From different shades of the political spectrum, nationalism has reemerged as a critical theme to understand the disputes that shape our time, raising questions about the duration and scope of this new regressive cycle. In this context, the 21st Contemporary Art Biennial Sesc_Videobrasil | Imagined Communities borrows the title of Benedict Anderson’s classic study of the rise of nationalism to investigate how poetics stemming from the South have been addressing the phenomenon. Without losing the geopolitical focus, the curatorial team of the 21st Biennial, composed of Gabriel Bogossian, Luisa Duarte, Miguel López, and Solange Farkas, intends to expand the repertoire of questions and broaden the diversity of the voices we hear. Thus, they consider stateless communities, indigenous peoples, religious or mystical communities, communities uprooted from their original lands, fictional, utopian, and clandestine communities, or those constituted in the subterranean universes of sexual experiences and dissident bodies.
Aiming at a more explicit positioning in the global art scene, and without neglecting current changes in our local context, we have now adopted the name Contemporary Art Biennial Sesc_Videobrasil. With its usual dynamism and originality, the Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil enters a new stage, aligned with the purposes and international calendar of Biennials.
Such changes do not alter the Festival’s encouragement of art production outside the market, the creation of reflective content through seminars, debates, and publications, the initiatives to educate audiences, and the incentive for concrete exchange among artists. Opening in October 2019, the 21st edition takes place in Sesc 24 de Maio and Galpão VB, and unfolds into three curatorial platforms –exhibition + film program, public programs, and publication – each one in charge of a guest curator