticism. And if such criticism occasionally occurs, it is neutralized since its intention is not the reassertion of the artistic object through which it carries out that
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very criticism. It is known that one of the characteristics of the mechanism of institutionalization is the very confinement within a process of institutional assertion. Without a doubt, biennial institutions are no exceptions in their never-ending search for stability entangled with the permanent attempt at institutionalization, to which they aspire.

Notes
1 It should be said that objects to be exhibited refer to culture centers, which by and large are not in charge of maintaining the collection, while objects under their guardianship refer to museological institutions. 2 In the case of production conveyed by museums, even though a large part of it is also conveyed by biennials, when it enters the institution, it is, so to speak, warranted. Museums are instituting institutions, and that is part of their very nature. 3 The most successful cases are, in my opinion, Kassel Documenta (not a biennial) and Manifesta, perhaps the most successful enterprise of that sort. Such condition is felt in a more visible way in the former because it takes place every four years, that is, a series of activities are scheduled during that period. Note, however, that both Documenta and Manifesta are activities essentially directed to an expert audience. 4 Note that Jac Leirners work is consolidated in the 1990s, when world-scale exhibitions gain momentum. 5 See my work Arte contempornea e instituies: a problemtica envolvida na circulao do objeto artstico, published on 12.21.2004 and available at: <http://iberecamargo.uol.com.br>. 6 The Function of the Studio, in Contemporary Art: From Studio to Situation, edited by Claire Doherty. London: Black Dog Publishing, 2004. p. 16-23. (Originally published in October, Fall, 1979, p. 51-58). 7 Adorno, Theodor. Valry Proust Museum, in Prisms, transl. Samuel & Sherry Weber (Cambridge, Mass.: 1981, p. 176). 8 It is no longer possible to speak of knowledge production without mentioning Michael Foucault. Nobody approached more than the author the implications of the power/knowledge relationship in the constitution of discourse. According to Foucault, discourse is an authoritative way to describe, and power is exerted by regulating what is described. 9 Of course, exhibitions other than biennials produce the same effect on works. However, since they contextualize the art object in very distinct situations at events whose curatorial projects tend more often to produce exhibitional situations that actually seek to impose new reading on works, biennials have an effect that is sometimes more significant on the trajectory of certain works. 10 That is what makes certain biennials paradigmatic within a category of exhibitions that reports to an international system of circulation of works. In that case, some examples are worth mentioning: the 2nd Johannesburg Biennial in 1998, called Trade Routes: History and Geography; the 24th So Paulo Biennial in 1998, whose theme was Anthropophagy; and the 50th Venice Biennial called Dreams and Conflicts The Viewers Dictatorship, to mention only a few. 11 Here I use the word new not in its original sense, but rather as what has not been presented to the public yet in a certain form. 12 It is not for any other reason that biennials whose exhibition projects have a strong historicist component have been under criticism for taking too much of the place of museological institutions. In many cases, such exhibitions have attempted to fill institutional gaps left by museums and other institutions. 13 That flexibility must even respond to an ability to adjust to the reception of external criticism. Since the flow of interests to which a biennial is subjected comes from several stakeholder segments and those segments to which we refer as audience have their specific agendas, the institution must be prepared to provide immediate answers to those distinct demands. 14 That occurs besides historicist attempts at curatorial projects such as Katherine Davids for Documenta 10. Even so, David sought to adopt a retrospective character that looked at the future.

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Wind Rose
Positions and directions in contemporary art

Paulo Sergio Duarte


[Brazil]

The terms of the world

Art and its institutions cannot escape the phenomenon of globalization, concurrent with the neoliberal redirecting of the economy and the resulting withdrawal of the State from implementing compensatory policies from the 1970s on. The fast advancement of the commodification of political, social, and cultural processes is one of the characteristics of this model that prevails to his day. While the one-dimensional man projected by Herbert Marcuses1 leftwing pessimistic culture project for advanced industrial cultures did not take hold, what is seen is a trend for society to become one-dimensional. Its layers, previously coordinated by a relative autonomy, are now flatted as a single plan governed by market logic, in which culture appears at the privileged position of commodity par excellence. Those are the terms of the world we live in. Even in contexts as North America, where private capital has always been active and hegemonic in the construction of those institutions museums in the first place the withdrawal of public resources dictated by neoliberalism was felt. The remarkable reduction in resources for the National Endowment for the Arts and other institutions of that sort, started during the Reagan administration, becomes visible when its museums that are traditionally more respectable and more discrete in their relationship to the shopping mall universe are led to multiply kiosks selling products at all floors in order to raise extra funds, even though they do not represent a significant part of their revenues. The relationship between art and consumption, which used to be foreign or at least symbolically and physically mediated, is now becoming natural: the exchange value of a tie or a key chain and the artistic value of the work of art live side by side. Consumption of goods and the aesthetical fruition of works, now intimate, cannot be told from one another. A particularly symptomatic moment for that new context was the 1986 decision by the British Museum, during the Thatcher administration, to rent its Egyptian room for parties such as weddings and corporate banquets, due to the lack of resources for its maintenance. The high point of the recent process is Thomas Krens policy ahead of the Guggenheim, in which art can be calmly subsumed to base the advertisement operation of famous brands and the Museums brand itself becomes some kind of cultural franchising along its internationalization process. That completely realizes the final identification between art/culture/market economy, in a totality that knows no internal boundaries where the same laws intend to govern previously distinct spheres. While they are more visible for the museum visitor, those symptoms are just the tip of the iceberg.
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When we observe the incorporation of contemporary works into the collections of well know museums, both in Europe and the United States, another, more striking scenario emerges. Deprived of significant resources to establish a policy of acquisition, especially of foreign works by artists from emerging countries, curators are subjected to donations by patrons and/or art dealers. They are not new, but they used to be oriented by the lists of works made by curator teams and previously approved by the institution. Weakened in their institutional position of virtual buyers, the roles of museum curators are reversed: patrons are now the ones to point out the works to be donated. Therefore, instead of historical value, there are works by artists whose dealers have an aggressive policy of offering to institutions. Important museums display on their collection catalogs artists from a few galleries, while others, of unquestionable value, are absent because they are not associated with those combative dealers. Several museum curators are aware of that fact; however, given the lack of funds for them to have the necessary autonomy in executing an acquisition policy, they are led to accept that subordinate position to the market in order not to lose opportunities. A whole construction of values of symbolic assets is subverted. The museums institutional role regarding contemporary art is affected. In many museums, the contemporary production map is mostly directly determined, with no mediation, by the terms of the world. It would be too quick, in a world under fast transition, to point out more than trends and start building definite theories. The situation described above cannot be generalized. To remain on the strict American example, institutions such as MOMA and Dia Center seem not to subordinate their cultural strategies to market pressure. The process of consummation of the terms of the world is not yet entirely realized, and focuses of resistance, when they exist within advanced capitalism, are clearly due to the separation between the management world and the money from the world of aesthetic values. That occurs due to the existence of powerful financial funds well managed by experts that are not oriented by and do not mix with those who manage the institutions cultural strategies funds administrators and managers have no problem being tools for achieving cultural objectives. The often-occurring promiscuous relationship between the market and the recognition of artistic values is a new element to the art field. That nerve gets more expose in countries of neophyte liberalism such as Brazil. Curators linked to the market and private interests fill institutional positions, playing double roles that are incompatible at least from the ethical point of view. However, this is not the place for those details. The contemporary production map is determined by the generalized commodification of political, social, and cultural processes. And a whole interesting theory about the differences between the roles of contemporary art museums and biennials becomes weak when confronted with reality and its practices. There is an abysmal gap between what they should be and what the effectively are.
Curators, biennialization and art production

It is a known fact that reality also exists in the production of discourses referring to it. Narratives take on an aspect of reality and are superimposed to the real. Jacques Derridas critical approach to the problem of discursive constructions in his deconstructionist philosophy was displaced from its rigorous contexts in order to allow, in behalf of a generalized relativism, a world with no customhouse for ideas. In the field of art theory anything will pass anything really goes. Art production since mid-1960s and during the 1970s opened critical fronts in distinct directions. Land art and in situ public works challenged spaces traditionally occupied by works: galleries, museums, bases, and pedestals in squares. Conceptual art often became a sharp critical tool of the art system itself, its agents and institutions. Exploring another, more sociological vein, art incorporated into its themes and narratives the struggles of ethnic and civil rights, sexual liberation both of women and homosexuals and the criticism to multiple aspects of advanced industrial society. That context, which profoundly redefined the concept of identity that used to be simplistically associated to nationality or leftwing or rightwing political positions , was then subjected to a complex matrix that involved multiple variables. Such discovery of a splendid diversity was defined as multiculturalism. As a result of reflection on important political and social struggles in different territories, multiculturalism has become a theoretical laissez faire within the art field. The art counterpart to new economic liberalism is the rising of a theoretical territory that denies history and elects themes among the post-modern basket plenty of themes in the light of multiculturalism and psychoanalytical theories. Institutions, whether they are museums, salons, biennials, or commercial

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galleries, start existing within a theoretical limbo that is impermeable to the terms of the world. It all would be as it should be, according to a theory detached from concrete reality in which institutions are compartments as impervious as the sections in a department store some kinds of Bloomingdales or Galeries Lafayette which receive the contents elected by curators. The works themes and languages, in turn, would be in charge of defining meaning. While at the high of modernism works would be privileged monads vaccinated against the world, which exhaled formal meanings regardless of the circuits in which they were inscribed, now we return to a vanguard primitivism that owes nothing to medieval physics substantialism: a work is feminist because it uses tampons as raw material for a huge ceiling lamp; or, in the same line, a scientific video of plastic surgery to restore a hymen some kind of didactic ready-made taken from a medicine class but a high voltage is attributed to it since it is not being displayed at the colleges amphitheatre for future doctors, but rather at an art biennial.2 In contrast to modern formalisms exaggeration of searching for meaning only in the works optical elements, the contemporary world witnesses the mere exhibition of contents to which no formal reorganization demand is posed. The party is apparently progressive: given contents, the method is certainly conservative. The work would have the power to self-contextualize from its own themes. As absurd as it may seem, an economic neoliberalism corresponds, or at least coincides with, a theoretical neoliberalism that builds and sells the theory of an art system. And there is plenty of consumers to it, starting by the own peers who produce and reproduce it. Such theoretical context begins in the early 1970s, when star curators emerge among serious professionals of criticism. The situation is perfect: the terrain is open and any demand for poetic power is immediately stigmatized as formalism. Travestied as original theoreticians or inventors, they invest in this new star system. None of them proposed changes in the failed institutional process; on the contrary, they work to preserve their job market reserves. Then there emerges the new curator, distinct from that professional immersed in research, archives, and museums storage facilities, who every now and then shows its face by rendering accounts of its work in academic journals or catalogues of exhibitions resulting from many years work. The new curator is independent, even when he or she is linked to an institution. Besides, his or her authorial attempts are bold and, above all, personalized. They present theses of dubious density in exhibitions whose costs reach millions of dollars. Works of art and with them art history are manipulated to serve the authorial script in the light of one of several post-modern theories, perhaps one that he or she has just invented. By the 1970 several critics already pointed out the impotence of art salons and biennials to fulfil their role of detecting and showing the most instigating, or, if you wish, unstable contemporary production. However, the world has been the stage for a phenomenon that went in the opposite direction of those evaluations. Instead of studying the changes needed for the biennial institution to be able to incorporate into their process besides the periodic exhibition the tool for tracking production and its permanent diffusion in research and education works in the broader sense of the term, the 1990s witnessed the banalization of biennials. Over 50 such institutions emerged all over the world. There is already a term to name that phenomenon: biennialization. It is studied from its symptoms: the same curators, the same artists, the same dealers circulate in all biennials. It is some kind of programmed turn-taking by an art system that moves away from the production that has not been included among the elect. In 2005, at the 51st Venice Biennial, in face of the project by Rosa Martinez to break limits and go always a little further,3 Turkish critic and curator Beral Madra, who coordinated the 1st and 2nd Istanbul Biennials in 1987 and 1989, points that to go always a little further should be the motto for many art scenes which are not discovered yet. The biennial institution has become too heavy, too expensive and too sophisticated to catch the spirit of the art of these out-of-the-way territories.4 That is what those exhibitions fail to face. Biennial exhibitions should be transformed and the Mercosur Biennial, among the over 50 existing in the world, might contribute to such change. Since it is inscribed under very particular circumstances, it can propose changes in the institution in order to be no longer just another biennial among tens of them. The Mercosur Biennial is the biennial of Porto Alegre. Every biennial acts on and belongs to the city that produces it. The city of Porto Alegre and the state of Rio Grande do Sul, for their economy and their production of art, literature, theatre, music and movies, have already contributed to displace the Rio-So Paulo monopoly, which has for many years centralized the cultural effectiveness and dictated the directions of contemporary production. The density and the quality of local cultural production allow the identification of a safe reference point for us to effectively go a little further, not in terms of contents but rather of
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processes. For its regional reach, the Mercosur Biennial can build the theme of each edition in a seminar involving curators from every country in the exhibition. Exhibitions and debates in every country should precede the preparation of the final exhibition in Porto Alegre. Finally, after the exhibition ends, a special programming for Porto Alegres metropolitan area would capitalize on the event through a wide-reaching educational program involving from teachers training to advanced studies, permanently working on the major issues in contemporary art. There is no impasse; there are rather choices: either we act to point and trace new routes, breaking away from the blabbering of biennials or we passively accept the advancement of generalized commodification of processes embellished by curatorial theatres.
The 5 th Mercosur Biennial: histories of art and space

When choosing the theme of changes in the notions of space and their relations to contemporary art, under the title of Histories of Art and Space, the 5th Mercosur Biennial takes a stance: an investment of such a nature and dimension in a country where a significant portion of the population that does not even finish basic education should not be the stage for the curators personal theses. Smaller-scale exhibitions and their respective catalogs, local projects, and academic journals can serve that purpose not the largest Latin American art exhibition. What we look for, then, is a guiding thread that can be present both in the experience of the works and in the visitors everyday life, whether they are laypeople or experts. That thread, for its conceptual characteristics, does not close the exhibition around a particularity; on the contrary, the changes in the notion of space are opened in such a way that curators from participating countries do not have their work subsumed under the theme put forward by Brazils general curator. The issue of space in its relationship to art enjoys such amplitude that makes it more of another framework to be considered when analyzing works than a script or a recipe to be followed. The strength of a project does not reside in personal authorship, but rather in the authority and the weight of its own issue. Furthermore, within the pandemonium of theories of the post-modern basket, where concepts circulate freely around the planet just like financial capital, without barriers or control, there is an investment in a very classic subject, a theme that mixes with the very issue of art. Pierre Francastel already pointed out in the first half of the last century: all plastic arts are arts of space. The notion of form it is not exclusive to them and a mistake is often made when speaking of them: the mistake of employing such term without enough reserves. () there is no plastic art out of space, and when human thought is expressed in space it necessarily takes on a plastic Form. The author proceeds: It is therefore crucial to study plastic form regarding the notion of space. Even more so when that notion is variable according to countries and times.5 In spite of the inevitable reviews in the genetics of Francastels method, still based on Piagets studies after contributions by Lvi-Strauss in anthropology, Georges Canguilhem and Alexandre Koyr in their respective histories of science, Jacques Lacan in psychoanalysis, and the studies of Foucault about structural discontinuities in histories and the construction of their own discourses,6 the assertion of space as a territory common to every plastic phenomenon does not only stand, but also the changes in that notion can be clearly detected in the most vigorous contemporary works. That common territory can be taken as the axis of a wind rose, from which we can examine contemporary arts distinct positions and directions. Therefore, changes in the notion of space would work as a kind of global reference system similar to geographic coordinates, overdeterminant, in which we can identify local narrative systems determined by their specific objects, such as those driven around particular strategies: body politics, ethnic references, sociological critique, gender and sexuality policies, criticism to the art system to its institutions and agents , investigations that mobilize new technological resources, idiosyncratic poetics, formal studies on language, as well as purely conceptual revisits. The hypothesis would be that, over the theoretical territory of the notion of space and its historical and cultural variants, it would be possible, from a paradigm more resistant to relativism generalized by deconstructionism, to examine the interactions between those micronarrative regions and their strategies in certain works and explore their poetic reach. It is ultimately around those local systems, their strategies and tactics, i.e. the differences dictated by multiculturalism, that the several postmodernities in art move. The reference system dictated by the changes in the notion of space would provide a dual anchor: a synchronic one whose role would be the same as a cultural invariant the common element to all microregions of the spatial continent, regardless of their particular narrative strategies, the diachronic one, which would allow establishing the indexes of specific narratives breach and/or continuity in relation to modern

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past. Please allow me a truism: the historical dimension of the art phenomenon if a genealogical view is accepted necessarily dissociated from the evolutionary notion of progress, that is, a non-genetic view is found not only in continuities and infiltrations of the past, in denials of and breaches from that past, but also in art experiences that, for sociocultural reasons, develop on the margin of the so-called art system. Having regained the historical axis, it is a question of including it in the repertoire of references combined with the others, such as the several notions and layers of space that are at stake in contemporary production. An art theory could emerge by conjugating changes in the notion of space and history that do not eclipse, in behalf of paradigmatic values, contemporary productions diversity. Contemporary dispersion and diversity take on the figure of the fragment especially when they are disconnected from a common territory. Therefore, with no harm done to specific contexts and particular dynamics of each narrative or formal strategy, the historical dimension would be restored both in the spatial distribution of distinct territories and their relations to modern legacy. The fragment is raised to the effective status of difference. Denial or even repression of history come from regarding history as a collection of values from the past, some kind of measuring unit and compass that would inhibit the reading of the present. The emphasis on the historical and cultural change in the notion of space would neutralize the superego function of history while contributing to think more rigorously the contemporary production that often presents itself especially in mega-events as a true bric-a-brac shop in which theoretical indigence has its day.

