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Reflections on the large scale perennial exhibitions of contemporary art: towards an archaeology of the São Paulo Biennial (1969-1987)

Abstract

The research aims to question the canon of the so called exhibition histories, through case studies of the São Paulo Bienal from the 1970s and 1980s, and the theoretical and methodological reflections on the large scale perennial exhibitions of contemporary art. In the state of art in the field, the 24th São Paulo Bienal (1998) appears exclusively as an example of exhibitions that made art global. From this geopolitical perspective, I have argued elsewhere that a critical review of the exhibition histories discourse demands the attention to the exhibitions that have not yet been adequately studied, such as São Paulo Bienal editions held in Brazil before 1998. Furthermore, the biennials, that spread all over the world after the fall of the Berlin Wall, are a subject that reinforces the narratives of the globalization of the contemporary art exhibitions. Because of that, the history of the São Paulo Bienal, as a mean of rethinking the "biennialization" of the contemporary art, is an important contribution towards an archaeological approach on the global art phenomenon. (AU)

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