Day: September 11, 2021

Sao Paulo art fest gives voice to resistance in times of darkness

A meteorite salvaged from a 2018 fire at Rio de Janeiro’s National Museum symbolizes resistance to the destruction of culture in times of darkness — a spirit at the heart of this year’s Sao Paulo Biennial of Contemporary Art.

Marking its 70th anniversary the exhibition, one of the most important of its kind in the world, reflects a reaction to the extreme right embodied in Brazil by President Jair Bolsonaro, as well as to the environmental crisis and the pandemic.

“Faz escuro mas eu canto” (“It’s dark but I sing”): the curators salvaged this verse by Thiago de Mello, a message of hope written during Brazil’s military dictatorship from 1964 to 1985, to summarize this Biennial of more than a thousand works by 91 Brazilian and foreign artists, including indigenous creators.

The darkness has become more tangible with “new fires, hate speech (…), acts of explicit racism, signs of

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