Bienal de Sao Paulo

26th Sao Paulo Bienal 2004

25 Sep - 19 Dec 2004

26th Sao Paulo Bienal
25 September - 19 December 2004

Chief curator:
Alfons Hug

Pablo Siquier
Joyce Hinterding & David Haines
Leo Schatzl
Cristine Felten & Véronique Massinger
Roberto Valcarcel
Ivens Machado
Albena Kazakova
David Rokeby
Patrick Hamilton
Qu Yan
Jaime Avila
Zlatko Kopljar
Esterio Segura
Lars Mathisen
Pablo Cardoso
Jukka Korkeila
Melik Ohanian
Thomas Demand
Mike Nelson
Harris Kondosphyris
Peter Szarka
Stephen Loughman, Dennis McNulty, desperate optimists (Christine Molloy/Joe Lawlor)
Doron Rabina
Francesco Vezzoli
Shin Miyazaki
Gints Gabrans
Mindaugas & Gintautas Lukosaitis
Miguel Calderón
Jennifer Tee
Remember New Zealand (group project)
Ingrid Book & Carina Hedén
Juan Britos
Carlos Runcie-Tanaka
Piotr Uklanski
Rui Chafes & Vera Mantero
José Morales
POROLON (Sergey Shekhovtsov)
Ho Tzu Nyen
Three of a Nice Pair: Ivan Csudai, Stanislav Divis, Laco Teren
OH Sang-ghil
Fernando Sanchez Castillo
Jonas Dahlberg
Frédéric Moser & Philippe Schwinger
Victor Marushchenko
Abdallah Alsaadi
Martin Sastre
Juan Calzadilla

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."

Tags: Miguel Calderón, Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Rui Chafes, Jonas Dahlberg, Thomas Demand, David Haines, Patrick Hamilton, Ivens Machado, Mike Nelson, Ho Tzu Nyen, Melik Ohanian, Martin Sastre, Frédéric Moser & Philippe Schwinger, Pablo Siquier, Jennifer Tee, Piotr Uklanski, Francesco Vezzoli, Li Yan