22nd Biennial Sesc_Videobrasil, São Paulo, Brazil Deadline: 02 September 2022
From August 1 through September 2, 2022, the 22nd Biennial Sesc_Videobrasil holds an open call for artists. This edition will be held in October 2023, in São Paulo, after being postponed for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Biennial will receive submissions of works in any format and language, from artists and/or collectives born and/or based in countries of the Global South, from the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP), or residing in them for at least five years, as well as Indigenous artists of any nationality.
About the 22nd Biennial Sesc_Videobrasil
With its characteristic dynamism, the event reaches its 22nd edition in 2023 with the title “Memory is an editing station”—a sentence taken from the poem “Open Letter to John Ashbery,” by Waly Salomão (1943–2003). Curated by the Raphael Fonseca, from Brazil, and Renée Akitelek Mboya, from Kenya, the Biennial also marks the 40th anniversary of Videobrasil, initially an event dedicated to video, but which over the decades expanded to the most varied artistic media. In this celebration, “it is therefore necessary not only to reflect on time and the many conceptions of memory, but also to revisit the importance of video in these four decades,” write the curators. It is also worth noting that in contemporaneity, the possibilities of editing have been transformed, and become more agile and within reach of our fingertips in many technological devices of everyday use.
Far beyond these particular “editing stations,” the 22nd Biennial seeks to select works that address collective memories, the dynamic of remembrance and forgetfulness that build historical and social narratives, related to peoples, nations and geographic regions. “What are the ethical boundaries of a cut?” Who holds the power to do so? How to forge the memory of what we didn’t see or feel in our bodies? What are the limits of memory?”, question the curators.
Founder and artistic director of Videobrasil, who held her first Festival in 1983, Solange Farkas calls attention to the context in which the open call for artists is being held, after more than two years of a pandemic that has left millions dead around the globe. The idea of survival, therefore, emerges as an essential desire, as well as the need to look at such a recent and already traumatic past. “Surviving in the face of adversity is necessary, and the Biennial cherishes the expression of different voices, ways of negotiating the historical past and forms of reflecting on image creation today.”
Those selected will take part in the exhibition at Sesc 24 de Maio (São Paulo, Brazil) and compete for the following prizes, to be awarded by the 22nd Biennial:
State of the Art Award: given to the work considered by the jury to be the most thought-provoking, powerful and significant in the Biennial.
Sesc Contemporary Art Award: given to outstanding works in the 22nd Biennial, produced by Brazilian artists and/or collectives that will be included in the Sesc Brazilian Art Collection.
O.F.F. Award: offered by the Ostrovsky Family Fund, it is given to a participating artist, of any nationality, who presents an original investigation of the moving image.
Artistic residency prizes will also be given, which will provide residency periods at partner institutions. Prizes include airfare, accommodation and per diem during residencies, which have an eight-week duration.
About the organizers
Associação Cultural Videobrasil
Founded by Solange Farkas in 1991, Associação Cultural Videobrasil is the result of the desire to institutionally host the growing collection of works and publications gathered since the first Festival Videobrasil, held in 1983. Since then, the association has been working systematically to activate its collection, which brings together pieces from the Global South, classics of video art and in-house works and a vast collection of publications on art. In addition to the Sesc_Videobrasil Biennial, the Association also carries out important activities of research, diffusion and mapping concerning its collection: national and international exhibitions; touring shows; publications; TV programs; documentaries; seminars; workshops and meetings with artists and researchers; and artistic residency programs, in connection with a worldwide collaborative network.
Sesc—Social Service of Commerce
Sesc—Social Service of Commerce is a private, non-profit institution created in 1946 by entrepreneurs in the fields of commerce and services throughout Brazil. In the state of São Paulo, Sesc has over 40 centers focused in the areas of culture, education, sports, leisure and health. Sesc São Paulo receives roughly 20 million visits annually. The work of Sesc São Paulo is guided by its educational role and by the pursuit of social well-being based on a broad notion of culture. In this sense, the unlimited access to the spaces and contents offered by the institution targets at the democratization of cultural assets as a form of autonomy of the individual. In the field of visual arts, the institution’s main role is to foster and disseminate the contemporary artistic production and the study of the production of previous historical periods, as well as the intersections with other artistic languages, having as its central guideline the organization of exhibitions for all audiences.
Read here the curatorial approach of the 22nd Biennial Sesc_Videobrasil.