Anna Bella Geiger
Antonio Manuel
Arthur Omar
Claudia Andujar
Emmanuel Nassar

Ivens Machado
Mauricio Dias e Walter Riedweg

Regina Silveira
Rochelle Costi
Vik Muniz

One among Others

This axis of the Brazilian Contemporary Art exhibition "One and/among Other/s" focuses on an art approaching topics of social abandonment. Differently from the politically engaged art of the 60's and 70's, the contemporary creation refuses ideological vassalage. The focus of a political agenda and the construction of language are inseparable subjects. Two important historical references mark this area: the first one is a chronicle by Clarice Lispector, "Mineirinho," in which the author investigates the individual's responsibility toward society, marked by indifference; the other is "Bólido 18-B-331" (homage to Cara-de-Cavalo), a 1967 work by Helio Oiticica exhibited in the Biennial Historical Nucleus. It correlates the subjects of social marginality, political repression and individual rebellion.

The program of the 24th Biennial of Sao Paulo includes subjects related to social groups or individuals that are often consumed by social abandonment. The installation "Fantasma" (Ghost), by Antonio Manuel, portrays a survivor of an execution -a frequent act of violence in Brazilian slums-, surrounded by a room punctuated by countless black stains that deceive the eyes, in a powerful play between real and perceived space. The works of Maurício Dias and Walter Riedweg discuss the Brazilian internal migrations and the economic disparities, that create a sort of internal colonialism. Two groups of photographs by Vik Muniz deal with socially marginalized boys, discussing their individual and social status. In a first group of pictures, images of children are built with sugar, indicating their class context (their parents work in the Caribbean sugar-cane plantations) and their psychological condition, in spite of the hard life; in a second group, street children are portrayed amid urban garbage, referring to the way society deals with these individuals. Photographer Cláudia Andujar presents pictures of Yanomami indians, with their affection and their degradation through the contact with white people. Some Yanomamis practice an endogenous cannibalism -that is, practiced within the social group-, through the ingestion of the loved-ones' ashes, so that they are incorporated in a common spiritual fund. Rochelle Costi's photographs, exposing bedrooms from different social classes in Sao Paulo, are eloquent intimate portraits, even though the individuals are actually absent. "Deaf Map", by Ivens Machado, is a map of Brazil made of broken green glass stuck in concrete. The image evokes at the same time the lush green of our forests and the high walls of rich residences, symbolizing the country's often impenetrable social and political borders. Emanuel Nassar exposes a flag collection from districts of his native state, Pará; the precariousness of their design and making poses a biting counterpoint on nationalism and regionalism in the global era. Rubem Grillo deals with the process of woodcut printing as an ethical model of image creation in a time marked by new technologies. Artur Omar presents "Antropologia da Face Gloriosa" (Anthropology of the Glorious Face), 99 photo portraits that compose a poetic and political panel of contemporary Brazil (though inevitably uncompleted).

Paulo Herkenhoff