Notes
Herbert Marcuse. One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society. Boston: Beacon Press, 1964. I refer to works by Joana Vasconcelos (The Bride, 2001. Stainless steel and tampons. 470 x 220 x 220 cm. Antonio Cachola Collection, Campo Maior) and Regina Jos Galindo (Himenoplastia, 2004. Performance for the collective exhibition Cinismo all Espacio Contexto). Both works were shown at the exhibition Always a Little Further, with curatorship by Rosa Martinez, at the 51st Venice Biennial in 2005. Galindos work received the Biennials award for Young Artist. 3 Rosa Martinez adopted as the title of her exhibition the words of Corto Maltese: Always a little further (Sempre un p pi lontano). 4 Beral Madra. The Last Bi-Entertainment. July 2005. Available at: <http://www.europist.net/?sayfa=makale_detay&id=56>. Read on 07/ 08/2005. Beral Madra headed the 1st (1987) and the 2nd Istanbul Biennials. She was the curator of the Turkish contribution in three editions of the Venice Biennial (43, 45, and 49) and has organized twenty international exhibitions in Turkey and Germany. Since 1990, she has been heading the BM Contemporary Art Center. 5 English quote translated from Pierre Francastel. Espao gentico e espao plstico. In: A Realidade Figurativa. Coleo Estudos. 2nd ed. So Paulo: Editora Perspectiva, 1993. p. 123. Originally published in Revue desthtique, t. 1, fasc. 4, Oct.-Dec. Paris: 1948, p. 349-380. Later included in La Ralit Figurative. Paris: Denol-Gonthier, 1965. 6 Claude Lvi-Strauss. Les Structures lmentaires de la parent. Paris La Haye: ditions Moutons, 1967. Especially Chapter 7: Lillusion achaque. [First French edition: 1949]. Ibidem. La Pense sauvage. Paris: Plon, 1963. Especially the two first chapters: La science du concret e La logiques des classification totmiques [First French edition: 1962]. Georges Canguilhem. Le Normal et le Pathologique. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1966. [Canguilhems 1943 Doctoral thesis in medicine Le Normal et le Pathologique added of the study Nouvelles rflexions concernant le normal et le pathologique]. Ibidem. tudes dHistoire et de Philosophie des Sciences. Paris: Vrin, 1968. Alexandre Koyr. tudes Galilennes. Paris: Hermann, 1940. [Pioneer study about the discontinuity between the medieval notion of impectus (impulse) and the concept of inertia in the explanation of movement in modern physics, with the result of demonstrating the primacy of a complete rationalism that introduces thinking structured as language over a nave empiricism that believes in the repetition of the crude experience as generator of knowledge]. Jacques Lacan. crits. Paris: ditions du Seuil, 1966 [First French edition: 1966]. Michel Foucault. Histoire de la folie lge classique. Paris: Gallimard, 2002 [First French edition: 1961]. Ibidem. La Naissance de la Clinique. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1963. [First French edition: 1963]. Ibidem. Les Mots et les Choses. Paris: Gallimard, 1966 [First French edition: 1966].
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5 th Mercosur Biennial
Regional conjuncture analysis

Justo Pastor Mellado


[Chile]

Above all, a biennial is an enhancing device for a given artistic scene here meaning increasing the institutional density of a formation, which presupposes the existence of institutions that lack the required awareness to have such meaning and consolidate an artistic formation. Hence the initial production of a biennial follows the logic of institutional intervention. That is, a biennial emerged under certain conditions where the inscriptive desires of a group that is socially a decision-maker, in the middle of a local community that aspires to organic recognition at global level. The project in question expresses the complex symbolic need of a certain human group for the imaginary dimension of its representation of power, which locates us amidst an already known historical context: that in which art is installed in order to ensure the strength of an economy in the imaginary of the elites. The history of the So Paulo Biennial can be revealing enough of that situation in the South Cone of Latin America, not only regarding a specific production model but also and above all a discursive economy. What a biennial sets into circulation is not so much the works; it is rather discourses about the works but, above all, discourses about the conditions of production and circulation of discourses. A biennial is, therefore, not only a paramuseographic production, but also an editorial device. That is how the firmness of a biennial is verified in a continuum of institutional history of which it is defined as a moment of acceleration of transfers. Therefore, a biennial would come to be a discontinuity whose purpose is to increment the firmness of a continuity that shows inner obstruction. So, in the life of a city, to build a biennial would indicate the existence of an autopoietic institutional moment that operates as a constructive alarm. That is why it seems to be crucial to think of which is the situation that precedes the invention of a biennial in a given city, especially from the second half of the 20th century on. If we follow closely Jean Clairs reflection of about the emergence of contemporary art museums in the second half of the 20th century and its relation to the strategies of their consecration as new temples where the relationship between man and death is reconstructed, we realize that they are assemblages carried out in zones directly affected by Second World War destruction. Therefore, it is not totally arbitrary to imagine that the musealizing re-consecration corresponds to the symbolic closure of the Marshall Plan. That situation does not correspond to a Latin American project of musealization. It begs the question of how many museums have been founded since the 50s in the South American continent and which has been their institutional perspective especially if we compare the situation in Colombia and Venezuela to the Brazilian situation. That region, during the Cold War and the post-Cold War period, should not be seen as museifiable,
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except, of course, for its pre-Columbian past. Above all, it was necessary to recognize itself as a zone of reception of itinerant museum production from the First World. And, as it seems logic, it was necessary at least to have a structure to welcome such exhibitions in minimally acceptable conditions. But all that had its positive effect on the formation of national collections and in consolidating temporary exhibition spaces for local artists. Therefore, the demand for recognition of an identity towards the inside was fulfilled. What the Brazilian scene has attempted from mid-50s on was the development of an outwards identity. Nevertheless, that implied resorting to the figure of the biennial as a transfer and acceleration device to mark So Paulos place in the map of contemporary art. It was not my intention to put it this way, but it all seems to indicate that the development of museality fulfils inward development while a biennial is established as an outward development vector. Or yet, museality presupposes consolidating collections oriented towards the treatment of an endogamous local memory while a biennial resorts to the adventure and experience of openness. In the system of framing institutional desires, museality would be manicdepressive while bienniality would be the expression of expansive hysteria. Brazilian Bienniality ends up as a phenomenon that has only recently been studied in critical historiography and the analysis of discourses on art, since it has opened the way for the constitution of an object of work, to the recognition of a political institution that marked a modality of treatment between Brazilian art and the art of Hispanic-American countries. Such distinction recovers a factor that is not considered in the study of those relations, namely, the Tordesillas Effect. To be sure, Brazilian art recognizes itself necessarily under the designation of Latin American Art. Biennials reproduce in the symbolic territory the geopolitical and theological distinction between Hispanic and Portuguese as two distinct models of colonial policy. Superimposed as categories to the distinctions between inwards development and outwards development, Hispanic and Portuguese refer to equally distant and differentiated relations between international and regional. Mario Pedrosa questions in his work The Biennial since then (A bienal de c para l) a short text published in 1975 in Mundo, Homem, Arte en crise under the care of Aracy Amaral, in the Debates Collection of Perspectiva Publishing House: Which effects, which repercussions has the series of biennials that succeeded the first one brought to modern art in Brazil? The answer comes right after: Its first result was to break the closed circle in which art activities used to take place in Brazil, liberating them from provincial isolationism. Therefore, it is necessary to study the logics of the formation of the Mercosur Biennial in a particular stage of development for Brazilian capitalism. Established in Porto Alegre, it has been traversed by the desire of de-paulistanization (moving away from its So Paulo origins) of the bienniality and, nonetheless, it had to replicate its expansive model. That was not without it expressing its desire for political recognition through a comparative fiction that leads the capital of a federal state to establish a parity relation to national states in the region. It is no longer about breaking away from an endogamous dynamic, but rather to ensure regional expansion of Brazilian art, which had been looking only upon Europe and the United States. Therefore, the Mercosur Biennial brings us back Brazilian art, displaying it, exhibiting it at the Hispanic border. The hypothesis of the replication of the expansive model has to do with Porto Alegres importing of the paulistana ability to produce biennials. After five biennials, Porto Alegre has been able to absorb and reinvent such experience, so that the production of the Biennial has acquired dimensions of cultural dynamization for the city in a probably unpredicted way. Nevertheless, it has not become a center of attraction and dynamization of regional art. In that, it is possible, the development of the Biennial has been purposely delayed, because otherwise it would make Porto Alegre take regional initiatives that it would not be politically able to sustain. A Biennial like this one, with such a moderate development criterion, totally meets Rio Grande do Sul reasonable expansionism. From the perspective of a non-Brazilian analyst, what has to be understood is that every biennial has an industry tycoon at its origin. In 1951, the improvised gesture of adventurous appearance by Cicilo Matarazzo corresponded to a superstructural decision that, at infrastructure level, was based on a new dynamism that moved So Paulos productive energies. It is thus necessary to re/read Mario Pedrosas A bienal de c para l in order to understand the dimension of my argument that is, in order to understand the infrastructural reasons which allow us to sustain that a biennial only works in cities with a strong tertiary sector. At least in 1950s So Paulo that hypothesis worked out. In 50 years, Brazilian regional capitalism presents particularities that now make us consider finance capitalism as a decisive support in the reproduction of bienniality. This forces us to trigger advanced studies on the economic structure of the state of Rio Grande do Sul
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and on the delusions of its politicians and businessmen with respect to the possibilities of expansion attributable to an economic covenant such as Mercosur. However, the Mercosur Biennial has gone significantly farther than anything Mercosur has been able to achieve in economic terms. It has allowed the construction of a cultural fiction that surpasses the obstructions of custom unbalances of import quota restrictions. The fact to be dimensioned is that the circulation of discourses, works, artists, references, etc, has established Porto Alegre as a site of energy attraction and interchange acceleration in a map under construction. That is precisely a task for the Mercosur Art Biennial Foundation: to establish in its core a study device soon able to build an archive, its own documentation center suitable to the new demands of curatorial studies. That demand cannot be satisfied by the university apparatus, which has its own development logic that sometimes hardly responds to the demands of formal advancement of the contemporary arts several acceleration devices. The Biennial establishes non-academic relations between its objects and recognizes itself as a relative unity of thought. The Biennial has its economic history, which has to be reconstructed as a contribution to the regional circulation of contemporary art, but focused on the value of what Uruguayan artist and thinker Pedro Figari called in early 20th century critical regionalism. That hypothesis was revisited by Jorge Glusberg in late 80s, within a debate on the possibility to assert procedures for regional assurance when his strategy of international placement of Argentinean art had already achieved its largest profits, such as the Itamaraty Award granted by the Group of 13 at the 1977 So Paulo Biennial, for his work Artificial Ecosystems. Twenty years later, in 1997, the 1st Mercosur Biennial was opened. Jorge Glusberg was not the curator of the Argentinean contribution. He probably though he was entitled to the honor for the management of the inscriptive memory of nothing less than Buenos Aires Center for Art and Communication. My hypothesis is believable, since the curatorial diagram of that Biennial somehow displaced the role played by CAYC in organizing a self-legitimating regional platform. Those efforts have focused on the development of the Jornadas de la Crtica de Buenos Aires, which, along the whole of the 90s, gathered the words main critics and curators in that capital. But Buenos Aires would not be the city with the faculty and the ability to assemble a biennial Porto Alegre would. In part because Glusberg channeled his forces to run the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. It is no less important that he would twice attempt to assemble a Buenos Aries Biennial in 2000 and 2002. He made a strategic mistake by not taking into account the elements that were at the very formation of the So Paulo Biennial, such as responding to a specific political and economic context to which the industry tycoons and some core political operators (Ademar de Barros and Janio Quadros) were committed. But he should have known that initially the Biennial itself meant to halt the development of the museum. It is thought that the Biennial comes from a MAM initiative. Judging from the analysis of Mario Pedrosa, Matarazzo and Lourival Gomes Machado were not playing for the same team. Definitely, the museum is a memory device while a biennial is a speculation device in the strong sense of the word. When Jorge Glusberg takes over the direction of the Museo de Bellas Artes de Buenos Aires, he starts his moment of withdrawal. When Frederico Morais produces the concept of the first Mercosur Biennial, he does not take into consideration the conceptual accumulation that Jorge Glusberg had presented in his book Retrica del Arte Latinoamericano; he rather proposes a reconstruction that sees the CAYC experience as one among many, in an attempt to map art/politics relations that wants to rebuild the effects of Marta Trabas discourse. Seen in perspective, the anti-imperialism variable starts playing a new role in South Cone reflection. In a sense, Frederico Morais reproaches the fact that CAYC did not consider that variable in its international opening, which means it de-politicizes the formal projections of CAYC works and points to the recovery of a previous stage in Argentinean art, underestimated by Glusbergs discursiveness, that is, the role played by Tucumn Arde and Alberto Greco in the context prior to the formation of CAYC. However, what was exhibited of Grecos works under Irma Arestizbals curatorship was the 1960s painting. From a certain historical distance, it seems possible to sustain that Frederico Morais project in the 1st Mercosur Biennial was proposed on the affiliation of Marta Trabas discourse. Therefore, that Biennial struggled against Jorge Glusbergs discursive ghost in the reconstruction of an idea of Latin American art, at the risk of going against the tide of what emergent Brazilian critics were beginning to sustain. Nearly a decade has gone by since that 1st Biennial. The 24th So Paulo Biennial prevented Frederico Morais script from being read with dedication and generosity. That Biennial, by setting into circulation the hypothesis of the density of Brazilian art in the international production scene, pointed to disallowing without proposing it straightforwardly all possible approaches of an axis of regional articulation. The open
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disallowing by a great deal of Brazilian critics towards Paulo Herkenhoff s script contributed to the deviation of the very Brazilian approach towards Porto Alegres production. More than that: Porto Alegre should struggle against the reconstructing effect of the Overview of Brazilian Art organized by the So Paulo Museum of Modern Art. Furthermore, it had to stand the cultural assault of a project like Brazil 500 years, which concentrated the discursive energies on a controversy that once again redefined coordinates, no longer of Brazilian art, but rather of the history of images in Brazil from its birth to date. In face of those unavoidable challenges, the Mercosur Biennial kept its cruise course, diplomatically stabilizing its front thanks to Fbio Magalhes steering ahead of the 2nd and 3rd Biennials, opening two lines of work that, although not conceived beforehand, ended up as consistent lines of action. Firstly, the acknowledgement of the Biennial as an intervention device of the city; secondly, the institutional effect of its workings. That is to say that the Biennial, by not having only one location, had to occupy factory and commercial spaces that were no longer in use, increasing the value of areas and buildings that residents themselves had turned their backs on. In fact, that meant turning into a device for inducing urban improvement. On the other hand, the sole existence of the Biennial favored the formation of new private cultural institutions which, nevertheless paradoxically develop public policies. Therefore, the specificity of the Mercosur Biennial was built in total accordance with the inscriptional desires in a city that acknowledged it as a vector for human development, with direct effects to change the life quality of its residents. The 5th Mercosur Biennial makes us rethink its stability and its means of institutional reproduction. The Biennial is not an event that takes place every two years; it is rather a way to ensure the presence of an institutional construction beyond an exhibition. There is an educative platform that should be strengthened and its existence has meant a positive challenge to the system of formal art teaching in schools. But this can be only a mandatory reparatory aspect, which corresponds to a reasonable policy of expansion aimed at distinctly demonstrating the Biennials social usefulness. Therefore, the real effects of its sole existence denote the state of advancement of intrapolitical and economic negotiations of the several agents that constitute the Foundation. There remains no doubt that the Biennials organic effects have been felt in the very makeup of the local art scene. Here I could repeat with a small variation the very words of Mario Pedrosa when he examined the effects of the So Paulo Biennial on the expansion of modern art in Brazil and also on Brazilian modernity. Thus it could be said that the first result of the Mercosur Biennial was to break the closed circle in which art activities in Rio Grande do Sul develop, bringing them out of a provincial isolationism. Therefore, the Biennial should be welcomed as a device to speed up practices and writings, which, in face of the articulation of relations of relative permanence and regional art scenes, was thought to be converted in a point of attraction for a new Latin American art, which started to be produced in the continents South Cone and had a great need for international legitimacy. The aforesaid leads me to suggest comparative studies between the scenes in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Peru within the 1997 context the year of the 1st Mercosur Biennial of Visual Arts. A small but important detail should not be unnoticed: the special invitation for Venezuela, whose art scene had few significant relations with the rest of the South Cone. And that was the logic in inviting Colombia for the second edition that is, the mandatory articulation of relations with scenes whose production was not sufficiently known, considering the knowledge by those scenes of the expansion of Porto Alegre as a key city for the Atlantic region of the South. That perspective certainly allows establishing symbolic relations, from State to state, between Porto Alegre and the remaining capitals in the region as has been underscored. It is partly through the Mercosur Biennials encouragement that the Lima Biennial opens already with four editions and that meant that Peruvian contemporary art acquired relevant international visibility. It was evident that initiatives were raised from the South Cone in order to displace the exclusive legitimacy axis. The Biennial would not be the only institution that contributed to opening that new regional front of problems. In fact, the shipwreck of the Lima Biennial points to how it is not possible to maintain a biennial without the commitment to develop the city that hosts it. And a city is ultimately something more complex than its municipal government. A city is a complex social pact that involves the lives of millions of citizens, in all dimensions of everyday production. The Mercosur Biennial should put together a study center aimed among other things at writing the comparative story mentioned here. It is not only necessary to reconstruct the 1997 context but also to project and dimension the reach of parallel development of the art scenes considered here, which form a
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South Cone art complex. There is no other way to recover such inversion in the territory of criticism and historiography discourse. Even more so when in the last decade new institutional experiences have taken place both at museality level and within initiatives of art self-production in cities like Buenos Aires, Rosario, and Asuncin. That means that Porto Alegre sustains a Biennial thanks to its approach on it, and the one it receives from its immediate international context. Perhaps there resides its major symbolic capital: the fact that it was converted into a real possibility of regional organic legitimation in the context of an international struggle for hegemonic validations of contemporary art. It is still necessary, however, to ensure the conditions of an agreed upon regional circuit that allows flexible museum institutions to understand, in each scene, the connective impulse of the Mercosur Biennial. It is also necessary that the Mercosur Biennial understand the need to support the strengthening of such institutions. To mention only four of them, which would allow articulating the first triangle of transversal recognition: Lima Art Museum (Peru), Museum del Barro (Asuncin, Paraguay), Rosario Museum of Contemporary Art (Argentina), Municipal Museum Juan Manuel Blanes (Montevideo). Nevertheless, we should question the way a biennial puts together a network of museums, all of which represent distinct curatorial interests and have different strengths. In fact, among those that were mentioned, two come from private initiatives and the other two belong to the public domain. With no willful optimistic consideration, the Biennial represents a center of experimentation in the territory of education, assemblage, shared curatorship, political relations, etc The museums I mentioned, each in its respective scene, develop tasks that are not those of a classically organized museum. They are rather museums that have to take on the job of a center for contemporary arts without being so, at the same time that the develop archive policies but are not documentation centers, and organize flexible centers for study and criticism. They are museums I have called migrants, which qualify in the tension between tradition and rupture, between the continuous and discontinuous, in order to ensure the continuity of processes threatened by the ghost of organic drought. The aforesaid should not be understood as a network of museums that received the formal outline of institutional production of a biennial. On the contrary, the Mercosur Biennial, in the region and for the region, was not built as a typical biennial, but rather as an institutional anomaly whose specificity was judged in the assertion of an intervention model of regional art history, whose density allows thinking of strategies to consolidate micropolitical guarantees.
Santiago de Chile, july 2005.

