6TH MERCOSUL BIENNIAL 2007
01 Sep - 18 Nov 2007
The Third Shore of the River
1 September - 18 November 2007
Chief Curator: Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro
Education Programme: Luis Camnitzer
Conversations Exhibition: Alejandro Cesarco and Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro
Free Zone Exhibition: Moacir dos Anjos, Inés Katzenstein, Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro and
Three Frontiers Exhibition: Ticio Escobar and Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro
A-1 53167, Adolfo Couve, Alberto Greco, Alejandro Otero, Alejandro Paz, Allora & Calzadilla, Alvaro Oyarzún, Annika Ström, Arquibancada, Barbaro Rivas, Beatriz González, Beth Campbell, Biblioteca do artista, Ceal Floyer, Cecilia Inés Pavón, Chiho Aoshima, Cuauhtémoc Medina, Daniel Bozhkov, Dario Robleto, Fernanda Laguna, Fernando López Lage, Fischli & Weiss, Francis Alÿs, Francisco Matto, Harrel Fletcher, Jaime Gili, Jesús Rafael Soto, João Maria Gusmão e Pedro Paiva, John Baldessari, Jorge Gumier Maier, Jorge Macchi, José Antonio “Muu” Blanco, Jose Gabriel Fernández, Josefina Guilisasti, Juan Araújo, Katie van Scherpenberg, Laura Belém, Leopoldo Estol, Leticia El Halli Obeid, Lux Lindner, M7red (Maurício Corbalan e Pio Torroja), Magdalena Atria, Miguel Amat, Milton Rodrigues Dacosta, Minerva Cuevas, Nelson Leirner, Nesrine Khodr, Osvaldo Salerno, Pablo Chiuminatto, Rafael Ortega Ayala, Rivane Neuenschwander, Sara Ramo, Stephen “Steve” Reich, Steve McQueen, Steve Roden, Sylvia Meyer, Terrence “Terry” Malick, Walid Raad, Waltercio Caldas, William Kentridge, Yoshua Okon,
The 6th Mercosul Biennial, which took place from September to November 2007, marks a new stage in the history of the Mercosul Biennials. This edition opted for a curatorial model which intensified the internationalisation of the exhibition and applied a careful educational programme throughout its entire organisation.
One of the administration’s main challenges was to expand the event’s community contributions beyond the art exhibitions. Under the chief curatorship of Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, the curatorial project was devised based on the educational propositions developed by the education curator, Luis Camnitzer, who believes that the spectator should be seen as a creative person and not just as a passive receptor of information. An innovative reconfiguration of the Mercosul Biennial education programme was therefore established, which has been seen as a contribution to the debate about art education in Brazil and should become a global reference point in events with the same format.
The adoption of a metaphor based on the famous story by Guimarães Rosa, entitled “The Third Shore of the River”, permeated the work of all areas involved in the organisation. The Third Shore symbolises changing perspectives, the possibility of creating a third way of perceiving reality. Consisting of six exhibitions, the event occupied three exhibition spaces: MARGS – Museu de Artes do Rio Grande do Sul, Santander Cultural and the Quayside Warehouses.
The 6th Mercosul Biennial curatorial project involved 350 works by 67 artists from 23 countries in the following exhibitions:
- Monographic exhibitions by three major figures representing different periods in Latin American art history: Oyvind Fahlström, Francisco Matto and Jorge Macchi.
- Conversations: artists from Mercosul countries inviting other artists based on artistic affinity. An exhibition which explores cultural geography through the specific relationships between works of art.
- Free Zone: a series of projects selected by a team of international curators, based solely on criteria of quality, relevance and contemporaneity.
- Three Frontiers: artists from different countries were taken to the triple border region between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, to reflect upon the complexity of international relations between the Mercosul countries. The experience became the basis for creating work especially for the Biennial
- The Education Programme: Education Programme activities started in April 2007, with the organisation of the first Art Education Symposium and the start of distribution of the Educational Material to libraries and teachers in the Rio Grande do Sul public and private education network. This material was the basis for a series of actions involving teachers from state schools and the private sector. A mediator-training course was also organised, together with open public lectures with artists and curators before the exhibitions opened, the International Art Education Symposium, free transport for state-school students and charitable organisations and the Dialogs project – which involved the local art community.
The 6th Biennial was visited by more than 500,000 people during the 79 days that it was open to the public. More than 160,000 students from 172 cities were booked for guided visits. The Education Programme organised 55 teacher-training meetings in 42 cities in Rio Grande do Sul and four cities in Santa Catarina in 2007, training 7570 teachers and educators from 348 municipalities.
In December of the same year, the Mercosul Biennial Foundation organised the exhibition entitled A Biennial for All – stories and contributions, which used videos, texts, photographs and diagrams to demonstrate the results achieved by the 6th Mercosul Biennial. The exhibition took place in Santander Cultural and was visited by 9724 people during the two weeks that it was open.
The 6th Mercosul Biennial also began a Social Responsibility Report, the publication of which is a way of presenting accounts to the community, promoting transparency of management actions, sharing information about the investments made and the contributions the project brings to the communities it serves. The report also presents a description of the Mercosul Biennial Foundation activities and its commitment to the sustainability of the Mercosul Biennial project.