Subtly in tune
by Solange O. Farkas

The geopolitical commonalities that unite regions with a colonial past into a heterogeneous set with shared accents is an idea that has driven the Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil since the 1990s. The 19th Festival is entirely devoted to establish dialogue among diverse subsets of recent productions from the South. To this end, Southern Panoramas branches out into three exhibitions featuring artworks selected through an open call for entries, projects the Festival chose to commission, and pieces created by five guest artists: Abdoulaye Konaté from Mali, Sônia Gomes and Rodrigo Matheus from Brazil, Gabriel Abrantes from Portugal, and Yto Barrada from Morocco.

The exquisite complementarity between this bevy of contents stems from the work of guest curators Bernardo José de Souza, Bitu Cassundé, João Laia and Júlia Rebouças, who were entrusted with all three Festival exhibitions for first time. The commissioning of art projects, which broadens Videobrasil’s scope of action and endows its curatorial research with new meaning, as well as the launch of the first book of the Southern Panoramas | Readings series, featuring essays on the notion of art in the geopolitical South, are also relevant modifications in the structure of this Festival edition.

Additionally, the 19th Videobrasil will mark the launch of Galpão VB, a venue that will house several permanent Videobrasil Collection research and activation activities. The Festival’s exhibitions and film programs will take place at Sesc Pompeia and Galpão VB, as will activities, meetings and tools designed to activate and explore said exhibitions, including workshops, conversations, tours, online programming, and the seminar Places and meanings in art: debates from the South. The parallel show Those born for adventure don’t stray from the path, which is set to take place at Paço das Artes during the Festival, will feature a selection of Videobrasil Collection artworks that somehow reverberate the subjects at play in Southern Panoramas. The curating by Diego Matos reaffirms our policy of fostering dialogue between the collection and contemporary production.

In addition to a cohesive set of artworks, the outcome of the experiment of devoting the 19th Festival entirely to Southern production is an exciting overview of the strategies, counter- narratives and questions employed by artists – some with established careers and others less so –, often in subtle synchronism, to confront contemporary reality.

about the curators

Chief curator
Solange Farkas

(lives and works out of São Paulo, Brazil)
Curator and director of Associação Cultural Videobrasil. She was the founder and is the general curator of the International Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil, an event which has brought leading international contemporary artists to Brazil. She was responsible for the exhibitions Sophie Calle – Take care of yourself (2009) and Joseph Beuys – We Are the Revolution (2010). The highlights of her curating career include the African Contemporary Art Exhibition (São Paulo, 2000); Pan African Contemporary Art Exhibition (Salvador, 2005); La Mirada Discreta: Marcel Odenbach & Robert Cahen (Buenos Aires, 2006); Eder Santos – Roteiro Amarrado (Rio de Janeiro, 2010), Isaac Julien: Geopoetics (São Paulo, 2012), Alfabeto Infinito | Angela Detanico e Rafael Lain (Porto Alegre, 2013) and Videobrasil 30 years (2013/2014), which spun off touring shows in Warsaw, Poland; Atlanta, USA; Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa, and Beijing, China. She served as a guest curator at the 5th Videozone: International Video Art Biennial (Israel, 2010), the 16th Cerveira Biennial (Portugal, 2011), the 10th Sharjah Biennial (United Arab Emirates, 2011), the 3rd Macao Video Art Festival (China, 2012) and Screen from Barcelona Festival (Spain, 2012). She is a former director and chief curator of the Bahia Modern Art Museum (Salvador, 2007 to 2010). She participated in a program in honor of Videobrasil at the Festival de la Imagen (Manizales, Colombia, 2013). In that same year, the 6th Jakarta International Video Festival featured a program curated by Solange Farkas, as did FUSO, the annual video art exhibit in Lisbon, which partnered up with the curator and Associação Cultural Videobrasil again in 2014.

Guest curators
Bernardo José de Souza

(lives and works out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Art curator, university professor and writer for publications on visual culture. Holds a baccalaureate degree in Social Communication from the Pontifical Catholic University in Rio Grande do Sul (PUC-RS) and a specialization in Photography and Fashion from the London College of Fashion - University of the Arts, United Kingdom. Member of the boards of curators of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Grande do Sul (MACRS), Porto Alegre, Brazil; and of Fundação Vera Chaves Barcellos (FVCB), in the same city. His work in the visual arts field includes organizing exhibitions, film festivals, seminars, publications and educational programs. Served as curator for the 9th Mercosul Biennial, 2013, Porto Alegre, and as coordinator for Cinema, Video and Photography at the Secretariat for Culture of the Porto Alegre City Hall. Writes for visual culture publications, collaborating with magazines like Vogue, URBE, VOX and the Folha de São Paulo newspaper. He is a professor at Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing (ESPM), and was formerly a professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUC-RS), Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos (Unisinos), and SENAC - São Paulo. He lives and works in Rio de Janeiro.

Bitu Cassundé (lives and works out of Fortaleza, Brazil)
Curator and researcher. Completed a master’s degree at the School of Fine Arts of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He is a curator at the Contemporary Art Museum of Ceará - Centro Cultural Dragão do Mar (MAC-CE), Fortaleza, Brazil, where he served as assistant curator and research coordinator from 1998 to 2007. Coordinates the Visual Arts Laboratory at the Porto Iracema das Artes school, in the same city. He was a member of the team of curators for the Programa Rumos Artes Visuais visual arts program, in São Paulo, in 2008 and 2009. Between 2009 and 2011, he was the director of Museu Murillo La Greca, in Recife. He also served as a juror on several occasions, including the 4th edition of the Marcantonio Vilaça prize. Alongside Clarissa Diniz, he started the contemporary art collection of Centro Cultural Banco do Nordeste, in connection with the Metrô de Superfície light rail project. Cassundé lives and works in Fortaleza.

João Laia (lives and works out of London, United Kingdom)
Writer and curator. Completed two master’s degrees, in Curating and Film. In 2014, he undertook a residency at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, in Turin, Italy, an organization devoted to sponsoring contemporary art. He organized the image in motion sections of Festival IndieLisboa. He has curated shows at Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB), Spain; Museu de Arte Contemporânea do Chiado, Lisbon; and the Whitechapel Gallery, London. Collaborator for Frieze and Mousse magazines and the Público newspaper. Co-founder of The Green Parrot, a non-profit art projects facility in Barcelona, Spain. He lives and works in London.

Júlia Rebouças
(lives and works between Belo Horizonte and Brumadinho, Brazil)
Curator, art critic and researcher. She is the co-curator of the 32nd São Paulo Biennial. She worked as curator at the Inhotim Institute (Brumadinho, Brazil) from 2007 to 2015. Holds a master’s degree and is pursuing a doctorate under the Postgraduate Visual Arts Program of the Federal University of Minas Gerais. She served as joint curator for the 9th Mercosur Biennial (Porto Alegre, 2013) and was a member of the Curatorial Committee for the 18th International Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil (São Paulo, 2013). Independent curating projects include Zona de Instabilidade – Lais Myrrha at Caixa Cultural Sé (São Paulo, 2013) and A céu aberto, with Suely Rolnik, which competed in the 30th São Paulo Biennial (São Paulo, 2011).