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Latitudinal
Felipe Ehrenberg
[Mexico]

The image-world is the surface of globalization. It is our shared world. Impoverished, thin, mute, dim, and easily misread, this image surface is all we have of shared experience. Otherwise we do not share a world. The task is not to get behind the image surface but to stretch it, enrich it, give it definition, give it time. A new culture opens here upon the line. Susan Buck-Morss

The age of image in the age of perplexity

Creativeness is an unstoppable human impulse. Nothing can stop or hinder the collective imaginary. Humankind will crystallize its visions to make them into some image, whether from the territory of visual arts or in open field, in this wide world. Each dawn we gaze at plethoric horizons of powerful visions, new images created with materials, supports, techniques, and technologies that range from the most archaic to the most up-to-date. Added to the elementary charcoal and all that has followed it are photography, films, video, and virtual digitization. Moreover, aerosol graffiti makes the skin of our cities unique, and the urban community is seen through bus windows, intervened upon and crossed with industrial diamonds; and now cell phone photos! In 2005 alone, 40 billion pictures would have been taken with the televisophone? Our physical spaces are turned into numerous split screens of anonymous and luminous simultaneity. Image had never probed so deeply, so intimately into the most recondite corners of our collective intimacy. Yesterday we used to see the artist as the supreme and sole creator of images. No longer: we had never visualized so much, neither had we submerged under visions created by so many nonspecialized individuals whose images have, each one, their reason dtre: nothing is false, nothing is true, it all goes according to the lens we see through. For at least 52 and a half centuries, artists have related to their fellows in an immediate manner, with no intermediaries. Finished in its authors workspace, the work would go discretely to the domain of the community, temples, and homes of the whole population, from the subject to the monarch. Image illustrated both regional and universal themes the beliefs of the region being understood as universal. Art was endogamous and works were contemplated thanks to knowledge shared by the whole community (that with time we converted into The Public and therefore consumers). The painters and the sculptors ability to reveal visions, its possibilities for epiphany, remained subjected to the limits determined by the
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dominant group in the community. Art was unidirectional. Since there was no other artifice or artificer in the world to create images, artists were judged for their technical dexterity. Their technology was crucial. Therefore, tri-dimensional image went from clay to wood to stone to metal to plastic to mixed materials until it reached installation: plane image went from frescoes to encaustic to the tempera to oil to acrylic. In their eagerness to improve their technology, artists have transited from painting to photography, which gave birth to movies, which gave birth to TV, which gave birth to holography, which gave birth to Photoshop, which will give birth to1 It is about cumulative rather than exclusive knowledges. In art as in medicine: effectiveness is incremented based on increasingly effective tools. Most visual technology we use today rests on foundations invented by artists. Fifteen-century gothic innovator Jan Van Eyck invented oil painting, a revolutionary technological advancement whose usefulness monopolized painting until Mexicos David Alfaro Siqueros invented acrylic painting. Besides its war devices and mechanic scenography, Da Vinci invented the serviette (as well as a machine to wash it); in the meanwhile he discovered the camera obscura, of minimum usefulness until Johannes Vermeer (1632-75). When Eadweard Muybridge invented his Zoopraxiscope projector, the application of techniques, materials and supports was extended beyond art. Unstoppable, image finds increasingly numerous spaces to reach our gaze (including videosculptures and electronic superhighways!): from private and public walls to printed spaces to stereoscopy to silver screen to videomonitor to the spaces so strictly private of cybertechnological communication (see W. Benjamin2 ). The work of Fernando Llanos and Erick Beltrn exhibited in this biennial is to a reasonable extent concerned with such process. The fate of art is inexorable: to bifurcate in order to remain in force: if there is anything according to which we can describe it is its eagerness for inventing in search of change and postulating in search of understanding. By widening its radius of connection in the technical domain, artists deepen the conceptual one as well. Conversion of art into critical mass (the minimum amount of fissionable material needed to cause a chain reaction) widens the distance that mediates between artists and spectators. While the former face the increasingly hard task of sharing their motives with their public, the latter have to ponder around and through the works exposed to their gaze. Nowadays, the arts are exogamic, multidirectional. In the presence of the unusual, community submerges. It starts suspecting that artists no longer fulfil arts primeval reason, that is, proposing, interpreting, and transiting the shared adjacencies. In its perplexity, it sees traditional painters as providers of goods of Pharaonic luxury, while it fears to face the unconventional ones; its suspects of cryptographic languages that seem to refer more to cryptographic languages than to the audiences reality. Artists are seen as impostors: courtesans or peasants. The truth must be said: artists have not changed, they are still persistently in search of dialogue,3 some with plenty of humor, as Franco Aceves Humana points out with his imaginary art critic.
Here, there, hither and thither: global, local, glocal 4 - what is that?

Every society reviews its arts (and its beliefs) in a critical way. Whether sudden or gradual, change is faster when the practice of art is reached by the rules of the game; when criteria established around it are hardened to the extent of hindering or prevent creation. That is when artists seek new balances. It is never easy to attempt against orthodoxy. The weight of the publics opinion (doxa) is such that it tends to become law (or dogma), even if the concepts that sustain shared criteria are erroneous, anachronistic, or imprecise. If in the first half of the 20th century it was hard for European art vanguards to legitimate propositions seen as radical at first sight, for Latin American artists experimentation is still plagued by obstacles supposedly insurmountable, not the least important the most recent threat: a commodity whose voracity converts innovation into novelty (hip becomes hype). The risks are quite familiar. While citizens go on with their lives, in sclerotic public institutions there is proliferation of officials, managers, and promoters who, faithful to Parkinsons Law,5 inhibit original thinking. In their Eurocentrism, unavoidably behind the model, they lose sight of the world map, whose colors correspond to dotted lines. In face of (cyber) communication without borders, their actions implode, and even affect Mexicos international relations.6
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Iberian/Amer/Indians, Franco/Amer/Indians, Afro/Euro/Indian/Nipo/Sino/Americans:


Basque-Purepechas in Erongarcuaro Totonaco-Catalans in Papantla Nhua-ahs in Zacapoaztla Yruba-Fufulds in Panama Argen-Mexicans in Buenos Aires and Mexico Nippo-Lusitanians in Brazil Franco-Canadians in Quebec Cuban-Ricans in New York Yoruba-Galician in Cuba Afro-Hindu? Indians7 in Jamaica ...Serbo-Croatians, Anglo-Saxons and Yugo-Slavian on Newsweek & Time...! De-geographized, the new cartographies are cultural, its spongelike spaces subjected to unprecedented ups and downs: the brutal inequality and racism whose sole origin is capitals polarization; narcotraffic promoted to business corporate practices that lead beyond the highest spheres of government structures; political practices that replace res publica by a demential market-techny, the displacements of individuals and populations and the terror that, as a result of everything that was mentioned before, mobilizes armies and challenges civilians; absolutely everything has an impact on the avatars of culture. Violence degrades the soul and converts our dreams into nightmares. Displaced, relocated... People live imposed proximity. Whether because of exiles or by unstable borders (ultimately the same), the spaces we re-inhabit are surrounded by the chagrin and fear of getting lost, of losing ourselves and our own. They are inclusive spaces, since while preserving traditional values, they mutate with vertiginous speed. It is the space of intimacy to which Nstor Garca Canclini refers, from where Frida Kahlo, Joseph Conrad, Driss Chrabi, Leonora Carrington, Chinua Achebe, V. S. Naipul, Mercedes Ruibal, Ngugi wa Thiongo, Rafael Alberti, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Ulises Carrin, Shyam Selvadurai, Gomez Pea or Lila Downs emerge whose complex lives may go like the readers, or that of our parents or grandparents. The future of globalization, Garca Canclini points out, will be decided by multicultural citizens. Their literary, visual, musical, or cinematographic works respond to the idea that it is in the otherness of art that understanding, even reconciliation, is gestated.8 Intellectual work supports circumstance every time it must be said their voices are heard. The task we all face today creators and the societies they emerge from is to recognize and take advantage of the multidirectional characteristic of the arts and, even more meaningful, to situate ourselves before them, in order to understand.9 Perhaps the only way artists have today for expressing their visions to us is deconstruction, ideation, as Derrida puts it levers of active, strategic and unique intervention. They seek to separate immediate past in order to with their pebbles build a future present, always trying to keep open channels for dialogue. Nowadays, dialogues take place for reasons others than those of yore, under other circumstances, in other spaces!
Vis--vis

