Ismaïl Bahri, Line, 2011 Video 1 min loop © Ismaïl Bahri

Rjust opened, the new Sesc Avenida Paulista decided to celebrate its launch with various activities that understood the essence of the space. The highlight in the visual arts sector was a valuable exhibition of videos produced over the last 20 years by the American artist and one of the pioneers of the Bill Viola format. Visions of Time It was curated by Kira Perov, executive director of Bill's studio, Juliana Braga de Mattos and Sandra Leibovici, respectively manager and assistant to the management of Visual Arts and Technology at Sesc São Paulo (GEAVT).

The exhibition was formulated based on research into which artists could fit into the proposal of Art, Body and Technology that makes up the axis of this Sesc unit. “It seemed very important to us to launch a first look at this power, this triad, already in the opening exhibition”, comments Juliana. It was not difficult to reach a consensus on the choice. In addition to dealing with technology throughout his career as an artist, Bill has a trajectory covered by experimentalism in relation to video art.

In addition, Bill’s works chosen for the exhibition are linked to the body, another point of the Sesc Avenida Paulista triad: “He deals with issues of this human corporeity in a very metaphorical way, not only using cutting-edge technology to present this body in a more aesthetic sense and even a bit hypnotic, but above all questioning the vertiginousness of technology in the contemporary”, explains the manager of GEAVT.

In addition to celebrating the inauguration of the unit, the exhibition is the first solo show in Brazil in decades. For personal reasons, it is not known whether Juliana is sure if the artist continues to produce.

Further to the central region of São Paulo, in Campos Elíseos, the featured artist is the French-Tunisian Ismaïl Bahri. with the show Tools, at the Porto Seguro Cultural Space, his first solo show in Latin America, Bahri gathered a significant amount of visitors at his opening, even though he was little known in Brazil. “For me, it's lucky to show my work in a new place, where people don't know it,” says the artist.

With works that explore the issue of territory, both physical and inland, the exhibition had already been presented at the Jeu de Paume Museum in Paris. Bahri says that the choice to make a work only with videos has a specific reason, which has surrounded the art world since always: the lack of attention.

According to him, the video makes people stand in front of the work, as its duration is explicit. “I wanted to create an exhibition as a collection. I have the feeling that attention is important. I hope they pay attention to the screen, look closely for a minute, two minutes, three minutes, an hour,” he explains. For the show in São Paulo, Bahri brought an unprecedented video.

Tools e Visions of Time are two works with video installations that talk about the transience of time. The images present in the videos contain moments and objects common to everyday life, which brings the audience closer to the point of immersion in the space created by both artists. In addition, both works are characterized by the power of reflection, whether silent in a studio or in the midst of urban noise.


Bill Viola – Visions of Time
Until September 09th
Sesc Avenida Paulista

Av. Paulista, 119 – Bela Vista, São Paulo


Ismail Bahri – Instruments
Until July 22
Porto Seguro Cultural Space

ALameda Barão de Piracicaba, 610 – Campos Elíseos, São Paulo


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