This axis is a collection of videos and interactive works that reveal more explicitly the power of electronic creations, its vocation to establish dialogue with other artistic fields and its capacity to produce powerful emotions and intense thoughts. The are works whose nature transcends their own electronic modality and whose critical and sensitive voice enlarges the state of the art in the contemporary world. They are the result of progressions that, in some ways, help to form an expanded history of art in countries from southern circuit and beyond. The works articulated around this axis achieve a high degree of sophistication in their discursive and conceptual formulation, in their approach to the complexity of contemporary phenomena and in their use of language resources, technical appropriations and processes os experimentation.
- Akram Zaatari
- Alicia Felberbaum
- Anjalika Sagar
- Barak Reiser
- Bogdan Perzynski
- Caco Souza
- Cao Guimarães
- Carlos Nader
- Claudia Aravena
- Cristian Alexa
- Dan Boord
- Diego Bonilla
- Dima El-Horr
- Edgar Endress
- Ethem Özgüven
- Gabriela Golder
- Geoffrey Weary
- Graciela Taquini
- Gregg Smith
- Hamdi Attia
- Hugo Fortes
- Iván Marino
- John Gillies
- Karim Aïnouz
- Khaled D. Ramadan
- Kiko Goifman
- Lali Krotoszynski
- Lea Van Steen
- Liu Wei
- Louise Ganz
- Lucas Bambozzi
- Luis Valdovino
- Mania Akbari
- Marcelo Braga
- Marcelo Gomes
- Marcia Vaitsman
- Neli Ruzic
- Pablo Romano
- Raquel Garbelotti
- Raquel Kogan
- Regina Aguilar
- Regina Vater
- Rodrigo Minelli
- Rubens Mano
- Sergio Roizenblit
- Sherman Ong
- Silvia Rivas
- Simone Michelin
- The Otolith Group
- In This HouseAkram Zaatari, 2004
- Somewhere Between Here and There - Narrativas contadas narrativas vividas Alicia Felberbaum, 2005
- SpaceBarak Reiser, 2004
- Fortune Teller (November)Bogdan Perzynski, 2004
- Senhora liberdadeCaco Souza, 2004
- Concerto para clorofilaCao Guimarães, 2004
- CrossCarlos Nader, 2004
- Out of PlaceClaudia Aravena, 2005
- Air BerlinCristian Alexa, 2004
- ThemesDan Boord, Luis Valdovino, 2004
- A Space of TimeDiego Bonilla, 2004
- 9 Years LaterDima El-Horr, 2004
- Concrete WallsEdgar Endress, 2005
- DeliriumEthem Özgüven, 2005
- Vacio Gabriela Golder, 2005
- Scenes from a Shanghai HotelGeoffrey Weary, 2005
- Lo Sublime / BanalGraciela Taquini, 2004
- Background to a SeductionGregg Smith, 2004
- Four Scenes: In TranslationHamdi Attia, 2004
- ÜbergangHugo Fortes, 2004
- Five Pictures of a Seated WomanIván Marino, 2005
- DivideJohn Gillies, 2004
- Sertão de acrílico azul piscinaKarim Aïnouz, Marcelo Gomes, 2004
- TrapKhaled D. Ramadan, 2004
- Território vermelhoKiko Goifman, 2004
- BodyweaveLali Krotoszynski, 2005
- BMG-8970Lea Van Steen, Raquel Kogan, 2005
- SARSLiu Wei, 2003
- Banhos 1Louise Ganz, 2004
- O Tempo não recuperadoLucas Bambozzi, 2004
- DevastationMania Akbari, 2005
- BugigangaMarcelo Braga, 2005
- The Elephant CageMarcia Vaitsman, 2005
- Grandparents Bed, from the Series "Oblivion Strategies"Neli Ruzic, 2005
- Una Mancha en el aguaPablo Romano, 2005
- Versão compostaRaquel Garbelotti, Rubens Mano, 2004
- Centroamerica NowRegina Aguilar, 2004
- A Árvore de melRegina Vater, 2005
- Plano-(con)sequênciaRodrigo Minelli, 2005
- Roupa para tirar retratoSergio Roizenblit, 2004
- Exodus - Wanita Yang BerlariSherman Ong, 2003
- Andén 6Silvia Rivas, 2004
- LonesomeSimone Michelin, 2004
- OtolithThe Otolith Group, 2003
- State of the Art AwardLo Sublime / BanalGraciela Taquini, 2004
- Honorable MentionA Space of TimeDiego Bonilla, 2004
- Honorable MentionPlano-(con)sequênciaRodrigo Minelli, 2005
- Videobrasil Gasworks Residency AwardConcerto para clorofilaCao Guimarães, 2004
In creating the trophy for the Festival, the artist Luiz Zerbini borrowed freely from his work Atlântico (2004). One of the set of artists that emerged during the 80s, Zerbini is part of the Chelpa Ferro group and develops his own language in the diversified use of such mediums as video, sculpture, photography, music, drawing, painting, graphic art, ambiences and installations.