Referring to Mexico as land of mestizaje and syncretism or place of the shock of three cultures is just gross Manichaeanism. The costly centralism that governs the political and social life of the whole country inculcates, since school and by all means, nationalistic myths and legends forged by the novo-Hispanic mind even before independence. Its ostentatious pride for past glories of subdued cultures is nonetheless capable of eliminating the buried racism that disdains their present, whose imaginary can only express itself in a limitedly regional fashion or abroad. To prove it, one has only to take a closer look at the poetry and theatre, the dance, arts, and films that emerged from heart of the numerous North American citizenry with Mexican background, many of whom have never even migrated but were victims of border redefinition. The conflicts of an embarrassed mestizaje suppurate cyclically until crisis emerges the most recent one being the Mayan rebellion known as the neo-Zapatist movement. Such moments unavoidably set afire the soul of most artists, especially those expatriated from Mexico. The territory, with the x in its name, has been a crossroads since before the European invasion in the beginning of the 16th century. As a bed for original cultures so distant
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between themselves as Danish and Lebanese, Mexico is crossed lengthwise and widthwise by two large and active East-West and North-South migratory axes. Its cosmologic vision is marked by Catholicism imposed by Iberian invaders and their descendants. As the warehouse of a vast cultural collection, our imaginary feeds from other minority peoples: Lebanese, Sephardis, Basques, Yorubas, Chinese, Gypsies, Italians, Malinkes, Russians, and Germans... All those dreams copulate over the enormous and robust bed, still being woven by our discriminated peoples: Mayas, Purhpechas, Nhuas (from which the Aztec empire emerged), ahus, Wixrikas (Huichol), Mixtecas (Rufino Ramayos origin), Zapotecs (Francisco Toledo), and so many others Since the 1910 Revolution led by Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata (the former being pale and the latter, tan), the heritage of pre-Iberian nations transmits paradigms unavoidable to our arts.10 No Mexican grows up without living with the generous wealth of those multiple aesthetics which, since they have no European origin, are euphemistically called popular culture. Our first nations have been a motive for Mexican art to this day, as brothers Einar and Jamex de la Torre and Mariana Castillo demonstrate, each one in their own way. While the latter (also heir to Ulises Carrion) looks at the spaces of collective unconscious through popular sayings, the De la Torre brothers rejoice in glass weakness to re-crystallize the dearest icons of globalized Mexico. The best synthesis of current contradictions inherent to the international shock of paradigms otherness comes from artist Guillermo Gmez Pea, whose work emerges in the territory lost by Mexico after the unilateral war declared by the United States (1846-1848), which culminated with the seizing of Mexico City. The memory of the enemy flag waving in the National Palace remains in our imaginary, which perhaps makes way for the largest contradiction that befalls the country its vicinity to the USA and which serves as additional fuel for Mexicans eternal search for an identity, and even for their own spaces.11 No wonder architect and artist Pedro Len de la Barra is concerned about the anonymity to which numerous anonymous beings are relocated and expatriated by the globalizing turbulences of economic developmentalism in our continent. The ubiquitous and aggressive presence of the neighbouring country with no name of its own sharpens Mexicans identity conflict:12 having homogenized the ethnic groups under the gentile name of Mexican, English for bandolero, its new gentile name Latin, nobody equals them to very distinct fellow creatures. Having their self-esteem devalued by being compared to the developed world, average Mexicans repudiate their past and seek behavioral models beyond their borders. The conflict is enlarged under the Capitals magnifier a city touchingly provincial and luminously cosmopolitan, the site where most of our artists are formed and from where they seek projection. Even though the search for identity keeps pulsing in a cyclic way, it has ceased to be an obsession and opens way for other concerns within the academic and cultural environment. That is evident in the proposals of Elvira Santamaria, Carlos Amorales, Csar Martnez, Manuel Rocha and Mariana Castillo. For their versatility, it is no easy task to classify in thematic terms the works of artists like Pablo Len De la Barra, Mauricio Guilln, or Pablo Vargas Lugo. In any case, they are artists that deal with universal concerns, New Humanism in the new world, a consequence of globalization of concepts. Their works, extremely exciting, are rich in clues that, whether they want it or not, will be inherited by future generations. Art in Mexico reflects all contradictions that today afflict the arts all over Latin America. Let it serve as a sample of the cases worth studying: a) the experience of our market that leads to the purchase and sale exempt of any fiscal control, to market-technical excesses and laundering of astronomical amounts of money, a consequence of the inability of the State to attend to culture-related subjects in school; b) the increasing use of the English language to define, name, and promote the production of art, which reflects the desperate desire to communicate our ideas in any way possible, even abroad. The first example shows the absence of legislation coherent with the countrys needs, required to regulate the subjects of culture and encourage the arts. The second but not less dramatic ones could be seen as a consequence of the previous ones. To a large extent, the use of English by Mexican artists is a response to the scarce interest in their work by fellow Mexicans with purchase power. The lack of opportunity converts them into trashumants; travelers in search of audience and markets, they travel above all to the US and Europe (Eurocentric internationalization?). That drives them increasingly away from their fellow citizens. It is a fact that Spanish, the worlds fourth most spoken language, is second as a communication tool. Having to use
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English in their dialogues abroad, artists resort to ingenuity. The best definition of our mandatory bilingualism is certainly that of Ulises Carrin, who once tried unsuccessfully to convince Octavio Paz that it is possible to create Mexican poetry writing in English. His first books, seen as seminal, were Arguments and Looking for poetry/Tras la poesia (1973-74, Beau Geste Press, England). Considered as one of the grandfathers of the object-book movement he is in fact an international cult figure he was an artist of artists, and thanks to the efforts of Martha Hellion a larger public is beginning to know his work. Language was Ulises Carrins raw material, noted Ulises Leyva. He explored it and worked on it in a wider field of perception, which transcended visual arts, developing a series of theoretical concepts about the work as a cultural product. His artistic work is a very important contribution to contemporary literature and art The Movimiento Grupal emerges in the 70s from within the sediment left by the great ideological and aesthetical debates that took place in the territory of Mexican modernism. In Latin America, the first ones to move from the studio to the streets in a systematic and collective way might have been Mexicans in 1974. Replacing traditional tools with photocopies, casting, and offset printing, they allowed themselves to be invaded by images in their immediate surroundings and, adapting to street means of production, started to emulate the very design of the street, daily newspapers, posters and commercial labels, even clotheslines and railings. The invasion of the city in its private sphere made them to rethink their relationship to everyday life and investigate how Mexico Citys physical space influenced individuals, both visually and emotionally. A great watershed in the countrys art, the dynamic conceptualism of those groups marks images transition from the plastic age to the visual age (the term visual, which comes to us from English, did not settle in romance languages before the 70s). It is possible to detect, thirty years ago, the design of that impulse, which set the way and opened alternatives for significance to todays art, including the troublesome return to painting, solved with great ingenuity, sharp wit, and sometimes a fine humor by artists like Boris Viskin and Franco Aceves. In a provocative text published in 1994, Teresa del Conde questioned What is todays Mexican art about? 13 Her too generous answer is still valid a decade later. No doubt, there are artists that keep devotedly seeking dialogue with the real public, that is, the Grand Public. We can say that most people would rather seek a specialized audience and therefore, collectionism. We are already far from the violent and Manichean confrontations that marked the 50s, in the middle of the Cold War, when watchful nationalists and foes of vanguard decadence were fighting. The subject of the interlocution escapes ideological mists to be solved in cyberspace. Images supremacy is such that it is increasingly difficult to apprehend it to preserve plastic or visual arts. In face of the intermediability mentioned by Silvestra Mariniello, we find ourselves obliged to consider the tools and devices as suggested by Michael Foucault: they are also elements of a setting available and therefore it is necessary to go beyond the material and the symbolic to consider the potential or transitional space in which devices are not only alienating institutions or tools but rather represent an aspect of the world that corresponds to our inventive disposition.14 Not only tools and concepts proliferate, but artist proliferate as well. Year after year, an increasing number of those coming from an increasing number of schools who are more technologized (less ideologized?) seek their place within a distribution system based on values and criteria that gradually loses effectiveness, which makes us review once again the museums signaling function of which Venezuelas Flix Suazo speaks, which seek to tame works it exposes as well as their meaning....15 Globalisation has turned the information process, telecommunications, and certainly entertainment (including the arts) into the main industry of post-industrial economy.16 In face of polysemy, exegesis monopoly fades away. Nowadays, everyone is able to find the most suitable explanation for any creation art, image or artifact, it seems to matter increasingly less presented to ones eyes. As we knew it, criticism maybe even curatorship fades away. The mystery of the curatorial task reveals itself when the multifaceted wealth of anthology gets in contact with the audiences 1001 minds. It seems to me that what renders celebrated Latin American biennials and, for its special circumstances, this Mercosur Biennial so important is the fact that they can/must encourage the opening of dialogues in romance languages known as a distinct conceptual universe and thus, fertile for other kinds of ideas and concerns.
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The chorus of voices gathered for this 5th Biennial was constituted precisely based on the very particular vision they have over the peoples they inhabit, for the honesty of their proposals, for their dexterity, of course, but especially for their ability to provoke dialogue. Neither courtiers nor commons, perhaps they as well as all artists in the world would be better perceived as buffoons or minstrels, as those beings to whom both the sovereign and the court and the subjects are allowed to show the truth, even if it offends or bothers.

Notes
1 Very soon, any artist will know how to understand and make use of a: six-pipe, 14-CPU Silicon Graphics Onyx2 InfiniteReality2 system, driving six Barco Reality 9300 LCD projectors, double-stacked to deliver front-projected, edge-blended, passive stereoscopic images to a huge cylindrical screen. 2 Walter Benjamin, 1936; Das kunsterk im Zeitalter seiner Technischen Reproduzierbarkeit. 3 Perplexity is general. Public institutions find themselves forced to respond with exhibitions such as Big Bang Destruction and creation in 20th century art; Centre Pompidou, Paris: June 2005-February 2006. The exhibition includes modern and contemporary works, bringing together painting and sculpture, photography, movies, video, architecture, design and literature, confronting the works and the trends since early 20th century until the present. 4 Lucy Lippard; 1997; The Lure of the Local: Senses of Place in a Multicultural Society, The New Press, NY. The influent author mixes cultural studies, history, geography, and contemporary art in order to explore our multiple senses of place. 5 Nothing to do with disease, its paradoxical saying might be summarized as follows: When a company grows, its leaders will try to regulate its internal life by replacing its most dynamic elements whose inventiveness might cause disturbance with personnel whose incompetence guarantees obedience: the larger the company, the higher its anachronism. 6 June 30th, 2005: The issue of a Mexican postal stamp with the traditional comics character Memn Pingun irritates afro-Americans in the US, who say the stamp is racist. Jesse Jackson says that ...Bush should put pressure on Mexico to withdraw it from the market, arguing that it insults people the world over. The White House calls the stamp racist, sentencing: (those) images have no place in the current world. The Mexican government has to take that into account it is totally inappropriate and we have made it clear. The Mexican Postal Service issued five stamps in honor of Mexican popular culture and caricature in the country and its creators. Memn Pingun, an African-Cuban boy with thick lips and big eyes, was created in 1943 in Mexico by Hispanic-Cuban editor Yolanda Vargas Dulch and developed by Hispanic-Mexican Sixto Valencia Burgos. Mexican media were outraged: amidst deep and serious problems such as the guerrilla war in Iraq, the government is concerned about Memn Pinguns stamp... The White House reaction reflects how the power of US press can take any situation out of context and over the true interests of the Mexico-US bilateral relations. 7 With a thousand apologies for using the adjective Indian (indio), which has been turned derogatory. When googling, I was surprised to see that Spanish has been unable to solve its 5-century-old dilemma: the world Indian having been devalued, there remains no word to designate the citizen of India. 8 Nstor Garca Canclini. 1989. Culturas hbridas. Estrategias para entrar y salir de la modernidad , Grijalbo, Mxico. Nstor Garca Canclini; 1999. La globalizacin imaginada, Grijalbo, Mxico Buenos Aires Barcelona. 9 The interesting aspect in the case of rap is that it is not only a cultural movement, it is a symptom, a sign of a geological re-accommodation in society, explains Brazilian sociologist Marcelo Coelho, who has written about culture for the newspaper Folha de So Paulo since 1990. Cited by Bruno Torturra Noguera on Trip magazine, #134, June 2005, pp. 80, SP, Brazil. 10 Guillermo Bonfil Batalla, 1986, La teora de control cultural en el estudio de los procesos tnicos, Anuario Antropolgico, Editora Universidade de Braslia, Braslia Guillermo Bonfil Batalla, 1987, Mxico Profundo: Una civilizacin negada, Secretara de Educacin Pblica y Centro de Investigaciones y Estudio Superiores en Antropologa Social, Mexico. 11 See Vecinos distantes by Alan Riding, and Mxico en la frontera del caos, by Andres Oppenheimer. 12 (So far form God, so near the US....). 13 Teresa del Conde y Enrique Franco Calvo, Historia mnima del arte mexicano del siglo XX; www.arts-history.mx/artmex/ 14 Michael Foucault, 1992, Voluntad del saber, historia de la sexualidad (The will to know The History of Sexuality), Siglo XXI, Mexico. 15 Flix Suazo, El museo contra la polisemia, http://www.museosdevenezuela.org/Documentos/Articulos/RevistaImagen003.shtml ) 16 Ernesto Piedras: The total contribution of culture to Mexicos GNP is 6.7%, so it is crucial for the countrys economy; Cunto vale la cultura? 2005, coedicin SACM - SOGEM, Mexico.

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A disputed zone
The strange places of art at the age of total aestheticism

Ticio Escobar
[P araguay] Pa

Introduction

The starting point for this text is the concept of art and space the core proposal for the 5th Mercosur Biennial. However, it does not intend to develop the curatorial statement of reasons for this Biennial, but rather work on certain issues set in motion by that subject within critical contemporary discussion. In order to do that, it considers the issue of the space of art rather than space in art: its uncertain place within the context of global scenarios. There, the autonomy of the artistic emerges suddenly from between lines: the substance of its own territory submerges before the advancement of invading fronts, pushed respectively by extra-artistic contents and forms. Superimposed, both disrupt the concept of art and refer to the question posed by artistic making about critical possibilities within a scenario aesthetically overdetermined by mass cultures communicative, mercantile, and political multiple logics.
Returns

After the signifiers large modern predominance, a strong counteroffensive of arts thematic, discursive and contextual contents is produced. Suddenly, semantic and pragmatic dimensions acquire an irrefutable presence, which takes place to the detriment of languages hegemony: questions concerning both the real in things (ontological return) and enunciation and reception conditions of the work of art, its social effects (the theme of performativeness) collapse the sphere of art. Therefore, one should consider the return to the narratives, transdisciplinary mixes, the irruption of social contexts, the harassing presence of realities or specters of realities that haunt the previously fortified borders of art and infiltrate their interior, promoting the implosion of the fortress. When art no longer bases its arguments on the pure values of form and gets to disarray circularity and its cloudy fluxes, its neat precincts are healthily contaminated by figures and discourses, texts, questions and statistics from beyond its walls. Other systems of expression and sensibility, signs of remote subordinate, upstart cultures establish themselves in the aseptic cloisters of learned art. And then political themes forbidden by postmodernity come in. At first, they come in smaller format and low profile, with micropolitical themes more related to demands driven by identities than by grand global (or anti-global) causes. Nevertheless, they are gradually projected onto the public space and linked to larger debates that include arts very
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transgressive vocation and redefinition of concepts that seemed to be extinct, such as utopia and emancipation. Also come in reflections corresponding to foreign domains: anthropology, sociology, and psychoanalysis and, increasingly, philosophy itself. And, last, the concern about arts own circuits, its institutional devices, the economy of its distribution and consumption hurries in. All those contents have a discursive meaning and move within the horizon of the concept, raised by the learned project and fulfilled in the modern explanation. Arts modernity culminates in conceptual art: at the highest point of a large self-referential process along which artistic production operates in closed circuit, encouraging the analysis of its own languages. The return of the conceptual the so-called postconceptual is located on yet another side, out of the circle of representation. The concept no longer seeks to identify the pure analytical device, forms ultimate mechanism that gets to click, to produce the flash of meaning it rather corresponds to thoughts, documents, and reports regarding events that take place at the other side and demand to be inscribed at this one. Now, this side is undefined in relation to the other, and it could barely serve as space for inscription if it lacks thickness and contours, if it cannot mark pauses or establish differences in the middle of the mare magnum that sustains the busy traffic that crosses its territory. The mess of contents reveals a central paradox of contemporary art. If limits have been erased, then there is no outside or inside and it is difficult to record something that takes place right there, at no distance. That is to say that once the scene of representation has been dismantled, everything becomes immediate and present, and there is no margin left for the gaze. Once that distance the siege imposed by form has been cancelled, arts images overflow the circle of the scene and come democratically close to other culture forms, to the happening of prosaic realities, to the concrete flow of life, and to the directions of the public scene. But things are not that easy, of course. If art sacrifices the contours of its space, that space is dissolved in the infinite plain of global landscapes. However, it can also undo its profiles within the perimeter of the very institutions of art: especially in the late 90s, there were exhibitions in which it was quite difficult to tell the work from the discourses that completed or supplanted it. The re-emergence of the conceptual promotes not only the hegemony of texts, discourses and narratives, of contents that surpass the borders established by form, but also the reflection about the reach of those limits, that is, the discussion about the contingent status of the artistic: a work can be named art not from the investiture of form, but rather according to its inscription within a specific text, place, a given position of enunciation. And that fact makes the space of art unstable: it makes it dependent upon a historical and pragmatic construction, upon a decision that has performative effects not only over the dimension of the aesthetic but also on that of social practices.
The assault of forms

Together with the first front, the second one advances driven by forms, by a flood of forms, and corresponds to the so-called diffuse aestheticism of todays culture: the wide landscape of (public and private) experience is now loosely designed in the advertisement and media perception of beauty. A soft beauty which, formatted by cultural industries and put together by slogans, logos and brands, takes place above the brutal conflicts that disrupt the dark side of globalization (and which, stylized, serve as melodramatic inputs of the entertainment and spectacle industry). Beauty is seen here in its classic sense of conciliation and harmony: it is not about ignoring the misfortune, but rather formatting it for best consumption; it is about smoothing wrinkles, deciphering enigmas, clarifying, explaining, making the occurrence obvious in order for it to become event. Let the unexplainable awaken curiosity and the brutal excite; let it scandalize a little, without raising new issues. War disasters are not hidden: their impossible background is displayed. That operation, which equalizes dissonances and clears up meaning, is a serious obstacle to arts transgressive vocation.
Indocile agenda

