34th Bienal de São Paulo – Faz escuro mas eu canto

Bienal Pavilion, Ibirapuera Park, São Paulo, Brazil
03 Oct 2020 - 13 Dec 2020

34th Bienal de São Paulo – Faz escuro mas eu canto

Fundação Bienal announces the new dates of the exhibition’s 34th edition !!

In face of the challenges faced by the whole world at this delicate moment, and as a result of intense dialog between the various governance bodies of the Fundação Bienal and the curatorship of the exhibition, the Bienal de São Paulo has adjusted it’s calendar to protect the safety of visitors, artists and collaborators.

The opening of the group exhibition of the 34th Bienal, initially planned for September 5, will be postponed to October 3 2020, and the closing date will be moved to December 13. In addition, the exhibitions by Clara Ianni and Deana Lawson, as well as the performances authored by León Ferrari and Hélio Oiticica, which were to take place between April and August, will be incorporated into the group show.

More information about this new calendar will be shared as soon as possible HERE.


The 34th Bienal de São Paulo – Faz escuro mas eu canto [Though it’s dark, still I sing] opened now the first of a series of three solo shows that introduce part of the themes that will be featured in the main show, starting in September this year.

Conceived as a polyphony of voices and viewpoints on contemporary artistic production, the 34th Bienal de São Paulo has adopted a new format, aimed at creating a multiplicity of distinct situations in which the encounter between artworks and the public can take place. It is curated by Jacopo Crivelli Visconti together with a curatorial team consisting of Paulo Miyada (adjunct curator), Carla Zaccagnini, Francesco Stocchi and Ruth Estévez (guest curators). For the publications, Elvira Dyangani Ose is acting as guest editor, and her participation is a collaboration with The Showroom, London.

Considered more as a statement than a theme, the title of the 34th Bienal de São Paulo, Faz escuro mas eu canto, is a line from a poem by Thiago de Mello, published in the book by the same name in 1965. In his work, the Amazonian poet speaks clearly about the problems and hopes of millions of men and women around the world: “Hope is universal, the social inequalities are universal as well […]. We are at a moment at which the apocalypse is gaining on utopia. For some time now I have made the choice: between apocalypse and utopia, I’m staying with utopia,” the writer stated.

The three solo shows are featuring works by mid-career artists from different backgrounds, who have different research focuses but nevertheless share in common the quality of having relevant, complex and instigating productions: besides the show by Ximena Garrido-Lecca, now in February, in April there will be a solo show by Brazilian artist Clara Ianni , and, in June, an exhibition by US photographer Deana LawsonThe programming for opening on February 8 included a brand-new musical performance by South African Neo Muyanga. The opening of the show in April will take place simultaneously with the presentation of a performance authored by Argentine artist León Ferrari (1920–2013, Buenos Aires). A third performance will take place at the opening of Lawson’s exhibition in July: a never-before-staged work titled A Ronda da Morte [Death Patrol], authored in 1979 by Hélio Oiticica (1937–1980, Rio de Janeiro).

Marked by mutual encounter and leverage between the curatorial project and the Bienal’s institutional activity, the 34th Bienal de São Paulo emphasizes the multiplicity of possible readings of an artwork and an exhibition based on the concept of “relation,” approached by thinkers such as Edouard Glissant and Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, and adopts an innovative structure of functioning, which involves the holding of shows and actions presented in the Bienal Pavilion starting in February 2020, coupled with a concerted network of related events held in partnership with the Bienal at 26 institutions in the city of São Paulo. These institutions will hold, in their own spaces, exhibitions by artists who are also participating in the Bienal, emphasizing how the understanding of an artwork is always influenced by the “relationships” that are created with the works around it and with the context where it is shown.

While most institutions are in São Paulo, the partnerships also includes Deana Lawson’s solo show at Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (27 March – 24 May 2020), as well as Neo Muyanga’s performance ‘A Maze in Grace’ at the 11th Liverpool Biennial, UK ( 9 – 11 July 2020), while others extend until 2021, the solo exhibitions of Clara Ianni at the CCA Lagos Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos, Nigeria and Ximena Garrido-Lecca at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, US.



34th Bienal de São Paulo – Faz escuro mas eu canto



Ximena Garrido-Lecca – solo show
with a performance by Neo Muyanga with Legítima Defesa + Bianca Turner
February 8 – March 15, 2020

Clara Ianni – solo show
with a performance by León Ferrari on April 25, 2020
April 25 through June 7, 2020

Deana Lawson – solo show
with a performance by Hélio Oiticica on July 25
July 25 – August 23, 2020


September 5 – December 6, 2020

curatorial team
Chief curator: Jacopo Crivelli Visconti
Adjunct curator: Paulo Miyada
Guest curators: Carla Zaccagnini, Francesco Stocchi and Ruth Estévez
Guest editor: Elvira Dyangani Ose in collaboration with The Showroom, London


Some highlights of the programming of the network of partner institutions:

Casa Do Povo
Noa Eshkol
Curator: Benjamin Seroussi and Marília Loureiro
Date: August – October 2020

São Paulo Cultural Center
Jota Mombaça
Date: 8/29 – 10/31/2020

IMS Paulista
Carolina Maria de Jesus (working title)
Curatorship: Hélio Menezes and Raquel Barreto
Date: from August 2020

Afro Brazil Museum
Frida Orupabo
Date: September – December 2020

Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand (MASP)
Harrell Trajal in Histórias da dança
Date: 6/26 – 5/11/2020

Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (MAM São Paulo)
Jaider Esbell
Date: September – December 2020

Paço das Artes
International Contemporary Art Seminar 2020
Organization: Priscila Arantes and Vinicius Spricigo
Date: 18 and 9/19/2020

Pinacoteca de São Paulo / Estação
Joan Jonas
Curated by Berta Sichel
Date: 9/5 – 10/12/2020

Sesc Pompeia
Alfredo Jaar
Curator: Moacir dos Anjos
Opening: 2/9, 8pm. Visitation: 3/9/2020 – 24/1/2021

Video programs: Videobrasil Historical Collection in dialogue
Date: 5/9 – 6/12/2020


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