BIENALSUR is the International Biennial of Contemporary Art of South America. Through contemporary art, it will simultaneously connect over 32 cities in 16 countries and will gather over 350 artists and curators from the five continents.
The BIENALSUR exhibits will take place between September and December 2017. Conceived on the basis of a global network of institutional collaboration that erases distances and borders, and upholds singularity in diversity, BIENALSUR proposes a vast territory built upon the perspective of a "Global South".
BIENALSUR is organized by the Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero (UNTREF) of the Argentine Republic. Its Rector, Aníbal Jozami, is the General Director and Diana Wechsler, the Artistic and Academic Director. Over 95% of the works of the Biennial were selected after a careful screening process that included two international open free topic calls. These open calls invited artists and curators to conceive specific original projects. More than 2,500 proposals from 78 countries were submitted. These calls revealed the recurrent presence of projects in active conversation with each other both inside and outside the world of art.
From September to December 2017, the full program of BIENALSUR will be available on www.bienalsur.org.
The objective of the International Biennial of Contemporary Art of South America is to establish a real presence of South America in the global art arena and contribute to the creation of a cultural citizenship. To do so, it was necessary to define a format and a working modality whereby the art of the region is integrated not just as a mere diversity quota. It must respect singularities by redefining conventional positions, sophisticating relationships, recovering traditions, creating bonds between spaces and times, and maintaining consistency.
In this regard, the distinctive features of the unprecedented model of BIENALSUR are its collaborative institutional networking modality from the perspective of a "Global South", the creation of its own territory with multiple locations and simultaneous events, and a curatorial approach that goes beyond conventions.
BIENALSUR aims to develop a real procedural exercise in artistic and intellectual creation. The curatorial work seeks to go beyond conventions inasmuch as it challenges the standard criteria used in contemporary art shows.
The curatorial project of BIENALSUR comprises four major guidelines into which the different projects are integrated: actions and interferences in the public space, the curatorial work on each selected piece, “Collection of Collections” and "Art in the Borders"
In accordance with the first guideline, emphasis was laid on the selection of those proposals that intervene/interfere public urban spaces and unconventional sites in order to build visual reference networks that turn BIENALSUR into a milestone signalling the territory beyond conventional exhibition halls.
The second guideline results in the selection of works to be displayed in exhibition halls and curated to that end.
Finally, under this guideline, a selection of works from established collections will be displayed in shows, thus enlarging the repertoire of what is nowadays seen as contemporary art by incorporating multiple perspectives that converge in the current scene.
These projects evidence the conflicts in border territories in Latin America and materialize the idea of art as a way to cancel frontiers.
Some institutions integrated the shows that were already scheduled to the BIENALSUR program.
One of the most innovative proposals of BIENALSUR is the design of its own cartography. It covers a specific territory and itinerary whose kilometre 0 marker is the city of Buenos Aires, a hub that reaches out to a South American continent of a planetary-scale dimension, gathering artists and curators from the five continents.
With venues in 32 cities from 16 countries, this new cartographic universe seeks to erase temporal and spatial borders by means of the simultaneity afforded by technology. The use of screens will enable the simultaneous participation in different shows and events in cities that are interconnected regardless of the distance that separates them. Spectators will thus feel part of a rich cultural network that aims to integrate the different simultaneous venues through culture.
The kilometres of the BIENALSUR CARTOGRAPHY are measured from the MUNTREF, located in the former Hotel de Inmigrantes in the harbour of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and go as far as Tokyo, Japan.
Asunción - Bahía Bustamante – Béccar - Bogotá - Buenos Aires - Caseros - Córdoba – Cúcuta – Frankston – Guatemala – Guayaquil – Ilhabela – La Paz – Lima - Madrid – Marseille – Montevideo - Ouidah - Palma de Mallorca - Paris - Porto Alegre - Río de Janeiro – Rosario - Salta – San Miguel de Tucumán - Santa María – Sao Paulo - San Juan - Santiago de Chile – Sorocaba - Tigre – Tokyo – Tres de Febrero – Valdivia - Valparaíso – Border zone between Arica and Tacna (Chile/Perú) - Border zone between Cúcuta and Tachira (Colombia/Venezuela).
One of the most innovative proposals of BIENALSUR is the unprecedented design of its own cartography. It covers a specific territory and itinerary whose kilometre 0 marker is the city of Buenos Aires, a hub that reaches out to a South American continent of a planetary-scale dimension, gathering artists and curators from the five continents.
With venues in more than 32 cities from 16 countries, this new cartographic universe seeks to erase temporal and spatial borders by means of the simultaneity provided by technology. "It will be possible to participate at the same time in different shows and events in cities that are interconnected whatever the distance that separates them. This means that a spectator attending an exhibition in Bogota will feel part of a cultural network, as the shows in other countries will be projected on screens. We are then seeking to integrate our countries through culture", said Aníbal Jozami, Rector of the UNTREF and general Director of BIENALSUR.
The kilometres of the BIENALSUR CARTOGRAPHY are measured from the MUNTREF, located in the former Hotel de Inmigrantes in the Buenos Aires harbour. Between September and December, this exhibition hall will host this event along with the main museums, culture centres, buildings and iconic public spaces of Buenos Aires.
However, Buenos Aires will not be the only venue in Argentina. The BIENALSUR itinerary will also include Tigre, Caseros, Rosario, Córdoba, San Juan, Tucumán, Salta and Bahía Bustamante in Chubut. The road continues simultaneously within the continent through Uruguay (Montevideo), Paraguay (Asunción), Chile (Santiago de Chile, Valdivia and Valparaíso), Brazil (Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, Sorocaba, Santa Maria and Ilhabela), Peru (Lima), Ecuador (Guayaquil); Colombia (Bogota), Bolivia (La Paz) and Guatemala.
In the spirit of a vision that focuses on a "Global South" (Sur Global), this territory stretches beyond the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. Ouidah in Benin, is the venue in the African continent. The European venues include Spain (Madrid and Palma de Mallorca) and France (Paris and Marseille). Finally Japan follows suit where the antipodal city of Tokyo is brought closer.
Aníbal Jozami (ARG)
Diana Wechsler (ARG)
Marlise Ilhesca (BRA)
International Curatorial Council
Florencia Battiti (ARG)
Lionel Bovier (CHE)
Tadeu Chiarelli (BRA)
Estrella De Diego (ESP)
Albertine de Galbert (FRA)
Néstor García Canclini (ARG / MEX)
Andrés Duprat (ARG)
Ticio Escobar (PRY)
Fernando Farina (ARG)
Abdellah Karroum (MAR / ARE)
Fábio Magalhães (BRA)
Jeanine Meerapfel (DEU)
Hans Ulrich Obrist (CHE / GBR)
Rodrigo Quijano (ARG)
Ivonne Pini (COL)
Liliana Piñeiro (ARG)
Marie-Cécile Zinzou (BEN)