Show time: Brazil

Schizophrenia, strawberries provide art for Sao Paulo Biennial


Bloomberg News

The 30th Sao Paulo Bienal sprawls from the main exhibition space at the Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavilion in Ibirapuera Park to six other smaller sites that include an old chapel and the Museum of Art of Sao Paulo.

Vastness is appropriate for the most populous city in the Americas and the world’s second-oldest art fair, after the Venice Biennale. More than two dozen galleries prepared independent exhibition areas apart from the 111 artists featured in the biennnial. The festival curators had in mind a structure like a constellation.

One of the stars is Arthur Bispo do Rosario (1909-1989), a schizophrenia patient discovered in a Brazilian mental hospital who turned institutional objects into visual art. The area devoted to him contains a significant collection of his extensive, obsessive work. In Bispo do Rosario’s efforts to re-create the world around him, he used pieces of embroidery, miniatures and reproductions in wood wrapped with the threads of patients’ unraveled uniforms. They compose a dreamlike universe.

For Leandro Tartaglia’s Journey Through Sao Paulo, the viewer boards a van and dons headphones to listen to the Argentine artist’s “moving theater piece in two acts.” Each part takes about 20 minutes, the time that the van spends transporting the viewer from the pavilion to the Morumbi chapel. The journey serves as a thread connecting far-flung venues.

Micah Silver and Robert The, co-founders of the Maryanne Amacher Archive, used recordings and visual components to convert the 1825 chapel into a sound installation, in the manner of the late U.S. artist Amacher, a pioneer in this work.

The exhibitions include lots of compilations or montages of words, objects and images that aim to be poetry, in line with the biennial’s challenging theme, The Imminence of Poetics.

In Hans-Peter Feldmann’s A Pound of Strawberry, individual photos of strawberries taken out of a box are pinned one by one on the wall. The piece gives us an idea of singularity in an era of mass consumption. He has done similar assemblies with photos of women’s legs and mouths.

Eduardo Gil’s Dictator’s Newsreel or Bruise turns history’s cruelest moments into a colorful, dynamic panel. Newspaper images of political victims were printed on 270 color rectangles in a spectrum that ranges across the hues of bruises. Each piece is attached to a motor-driven axle that keeps it slowly spinning like a propeller.

The work sparked debate in Brazil by including Joao Goulart, the country’s former left-wing president, who was deposed by the military in 1964, giving way to the dictatorship that lasted 20 years.

•  The Sao Paulo Bienal,, runs through Dec. 9.

Read more Latin American & Caribbean Travel stories from the Miami Herald

An inverse cheese tart inspired by a Panamanian town nestled ini the crater of an inactive volcano, served at Madrigal, a restaurant in Panama City.


    Panama City brings the world’s flavors to its tables

    One hundred years after the opening of the Panama Canal — which continues to bring in immigrants of different ethnicities whose foods dominate Panama City’s culinary scene — a new Panamanian cuisine is emerging, one that looks inward while embracing its diversity.

Three-toed sloth in the Upper Amazon.

    Cruising the Upper Amazon Basin: anaconda, piranha and king toads, oh my!

    One day, on a cushy fall river cruise in the Upper Amazon Basin, our 10-passenger, motorized skiff was exploring tributaries, and tributaries of tributaries. Each sliver of water was smaller than the former, until we plunged into a jungle path clogged with vines, rotting logs, trees with twisting roots, weeds and tall grasses.

  • Shark lovers try to save Jaws from Trinidad’s bite

    Conservationists say they have launched a shark-saving campaign in the Caribbean country of Trinidad & Tobago, trying to stop locals and tourists from eating a popular delicacy: deep-fried shark sandwiches.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category