Traditional vanguard strategies, based on impact, provocation, and permanent innovation, are softly taken over by an omnivorous cultural economic system that is able not only to neutralize disobedience but also to feed on it, promote it and demand it, to pay well for its gestures. Therefore, not only perversion is no longer subversive, as Zizek1 points out, but also even more serious subversion becomes productive. The modern utopia of bringing art closer to the masses, of anaesthetizing life, has fulfilled itself, but not as vanguards ethical and political achievement; it was a conquest of triumphant capital. Commodification of culture as well as culturation of the market has caused a world of reconciled images. And that metastasis of the
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bella forma implies yet another damage to the space of art, which today looks bottomless, and can no longer detach its signs from what is on showcases, catwalks, and screens. It can be argued that we should simply accept a change in age-specific paradigms (epistemic, in Foucaults sense): the model of art conceived in vanguard and learned terms, based on autonomy of form and the intense encounter with the work would have been, at last, replaced by modalities of massive and light reception of design, advertisement, and communication. Out present asks art to provide new roles that now depend on the needs of pan-capitalism. As Heinrich Fseli would put it crudely, back in the late 18th century: In a religious vein, art generates relics; in a military one, trophies; in a commercial one, commercial goods.2 Therefore, the age of critical, exclusivist, and minority-oriented art had been cancelled in the altars of the democratization of aesthetic consumption. According to that premise, Benjamins prognosis of the death of the aura has been fulfilled and the distance that isolated the work of art and dramatically and deeply appealed to the receptors subjectivity was cancelled. However, once again, things are not that simple. Hyper-aesthetizing cannot cover certain experience zones that todays culture maintains stubbornly qualified. More than zones, they might be borders and margins, extremes that constitute lines of conflict and negotiation, sometimes trenches, around which positions and agreements are disputed, truces or adjustments are reached. It is clear that, for several motives driven by distinct positions, sometimes opposed, Western culture is not willing to throw out its critical and learned tradition. A venerable heritage that warrants some with the continuity of an emancipatory horizon and means, for many, the validity of a profitable material for cultural industries and the persistence of sectors that keep stubbornly consuming their products, as well as the emergence of new targets, users of sophistications and extravagances. In fact, the art with learned affiliation continues. And it does so both in its vanguard and experimental versions and its academistic version (bel canto, classic ballet, fine arts in general).
A tribute to the vanguard
Join the smaller group Goethe

Such survival certainly expresses the promiscuous character of a scenario prone to mixing multicultural references. The current hybrid, definitely impure landscape is constituted after matrices that mix premodern, modern, and contemporary configurations: figures, images, and concepts from popular (indigenous, mestizo-peasants, popular-mass), learned, techno-media culture, as well as that applied to industrial design and advertisement. Cultures critical impulses those that discuss the limits of established meaning and challenge the stability of social representations are able to express themselves within any of those configurations, impacting on the other, and thus changing, if minimally, the intricate provisional map of the whole cultural situation. Nevertheless, some formations could have better opportunities to assume those impulses than others. The advertisement and mass media rhetoric is too limited by the instrumental logic that conditions each of its moves and subtracts the whole margin from the gratuitous, the excessive, and the unexplainable. Design, fashion and, by and large, applied arts indisputable providers of artistic inputs in any culture have forgotten in this one the reasons of ritual bonds and obscure social meanings, indifferent to the logic of the profitable. Determined by the purposes of consumption, they seem to be entitled only to the soft side of beauty: they seem to have closured the moment of the question. Therefore, derangement becomes extravagance, a glamorous whim that coquets with the border without crossing it. In this domain, there might be possibilities to transgress the code. Perhaps in the domains hegemonized by new advanced capitalism certain creators operate within a margin of autonomy from the industries of communication, design and advertisement; an interstice where the form/function opposition obeys the impulses of desire or assumes the uneasiness of beauty, its other flank, that which steals the last figure. But those situations have constituted rare instances: as Perniola points out, in the vaporous seductive terrains of advertisement, information, and fashion, the imaginary blurs the radical call of the real.3 Therefore, although it finds itself seriously committed to the triumphal becoming of mass culture, the old vanguardist modern model seems to be, if not less exposed, better positioned to shelter principles of resistance in the context of that complicated map. Its very history has given it contesting experience: it emerged precisely from the mission of occupying a distinct place, of working out the moment of alterity,
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suspecting its own representation devices and imagining other becomings. It would reveal not only innocence but also bad faith, but the effort to carry it out has granted many art practices a certain dissident dexterity and, in its best cases, got to precipitate some thick productions and mark sharp signals of possible vanishing lines, alternative pathways. On the other hand, even though art increasingly sees its circuits trimmed by the logic of mass spectacle, its minority tradition not only has led it to aristocratizing exclusiveness, but has also allowed it to protect dark zones of collective experience, mobilize historical imaginaries, and complexify the matrices of social sensibility. Thus, besides denouncing the elitism of vanguards, their authoritarianism and its redemptive vocation, their fruitful moment should be restored and their valuable contribution recovered. That restoring operation could invoke the minority and particular character of art, by sustaining itself on the acknowledgement of differences proclaimed by our present. In the same direction that works of distinct meaning are admitted in the uneven fields of todays culture, culture-producing minorities, in the words of Juan Acha, should be considered not as having the final key, representing social totality, and as guides to the right path, but rather as alternative sectors that act in parallel to the many others that animate the culture scene and the hegemonic forces that lead it. From its disperse places and its plural investitures, they are once again able to make predicting bets, even though those bets no longer intend to save history or point out its true direction, but rather keep open spaces for question and suspension that promote meaning (contingent) moves. Reconsidering the vanguardistic leads us to two questions. The first one reminds us that critical minorities of art must face the challenges of any minority: to break free from sectarian closure and seek articulations with other sectors about the horizon of public space. The second one demands the deconstruction of certain resounding figures such as vanguard, emancipation and utopia. To be able to justify their presences forbidden by postmodernity, they must resign to their substantialist origins and be seen as chance historical products. Then they would be able to keep qualifying for a certain necessary moment of suspension, a certain postponing device, which obstructs the figure of reconciliation proposed by the ubiquitous eclecticism of the trans-markets.
The vanguards of the South

In fact, despite the proclamation whether with nostalgia or enthusiasm of the mix of all aesthetic forms, there is no doubt that erudite modalities survive, fiduciaries of grand art. And even though many of them circulate through media channels and mass circuits, the traditional art system remains side by side or entangled with the other conformations that imposed themselves on the landscape of contemporary culture (industrial design, advertisement, culture industries, information and communication technologies, new forms of mass-popular culture: all of which are intermingled figures not very distinguishable from one another). It is obvious that, in order to survive, that system had to re-accommodate its institutions to the libretti of hegemonic cultural logic and, as a result, share quotas with the market and withdraw sometimes to the point of its dissolution. However, in one aspect or in the middle of the spectacularizarion of megamuseums (the Guggenheim effect), the fairization of biennials, and the mediatization of images, alternatives spaces or marginal practices survive in the opposite way to what has been agreed upon. In peripheral regions local art is not profitable enough in terms of transnational market, so that its production takes place with certain autonomy from power centers (at the cost of precariousness and lack of institutional support). Although no figure of identity isolation is sustainable today, it is not convenient to neglect certain specific characteristics acquired by the specialized traditional system of arts (galleries, museums, criticism, publications) as immediate detached from transnational networks. Out of any temptation to salute the penuries of isolation and to condemn massification, and beyond any fantasy that aspires to be out of market hegemony, there is no doubt that, at the same time that it postpones conveniences, such marginality opens possibilities for alternative practices. The very low budgets of museums, shows, and editions necessarily entail serious limits, just as the lack of interest of the media and the lack of support by business and the State towards local production. However, parallel to that, those pernicious effects cause certain secondary benefits, not only derived from the larger independence towards the productivist logic that acts on the global institution-art, but also from the extra ingenuity and inventiveness demanded by the scarcity of means (the advantages of adversity, as Toynbee would point out). That fact

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determines yet another characteristic typical of cultural making developed in peripheries: the need to construct an institutional web, as well as to demand that the State fulfill its culture-related obligations. State management must not only guarantee the enforcement of cultural rights but also develop public policies that guarantee the continuity of minorities that produce local culture in face of the overwhelming expansion of communication and mercantile models in the transnational mass culture. The situation just described has two basic consequences on the path of critical art developed in Latin American peripheries. Firstly, it wraps that art in the task of constructing the local, but also regional and, in principle, global public sphere and, consequently, forces it to be linked to the constitution of an effective citizen-oriented space (fundamental actions for democratic consolidation in the continents socalled South Cone, in face of which contemporary art cannot be indifferent). Secondly, it takes it away from a certain Euro-American trend towards basing critical strategies of art on the aggression to the very institutions that channel it. It turns out that challenging the art system makes little sense in regions that lack rooted institutionality in that field institutionality that partly rather requires to be warranted and built rather than destroyed. That is why part of the challenge raised from peripheral places, rather than refusing local art institutions lacking in power and solvency adds itself to the directions that seek to detach themselves from generalized flat aestheticism and recover the conceptual tension and the poetic nerve that could make them distinct.
Art under suspicion

The flood of light forms as well as foreign contents that the art domain is undergoing is a condition or a consequence of the loss of its autonomy. Artistic production is no longer separated from the complicated actions engendered by the social and that confusion seriously disrupts the concept of art, based on the fatal dysfunction between content and form and the predominance of the latter. Liberated in their forces, crossed in their actions, contemporary arts content orientation and aestheticist formalism that invades it attack that concept from both flanks and displace the balance of the basic notes from which it is constituted. In logical terms, any concept is defined by the interplay of its comprehension (the notes that make up its content) and its extension (its reach, the amount of objects it refers to). Both moments are reversely related: the larger the comprehension, the smaller the extension. That is, the larger the quantity of notes in a concept, the lower the number of objects it is restricted and applied to its extension decreases. And viceversa. It turns out that when arts extension is infinite, the requirements that define it (its comprehension) tend to disappear in order for all objects to be able to enter. (In Hegelian terms, the abstract universal Being corresponds to Nothing). According to an anecdote, not very serious in its sources, but believable and suggestive, a fancy intellectual lady told Oscar Wilde that the world would be marvelous if it were all poetry. It would be horrible, replied the writer, there would be no poetry. If everything were art, nothing would be able to differentiate itself in order to really be art. Aestheticism displaces the space of art and leaves with in place. The characteristics of art, based on the distance imposed by form, are diluted when form allowed everything to come too close. That is the dilemma of art spaces, the challenge to be faced by contemporary artistic production while it does not accept the death of art. Because this could have been a way out. In fact, it had been proposed since Hegel as a possibility to name the radical change that has been incubating modernity since Kant. But no: art goes on and we have to name it. Contemporary anti-aestheticism is a reasonable reaction. A way to warrant art its own space could consist of the establishment of a parallel terrain, different from that governed by aesthetic form. That option constitutes one of the dominant trends. Modern art certainly challenged a concept of beauty based on the canons of taste, style, and harmony, but has never (or almost never think of Duchamps way) abandoned the privileged perspective of aesthetics based on the hierarchy of disciplines, retinal perception, and formal reconciliation. Nowadays we tend to consider the value of a work more for its social performativeness, its orientation towards the real, and its narrative and conceptual thickness than for its technical or compositional qualities or what it adds to genres or trends. The problem resides in that the most radical anti-aestheticism ends up coinciding again with content orientations: the deficit of form produces an abusive increment of contents, a dispersion that is the mirror image of formalism. In that case, again the characteristics of art are diluted and its fora are lost: without the distance of form, that surrounds a minimum space, works are dissolved in ideas, in

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documents, in personal biographies, in political protest, in pastiches of exotic ritual or literary text. In the context of contemporary thinking, it would be possible, if not to solve an issue that will be seen precisely as unsolvable, to mobilize it and to promote provisional sites from where to consider the concept of art not as an essence, but as a historical construct. It is not about canceling the form/content opposition, but rather establishing it as a contingent tension that escaped from the script of a priori concepts and forcible fates. When both terms are disconnected from each other and let loose out of the framework of a fatal dysfunction, one and the other are left oscillating, freed from the eventual character of unpredictable games: litigious, alliances, and disagreements that promote causal movements and uneven projects. If no posture is predetermined in the uncertain domains of culture, it will be even less in the open fields of art. Derrida works out a powerful concept that can drive the course of this reflection as well as many others that circulate in todays thinking: that of the parergon. That figure challenges the conception of frame as a window of representation, as the insurmountable door of the space of art, a limit separating, cutting the image off its context, the inside from the outside: that which belongs to the intrinsic domain of the work and what ends up indifferent, contextual, or accessory. The parergon is unspeakable: half work, half out of work,4 it does not seek a synthesis between the inside and the outside, but it is rather located in the place of the betweenboth and therefore enables a zone of oscillation, a wrinkle that postpones the plain presence and prevents the plain closure. The place the nonplace where the figure of the parergon brings to us allows destabilizing not only the cloister of the physical framing of the work and the fixedness of the space of representation, but also the institutional forms of framing: the circuits and discourses that sustain the art system and enclose its space. And that stance is suitable to discuss the concept of art based on the opposition between its own noncontaminated inside and a threatening outside; to deconstruct the disjunction installed between the eagerness for totally erasing the frame (diffuse aestheticism) and that for definitely closing it (autonomy of art). From that challenging, floating stance, it is possible to postulate the construction of arts own spaces, spaces for dispute, never to be definitely conquered, always to be trespassed by figures and discourses coming from the other side, projected to historys fortuitous terrains added to the somber climate of the real. The concept of art based on the form/content antinomy can no longer be sustained. On the one hand, form is no longer the rubric of meaning; on the other hand, content has lost the function to lever presence, to call truth. The essential pact having been dissolved, both moments slide from their posts and face each other in fights that should be assumed as long as they are considered contextual. And which will never be able to be entirely worked out. In the remnant left open by such never-solved dispute, new spaces can be opened, always provisional, where art works out its expedients. Spaces that act more like precarious sites and bulwarks than as feuds or enclaves. Spaces with no clear limits, not marked by walls, but rather punctuated by transits, by hurried steps, by fast positions of new vanguards (of the same vanguards of always) which know, which should know, that there is no longer inside or outside, it is all bad weather or it is all cave, and that each step to be gained in the search for meaning is played blindfold, with no preestablished north and over a limit that closes nothing.

Notes
1 2 3 4

Zizek, Slavoj. El frgil absoluto, Pre-textos, Valencia, 2002, p. 38. Cit. in Jos Jimnez, Teora del arte, Tecnos/Alianza, Madrid, 2002, p. 191. Mario Perniola. El arte y su sombra, Ctedra, Coleccin Teorema, Madrid, 2002, p. 26 ff. Jacques Derrida. La verdad en pintura, Paidos, 2001, p. 130.

