The 34th São Paulo Bienal (4 September – 5 Dec 2021) was a 91-artist-strong cross-media exhibition, which delved into political narratives through four themes. The main site for the presentation was the Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavilion in Parque do Ibirapuera, its Oscar Nieymeyer-designed home since 1957.
The 34th São Paulo Bienal: ‘Though it's dark, still I sing’
This December, a curated exhibition of work by fourteen artists from the exhibition ‘Though It's dark, still I sing’ has moved from its tour of South America to Europe for the finale in its ten-part travelling exhibition, held at Les Forges, part of art hub Luma Arles (opens in new tab) in France.
Split into a series of thematic strands, the show explored the statements ‘The Portraits of Frederick Douglass’, ‘The Death Watch by Hélio Oiticica’, ‘The Bell of Ouro Preto’ and ‘Tikmū’ūn Songs’. The themes, selected by Jacopo Crivelli Visconti, general curator of the 34th Bienal and his curatorial team, aim to shine new light on the artworks, referring to pivotal moments in history and contemplating our collective futures.
The exhibition explores how Immaterial objects hold narratives with compelling histories, and prompts conversations on post-colonial issues, environmental concerns and Indigenous cosmologies. The show is posed as a journey through time and space, with its opening coinciding with a weekend of talks titled ‘Realities of Science Fiction II’, which delve into speculative fiction as a mode of resistance, alongside Afrofuturism.
The selected artists hail from seven countries and comprise Victor Anicet, Zózimo Bulbul, Seba Calfuqueo, Manthia Diawara, Jaider Esbell, Noa Eshkol, Naomi Rincón Gallardo, Carmela Gross, Sueli Maxakali, Gala Porras-Kim, Alice Shintani, Amie Siegel, Regina Silveira, and Daiara Tukano.
‘Though it’s dark, still I sing: Works from the 34th Bienal de São Paulo’ in LUMA Arles will be on view from 16 December 2022, to 5 March 2023.
LUMA Arles, Parc des Ateliers, Les Forges, 35 avenue Victor Hugo, 13200 Arles; luma.org (opens in new tab)
Martha Elliott is the Junior Digital News Editor at Wallpaper*. After graduating from university she worked in arts-based behavioural therapy, then embarked on a career in journalism, joining Wallpaper* at the start of 2022. She reports on art, design and architecture, as well as covering regular news stories across all channels.
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