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"People united and welcoming", by Rimaro. Photo: Isabella Matheus

EAmong works that portray popular festivals and traditions, paintings that expose police violence, expressions of a growing feminism, everyday scenes of Brazilian interiors and portraits of Brazilian environmental degradation, the Bienal Naïfs do Brasil 2020 opened the doors of its in-person exhibition. The show would start in August at Sesc Piracicaba, but it was postponed because of the pandemic, and now it follows in parallel with the digital programming until July 2021.

Curated by Ana Avelar and Renata Felinto, this edition of the Bienal (read more) is entitled Ideas for postponing the end of art and seeks to bring together the ideas contained in the books of two thinkers who are fundamental in the field of culture: Ailton krenak - with Ideas for postponing the end of the world – and Arthur Danto – with After the end of the art. Contemporary art and the limits of history.  

“I believe that the amount of different people in the exhibition already announces our intention to stretch the limits that categorize visual arts productions today. So, it is enough for us to think a little about how the agendas of non-white groups or non-male groups have been guided throughout history and notably at the beginning of the XNUMXst century. They have been called agendas of identity groups, as if being a white man was not also an identity”, says curator Renata Felinto.

This year's Bienal Naïfs sought to leave this place, she explains: “If we think about the 'black agenda'; I'm a black woman, but I'm not my own agenda, you know? So, with the exhibition we are trying in a way to humanize and bring these various approaches to the field of existence, which is also a resistance insofar as these people all continue to produce from their own criteria regardless of what the system of contemporary art will tell them what they should or shouldn't do”.

The culture and leisure agent at Sesc Piracicaba, Margarete Regina Chiarella, agrees. She explains that a lot of people have the idea of ​​naive artists as naive people, but this is not the case: “These are artists who narrate their stories, their surroundings, what is happening in their city, in the country and in the world. Today, we can consider them as the great informers of everything that is happening in Brazil.”

As Ana Candida Avelar explains, this edition of the Bienal Naïfs also seeks to honor women (artists and theorists). Therefore, it starts with Ana Mae Barbosa and Lélia Coelho Frota as references in the curatorship, and invites Carmela Pereira, Leda Catunda, Raquel Trindade and Sonia Gomes to dialogue with the exhibition. "THELooking at their work makes us realize how they left the most diverse realities to be in the places where they are, it makes us notice that these and these other artists are following similar paths and have this space already opened both by initiatives such as Sesc's and by figures like these artists”, says Ana Barbosa

A arte!brasileiros visited the exhibition and talked with its curators and with Sesc Piracicaba's Culture and Leisure agent Margarete Regina Chiarella. Watch the full video:

In addition to the face-to-face exhibition, the organization of the Bienal Naïfs promoted a series of digital initiatives, such as conversation circles and educational content, which allow the public to get closer to this universe even while complying with social isolation and which will last until July 2021. Among the activities , developed self-taught artist workshops, so that they could learn to photograph their works – and thus access other exhibition spaces more easily – and to prepare portfolios – necessary for the selections of national and international exhibitions. Given the positive feedback, the workshops should resume next year, with larger groups, still in digital format, says Margarete Chiarella. 

This type of initiative aims at a larger action than the realization of an event. Therefore, the work with popular artists goes far beyond the period of the Bienal Naïfs. As Margarete points out, the Secretary works permanently, keeping in touch with the artists throughout the year by email. “There is a channel that is very close to these artists, where they report where they are exhibiting, the type of work they are doing, the spaces they have conquered, the difficulties they have been facing, etc.”, he explains. “This proximity for Sesc is very important, because we can see that we cannot generalize, as a naïve artist, in reality he is 'the' naïve artist – who has his own identity, is inserted in a space, speaks of a certain local culture, so they have individualities and specificities that we seek to value”, he explains. Thus, they see the Sesc Piracicaba event not as an end, but a path, which allows these artists to amplify their voices and create new connections, opportunities and paths.  

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Contact the Bienal secretariat naive: biennialnaifs@piracicaba.sescsp.org.br

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