The jury of the 15th International Electronic Art Festival – Videobrasil awards the State of the Art Prize – for the first of three sections in this Festival – to Cao Guimarães’ Concerto para clorofila and Graciela Taquini’s Lo Sublime / Banal. The prize was granted based on the artworks’ ability to exert the full potential of electronic creation, develop relationships with other art fields, and relate to the complexity of contemporary reality as depicted in the Southern Panoramas show. Both portray the different values presented by the diversity of electronic language experiences. Cao Guimarães explores issues relating to the evocative power of image, sound and motion, while Graciela Taquini tackles biographic, cultural and especially gastronomic issues. The choice of artwork favored sensitive, critical and affirmative views of the artists’ individual commitment to the state of the art in the contemporary world. Along the same lines and in keeping with the values detected in the winning pieces, the Jury awards an Honorable Mention to Rodrigo Minelli’s Plano (Con) Sequência and Diego Bonilla’s A space of time.
Selection commitee text 2005
To map recent audiovisual production, nourish the circuits and, above all, favour exchange, dialogue and intersection: these are the driving forces behind the exhibition Southern Panoramas. The exhibition presents work by artists from countries on the southern circuit of a map that is at once geopolitical and symbolic. While on one hand they reveal a possible facet – always unstable and circumstantial – of the dynamic body of artistic work produced between 2003 and 2005, on the other, they permit cross readings of the complex contemporary reality, of the cultural and intersubjective relations established within it, the mediatic implications and innumerable policies of appropriation of our current techno-imaginary repertoire. The selection is our critical contribution to the universe of electronic art insofar as it translates a gaze upon its creation. This gaze – which is also a form of creating – allows us to see the power lines, the emerging movements, the fruits of inventiveness and, most importantly, put these perceptions up for discussion. With this in mind, the selection and programming committee for the 15th Videobrasil Festival fleshed out a proposal which had already emerged in outline during the previous edition and divided the exhibition into three: State of the Art, which brings together examples of artistic maturity in the use of electronic mediums; Contemporary Investigations, which offers works seeking to push the limits of artistic language, and New Vectors, featuring the work of up-and-coming new artists. Far from an attempt to establish a hierarchy, the idea behind the division is to group experiences and create a more “intelligible” map, a topography that is more open to a greater multiplicity of works.
Restarts and detours
It is not a surprise that, in a territory as mutating as that of electronic art, each year the panorama of production from the southern circuit sends surprises and unexpected detours along the way. The dialogue between these artists and the tradition of the audiovisual arts, far from being in any way continuous or homogeneous, is characterized by the discontinuity and constant recommencements of its unpredictable movement and precarious synthesis. The competitive show at the 15th Videobrasil Festival is proof of this. To try to map the power lines of recent production is to trace courses that are indeed winding: interacting not only with the history of electronic art itself, but with the legacy of other fields of artistic creation – from cartoons to performing arts, passing through design, literature, music and fine arts – these artists end up making unheard of combinations that usher the production of electronic art into new states, new investigations and new vectors.
