35th Bienal de São Paulo
6 Set to 10 Dec 2023
Free Admission
35th Bienal de
São Paulo
6 Set to 10 Dec

Fundação Bienal and Canal Arte1 premiere the series Histórias da Bienal [Stories from the Bienal]

The series Histórias da Bienal [Stories from the Bienal] premiere on Arte1 channel, in a partnership between the channel and Fundação Bienal de São Paulo, sponsored by Bloomberg

Histórias da Bienal [Stories from the Bienal] premieres on Arte1 on Sunday, September 3, at 9:30 pm. With six episodes of 30 minutes each, the series reinforces the commitment of the channel and the Fundação Bienal de São Paulo to educating the public. The partnership is sponsored by Bloomberg.

Presented by Gisele Kato, the series Histórias da Bienal deals with fundamental questions of art that have guided reflections and artistic productions in the country since the 1950s, when the great São Paulo exhibition was inaugurated.

In line with the curatorial collective of the 35th Bienal de São Paulo – choreographies of the impossible, the chapters of Histórias da Bienal do not follow a chronology based on the notion of time created by Western European culture.

The series is divided into themes, dealt with from the perspective of its protagonists: artists and curators, who participate through historical records and/or unpublished interviews. Their stories are interspersed with points made by the presenter of the series, who, by addressing the viewers directly, shares extra information and observations with them.

According to José Olympio da Veiga Pereira, the president of Fundação Bienal, “the series reinforces our commitment to bringing art to different audiences, democratizing, informing and highlighting that the Bienal de São Paulo is a national heritage that should transcend the limits of the Pavilion. With more than 70 years of exhibition history, we have a rich collection of extraordinary stories to share.”

“Bloomberg has been a sponsor of the Bienal de São Paulo since 2010 and we are proud to expand this year’s partnership to include a new series of educational videos produced with Arte1,” said Jemma Read, Bloomberg’s Global Head of Corporate Philanthropy. “We are delighted to support the Bienal’s efforts to share its history and impact over the past 70 years with a global audience.”

The series will also be available on Fundação Bienal de São Paulo’s YouTube channel and on Arte1Play, the channel’s streaming service. Bloomberg’s study space within the 35th Bienal de São Paulo will also show Histórias da Bienal, and the series will be used by Fundação Bienal’s education team in outreach actions.

Histórias da Bienal
Premiere: September 3, at 9:30 pm
Reruns: Tuesdays, 12:30 pm; Wednesdays, 2:30 pm; Thursdays, 7 pm, Saturdays, 7:30 pm

Check out the synopses of the six episodes:

Episode 1: O Começo de Tudo [The Beginning of Everything]

In the first episode of the series Histórias da Bienal, we learn about the motivations that led businessman Ciccillo Matarazzo to create the Bienal de São Paulo in 1951, and why artist Heitor dos Prazeres, winner of a painting prize in this first edition of the show, fell by the wayside for a long time.

Episode 2: Arte e Política [Art and Politics]

In this episode of the Histórias da Bienal series, we reflect on moments when Brazil’s political contexts imposed themselves more directly on art. Artists Carmela Gross and Antonio Manuel tell us why they decided to accept and refuse, respectively, their participation in the 10th Bienal de São Paulo in 1969, when the Institutional Act n.5 was in force. Artist Éder Oliveira recalls the impact he felt when he painted the huge anonymous faces of men who had been imprisoned at the 31st Bienal de São Paulo in 2014. Artist Yuri Firmeza, who was also part of the 31st edition, talks about the encounters he sees between power, religion and politics.

Episode 3: O Poder dos Curadores [The Power of the Curators]

The third episode of the Histórias da Bienal series shows how the role and figure of the curator has changed over the years. The first Bienal to have a curator was the 16th, in 1981, with Walter Zanini. In the 1990s, this professional came to be seen as “all-powerful”, able to make or break careers. But today, a centralizing attitude makes less and less sense. The program features artists Carmela Gross and Cildo Meireles, the curator of the 27th Bienal de São Paulo, Lisette Lagnado, and the curatorial collective of the 35th Bienal de São Paulo, with Diane Lima, Grada Kilomba, Hélio Menezes and Manuel Borja-Villel.

Episode 4: Outras Histórias [Other Stories]

In this episode of Histórias da Bienal, we’ll look at how the need to adopt other narratives and perspectives in art has grown, beyond the Western and European vision, which until recently was unified in history. Artists Cildo Meireles and Regina Silveira recall their participation in the 24th Bienal de São Paulo in 1998, which suggested the anthropophagic concept as a shaping element of Brazilian cultural identity. Photographer Maureen Bisilliat talks about the room Xingu Terra, which she signed with the sertanista Orlando Villas Bôas and the cacique Aritana Yawalapiti at the 13th Bienal de São Paulo in 1975. Artists Daiara Tukano and Gustavo Caboco tell us why the 34th edition, in 2021, has become known as the “Biennial of the Indians”, a nickname given to it by their friend Jaider Esbell.

Episode 5: Mais Perguntas, Menos Respostas [More Questions, Less Answers]

In 2008, at the 28th Bienal de São Paulo, the 2nd floor of the Bienal Pavilion remained empty. The gesture of curators Ivo Mesquita and Ana Paula Cohen, in the face of the institution’s crises, went down in history as an opening to new possibilities and an invitation to take a necessary break. In this fifth episode of Histórias da Bienal, artists Maurício Ianês and Carla Zaccagnini talk about their participation in what became known as the “Biennial of Emptiness”. And artists Tatiana Blass and Jonathas de Andrade talk about their participation in the 29th Bienal de São Paulo in 2010, which invested heavily in communication with the public.

Episode 6: coreografias do impossível [choreographies of the impossible]

The last episode of the Histórias da Bienal series is dedicated to the 35th Bienal de São Paulo, which is now open in the Ibirapuera Park Pavilion. Titled choreographies of the impossible, this year’s Bienal is organized by a curatorial collective made up of Diane Lima, Grada Kilomba, Hélio Menezes, and Manuel Borja-Villel, with no hierarchy between them. The four curators talk to us throughout the program, as do the artists Ana Pi, Tadáskía, Luana Vitra, Kidlat Tahimik and Daniel Lie. The 35th Bienal de São Paulo invites us to review vertical power structures and provokes us to imagine other possible worlds.