26th Sao Paulo Bienal 2004
25 Sep - 19 Dec 2004
25 September - 19 December 2004
Joyce Hinterding & David Haines
Cristine Felten & Véronique Massinger
Stephen Loughman, Dennis McNulty, desperate optimists (Christine Molloy/Joe Lawlor)
Mindaugas & Gintautas Lukosaitis
Remember New Zealand (group project)
Ingrid Book & Carina Hedén
Rui Chafes & Vera Mantero
POROLON (Sergey Shekhovtsov)
Ho Tzu Nyen
Three of a Nice Pair: Ivan Csudai, Stanislav Divis, Laco Teren
Fernando Sanchez Castillo
Frédéric Moser & Philippe Schwinger
This year's São Paulo Biennial, just as the previous edition, is held under the artistic direction of Alfons Hug. Whereas in 2002 he created a theme of mega-cities and the influence of urban energy currents on art, Hug declared the 26th biennial to be "Free Territory", an "extraterritorial zone where artists erect their utopian settlements."
In his curatorial statement (from which all quotations have been taken), Alfons Hug expresses scepticism regarding the "multiplicity of documentary strategies that has been observed even at major international exhibitions over the last few years." Such "scientific analysis, reportage and discursive treatises on reality" contribute to a "flagrant underestimation of the possibilities of aesthetic processes." He therefore makes a plea for art which "reveals those inner layers of the world that remain hidden to the superficial gaze of politics and sociology."
Regarding his concept of a "Free Territory," Hug writes: "Artists create a power-free zone, a world that runs contrary to the existing one: a land of emptiness, of silence and respite, where the frenzy that surrounds us is brought to a standstill for a moment. But it is also a land of enigmas, where the flood of images surging in on us from the breeding grounds of kitsch are encrypted. By breaking through the barriers of the material world, the artist becomes a smuggler of images between cultures."