It is always inevitable that the artist will question the identity of the language he or she uses, trying to determine what it is that sets it apart from the others. Yet the same consciousness that permits the search for this specificity also reveals the paths that lead to its transgression. The electronic universe is developing at a moment of great expansion among artistic languages and so, the chief concern of its creators quickly ceases to be that of marking off a territory of their own, but instead becomes a drive to establish dialogue. Sometimes to breach a frontier, you first have to retrace its lines more starkly, setting the obstacles in evidence to give due value to overcoming them. These days, there seems to be a principle of freedom that does not oblige one to affirm the specificity of a video, much less negate it. What we see is a more spontaneous transit between video, television, cinema, photography, performance and painting, but also between the digital and the analogical, the fine and the conceptual, the documental and the fictional. And yet this interaction is not merely the fruit of diplomacy among the various territories, the fact is that some artists can no longer recognize the boundaries and thus see no sense in showing a passport when they cross over. In this process, they maintain the political challenge of displacements, but perhaps in a freer and even more subversive way, because they no longer negotiate their rights of passage, they simply ignore the borders.
Historically, electronic art has always shown itself to be resistant to stable narratives characterized by a linear syntax. For various reasons the historical progression of video art has always highlighted works structured in more open, associative and fragmentary narratives. This tendency seems to stem from a set of legacies from historical vanguard and experimental cinemas that have gathered round video in a way that broadens the path opened up by the pioneers. In this sense, the most typical narratives in video art are seen as experimental and polysemous spaces. However, the chameleonic nature of electronic art and the restlessness of its artists take the production down other tacks. Works are emerging that, while not relinquishing their formal experimentalism, they nonetheless make forays into what at first glance appears to be the realm of more conventional narratives. As always, these processes of assimilation and fusion are not calm transitions, but powerful ruptures that end up weakening certain aspects as they strengthen others. In this process, images and sounds are combined in unusual narratives that no longer limit themselves to the typical discontinuity of video, nor adhere to the stable structure associated with classical cinema. What emerges from this are narratives that flirt with linearity, but provoke small, intense displacements, creating an ambiguous space between audiovisual tradition and its far from naive appropriation by the artists.
The same occurs in the field of experimental documentary, which increases with each Festival. In an intense dialogue with the tradition of this genre, many of the filmmakers have brought documentary production closer to other discursive forms. The documentary now experiments with a subjective approach, one that is proper to estrangement, taking a personal slant on complex socio-political issues. The audiovisual is seen as open ground for a kind of policy of subjectivity in which personal experience connects with the world and its broader geopolitical movements. The tradition of the documentary often becomes raw material for all manner of plasticity and recombination. Some of its strategies are reinvigorated, such as the use of archived photographic material, voice-overs, argumentation with a political edge and bruising tone, and expressive dialogue with television in its ambiguous relationship with fact and fiction. Within this scope, it is symptomatic how many artists resort to documentary image collections from family, scientific and legal contexts. Before the immense audiovisual repertoire at our disposal, the need remains to associate image with a discourse, as if to give it back some vitality. This can be done through a recovery of historical references, but it can also be done through inventive memory, that is, of its appropriation in the form of fiction. Some works reveal the anxiety of dissolving identities and biographies. Others note with a touch of irony that what remains is merely the stereotype of a composition, which reduces the individual to a category. But to return to the archives is not simply to rummage through a past that happened to be recorded. There will always be the thought of the person who formed and ordered it, as there is no natural way of accumulating images, except perhaps in the forever-doomed expectation of accumulating all images. So what you offer for examination is not simply a past, but the perspectives of all the other eyes that ever fell upon it, creating new zones of focus and blurring, which guarantee its survival with one hand and sentence it to death with the other. The use of archive material is a strategy at once subjective, aesthetic and ethic-political.
Tactics and performances
The markedly more political flavour of the production that emerged so explicitly at the 14th Festival is still very much apparent. There certainly seems to have been an increase in and, shall we say, a ripening of works with an aesthetic/political edge through the tactical use of electronic mediums. In fact, this tendency can be perceived as an echo, albeit in a new context and through revamped strategies, of the very beginnings of video, insofar as it reveals itself as a powerful language with which to criticize the institutions and totalitarianism of all kinds. The origins of electronic art and its political vocation also echo in the return to (and reinvention of) performance, which, as we well know, motivated many of the pioneers of video art. Yet now more than ever, performance and its translations are intensely transformed, segmented and recombined through digital editing techniques. Adding to the performing act itself are the “performances” of electronic language as empowered by digital possibilities.