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Space and region in contemporar y art contemporary


A historical, political and cultural approach

Gabriel Peluffo Linari


[Uruguay]

Aesthetic and political spaces in the Luso-Rioplatense region

During the talks that followed the process preparing the 5th Mercosur Biennial, General Curator Professor Paulo Sergio Duarte mentioned what he considered a common characteristic of the art produced in the region of the La Plata River until well into the 20th century, as a result of the heritage left by Hispanic visual culture as opposed to the art supposedly produced in Brazil, as a consequence of Portuguese heritage he considered deprived of the cultural complexity and density seen in the rest of the Iberian Peninsula. However, such comment, certainly interesting and disputable, would bring into the debate the issue of aesthetic spaces as zones of symbolic construction, tributaries of political power spaces since colonial times. Following that argument, it would be possible to map the kinds of aesthetics predominant within the elites of this Latin American region since the 19th century, considering the close link they maintained to the corresponding elites in political power until early 20th century or to political groups that grew under leftwing ideological references after 1930. In the case of Brazil, such mapping gets more complicated since the cultural heterogeneity spread over a particularly diverse territory Comte had already warned that homeland, in order to fulfill its mediating role between family and humankind, cannot have an excessively large territory generated subregional distances and complicities that overflowed the political-territorial borders of the imperial state and had consequences on the republican cultural process of the federative State. The idea of considering the Portuguese and Spanish heritages as determinants for regional art might overlook the fact that the matrix period for the gestation of an art that serves local political elites starts in early 19th century, with strong French influences during Brazils monarchy as opposed to the colonial baroque heritage and with predominant Italian influences in the case of the La Plata River region. Trans-culturation processes introduced by early modernity in the countries of the region by a series of operatives of reconversion of cultural capital imported from Europe redistributed that capital socially and geographically so that the primitive colonial map of art in the region is radically erased. National intellectual elites that would gradually become the receptive support for European influences and agents of their local readjustment modeled increasingly autonomous aesthetic spaces, that is, less and less tributaries of State political space. Nevertheless, those aesthetic spaces would still serve well to the political construction of national imaginaries during the whole first half of the 20th century. But they will do it even
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though the regions intellectual complicities and reciprocities are unquestionable through processes that are relatively limited to the national territorial borders during that period. The first significant contacts between agents of Rio Grande do Suls intellectual field and certain sectors of politicized Uruguayan artists take place around 1952, when a few designers and painters from Montevideo establish contact in Bag with Glenio Bianchetti and Glauco Rodrigues, who had just founded the Bag Print Club, which will be taken as the model for founding the Montevideo Print Club in 1953. Although the political and the aesthetic spaces are redefined after the War and Portinari will be one of the core agents of such redefinition of aesthetic realism in the Portuguese/La Plata River area the MontevideoBag connection opens a specific relationship in that region between those two kinds of spaces, based on prints technical-political resource. In parallel, there emerge, in that geographic area, a series of expressions that despite being somehow displaced in time and space, mark, as a whole and in the precarious regional relations they encourage, a historical moment for regions concrete art. The abstract-concrete art in the La Plata River area has its first point for irradiation of ideas in Montevideo with Torres Garca, but takes on a character of group production in Buenos Aires, with a conflictive relationship to Constructive Universalism since its beginning. It comes at no surprise, then, that Toms Maldonado founder of the movement Arte Concreto Invencin in Buenos Aires had written in 1946 his renowned statement Torres Garca against modern art. Therefore, concretism in the region is born linked with the concept of invention in art, but is also born under the sign of the Perceptist Manifesto of Ral Lozza, to whom the work of art would be a material object in itself and to itself; an object of perception, a pure appearance. Argentinean magazine Arturo (1944) expressed those tensions between the objectual invention and the visual event, where Uruguayan Carlos Mara (Rohd) Rothfuss proposed the work of frameless canvass in an article called The frame: a problem in todays art. He sustains that the rectangular frame is a remnant from the window typical of Renaissance painting, and only when it has the form imposed by the works inner structure it reaches the value of concrete spatial limit. Rhod Rothfuss proposes an object that determines its own outer limits from within as support for art. That relationship between inside and outside the work is a capital matter for regional concretism, and was also the focus of Lygia Clarks and Helio Oiticicas concerns, and is implicit in Lozzas Perceptist Manifesto as well as, somehow, in Ferreira Gullars concept of non-object. Concretism in the area has its Brazilian counterpart in the early works of Lygia Clark, Judith Lauand or Geraldo de Barros. The interesting point is that the concrete artist emerged before the aesthetic space of political neo-realism as a detached individual for illustrating in face of an art correlate technological progress and its processes of logical abstraction. Nevertheless, among the forgers of such aesthetic space there was plenty of militants of the very political space from which social realists fed. In fact, concrete artists appeared as interested in the social community as any of their admirers of politicized realism. That can be seen both in the concern of the interventionist movement for placing the artist in everyday lifes material production and in the interest displayed on social relations between art and mental pathologies. In Brazil, geometrical artists from the early period such as Mavigner and Serpa had worked during the 40s in the program art and therapy at Rio de Janeiros D. Pedro II Psychiatric Institute. In Argentina, the concrete group starts its first experiences in the gatherings it promoted over psychoanalyst Enrique Pichon Rivires home he was a socialist that studied relations between art and madness. In Uruguay, in turn, Mara Freire had begun her exploration on abstract art and its borders with concrete art based on the collective experiences she conducted after 1945 with her students at the school at Colonia del Sacramento. Those facts confirm that the gestation of geometrical abstractionism and concretism in the region took place under conditions that provided new ways of sharing aesthetic experiences. That sharing advanced united towards strengthening the critical awareness in the historical moment of a definitive separation in the region between the meaning of aesthetic spaces and the ideological character of political spaces.
Criticism and self-marginality of art in contemporary cultural space

The process of late capitalist economy does not refer only to a logic of circulation and appropriation of material goods within the framework of consumption society, but also to a power structure based on

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appropriation of intelligence by administrative apparatuses of financial capital and global business people. The core commodity of that system is the knowledge resulting from appropriated intelligence (creative people are increasingly at the service of companies that own intellectual property), concentrated in the resources of military, biogenetic and informational technology. The co-called information society is but the visible aspect of communicational flows that respond to that power structure. There is a blind logic that guides the plots of political decisions, based no longer on Instrumental Reason aligned to parameters of the industry as it used to be so in Max Webers times but rather on an informational infrastructure aimed at serving an economy that galvanizes and manages in its own favor the useful thinking (or strong thinking), applied to fast changes both in the destructive reaches of military power and in the transforming potential that planetary biotechnology is able to develop. Such reductive (in terms of extension) process of human abilities in order to (intensively) apply them to the production of a certain range of knowledge that is subsidiary to global business culture increasingly superimposed to the old political-territorial and ethnic-social cultures is one of the core characteristics of the so-called postmodernity and one of the determinants of the crisis of classic humanist tradition. That is a general crisis in which we must include that of the place of art as topos of a possible social redemption, as it considered itself able to critically and epistemologically counter the fundamentalism of Instrumental Reason. In fact, the international system of contemporary art the legitimating infrastructure and specific context of that type of production can be seen as a historical survivor necessary for the global business culture as it welcomes representation and symbolization strategies able to complement the inner dynamics of that culture, which, converted into hidden consciousness of capitalisms destructive drives, finds in the art system a channel to discharge the moral and institutional stimuli of self-blaming. The ghost of such blame is located together with the economic profit of artistic culture at the basis of any chance for concordatio between global business culture and an internationalized art field, which, of course, also has its own market rules. Nevertheless, such field (in a broad, not strictly Bourdieuian sense) is constituted from that set of art practices that, since they keep a relative autonomy from discourse, have not yet been absorbed by the purposes inherent to the global business culture, even when those practices leave, as they have been doing since the 60s, the very formal and procedural operations of the pursue in order to make their own critical strategy. This need for the existence of an art field, seen from that business culture, is not the same need experienced by individual and institutional agents (artists, curators, historians, art universities, research museums, etc) that promote, through art, a production of an other knowledge whose otherness is measured especially by its opposition to the hegemonic production of technical-instrumental or political-business knowledges. Therefore, both needs are related under the double expedient of coincidence and conflictiveness. Because what results favorable to possible agreements the fact that one party sometimes requires the others economic power and this other, the symbolic status provided by the former also confirms deep differences: the knowledge production cultivated by both fields of intellectual activity without neglecting the fact that the power relation between the two is totally asymmetrical are teleologically different productions. It might even be said that they are productions that belong to models for interpreting the world and existential projects that are essentially conflictive. The linguistic specificity and self-referential character of contemporary art is an integral part of that epistemological marginality assumed in face of the power acquired by that other sphere of knowing: that of applied technocratic knowledge. That is, it is part of the awareness of its historical failure as a support of an individual and collective redemption project conceived in early modernity. The fact that contemporary art withdraws to its own inner time and over ancient remnants of a visual and conceptual knowledge of cumulative sort allows it to be the bearer of a peculiar critical dimension of culture, even when such dimension has no programmatic meaning in itself. It does that in face of the power acquired to manage a certain time and a certain knowledge, which is strange or marginal to the global business culture of postmodernity. In that culture, permanently updated time and thinking prevail. They nurture their own self-complacent cognitive dynamics as opposed to accumulated time and thinking, which provide what is needed for producing critical knowledge. Art practices says Justo Pastor Mellado act where other forms of knowledge have given up. Human sciences in Hispano-America have given up. They have not been defeated. They have given up in order to ensure their own conditions of knowledge as producers of inputs for an industry of governance conditions that sees globalization as its guarantee and its legitimacy, as a new form of subordinate democracy.
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It may be thought that art institutions in our Latin American countries can find their social place and its ideological role as they contribute for defining a center of production of critical knowledge and an opening of interpretive models in dialectic opposition (not to mention a linear opposition of simple counterdiscursive sort) to the center of appropriation of convergent intelligences that hegemonizes global businesspeoples economicist and technocratic culture. Contemporary art assumed such contradictio (not completely separated from its historical origins) as one of its constitutional aspects, since in it resides the search for meaning carried out by distinct symbolic practices that struggle in late capitalism world cultural order, euphemistically called postcolonial by First-World academy.
Space, place, and context in the regions art

In a recent letter, Costa Rican curator Virginia Prez Ratton told me the following: now there is a permanent circulation of artists and projects in the region; no one thinks of working in the provincial domain of national circuits fortunately, that belongs to the past artists, musicians, and art people in general rather conceive their projects as signs of regional inclusiveness, and I see that as a decisive factor for the construction of the PLACE, of a space proper for confrontation and legitimation, malgr tout le monde By mentioning that problem of the place of art in our current societies and the discourse of place in contemporary art we are compelled to rethink the notion of context, which has incorporated other dimensions that transcend the territorial, and make it more complete as a sociological and cultural category. The redefinition of the idea of context brings with it a redefinition although a provisional and instrumental one to explain our point of view of the very notion of legitimation in the field of art. An issue that underlines those considerations is that the context of art and the artist is no longer, also in our countries, the social topos in which it had traditionally nested, and has become the system of discourses of specialized speakers, no matter where they are in the world. Furthermore, it can be said that todays art and artist travel along their own context. That traveling context symbolically acquires definition and density among other things, in a catalogue format. Therefore, the written and theoretical corpus replaces the social body as arts interlocutor (although never entirely). On the one hand, that partial dislocation and ubiquity of the art context favors the dynamics between local, regional, and global circuits; on the other hand, it creates a tension to which art practices find themselves subjected, between international visibility and the need for local insertion a tension that is translated as ethical and political dilemmas for the artist. That leads us to the second aspect pointed out: the current possibility that art might function as an identity-building tool, that is, building communities of meaning and therefore social fabric. On the one hand, it is able to build or strengthen micro-group identities at local level and, on the other, as it is absorbed by international-scale market circuits, it is able to conform through specific mediators a select audience within the new global middle class. That is yet another expression of the double tension we underlined before, the tension that defined whether or not art could be an effective agent of cultural criticism (which nowadays cannot be seen but as a self-criticism of the system through art). Therefore, it is not possible to set aside the fact that art practices derived from Latin American regional imaginaries during most of the 20th century have been at once aesthetic practices, conceptualization exercises, and political criticism, as well as mechanisms for group identification. That Latin American conceptualist tradition, which by and large does not render accounts to the theory of materialization of art, is the current credit of those regional art practices in order to develop their critical ability and their habits of collective insertion, aimed at articulating languages and sew social fabrics whose weaving has been damaged or destroyed. Currently, at local and regional scale, the critical dimension potentially implicit in art starts by institutional instrumentalization of new possibilities for local and regional social interlocution. The conquest of such relational spaces constitutes a first cultural criticism gesture in face of the inertia of institutions inherited and the atavist conformism of markets. It is thus in that sense that we see it necessary to claim the regional links between institutions dedicated to the formation and exhibition of collections, to the theoreticalanalytical formation, historical investigation, and art production itself. Our cultural and art institutions acting in parallel to market circuits should be somehow antiinstitutional; they should have a policy of permanent self-criticism for their own permanent formation, thus generating antibodies against cultural rumination.

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It is essential to guide the institutional task towards the construction of archives of primary sources for historiographic work, updated archives of contemporary production and musealisation for curatorial training, of new scenarios for theoretical debate, of non-competitive experimental microspaces for art production and exhibition, and towards encouraging communicational practices such as those carried out today in our countries by several youth groups that act as guerrilla fighters that harass the institution of art from relational social practices (a rereading on situationism). In distinct ways, the consolidation of that institutional weft would tend to compatibilize local configurations of identity and social inclusion, in face of their active place in the cultural dynamics of globalization.

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Cecilia Bay Botti (1962, Bolivia) Graduated in Social communication from Bolivian Catholic University. She holds a postgraduate diploma in Art Criticism from La Pazs Santo Toms de Aquino University. Having directed the Casa Museo Nuez del Prado in La Paz for seven years, she now heads the Oxgeno Galery in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. She is an Adviser to the Cultural Foundation of Bolivias Central Bank. She has been a columnist for the La Paz newspaper La Razn and an art curator for ten years. Eva Grinstein (1973, Argentina) Graduated in Communication Sciences from the School of Social Sciences, UBA Buenos Aires University, and is a member of the Argentinean and the International Association of Art Critics. From 1994 to 2000 she was the art critic for the newspaper El Cronista (Buenos Aires, Argentina). In 2002-2003 she was a member of the Arts Department of Casa de Amrica (Madrid, Spain). In 2004, she was curator of the Argentinean contribution to the PR 04 Biennial (San Jos, Puerto Rico). She currently heads the Visual Arts area of the Rojas Culture Center UBA (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and is a correspondent of magazines Art Nexus (Colombia), Flash Art (Italia/USA), and Arte Contexto (Spain). Felipe Ehrenberg (1943, Mexico) Neologist, is a co-founder of Beau Geste Press (Inglaterra, 1968-1974). A charter member of the Grupo Proceso Pentgono (mid-1970s), he was a key figure of Mexicos Movimiento Grupal. Co-curator of FLUX-Shoe , traveling exhibition of the Fluxus movement; curator of Frente a frente y da por da, first MEX/USA border exhibition; Amrica en la mira ; Testimonios de Latinoamrica ; Cuerpo y cosmos , international traveling exhibition of pre-Columbian art. As an essayist and columnist, he shares seminars about experimentation in art, cultural promotion and, especially, about the artists professional administration. Appointed member of the National System of Creators (1993-99); Fulbright Foundation, Guggenheim, Perpetua Award, Femirama Award. Since May 2001 he has served as Mexicos cultural attach to Brazil. Gabriel Peluffo Linari (1946, Uruguay) Graduated from University of the Republic. He is an investigator of Uruguays as well as Latin American art, with publications, courses, and seminars about the subject since 1985. He has been the curator of historical and contemporary art exhibitions. He was a scholarship holder at John Simon Guggenheim

