I would like to thank on behalf of myself and the arte!brasileiros who passed through here during these 12 years for the Antônio Bento Prize, awarded by the Brazilian Academy of Art Critics (ABCA), in 2019, to Seminars –Arte!Brasileiros and which will be delivered on Tuesday, October 3, 2023, at Sesc Vila Mariana.
The Seminars emerged in 2010, as an initiative with the magazine arte!brasileiros, at that time only printed, bilingual, and distributed in Brazil and in ten important cities around the world, through Itamaraty's direct mail, in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Two certainties guide the effort to hold these meetings. First, create bridges. Understanding the importance of bringing to Brazil key professionals from the contemporary art and culture circuit, unknown here, and also capable of coming into contact, more directly, with an impactful national production, far from what was still understood until recently – apart from icons such as Tarsila do Amaral, Maria Martins, Lygia Clark, Hélio Oiticica, Cildo Meireles, Tunga, Amílcar de Castro –, as well as the culture of exotics. Effective anti-hegemonic and decolonial movements date back no more than ten years. Only today do Rubens Valentins or Lorenzatos gain international space.

The second is to believe that art concentrates the knowledge of subjects of their time. It is a kind of tip of the iceberg, where each work and each exhibition allows us to create meanings that speak of philosophy, memory, forgetfulness, belonging and, thus, create culture. Without art, without literature, humanity does not recognize itself.
Our Seminars on the role of museums, on Cultural Management, on the Crossings of art, in Defense of Culture and Nature, in defense of Democracy, Stories, Memory, Reparation, on Collecting, brought very rich and anticipatory debates, in the voices of international artists such as Alfredo Jaar or Voluspa Jarpa, Paulo Tavares, from Forensic Arquitecture, winner of this year's Venice Architecture Biennale, or Denilson Baniwa. Curators such as João Fernandes, from Reina Sofía, or Jochen Voltz, many years before becoming directors of the IMS and the Pinacoteca de SP, respectively, or the curators of the Berlin Biennale, Lisette Lagnado and Agustín Perez Rúbio, Moacir dos Anjos, curator and director of the Joaquim Nabuco Foundation in Recife, Claudinei da Silva, now on the Board of MAM and MAC and Director of the Museu Afro Brasileiros, Sandra Benítes, one of the curators of the Bienal das Amazônias. Brazilian thinkers such as Peter Pelbart, Christian Dunker, Tania Rivera, Elisabeth Telsnig, from Switzerland, the Italian Franco Berardi, Bifo. Directors of institutions such as Garage da Russia, Guggenhein Liverpool, Vídeobrasil, Inhotim, Bienal de São Paulo, Masp, Itaú Cultural, Sesc.

And many others, who turned open and recorded meetings – even throughout the pandemic, when they became entirely virtual – into true spaces for exchanging and building content.

The most recent, the XNUMXst Latin American Seminar, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in partnership with BIENALSUR and UNTREF university, fulfilled yet another desire: to blur borders.

I am especially grateful to collaborators such as the journalist and art critic Fabio Cypriano, whose interlocution was fundamental when discussing ideas, themes, guests and strategies, and to Eliane Massae, without whose competence and administrative determination it would be impossible to make these meetings possible.

Let's go, strengthened for the next ones. ✱

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