An Art Symposium in Brazil to Deal with Attention amid New Political Climate

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November 13, 2018

Keen about artwork, frequent customer of exhibitions, Widewalls images specialist.

On 7 October 2018, Brazil elected a really far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro as their President for the subsequent 4 years. Many are frightened about the place his controversial rhetoric will take the nation and its democracy, amongst them many artists and artwork world professionals.

The Brazilian elections occurred concurrently the still-ongoing Bienal de São Paulo. Underneath the theme Affective Affinities, the 33rd version goals ”to reaffirm the facility of artwork as a singular place for concentrating consideration on the world and in favor of the world”, because it was typically accentuated by curator Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro. Certainly, drawing consideration has additionally been one thing that Bolsonaro had finished fairly impressively throughout his marketing campaign, which now introduced him the specified outcomes.

Attention, or quite the “practices” of it, will now be the main target of a world symposium happening in Sao Paulo as nicely. Conceived by Stefanie Hessler, curator and author, and D. Graham Burnett, Historical past and Science Historical past Professor at Princeton, this gathering of artists, critics, scientists, authors and academicians from 13 nations seeks to put the economies of consideration on the middle of our relationship with artworks, contemplating the urgency of the query of our consideration these days, when it’s always bombarded with all types of data and messages.

Happening at Secs Vila Mariana on November 16 and the Biennial Pavilion on November 16, 17 and 18, the Practices of Attention symposium will even have a presentation of performances and movie screenings based mostly on current theoretical works, historic recoveries and experimental investigations.

We sat down with Stefanie Hessler to talk about the significance of such occasion at a time like this, and what it seeks to transmit to its viewers over the course of those three days.

Stefanie HesslerStefanie Hessler. Photograph by Nysos Vasilopoulos for the sixth Athens Biennale

Stefanie Hessler and the Practices of Attention on the Bienal de São Paulo

Widewalls: How was the “Practices of Attention” symposium conceived?

Stefanie Hessler: The symposium units its concentrate on consideration. Attention is arguably some of the necessary points at stake at the moment, in the cultural, social, and political arenas, and positively additionally for the “economy of attention.” With the symposium, we ask the place our consideration is directed, who pays consideration to what, who advantages from consideration, and what are the blind spots we’re omitting. If distraction is the predominant situation of at present, and our consideration is being manipulated by algorithms for political and financial functions, then what does this imply for our methods of being, of figuring out, and of relating to one another?

The Fundação Bienal de São Paulo – the commissioner of the symposium – and the curator of this yr’s version, Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, invited D. Graham Burnett and myself to conceive this system. Discussing the subject of consideration intensely and taking these pressing questions as a place to begin, we determined to invite a various group of key thinkers and practitioners from totally different fields – from psychology to poetry, from historical past of science to philosophy, from ecofeminism to artwork.

Throughout three days on the Sesc-SP Vila Mariana and on the Bienal Pavilion, we’ll talk about these points in depth, and we will even experiment with unconventional codecs to examine the subject of consideration, which transcend the cognitive and in addition put emphasis on the corporeal, the affective, the meditative. With the symposium, we intend, collectively with the viewers, to concentrate to the modalities and politics of consideration.

Widewalls: Might you introduce us to the members? Why have been they chosen?

SH: We’ve got invited a various group of members, whose contributions take totally different shapes and codecs, from performances to talks to screenings, and quite a few actions that invite the viewers to take part.

For example, in her speak, Virginia Kastrup addresses hyperattention and multitasking by taking cartography as a reference and drawing from the work of Jameson, Bergson, Deleuze, and Guattari, whereas Yael Geller’s contribution inspects consideration between the 2 coordinates of consideration deficit dysfunction (ADD) and obsession.

Tamar Guimarães’s efficiency addresses consideration in present politics and its recurring loops, foreseen by the novelist Machado de Assis virtually 150 years in the past.

Analysis associates of ESTAR(SER) current protocols associated to the “Order of the Third Bird” and talk about its historical past in addition to its strategies of consideration which have impressed a few of the curatorial methodologies of the 33rd Bienal de São Paulo.

Raimundas Malašauskas and Marcos Lutyens supply a sound work, an set up, and a hypnosis session, Helen Singh-Miller invitations individuals to discover Feldenkrais actions, and Isabel Lewis hosts an event that hones our consideration in on the senses of odor, sound, and style.

