Press release (English)

From 22 September to 28 November, the spacious sheds of the Liceu de Artes e Ofícios de São Paulo will host the event “Paralela 2010 // A Contemplação do Mundo” [The Contemplation of the World]. The show’s 5th edition, featuring 82 artists (see the complete list below), is being curated by Paulo Reis, director of the Lisbon cultural center Carpe Diem Arte e Pesquisa and codirector of the international magazine of contemporary art Dardo.

The theme of this edition – The Contemplation of the World – is the title of a work by French sociologist Michel Maffesoli, who, by way of concepts such as culture, time, memory, place and history, seeks an understanding of the passage from the 20th to the 21st century. “We take the idea of contemplating the world by way of the artworks of these artists, recognizing their capacity to reflect on shared themes, probablematizing them and, above all, creating a representation, which is the role of art,” the curator explains.

Proposed as a complement to the Bienal de São Paulo (which takes place from 21 September to 12 December, in Ibirapuera Park), Paralela 10 emphasizes the participation of young artists alongside some of the main names of the 1990s. “According to philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, the artists lend us their eyes for us to see the world. The 82 artists gathered here generously offer us their views, since, after all, mystery is something that is shared,” Paulo Reis justifies. See the curator’s entire text, at the end.

The following artists are participating in “Paralela 2010 // A Contemplação do Mundo”:

  • Adriana Varejão
  • Alex Cerveny
  • Alexandre da Cunha
  • André Komatsu
  • Brígida Baltar
  • Bruno Dunley
  • Cabelo
  • Cao Guimarães
  • Carla Zaccagnini
  • Carlos Bevilacqua
  • Chelpa Ferro
  • Chiara Banfi
  • Daniel Acosta
  • Débora Bolsoni
  • Detanico & Lain
  • Dias & Riedweg
  • Ding Musa
  • Eder Santos
  • Edgard de Souza
  • Eduardo Verderame
  • Erika Verzutti
  • Felipe Barbosa
  • Felipe Cama
  • Felipe Cohen
  • Felippe Segall
  • Fernanda Chieco
  • Fernanda Gomes
  • Flávia Metzler
  • Geórgia Kyriakakis
  • Gustavo Rezende
  • Hector Zamora
  • Iran do Espírito Santo
  • Jarbas Lopes
  • João Loureiro
  • José Rufino
  • Lais Myrrha
  • Laura Belém
  • Laura Vinci
  • Lenora de Barros
  • Lina Kim
  • Lucas Bambozzi
  • Marcelo Amorim
  • Marcelo Moscheta
  • Marcelo Solá
  • Marcellvs L.
  • Marcia de Moraes
  • Marcia Xavier
  • Marcos Chaves
  • Marepe
  • Mariana Manhães
  • Mariana Palma
  • Marina Rheingantz 
  • Mauro Piva 
  • Milton Marques
  • Nicolas Robbio
  • Niura Bellavinha
  • osgemeos
  • O Grivo
  • Patricia Osses
  • Paulo Climachauska
  • Paulo Nenflídio
  • Pedro Motta
  • Rafael Assef
  • Rafael Carneiro
  • Raul Mourão
  • Regina Parra
  • Reginaldo Pereira
  • Renata Lucas
  • Rodolpho Parigi
  • Rodrigo Bivar
  • Rodrigo Matheus
  • Rogério Degaki
  • Rosana Palazyan
  • Rosana Ricalde
  • Sandra Cinto
  • Tiago Tebet
  • Tiago Carneiro da Cunha
  • Thiago Rocha Pitta
  • Tonico Lemos Auad
  • Valdirlei Dias Nunes
  • Vânia Mignone
  • Wagner Malta Tavares


“Nothing bad has been lost/nothing good has been in vain/one light illuminates all/but there should be more” (Arseni Tarkovski)

The political, social and scientific changes of the contemporary world produce relational transformations and updates in what we refer to as culture. Confronted constantly with the accelerated exchange rate of information technology our society is marked by the necessity for perpetual learning.  This era, categorized by some authors as neo-baroque, would be closer to a neo-renaissance paradigm given its capacity for the expansion of new modes of operation and awareness. With hybridconcepts of miscegenation and convergence – Gilles Deleuze’s ‘open library’ – we live in a world that is constantly being amended. Hegel’s zeitgist had already predicted the spirit of a time whose motor would be its own history.  Time does not stop, but it has lost hegemony in our era of rapidity.  Pierre Lévy projected that cyber-culture would engineer social connections through ‘trees of knowledge.’  These trees, by virtue of technology, are free and equally accessible to all – this is their great benefit.

