One of the main art events in Latin America, after a one-year postponement due to the pandemic, opens its main exhibition Faz escuro mas eu canto [Though it’s dark, still I sing] with more than one thousand works by 91 artists. Curated by Jacopo Crivelli Visconti (chief curator), Paulo Miyada (adjunct curator), and Carla Zaccagnini, Francesco Stocchi and Ruth Estévez (guest curators).


This edition, begun in February 2020, has been unfolding in space and in time with both physical and online programming, and culminates now in the group show that occupies the entire Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavilion. Among this edition’s participating artists, there are representatives from all continents. There is a balanced distribution between women and men, and 4% of the artists identify themselves as non-binary. This edition will also have the largest representation of indigenous artists, with 9 participants from original peoples of different parts of the globe (approximately 10% of the total).

“Since the preliminary design for the 34th Bienal was drawn up, nearly three years ago, the dilated timeframe we had imagined for the Bienal became much more than a curatorial tool: it became part of each person’s life. And, for us, this dilated time echoed the desire to present not only the artworks and the artists, but also the process by which the exhibition was constructed. This led to the continuous and constantly reformulated effort of thinking and rethinking the exhibition publicly, ceaselessly talking about what we had planned – about what went ahead according to plan and about what became something else. Thus making it even clearer that it is not separate from the world, but a part of it,” reflects Crivelli Visconti, curator of this Bienal.


One of the central elements of the 34th Bienal de São Paulo’s curatorial conception is the existence of 14 statements, elements that possess striking stories, able to suggest readings of the works around them. The curatorship resorts to these items as a way of seeking a language able to delineate the fields of force created by the encounter of artworks produced in different places and at different times without, however, limiting the readings to specific themes or concepts. Among the statements, visitors will find a number of very diverse material and symbolic objects. The first statement, for example, consists of three objects belonging to the collection of the Museu Nacional, which survived the fire that destroyed it and the vast majority of its holdings. Reunited, these three objects evidence how resisting can take various forms.

Beyond the opening of the main exhibition of the 34th Bienal de São Paulo, the year 2021 is also an important date for marking the 70th anniversary of the 1st Bienal de São Paulo (1951). “Throughout the last 70 years, the various editions of the Bienal de São Paulo have adapted to the times, and it is precisely its ability to change, coupled with its opening to the new, which has allowed the show to conserve its artistic and cultural relevance” says José Olympio da Veiga Pereira, president of the Fundação Bienal de São Paulo.


Though it’s dark, still I sing

Group exhibition

Until 05 Dec 2021

Pavilhão da Bienal

Parque Ibirapuera, portão 3, Vila Mariana, São Paulo - SP

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