CURA TORS AT

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Foundation in 1995 and took part in conference groups as scholarship holder of the Rockefeller Foundation (1994-2003). He is a Member of Uruguays National Letters Academy and since 1992 he is director of the Montevideos Municipal Museum Juan Manuel Blanes de Montevideo. Gaudncio Fidelis (1965, Brazil) Was born in 1965 in the town of Gravata, Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil). He graduated in Arts at the Arts Institute of the Federal University of Rio Grande Sul (UFRGS), Brazil. He holds a Master of Arts Degree from New York University (NYU) and is a Doctoral Student at State University of New York (SUNY). He served as director of Rio Grande do Suls Visual Arts State Institute (IEAV) and was a founder and first director of the Museum of Contemporary Arts of Rio Grande do Sul. Fidelis was the curator of IEAVs Contemporary Brazilian Art Series. Jos Francisco Alves (1964, Brazil) Was born in 1964 in Sananduva, Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil). He holds a Masters Degree in Art Theory, Criticism and History from the Arts Institute of the Federal University Rio Grande Sul (UFRGS), Brazil. Alves is a Specialist in Management of Cultural Heritage from ULBRA. He served as director of Rio Grande do Suls Visual Arts State Institute (IEAV) and the Museum of Contemporary Arts of Rio Grande do Sul. He was Coordinator of Arts at Porto Alegres Municipal Department of Culture. He is a teacher at the Free Studio of Porto Alegre Municipal Government. Justo P astor Mellado (1949, Chile) Pastor Graduated in philosophy from Chiles Pontifical Catholic University. He holds a Masters Degree and a Diploma of Advanced Studies from Provence University (France). He is now the director of the School of Visual Arts and Photography of the UNIACC University (Santiago de Chile). He headed the School for the Arts of the Pontifical Catholic University. He was the curator of Chilean art contributions to biennials of So Paulo, Lima, Cuenca, Lieja, among others. He wrote several essays about Chilean art and contemporary Latin American art. Paulo Sergio Duarte (1946, Brazil) Was born 1946 in Joo Pessoa, Paraba (Brazil). He is a researcher and professor at the Center for Applied Social Studies (CESAP) at Rio de Janeiros Candido Mendes University. He projected and established the Brazilian Contemporary Art Space (Espao ABC) at Funartes National Institute for the Arts in 1979, 146

having headed the institution from 1981 to 1983. During that period, he was the chair of the National Commission for the Arts. He was the first director of Pao Imperial/Iphan between 1986 and 1990. He teaches Art Theory and History at the Parque Lage School of Visual Arts in Rio de Janeiro, and is a member of the council of curators of Porto Alegres Iber Camargo Foundation. He is the author of several books and essays on modern and contemporary art. Ticio Escobar (1947, Paraguay) Is a curator, art critic and culture promoter. He is director of Indigenous Art Museum, Center for Visual Arts (Asuncin, Paraguay). In 1991-96 he was Culture Director of the City of Asuncin. In 1998 and in 2003 he chaired the Paraguayan Chapter of the International Association of Art Critics. Since 1984 he has received several distinctions for his work, the last of which the Bartolom de las Casas award of Casa de Amrica, Madrid, in 2004. He has 10 titles published about indigenous, popular and contemporary art, including Una interpretacin de las artes visuales en el Paraguay. Two volumes, 1982 and 1984, El mito del arte y el mito del pueblo, 1986, La belleza de los otros (arte indgena del Paraguay) 1993, La maldicin de Nemur. Acerca del arte, el mito y el ritual de los indgenas ishir del Gran Chaco Paraguayo, 1999, and El arte fuera de s , 2004. President of AICA Paraguay (International Association of Art Critics, section Paraguay).

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FUNDACIN BIENAL DE ARTES VISUALES DEL MERCOSUR MER COSUR VISU AL AR TS BIENNIAL FOUND ATION MERCOSUR VISUAL ARTS FOUNDA

Conselho de Administrao/ Consejo Administrativo/Management Council Presidente/ Presidente/ President

Elvaristo Teixeira do Amaral Adelino Raymundo Colombo Eva Sopher Hlio da Conceio Fernandes Costa Hildo Francisco Henz Horst Ernst Volk Ivo Abraho Nesralla Jayme Sirotsky Joo Jacob Vontobel Jorge Gerdau Johannpeter Jorge Polydoro Jos do Nascimento Jnior Jlio Ricardo Andrighetto Mottin Justo Werlang Liliana Magalhes Luiz Carlos Mandelli Luiz Fernando Cirne Lima Paulo Csar Brasil do Amaral Pricles de Freitas Druck Raul Anselmo Randon Renato Malcon Roque Jacoby Srgio Silveira Saraiva Sergius Gonzaga William Ling

Conselho Fiscal/ Consejo Fiscal/Audit Committee

Geraldo Hess Jairo Coelho da Silva Jos Benedicto Ledur Mrio Fernando Fettermann Espndola Ricardo Russowsky Wilson Ling

Comit de Planejamento Estratgico Estratgico/Comit de Planificacin Estratgica/Strategic Planning Committee

Abe Thomas Hughes Alfredo Carlos Fedrizzi Andr Jobim de Azevedo Carmen Luiza Conter Ferro Eduardo Silva Logemann Geraldo Hess Jones Paulo Bergamin Jorge Carlos Ribeiro Jorge Luiz Buneder Lauro Schirmer Luis Carlos Echeverria Piva 147

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Mrio Fernando Fetermann Espndola Marlova Jovchelovitch Noleto Meyer Joseph Nigri Paulo Raymundo Gasparotto Roger Wright Vera Regina Pellin Vicente Jos Rauber

5 BIENAL DE ARTES VISUALES DEL MERCOSUR 5 th MERCOSUR VISUAL ARTS BIENNIAL

Diretoria/ Cuadro Directivo/Board of Directors Presidente/ Presidente/President

Elvaristo Teixeira do Amaral


Vice-Presidente/ Vicepresidente/Vice-President

Justo Werlang
Diretores/ Directores/Directors

Ana Maria Luz Pettini Andra Druck ngela Baldino Beatriz Johannpeter Carlos Henrique Coutinho Schmidt Joo Osmar Hoffmann Jos Paulo Soares Martins Maristela Bairros Schmidt Renato Nunes Vieira Rizzo Rodrigo Vontobel Srgio Antnio Saraiva

Curadoria/ Curadora/ Curatorial Staff Curador Geral/ Curador General/Chief Curador

Paulo Sergio Duarte


Curador-Adjunto/ Curador Adjunto/Adjunct Curator

Gaudncio Fidelis
Curador-Assistente/ Curador Asistente/Assistant Curator

Jos Francisco Alves


Curadora-Assistente para as Mostras Histricas/ Curadora Asistente para las Muestras Histricas/ Assistant Curator for
Historical Exhibitions

Neiva Bohns
Curadoria da Argentina/ Curadora de Argentina/Curator for Argentina

Eva Grinstein
Curadoria da Bolivia/ Curadora de Bolivia/Curator for Bolivia

Cecilia Bay Botti


Curadoria do Chile/ Curadora de Chile/Curator for Chile

Justo Pastor Mellado


Curadoria do Mxico/ Curadora de Mxico/Curator for Mexico

Felipe Ehrenberg

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Curadoria do P araguai/ Curadora de Paraguay/ Curator for Paraguay Paraguai/

Ticio Escobar
Curadoria do Uruguai/ Curadora de Uruguay/Curator for Uruguay

Gabriel Peluffo Linari


Assistentes da Curadoria/ Asistentes de Curadora/Assistants to Curatorial Staff

Giovana Ferrer Vazatta Rafael Rachewsky


Apoio/ Apoyo/ Support

Cristiana Helga Rieth


Estagirio/ Pasante/ Intern

Julia Berenstein
Administrao/ Administracin/ Management Coordenao/ Coordinacin/ Coordinator

Volmir Luiz Gilioli


Assistente da Coordenao/ Asistente de Coordinacin/Assistant to Coordinator

Joo Boldori
Tesouraria e Contabilidade/ Tesorera y Contabilidad/Treasury and Accounting

Luisa Schneider Teresinha Abruzzi Pimentel


Compras/ Compras/Procurement

Suzana Marques
Secretria Executiva/ Secretaria Ejecutiva/Executive Secretary

Adriana Stiborski
Equipe/ Equipo/ Staff

Cristiano Martins B. Schutt Dborah Denise Braga Diego Poschi Vergottini Everton Santana Silva Hamilton Martins Jardim Tanira Lessa Flores Soares Tatiana Machado Madella
Coordenao de Captao de Recursos/ Coordinacin de Captacin de Recursos/Fundraising Coordination

Marta Magnus
Assistncia Operacional/ Asistencia Operativa/Operational Assistance

Daniela Alves Marta Petry Volkart


Ncleo de Documentao e Pesquisa/ Ncleo de Documentacin e Investigacin/Documentation and Research Center

Fernanda Ott Ana Paula Freitas Madruga


Produo Executiva/ Produccin Ejecutiva/Executive Production

arte3
Coordenao Geral/ Coordinacin General/General Coordination

Ana Helena Curti


Coordenao de Produo/ Coordinacin de Produccin/Production Coordination

Fernanda Cardozo

Equipe de Produo/ Equipo de Produccin/Production Staff

Alessandra Cunha Andreia Tavares Bianca Loretto Gustavo Curti Iara Freiberg

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Janaina Costa Jaqueline Beltrame Juliana Schuch Laura Maringoni


Assistncia de Produo/ Asistencia de Produccin/Production Assistance

Aby Cohen Daniela Silveira Lee Dawkins Mariana Xavier Nora Cars
Apoio de Produo/ Apoyo de Produccin/Production Support

Ana Paula Silva Almeida Leila Teixeira Mateus Storck


Coordenao de Montagem/ Coordinacin de Montaje/Assembling Coordination

Andr Severo Haroldo Alves Jadson Vasconcelos


Projeto Museogrfico/ Proyecto Museogrfico/Museographic Project

Tangram Arquitetura e Design Ltda. Arq./Architect Nico Rocha Arq./Architect Ceres Storchi
Colaborao Projeto Museogrfico/ Colaboracin Proyecto Museogrfico/Museographic Project Support

Arq./Architect Hlade Antipas Adriana Tazima


Construo da Museografia/ Montaje Museografa/Museography Assembling

Comcept Ltda
Coordenao/Coordinacin/Coordination

Carlos Hernandez Sandro Torquetti Zomer Ltda


Coordenao/Coordinacin/Coordination

Cludio Zomer Geraldo Zomer Slvio Zomer


Comunicao Visual/ Comunicacin Visual/Visual Communication

Type Design
Coordenao/Coordinacin/Coordination

Alex Medeiros
Adaptao de Armazns/ Adaptacin de Almacenes/Adaptation of Warehouses Adaptao/Reviso dos Armazns/ Adaptacin/Revisin de los Almacenes/Adaptation/Revision of Warehouses

Engex Engenharia e Execues Ltda


Projeto de Eltrica/ Proyecto Elctrico/ Electric Design

C4 - Assessoria e Projetos Eltricos Ltda Eletrons Com. e Instalaes Eltricas Ltda


Instalao do Projeto de Eltrica/ Instalacin del Proyecto Elctrico/Electric Design Installation

Motter Engenharia Ltda


Planejamento de Obras Civis e Instalaes/ Planificacin de Obras Civiles e Instalaciones/Construction Works and
Installation Planning

Ivo Rizzo Construtora


Fiscalizao de Obras/ Fiscalizacin de Obras/Construction Supervision

Renato Schmidt Roberto Bins Junior

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Ao Educativa/ Accin Educativa/Educational Action Coordenao Geral/ Coordinacin General/General Coordination

Fbio Coutinho
Coordenao Operacional/ Coordinacin Operativa/Operational Coordination

Mnica Hoff
Consultoria Pedaggica/ Consultora Pedaggica/ Pedagogical Consultancy

Susana Rangel Vieira da Cunha


Consultoria - Curso de Formao de Mediadores/ Consultora - Curso de Formacin de Mediadores/ Consultancy Mediators Training Course

Elida Tessler
Assistente de Coordenao/ Asistente de Coordinacin/Coordination Assistant

Laura Cogo
Super viso do P rojeto Educativo/ Supervisin del Proyecto Educativo/Educational Project Supervision Superviso Projeto

Flvia Boni Licht


Assistentes Administrativos/ Asistentes Administrativos/Management Assistants

Dimitri Griebeler Raquel Costa


Super viso do Espao Educativo/ Supervisin del Espacio Educativo/Educational Space Supervision Superviso

Ivone Rizzo Bins Tti Waldraff


Assistentes do Espao Educativo/ Asistentes del Espacio Educativo/Educational Space Assistants

Paula Gahrmann Valeska Conti


Equipe de Agendamento/ Equipo de Coordinacin de Agenda/Booking Staff

Ana Paula de Carli Erica Kawa Fernanda Hegner Jlia Coelho Lisandra Paim Mariana Riera Niederauer Marilusa Rodrigues
Super viso de Mediadores/ Supervisin de Mediadores/Mediators Supervision Superviso

Cludia Paim Cludia Zanatta Estevo Haeser Ilana Azevedo Letcia Lau Marcos Sari Maria Helena Gaidinski Mariane Rotter Michele Bonnenberger Miriam Benigna Rafaela Boettcher Vitor Duarte Viviane Gueller
Assistentes de Super viso/ Asistentes de Supervisin/Supervision Assistants Superviso/

Carina Dias Daniel Escobar Daniela da Rosa Dulphe Pinheiro Machado Gabriela Bom Germana Konrath Jorge Bucksdricker Jlia Burger Lena Cavalheiro Lisandro Belotto 151

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Luciano Laner Coronet Maroni Kleim Michal Kirschbaum Roger Kichalowski


Mediadores/ Mediadores/ Mediators

Adriana D. Rodrigues Adriana Yumi Nishitani Alessandra da Silva de Oliveira Alessandra Vieira Padilha Alexandre Muller Ferri Aline Leo lvaro Z. A. Vilaverde Amanda Pinter Peanha Ana Clara Tellini Figueredo Ana Cristina Bervian Ana Ligia Becker Ana Mendes Ana Paula Balmberg Ferreira Ana Paula Madruga Ana Paula Monjel Ana Paula Royes Salenave Ana Rita Caldart Andr Neves de Assis Andr Vicari Andra Lugo Nectoux Andressa Ribeiro Thomazoni Andrisa Pinzon Anelise Fres da Silva ngela Zanotelli Cagliari Bibiana Ferreira Pereira Bruna Lemos dos Anjos Bruno da Silva Teixeira Camila Boher Beskow Camila Dalbem Carla de Carvalho Rangel Carlos Eduardo Pacheco Carlos Eduardo Teixeira Nascimento Carolina de Cssia de Souza Carolina dos Santos Grimm Carolina Frisch Caroline Brito Caroline Mariath Corra Cassiano Sthal Catiscia Bordin Dotto Cibele Ceroni Cibele Donato dos Reis Cntia da Rocha Wasniewski Clarice Basso Clarice Duarte Gonalves Clarice Roballo Claudia Moraes Silveira Claudia Nascimento Cristiano Jos Pluhar Cristina Arioli Daniel Escobar Daniel Mateus Leivas Ferreira Daniela Oliveira Comim Daniela Silva da Silva Daniela Simes de Souza Denise von der Heyde Lamberts

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Diana Kolker Carneiro da Cunha Doralino Fbio Matos de Souza Eduardo de Souza Xavier Elisa Pedroso de Moraes Elisa Stocker Elisete Silva Armando Elisson Olgin Alves Bernardes Eliza Lodi dos Santos Emanuela Pegoraro Enilson Silva Gonalves Eunice Haake Evelyn Bairros Dorneles Fabiane Machnacz Lima Felipe Neto Faria Felipe Rodrigues Bohrer Fernanda Derrossi Meyer Fernanda Mana Fernando Cauduro Pureza Fernando Luiz Mews Fernando Mallmann Junior Franciely Machado Mota Germana Zanettini Gerusa Marques Figueira Gina Samoa Neves Goreti Costa Butierres Graziela Seganfredo Graziele Ramos Schweig Guilherme Ibias Sanchez Gustavo Belau Gustavo Estrela da Cunha Helena Maria Mello Helga Marta Preissler Vaz Heloisa Bastos Marques Iara Abgair Camargo Prass gor Teixeira Ivania Valim Susin Jackson Ngae Gon Chu Janaina Czolpinski Janasa Cardoso Janete Birck Nedel Jeferson Rasquim Arajo Joo Guilherme Zenatti Paz Joo Vicente Teixeira Buzzatti Joice Martins Jos Carlos de Souza Jnior Jos Fernandes Junior Jos Leonardo Annuziato Ruivo Jlia Monteiro Schenkel Jlio Csar da Rosa Herbstrith Ktie Pereira Macedo Kelly Regina Astolfo Benfatto Laerte Ferraz da Silva Lara Corra Ely Laura Ferraza de Lima Laura Piana Lemos Leonardo Verardo Fazelau Leonel Ricardo Freitas Tozzi Letcia Hernandes da Silva Letcia Meireles Letcia Tietz Marques Letiri Calvete da Rocha 153