The current production also reveals a somewhat paradoxical tendency in the use of the resources made possible by digital platforms. If experiments with editing flow, fragmentation and superimposition still seem to offer endless possibilities, the counterweight is also becoming increasingly more present. Many works have been exploring the deceleration of movement and the permanence of images on-screen for what can often be a disconcertingly long duration. This way of looking was constructed by the tradition of fixed images, but it does so not merely to cross-dress video as photography. This “retarding” raises its own questions and unveils other movements: the chaotic processes of the world that reveal some order when slowed down; glimpses of the small displacements that normally go unperceived by our senses; the vibration of the image in its own electronic woof; the roving of the spectator’s eye, which can discover the surroundings of the screen as the image lingers on it, in short, the whole traffic of ideas that can be set in motion by thought only to be reclaimed by the image that waits to gather them up. What we have here is a new form of the principle of pregnance, not the one that allows for the creation of an illusion of continued movement, but one that gives the image a certain thickness.
Fluidity and continuity, but also tension, wear, deviation. Once again, artistic production connected with electronic and digital supports surprises us with its power to renew, phagocytise and invent possible new territories. Indeed, it seems the only common characteristic in all of this diversity is an openness to incorporate by metamorphosis, speed up dialogues by stretching them out, graze, cross distances by taking detours around them. At this 15th Videobrasil Festival, like a new map of experiences and transversal readings of contemporary reality, the electronic environment translates the world of today into its return to construction, in a non-canonical form, as always, but nonetheless aware of its contaminations in different aesthetic contexts, as well as in its political and performing strategies of artistic production.
Selection and programming committee: André Brasil, Christine Mello, Eduardo de Jesus, Ronaldo Entler e Solange Oliveira Farkas
15th Videobrasil catalogue). ASSOCIAÇÃO CULTURAL VIDEOBRASIL. "15th Videobrasil International Electronic Art Festival - 'Performance.'": 6th to 25th September 2005, pp. 28 - 31, São Paulo, Brazil, 2005.
Selection commitee text Eduardo de Jesus, 2005
Statement of the Festival’s Selection and Programming Committee State of Art
The work of Cao Guimarães embodies the spirit of the “State of the Art” section of the Festival: it is an aesthetic contribution to electronic art, as well as a significant contribution to the state of contemporary art as a whole. His peculiar brand of art incorporates elements of photography, performance, literature, installation, music, experimental cinema, and documentary film into the electronic media. While maintaining a coherent poetic approach regarding plastic elements and the temporal aspect of image, Guimarães creates subtle, intense audiovisual universes, such as in Concerto para Clorofila, featured in this edition of the festival. The Videobrasil Residency Award (Prêmio Videobrasil de Residência) at Gasworks, London, will give Cao Guimarães not only an opportunity to go deeper and further with his art, but also, and most important, to get more visibility and recognition from the international art scene, as required by his artistic maturity.
Curator's text 2005
Six honors are reserved for works from the competitive exhibition Southern Panoramas. Each of the three divisions carries both a cash and residency prize. The cash prizes are awarded by the official jury, while the residency prizes are conferred at the discretion of the Festival. Each of the residency prizes, themselves a fruit of partnerships with Brazilian and European art schools and media centres, presupposes the production of a work of audiovisual art that will bear the official stamp of the prize and be exhibited for the first time at the next edition of the Festival. The initiative of awarding work scholarships is aligned with Associação Cultural Videobrasil’s goal of stimulating audiovisual production within the southern circuit. “By enabling the production of new work, [the scholarships] reinforce our idea of minimizing the ephemeral character of the Festival, creating a way it can contribute to the interchange, the encouragement of research and the development of a collection”, says the curator, Solange Oliveira Farkas.
FAAP Digital Arts Prize
Over its almost 60 years of existence, Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado (FAAP) has consolidated itself as a storeroom for contemporary artistic production in Brazil. Much more than simply an art school along traditional lines, the hallmark of its College of Fine Arts is its emphasis on research and on the formation of professionals permanently engaged in the discussion of contemporary artistic practices. FAAP was the cradle of such nationally and internationally recognized talents as Carmela Gross, Leda Catunda, Dora Longo Bahia, Sérgio Romagnolo and Caetano de Almeida. In partnership with Associação Cultural Videobrasil, the FAAP Digital Arts Prize offers a young Brazilian video-maker participating in the New Vectors axis of the exhibition a four to six-month course at the institution and the opportunity to produce a work of audiovisual art at the university’s laboratories under the orientation of a member of its faculty. The resulting piece will feature in the annual exhibition of the students’ work. “FAAP’s goal is to support, stimulate and develop the fine arts and sciences, culture and teaching. It is a space to encourage the processes of research and artistic experimentation”, says Marcos Moraes, coordinator of the fine arts course. “The creation of the prize in association with one of the most important festivals of electronic art in the world fits perfectly with this objective”.
