"Parade", Yuko Mohri, work that is in the exhibition "Vento". Photo: Disclosure

E14th of November, the São Paulo Biennial reopens its doors to the public, following the reopening movement initiated by the cultural circuit, with the exhibition Wind, a suggestive cut of what will be the 34th edition of the event, postponed to september next year because of the pandemic. The institution also presented to the press in recent days the details of a new set of initiatives planned for the virtual world, confirming that we will still have to live with communication and exchange strategies that allow us to limit face-to-face meetings for a long time. 

The group show, which brings together works by 21 artists (among the approximately 100 that will participate in the final show), meets some fundamental elements of the original project of the 34th Bienal – entitled It's dark but I sing. It is a kind of update of one of its basic pillars: the proposal to extend the event in time, presenting part of the selected works in successive individual exhibitions, giving the spectator the possibility of interacting with them in different contexts, thus expanding the possibility of readings. . “We wanted an index of what will come next year”, summarizes Jacoppo Crivelli Visconti, curator of the Bienal. It is a purposefully diverse selection, which reverberates the effects of the pandemic and isolation. “We tried to reflect on the very process of building the exhibition, we did not pretend that none of this affected us”, says assistant curator Paulo Miyada, highlighting the importance of not holding on to a closed project, unable to “feel the tremor of the times”.

In addition to the heterogeneity of poetics, an intentionally broad representation of generations and cultures, the show brings as a great innovative index a completely experimental occupation of space. The works will occupy the three floors of the Ibirapuera Pavilion in a configuration that is at least provocative. Any type of expographic support was abolished, with the works coexisting only with the walls, windows and columns existing in the original project. “There are 30 thousand square meters and about 20 artists, which creates a very rare scale, which reorganizes the original plans of the pavilion and refers to the specific context of the pandemic”, describes Miyada, underlining the importance of the notions of approximation and distance in this assembly. .

Wind works as a kind of open rehearsal. It brings together more classic works, such as the evocative paintings by Eleonore Koch, and experiences that go beyond the visual field, such as the musical sculptures by Yuko Mohri. The choice of title, which according to Crivelli evokes “that sensation of feeling in the skin what you cannot see”, also echoes in certain works, such as the video wind, by Joan Jonas, which alludes to the desire to reconnect different elements of nature.

In the field of virtual activities, the 34th Bienal de São Paulo also brings news. Activities such as “Visits to the studios” and “Meetings with the Artists” are added to other initiatives reinforced during the quarantine, such as curatorial correspondence (full schedule can be seen at here). The series of meetings between the artists, for example, will have a total of six meetings. The second of them is scheduled for November 26 and should bring together indigenous artists (Jaider Esbell, Jaune Quick-to-see, Sebastián Calfuqueo Aliste and Sung Tieu), with tikmũ'ũn songs as a theme.

The visits to the studios maintain a more intense rhythm. One meeting per month will be announced until the opening of the great general exhibition, in the second half of 2021. Through them, it is possible to better understand the connection between the selected poetics and the general structure of the show. They also function as a kind of warning in relation to the ethical, political and aesthetic impasses that have become even more acute at this time. In the first of these conversations, published last Wednesday, the Bahian artist Juraci Dorea makes clear the importance of tracing original paths, which are outside the traditional art circuit, but at the same time his speech sounds like an alarm of defense and resistance: “ The Bienal de São Paulo takes place, despite everything”, he concludes.

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