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Liane Strapazzon Lidiele Berriel de Medeiros Lisiane Flath Lisiane Pinto Luana Di Diego Vasconcelos Luana Rosado Emil Lucia Benetti Lcia Ridan Almeida Lins de Albuquerque Luciana de Mello Luciano Laner Luciano Pinheiro Paltian Luisa Berger Guimares Marcelo Guzinski Rodrigues Mrcia Cristina de Lima Cabral Mrcio de Lima Melnitzki Mrcio Miguel Domingues Maria Isabel Schwab Maria Jos dos Santos Alves Mariana Bernardes Goulart Mariana Francisca Arreguy Muniz Mariana Vellinho Marina Passos de Azaredo Marisa Grahl Saucedo Marta Helena G. Iribarrem Matheus Passos Beck Maurcio Aez Mayana Redin Michele Marte Coelho Michelle Suzana de Menezes Van Dyke Mirela Souza Pazzini Moara Hoppe Nina Magalhes Loguercio Paola de Farias Oppitz Paulo Eduardo de Souza Francisco Priscilla Neves Zanini Rafael Arajo Rafael da Rosa Mazzoca Rafael Pagatini Rafael Rodrigues Raphael Bibel Capella Rgis Eduardo Rosa da Silva Ricardo Antunes Rita de Cssia Sousa da Silva Roberta Maria Mysko Mittmann Roberta Ribeiro Prestes Roberta Triaca Roberto Chagas Roberto Milman Azambuja Rodolfo M. Sastre Roger Kichalowski Ronaldo Dimer Ferreira Samara Marion de Oliveira Samuel Gamba dos Reis Sandra Luzia Vasconcelos Torres Sandra Mara Alves Srgio de Boni Srgio Luiz Lima Greco Sheila Prade dos Santos Sheron Gamba Simone Granja Cardoso Simone Rocha da Conceio 154

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Simone Stangler Stefnia Konrad Richetti Sthefnia Dezordi Duh Tas da Silva Machado Tais Fernandes Batista Tnia Rodrigues Methodio da Costa Tibrio Tatiana Loureno Funghetti Tereza Maria Mello Machado Valrio Bobsin Valesca Sierakowski Kuhn Vanessa de Oliveira Dagostim Vitor Butkus de Aguiar Viviane Otto da Silva
Voluntrios Margs/ Voluntarios Margs/Margs Volunteers

Ana Maria Boschin Costamilan Cacilda Costa Carla Maic Silva Dione Marques Campello Costa Dirce Vargas Zalewsky Edinara Ferreira de Souza Eunice Mayer Geovane Dantas Lacerda Guacira Daudt dos Santos Iara Borne Nunnenkamp Isara Alves de Oliveira Ilita Patrcio In Ilse de Lara Ledir Krieger Lenir Maria Perondi Ldia Lerrer Rosenfield Leatrice Velho Falco Mery de Assumpo Olmedo Maria de Lourdes T. Borgato Maria de Lourdes Auler Reny Elizabeth de Arajo Ramacciotti Ronaldo Lemos da Silva Roberto Pittas e Silva Sonia Beatriz F. Bueno Snia Kury Lopes Tnia Meurer Tipa
Equipe P arceiros V oluntrios/ Equipo de Colaboradores Voluntarios/Volunteer Partners Staff Parceiros Voluntrios/ Seminrios e Atividades P aralelas/ Seminarios y Actividades Paralelas/Seminars and Parallel Activities Paralelas/

Coordenao/Coordinacin/Coordination Fbio Coutinho Produo/Produccin/Production Bruna Fetter


Instituies parceiras das Atividades P aralelas/ Instituciones Colaboradoras de las Actividades Paralelas/Partner Paralelas/
Institutions in Parallel Activities

Feira do Livro Fundao Iber Camargo Sociedade Psicanaltica de Porto Alegre Universidade Federal de Pelotas

Agncia de Publicidade/ Agencia de Publicidad/Advertising Agency

Dez Propaganda Mauro Dorfman Saul Duque Mrcio Cabral


Assessoria de Imprensa/ Asesora de Prensa/Press Office

Enfato Comunicao Empresarial Ltda. 155

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Coordenao/Coordinacin/Coordination Raquel Boechat


Apoio de Imprensa/ Apoyo de Prensa/Press Support

Sarah Goulart Sinara Oliveira


Criao da Marca/ Creacin de la Marca/Logo Creation

Danowsky Design Ltda Sulamita Danowsky


Assessoria Jurdica/ Asesora Jurdica/Legal Advisors

Rodrigo Azevedo Ruy Remy Rech


Coordenao e Edio da Revista da Bienal/Coordinacin y Edicin de la Revista de la Bienal/Biennials Magazine
Coordination and Edition

Neiva Mello
Desenvolvimento do Site/ Desarrollo del Web Site/Web Development

Box3 Design
Fotgrafo/ Fotgrafo/Photographer

Edison Vara
Agente de Carga/ Agente de Carga/Cargo Agent

ABJ Agenciamento de Carga Internacional Ltda Arthur Benedetti


Despachante Aduaneiro/ Agente Aduanero/Customs Broker

Celiberto Comissria de Despachos Ltda Luiz Carlos Aydos Celiberto


Transporte Nacional/ Transporte Nacional/Transportation in Brazil

A Alternativa Alves Tegam

Catlogo/ Catlogo/ Catalogue Coordenao Editorial/ Coordinacin Editorial/Editorial Coordination

arte3
Produo Editorial/ Produccin Editorial/ Editorial Production

Liza Szabo
Design Grfico/ Diseo Grfico/Design Graphic

ngela Fayet e Janice Alves (Lpis Design)


Reviso para o portugus/ Revisin de portugues/Portuguese Proofreading

Elisngela Rosa dos Santos


Traduo/ Traduccin/ Translation

Verso Tradutores Roberto Cataldo Costa (Ingls) Naila Freitas (Espanhol)


Impresso/ Impresin/Printing

Grfica e Editora Pallotti

Agradecimentos/ Agradecimientos/Acknowledgments Autoridades/ Autoridades/Government Authorities

Luiz Incio Lula da Silva


Presidente do Brasil/Presidente de Brasil/President of Brazil

Nstor Carlos Kirchner


Presidente da Argentina/Presidente de Argentina/President of Argentina

Eduardo Rodrguez Veltz


Presidente da Bolvia/Presidente de Bolivia/President of Bolivia

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Ricardo Lagos Escobar


Presidente do Chile/Presidente de Chile/President of Chile

Vicente Fox Quesada


Presidente do Mxico/Presidente de Mxico/President of Mexico

Nicanor Duarte Frutos


Presidente do Paraguai/Presidente de Paraguay/President of Paraguay

Tabar Vzquez
Presidente do Uruguai/Presidente de Uruguay/President of Uruguay

Celso Amorim
Ministro das Relaes Exteriores/Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores/Minister of Foreign Relations

Gilberto Gil
Ministro da Cultura/Ministro de Cultura/Minister of Culture

Fernando Haddad
Ministro da Educao/Ministro de Educacin/Minister of Education

Jos Henrique Paim Fernandes


Presidente FNDE - Fundo Nacional de Desenvolvimento da Educao/Presidente FNDE - Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo de la Educacin/President of FNDE - The
National Fund for the Development of Education

Mrcio Augusto Freitas de Meira


Secretrio de Patrimnio, Museus e Artes Plsticas/Secretario de Patrimonio, Museos y Artes Plsticas/Secretary of Heritage, Museums, and Arts

Anglica Salazar Pessoa Mesquita


Secretria de Fomento e Incentivo Cultura/Secretaria de Fomento e Incentivo a la Cultura/Secretary of Culture Advancement

Germano Rigotto
Governador do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul/Gobernador del Estado de Rio Grande do Sul/Rio Grande do Sul State Governor

Jos Fogaa
Prefeito de Porto Alegre/Alcalde de Porto Alegre/Mayor of Porto Alegre

Roque Jacoby
Secretrio de Estado da Cultura do Rio Grande do Sul/Secretario de Estado de Cultura de Rio Grande do Sul/Rio Grande do Sul State Secretary of Culture

Jos Alberto Rus Fortunati


Secretrio de Estado da Educao do Rio Grande do Sul/Secretario de Estado de Educacin de Rio Grande do Sul/Rio Grande do Sul State Secretary of Education

Sergius Gonzaga
Secretrio Municipal de Cultura de Porto Alegre/Secretario Municipal de Cultura de Porto Alegre/Porto Alegre Municipal Secretary of Culture

Maril Fontoura de Medeiros


Secretria Municipal de Educao de Porto Alegre/Secretaria Municipal de Educacin de Porto Alegre/Porto Alegre Municipal Secretary of Education

Alberto Moesh
Secretrio Municipal do Meio Ambiente/Secretario Municipal del Medio Ambiente/Porto Alegre Municipal Secretary of Environmental Affairs

Embaixadas/ Embajadas/ Embassies

Juan Pablo Lohl


Embaixador da Argentina/Embajador de Argentina/Embassy of Argentina

Edgar Camacha Omiste


Embaixador da Bolvia/Embajador de Bolivia/Embassy of Bolivia

Osvaldo Puccio Huidobro


Embaixador do Chile/Embajador de Chile/Embassy of Chile

Cecilia Soto Gonzlez


Embaixadora do Mxico/Embajadora de Mxico/Embassy of Mexico

Luis Gonzlez Arias


Embaixador do Paraguai/Embajador de Paraguay/Embassy of Paraguay

Pedro Humberto Vaz Ramela


Embaixador do Uruguai/Embajador de Uruguay/Embassy of Uruguay

Agradecimentos Especiais/ Agradecimientos Especiales/Special Acknowledgments

Tarso Genro Cecilia Soto Gonzlez Gloria Raquel Bender Mrcio Souza
Diretores de Espaos Museolgicos Associados/ Directores
Museological Institutions de Espacios Museolgicos Asociados/Directors of Associated

Ana Maria Luz Pettini


Coordenadora de Artes Plsticas - SMC - Prefeitura de Porto Alegre/Coordinator of Visual Arts/Director

Liliana Magalhes
Diretora do Santander Cultural/Director/Director

Luiz Alberto H. Gusmo


Diretor Adjunto do Memorial do Rio Grande do Sul/Director/Director

Manoel Cludio Rodrigues de Borba


Diretor do Museu de Comunicao Social Hiplito Jos da Costa/Director/Director

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Marli Amado de Araujo


Diretora do Museu de Arte Contempornea do Rio Grande do Sul/Director/Director

Paulo Csar Brasil do Amaral


Diretor do Museu de Arte do Rio Grande do Sul Ado Malagoli/Director/Director

Ricardo Coelho
Diretor da Usina do Gasmetro/Director/Director

Voltaire Schilling
Diretor do Memorial do Rio Grande do Sul/Director/Director

Agradecimentos Gerais/ Agradecimientos Generales/General Acknowledgements

Alexandre Brasil Alfi Vivern Alfredo Aquino Ana Maria Godini Germani Andr Luiz Oliveira Beto Felcio Carlos Alberto Abbud Cezar Prestes Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes CONACULTA, Mxico Coordenao de Artes Plsticas da Prefeitura de Porto Alegre Discurso Editorial Empresa Pblica de Transporte e Circulao/EPTC, Porto Alegre Ferreira Gullar Franz Manata Franklyn de Mattos Gabinete de Arte Raquel Arnaud Gesto Grfico Galeria de Arte Imprensa Oficial de Minas Gerais Instituto Cultural Ita, So Paulo Joo Vargas Penna Jornal do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro Jornal Folha de So Paulo Jornal Estado de Minas, Belo Horizonte Jornal O Estado de So Paulo Jornal Zero Hora, Porto Alegre Lemos de S Galeria de Arte, Belo Horizonte Lus Edegar Costa Manoel Macedo Galeria de Arte Marilia Razuk Galeria de Arte Mrcio Teixeira Mariza Machado Coelho Milton Meira do Nascimento Museu de Arte Contempornea do Paran Museu de Arte da Pampulha Museu de Arte Moderna de So Paulo Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro Museu de Comunicao Social Hiplito Jos da Costa Memorial do Rio Grande do Sul Newton Silva Nuno Ramos Renata Rizzotto Rodrigo Mitre Rodrigo Moura Santander Cultural, Porto Alegre Secretaria de Estado da Cultura do Rio Grande do Sul Secretaria Municipal da Cultura de Porto Alegre Secretaria Municipal de Meio Ambiente de Porto Alegre Secretaria Municipal de Obras e Viaes de Porto Alegre Silvia Cintra Galeria de Arte TV SENAC/SP Usina do Gasmetro, Porto Alegre Victor Almeida 158

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Vtor Liberman Yanet Aguilera


Colees/ Colecciones/Collections Instituies/ Instituciones/ Institutions

Esplio de Amilcar de Castro Instituto Amilcar de Castro e Fundao Iber Camargo, Porto Alegre Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, Argentina/Malba Memorial do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre Museu da Comunicao Social Hiplito Jos da Costa, Porto Alegre Museu de Arte Contempornea de Niteri Coleo Joo Sattamini Museu de Arte Contempornea da Universidade de So Paulo Museu de Arte Contempornea do Rio Grande do Sul Museo de Arte Contemporneo de Rosario, Argentina Museu de Arte da Pampulha, Belo Horizonte Museu de Arte do Rio Grande do Sul Ado Malagoli Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro Museu de Arte Moderna de So Paulo Museo del Barro, Paraguay Museu Mrcio Teixeira, Dom Silvrio-MG Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes Emilio Caraffa, Crdoba, Argentina Pinacoteca do Estado de So Paulo Prefeitura Municipal de Brusque-SC
Galerias/ Galeras/ Galleries

Casa Hum, So Paulo Dan Galeria, So Paulo Exo, So Paulo Gabinete de Arte Raquel Arnaud, So Paulo Galeria Casa Tringulo, So Paulo Galeria Millan Antonio, So Paulo Gesto Grfico Galeria de Arte, Belo Horizonte Lurixs Arte Contempornea, Rio de Janeiro Manuel Macedo Galeria de Arte, Belo Horizonte Marlia Razuk Galeria de Arte, So Paulo Slvia Cintra Galeria de Arte, Rio de Janeiro
Colecionadores particulares/ Coleccionistas particulares/Private Collectors

Abraham Palatnik Ada Schendel Alex Dombeck Schott Allen Roscoe Ana Maria Caldeira de Castro Andra e Jos Olympio Pereira Anita Zabludowicz Carlos Alberto Andrade Pinto Carlos Vergara Djalma Andrade Durcilia Caldeira de Castro Eduardo Janot Pacheco Lopes Elisa Mrcia Pinto Braga Fabio Cimarustti Fabio Faisal Ftima Pinto Coelho Flavia Renault Flavio Dominguez Genevive e Jean Boghici George Hardy Gerard Loeb Gilberto Chateaubriand Jacobo Karpio Joo Luis Avelar

159

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Joo Sattamini Jones Bergamin Jorge Gerdau Johannpeter Juliana Cintra e Tiago Freire Justo Werlang Lia Colombino Liba Knijnik Lula Buarque de Hollanda Luiz Antnio Almeida Braga Luiz Schwarcz Malu e Thomas Felsberg Mrcio Teixeira Maria Helena e Antnio Carlos Vianna de Barross Marlia Razuk Mariza Machado Coelho Mil Villela Manoel Macedo Nadir Farah Nelson Diz Ney Prado Junior e Lavnia da Rocha Miranda Prado Osvaldo Salerno Paulo Kuczynski Paulo Srgio Duarte Pedro de Castro Peter Cohn Ramaya Vallias Raquel Arnaud Regina e Delcir Antnio da Costa Reynaldo Abucham Ricardo Migliorisi Ricardo Rego Rodrigo de Castro Rodrigo Vasconcellos Roger Wright Romero Pimenta Ronaldo Brito Ruth e Miguel Froimtchuk Srgio Toledo Silvia Cintra Stephen Hood Susana e Ricardo Steinbruch Vernica Torres Vicente Camiloti Victor Pardini

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Composi o

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Composi o

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Composi o

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Composi o

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Composi o

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Composi o

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Composi o

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Composi o

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Composi o

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