Le Fresnoy Audiovisual Creation Award - France
Le Fresnoy – Studio National Des Arts Contemporains – is a post-graduate art school and audiovisual production and research centre that teaches young artists to produce work using professional equipment, under the guidance of renowned artists. Conceived and directed by Alain Fleischer, Le Fresnoy was inaugurated in 1997 in Tourcoing, Northern France, and its guest teachers have included Jean-Luc Godard, Gary Hill and Antoni Muntadas. The emphasis of the centre’s work is to break the barriers between traditional and electronic mediums and languages. Conferred upon a participant in the Contemporary Investigations axis of the exhibition, Le Fresnoy Audiovisual Creation Award - France has been granted since 2003 by the French General Consulate in São Paulo, Aliança Francesa de São Paulo and Le Fresnoy — Studio National Des Arts Contemporains. The award grants one young artist access to the centre’s activities for a period of three months, as well as the logistical support and the technical means for the production and post-production of a work of audiovisual art.
Videobrasil residency Award hosted by Gasworks
Located in Oval Cricket, Southeast London, the Gasworks installations house a gallery and fifteen studios, three of which are reserved for its International Residency Programme. The programme provides foreign artists with the opportunity to live and work in London for a period of three months or longer. The residencies include an educational and social programme that culminates in the Open Studio, an exhibition in which members of the artistic community are invited to assess the work produced during the term of residency. Since its inauguration in 1994, Gasworks has received more than 100 artists from 50 countries. The residency programme has firmly established itself on the London art scene for its contribution to promoting cultural diversity and international artistic interchange. In partnership with Gasworks, the Festival is offering the author of one work from the exhibition’s State of the Art axis a three-month residency at the institution’s studios, where the prize-winner will have access to equipment, funding for the production of a project and use of post-production facilities. For the recipient of this award, the residency is a real opportunity to break into a circuit of great visibility. Gasworks is directed by Robert Loder and, like Associação Cultural Videobrasil, is part of the network of institutions supported by the Dutch Prince Claus Fund.
“Filme de Guerra”: first recipient of the Le Fresnoy Audiovisual Creation Award - France
Scheduled to open the competitive exhibition Panoramas do Sul, “Filme de Guerra”, by São Paulo-based artist Wagner Morales, is the first work to result from a residency award conferred by Videobrasil. Morales won the Le Fresnoy Audiovisual Creation Award - France in 2003 for the video “Ficção Científica”. He made “Filme de Guerra” at the French media centre during a three-month residency in 2004, a period throughout which he had access to the laboratories and lectures at Le Fresnoy and orientation from the institution’s guest teachers. “For the first time I was able to spend three months immersed in a piece of work”, says Morales. A graduate in anthropology, Morales has been producing videos and installations since 1998. His new work is a continuation of the series “Vídeo de Cinema”, dedicated to deconstructing the clichés of classic cinema genres. “Filme de Horror” (2003) and “Cassino: Filme de Estrada” (2003) are the fruit of the same endeavour. All of these films set out from the identification of what Morales calls the “core-cliché” of each genre. Transferred to a completely different context, this cell then serves as the principle for the new film. “In war movies, the cliché is the waiting – for the enemy, for the letter from home”. The surroundings of Fresnoy greatly influenced the research: the centre is only three hours from Normandy, the site of the Allied landing during the Second World War. Planes, desolate spaces and the ruins of military constructions signal the movements of the video, all to the sound of passages from war symphonies and a dialogue from “Le Carabiniers” by Jean-Luc Godard. In order to create the “material presence” of a landscape turned to anguish by war, the artist constructs an almost wordless reflection on incommunicability and militarism.
(15th Videobrasil catalogue). ASSOCIAÇÃO CULTURAL VIDEOBRASIL. "15th Videobrasil International Electronic Art Festival - 'Performance.'": 6th to 25th September 2005, pp. 92-93, São Paulo, Brazil, 2005.