AOpen to Brazilian artists from all over the country, the Salão Paranaense de Arte Contemporânea receives applications until the 25th of October. In its 67th edition, thirty works will be awarded in the amount of R$ 5 thousand each and will form part of the collection of Paraná Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC-PR).
The relationship between the award and the museum, however, predates the 2020 edition. “It can be said that the Salão Paranaense is responsible for the beginning of the formation of our collection”, explains Ana Rocha, director of MAC-PR. “The museum was created from works that were part of the public collection of the state or of the department of culture in the 1970s, which were largely awarded by the Salon”, she adds. Subsequently, the institution became responsible for organizing the event and began to incorporate the winners into its collection.
Today, the collection comprises 1810 works, 366 of which come from Salões Paranaenses. Twenty-one of the 27 federative units of Brazil are represented in this collection, which for the museum director is directly related to the fact that the award is national.
A new museum, a new prize
However, when starting a historical review of MAC-PR for the institution's 50th anniversary, it was noticed a predominance of white male artists in the collection – which is not unique to this museum (read Luciara Ribeiro's text for magazine #51 to understand). As a result, the management opted for a program that shed light on invisible groups and proposed changes to the Salão Paranaense.
With the aim of expanding the diversity of voices and social representation, the judging committee changed the award's evaluation criteria. Starting this year, works will be evaluated not only for originality and artistic quality, but also for their contribution to the diversity of the collection.
In addition, the judging commission itself has a plurality of ethnicities, cultures, gender and sexuality. "I still cannot disclose the names that make it up, but there was a concern that this plurality of voices was not only among the artists, but in the internal structure of MAC and in the curatorial part as well”, adds Ana Rocha.
The search for diversity also generated changes in the character of the works submitted for the award. For the first time in the history of the Salon, poetic-critical texts on the theme “poetics and policies of reparation” will be accepted, in addition to works of art. “The proposal is that we invite researchers to help us understand the art collections in Brazil and to think about the possibilities of historical reparation”, explains Ana Rocha.
This is not the only new category at Salão Paranaense. Due to the pandemic, the event had to be modified. “In the first semester came the possibility of doing something entirely virtual, but with that we would exclude all artists who do not work with digital art”, says Ana Rocha. They chose, therefore, to add categories to the award, but not to limit them to just one format. As a result, digital art and web art language are now covered by the award, which for the first time alsowill have urban interventions. "Are ways for MAC to experience being outside the museum space and more in direct contact with the public, with the possibility of respecting social distancing”, explains Ana Rocha.
The opening of the Salon, with the exhibition of the works, was moved to the beginning of 2021. With the renovation of the museum's main building, the exhibition is scheduled to take place inside the Oscar Niemeyer museum (MON), where MAC-PR currently occupies two rooms provisionally.
To learn more, access the public notice for Salão Paranaene by clicking here.