One of the significant authors contributing to our understanding of the 20th century – as well as the new century that is starting – is Michel Maffesoli. He holds the key for unlocking the portal of our era. The title of his prophetic book, The Contemplation of the World, has been the leading point of discussion here at Paralela 10.   Constructs such as culture, time, memory, place, history and events considered at a global level are guidelines through which to navigate the labyrinth of images and poetics exhibited here. According to Maffesoli’s concept that dream and thought are intimately connected, especially in moments when societies dream of themselves, the work of these artists provides a lens through which we may contemplate our world. However, this is not an argument that the works of art present a single sociological thesis, rather it is an acknowledgment of the artists’ capacity to consider and question a common topic; to contemplate the role of art in relation to contemporary culture.

Sociologist Susan Buck-Morss, in her book Thinking Past Terror, concludes that the events of September 11th must change the way in which intellectuals engage. To separate academic discourse from politics is to risk being excluded from global thought. Intellectuals who do not engage the contemporary moment will be marginalized – to think and write globally is a necessity but not an easy task in our time. Maffesoli proposes that “dream and thought are intimately connected’ especially in moments in which societies dream of themselves. It is important to read these dreams denied by all dictatorial systems. This is not the brutal face presented in modernism.  This ruler is a pleasant and aseptic happiness packaged at a bargain price. The contemporary dictatorship no longer consists, with some notable exceptions, of cruel and bloodthirsty individuals – it is anonymous, sweet and disguised. It is above all unaware of what it is, or what it does, and is committed in total good faith to the promotion of the sacred principle of utilitarian reality. In this way it eradicates the capacity for dreaming. In this sense it expresses a constant pattern in human history: the powers sleep in peace, and when nobody can take it anymore, it can not dream anymore or just doesn’t know how .”

The space of the dream, of reverie, of the invisible is with no doubt the space of art. It contains the act of creation, it is the crash zone where the artist dreams of himself through the communion that only art can permit. This imagination zone can be a room, a living room, a spacecraft, or an object in which the sparkle in its immanent existence will illuminate us. The works of the artists Daniel Acosta, Carla Zaccagnini, Regina Parra, Lays Mirrha, Eduardo Verderame, Sandra Cinto, Marcos Chaves, Pedro Motta, Thiago Rocha Pitta, Márcia Xavier, Detanico& Lain, Dias &Riedweg, Lucas Bambozzi, DéboraBolsoni, Laura Vinci and O Grivo reveal the architectonic, landscape, and sonic utopias of daily life.  A mnemonic space. To enter it you need to be under the spell of art and that nothing bad has been lost/nothing good was in vain/a light illuminates all/but there should be more, from the poem by ArseniTarkoviski that deconstructs the concerns of the soul of the artist. Here, in the dream landscape, real or invented, in the space of reverie, the adventure in the space of the dreamor the desire to transform reality starts.

There is an imaginary trance from which baroque culture offered us an escape form that is reborn today with the baroque process of the world. This trance favors the interior explosion. Through image I participate in that small other that is an object, a guru, a star, a painting, music, an environment, etc. and that is why the other, called society, is created. Magical participations, believed to be limited to the primitives, are back with the re-enchantment of the world.” And it is from this re-enchantment that the works of Rodrigo Matheus, FláviaMatzler, Marcelo Solá, Marcelo Moscheta, Cabelo and Chelpa Ferro deal: the capacity to revise the past and bring it into the present as images and icons of our civilization. It’s a solemn reference to the masters, crediting their pioneer and magical experiences and telling us that “the post-modern society is, for numerous reasons, transfigured by images. Taking into consideration the classical definition, transfiguration is the passage from one image to the other. Furthermore, in a certain manner, small and close to possession.”