D. Graham Burnett sketches the shifting disciplines of consideration throughout the fashionable interval, Ivone Gebara focuses on ecofeminism and the patriarchal menace inherent in inattention in the direction of our ecology, and I handle consideration as a curatorial software in addition to the politics of gendered consideration.

Widewalls: What do you hope to obtain with “Practices of Attention”? What can be the message behind the symposium?

SH: I hope that the symposium opens up new views and maybe even methodologies with regard to consideration. I’d be curious to discover methods out of the dialectics of consideration and distraction. Can we conceive of a scarcity of consideration not as a deficit, however as a unique rising intelligence?

If we’re profitable, the symposium will give the viewers and contributors meals for thought and provoke them to pay extra consideration to consideration. And I hope that will probably be a joyous expertise, too, particularly the performances by Vivian Caccuri, Kapwani Kiwanga, and Sal Randolph, the attentional workouts, and the event hosted by Isabel Lewis on Saturday night time.

Installation view of Antonio Ballester Moreno exhibitionSet up view of Antonio Ballester Moreno exhibition © Leo Eloy / Estúdio Garagem / Bienal de São Paulo Basis

Brazil’s New President vs The Arts

Widewalls: The gathering comes at a really particular time in Brazilian historical past. It was introduced earlier than the elections, of which we now know the outcomes. How will they have an effect on its subjects and factors of dialog now?

SH: Sadly, the election outcomes in Brazil resonate with comparable developments everywhere in the world. Once we conceived the symposium, we did so contemplating the worldwide in addition to the native context. We’ve been following the pre-election politics and campaigns in Brazil, and although the result’s appalling, sadly it hardly got here as a shock.

The dialog about consideration is all of the extra pressing now. Did we maybe fail to concentrate to these developments, or has the algorithmic regime grow to be ever extra environment friendly at obscuring them from our gaze? To keep away from the pitfalls of conspiracy considering, what appears necessary at this level in time is evaluation. And evaluation requires consideration.

The election outcomes can also make us consider who can afford to concentrate, who has the time, the assets, and the entry to focus? Who watches and who’s merely being surveilled?

Finally, the symposium types a part of the 33rd Bienal de São Paulo, and the exhibition itself reaffirms “the power of art as a unique place to focus attention in, to, and for the world.” Whereas we’ve got invited contributors from totally different fields, the primary focus and lens by means of which we talk about these points continues to be artwork.

Widewalls: In your opinion, how will the newly-elected President of Brazil have an effect on its artwork scene?

SH: Artists are wonderful seismographs for what’s going on in the world. They will critique, analyze, and picture in another way. I’m positive that the brand new president of Brazil will incite artists to create essential works, to self-organize, to voice their considerations about environmental safety and indigenous rights, amongst different pressing points.

In fact, the humanities will not be the one space affected by politics and what’s going on in the world, however they’re a superb speculative subject in which to experiment and check out new concepts. And new concepts are what we urgently want at this time.

Widewalls: What’s your connection to Brazil?

SH: I lived in São Paulo for a number of months in 2010, and got here again for a Capacete program in 2013. I’ve visited each Bienal since 2010, and fell in love with the nation and its artwork scene. Final yr, I curated the exhibition Sugar and Velocity on the Museu de Arte Moderna Aloisio Magalhães (MAMAM) in Recife. The invitation to come again this yr and arrange the symposium Practices of Attention for the Bienal got here at a second in time in which my ideas have been with Brazil and I used to be intently fascinated with politics, complicated techniques, and the buildings underlying what we see, really feel, and know: the politics of consideration.

Widewalls: What’s subsequent for you?

SH: After the symposium, I’m giving a chat on the Ca’ Foscari College of Venice, educating on the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, and getting ready Joan Jonas’s exhibition I’m curating on the newly opening TBA21–Academy Ocean Area in Venice in March 2019. The sixth Athens Biennale ANTI, which I co-curated this yr, continues to be on till December 9, and so I’m going again to Greece for Metahaven’s lecture and some different performances and occasions.

And, talking of consideration, I’ll give attention to writing the guide Prospecting Ocean departing from Armin Linke’s inventive analysis into extractivism in the deep sea, which will probably be revealed by The MIT Press in 2019.

For extra particulars and to join the symposium, please go to the web site.

Featured pictures: Thiago Rocha Pitta, Temporal Map of an Undefined Shoreline © Courtesy of the artist; Vivian Caccuri, Mosquitoes additionally cry © Courtesy of the artist; Isabel Lewis, Event © Joanna Seitz, 2014. Courtesy of the artist. All photographs courtesy Bienal de São Paulo.

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