It is by paying attention to the ‘signs of times,’ knowing how to interpret all the sometimes chaotic, timely events with the emotional strength that constitute the everyday life, that you can appreciate a new life-style, that suddenly enters into the social body. In this perspective, the common sentiment (another way to refer to myth) is born, tending to express itself in a more or less perverse manner, having nothing of the rational or at least, difficult to integrate the rational scheme, and presenting all modernity. In sum, we can say that the image, the symbolic, the imaginary and the imagination are back, driven to the foreground,”referring to the radical in the early modern period, and particularly to the innovative plastic experiences of the artists Fernanda Gomes, Edgard de Souza, Iran do Espírito Santo, Felipe Cohen, JoãoLoureiro, Carlos Bevilacqua, José Rufino, NicolásRobbio, Laura Belém, Jarbas Lopes, Alexandre da Cunha, Reginaldo Pereira and Valdirlei Dias Nunes.

“It is often considered that ‘style is mankind’ and this frequent idea serves the purpose of containing the private sphere. It is, in this sense, a surplus or a supplement of the soul reserved to literature or any other large work of culture – painting, music, sculpture, etc. In all cases, it refers only to leisure, the Sunday of life, without any implication towards the rest of existence which is submitted to a much more serious principle of reality. In this perspective, style, as the dancer that the bourgeois man “was erasing” for his pleasure, is easily revocable, especially in times of crisis. It is certain that there has been, in the last few years, another utilization of the notion, in particular in the expression ‘life-style’, but it was used primarily with a commercial purpose and is ‘targeted’, with the objective of adjusting production and, without doubt, consumption related to wishes, desires, fictional or real,” as commented in the works of Marcelo Amorim, Bruno Dunley, Rodrigo Bivar, Gustavo Rezende and RogérioDegaki.

“Which is the essential feature of the style born of the transmutation of the values that took place some decades ago, and that is almost concluded at the end of the century? In a more or less precise manner, it is an aesthetic form that tends to prevail in our societies. Nevertheless, we can explain that the aesthetics in question are not, in any form, the ones situated in the domain of the fine arts: it gathers them but also extends the social life of the group. Life, as a work of art, of some type, or yet aesthetics as a way of feeling and experimenting in common. This explains why aesthetics no longer obeys the criteria of good taste as elaborated by the bourgeois, and rather is expressed essentially as a vector of sociality, a way of enjoying together an eternal present that is explained by the contradictory expression ‘mystic materialism.’ There is some hedonism of the body, of the objects, of the images and of space, all of which is concrete but transforms itself in mysticism. In other words, it is shared, favoring the mysterious union, or closer to its etymology, a communion” achieved by the observation of the coruscating paintings of Adriana Varejão, Mariana Palma, osgemeos, Tiago Tebet and Rodrigo Parigi, or in the translucid works of NiuraBellavinha, and even more in the hedonistic and ironic sculptures of Erika Verzutti and Marepe.

“Progressively, the imaginary that modernity considered as being the order of the superfluous or frivolous tends to find a chosen place in social life. We can hypothesize that there is a social body as well as a human body. This last one, when employing great mental or physical energy needs to relax and dedicate itself, somehow unconsciously, to finding balance, activating the powers of fantasy, the dreamful and playful capacities. It is this compensation that can acquire free time, the leisure of other forms of ‘holidays’ of the spirit and the body. Taking the analysis further, it is possible to question whether, after being submitted to the stringent laws of productivism, after being called by the principle of the reality of the ‘economical whole,’ societies are discovering the distended enchantments, or the relativization of the activism typical of the last two centuries.“ So the works of TonicoLemosAuad, Wagner Malta Tavares, GeórgiaKyriakakis, Ding Musa, Mariana Manhães, Marcellvs L. and Raul Mourão, in which the kinetic and physical values are more apparent and immediate, question the modus and the perception of the unbalanced reality.

“It is necessary to return ‘genius’ to its wide meaning: for example, the genius of a place or a people. This is very difficult after three centuries of modernity, in which the individual ideology prevailed.  However, if we dedicate ourselves to thinking in the present, to thinking the present, if we desire to understand the changes of importance that take place currently, we must return to the collective genius his letters of nobility. It is to this price that the different aspects of social life will find, not in the sense, what is univocal, tangible, universal – progress, historic evolutionism, state of law, national or international – but its several meanings lived with others that are causes and effects of a new way of being together” and by this form we understand the strong plea to the symbolic in the works of Mauro Piva, RosanaPalazyan, Lina Kim, Chiara Banfi, BrígidaBaltar and Márcia de Moraes. 

“The transfiguration of post-modern society finds its complete realization in daily life. In fact, besides the commerce of ideas (ideology), there is the commerce of goods (economy) or the commerce of bodies (sexuality). Each one of these generates objects, favors exchange, their circulation contributing to the global animation of social life. However, this multifaceted commerce can not be compared, that spirit that comes to the objects and by the objects, all of this can not have a place because it is “informed by images”. Humanity’s time, the materials that compose life, the time expressed as the hours of work, its intelligence as a model of production, the distribution of the webs of social circulation and goods, the body as a commodity, the vicissitudes and social and economical distress, the value of the daily life, is something that is not measurable but commented upon through the works of Filipe Cama, Héctor Zamora, Paulo Climachauska, André Komatsu, Renata Lucas, Lenora de Barros, Eder Santos, Maria Rheingantz and Rafael Carneiro, Filipe Barbosa and Cao Guimarães.

“Thinking without an interest is, after all, a good guarantee against dogmatism, without provoking an abdication of the spirit. On the contrary: in periods of turbulence it’s better to approach social phenomenons with a spirit free of all prejudice, or at least, exempt from preconceived ideas, because it’s a metaphor that is happening close to our eyes. I have spoken of the ‘transfiguration’ of politics. But taking the analysis further, we can observe that it is society that has deteriorated with time. It generates, therefore, a kind of Palingenesis. What I mean is that by a kind of cyclic process, it is from chaos that a new recreation takes place. In this case, the saturation of the values of modernity tend to give way to alternative values, with inaccurate contours, in which the effectiveness is unquestionable” when positioned with the supreme value of freedom”. That´s  proposed by Rosana Ricalde, Vânia Mignone, Tiago Carneiro da Cunha, Felippe Segall, Alex Cerveny, PatriciaOsses, Fernanda Chieco, Rafael Assefand Milton Marques.

Art is a space of reflection, tension, antagonism, denunciation, revolution, as proposed by Joseph Beuys, “La RivoluzionesiamoNoi”, demarcating that the place of the true artist is the one of the cultural guerilla.  From the proximity of art is generated a pulsating experience, alive, a state of permanent displacement, a place of passage. The in site/no site, in minimal art currents confirms that a work of art does not need the triad of atelier – gallery – museum to exist. Today we can present a work of art in any place, public or private; art does not depend any longer on the space to become legitimized, its space is now the world. As Arthur C. Danto referred “if we change the awareness, reality can change from the inside. To implicate awareness is the way to eliminate the distance between art and life.”

Paulo Reis

São Paulo, Setembro 2010

[1] “September 11 has transformed irrevocably the context in which we as intellectuals speak. The acts of terror on that day were no invasion from the outside by a barbaric evil “other” but were, rather, produced fully within a coeval and common world. We are witnessing the mutation of a new, global body-politic, and if we intellectuals are to have any potency as part os its thinking organ, it will be in discourses that refuse to separate academic life from political life, and that inform not just nation opinion, but a global public debate. To think ad write for a global public sphere is not an easy task”. Susan Buck-Morss, Thinking Past Terror: Islamism and Critical Theory on the Left; – London: Verso, 2003

[1]Arthur C. Danto, The gap between art and life.Londres: ICO, 2007

Allthequotationsofthistext are fromthebookLaContemplationdu Monde, Michel Maffesoli (A Contemplação do Mundo; translatedby Francisco FrankeSettineri, Porto Alegre: Artes e Ofícios Edições, 1995.


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