Appointed by the Fundação Bienal to take over the curatorship of the 34th Bienal de São Paulo, Jacopo Crivelli Visconti was selected with a project that proposes to structure the show based on the concept of “relationship”. Freely inspired by the reflections of thinkers such as Édouard Glissant (Sainte-Marie, Martinique, 1928 – Paris, 2011), who has as one of the central points of his philosophy the poetics of relationship (title of the book he published in 1990), and through the analyzes of the Amerindian worldview developed in recent decades by Eduardo Viveiros de Castro (Rio de Janeiro, 1951), the 34th Bienal asserts that it is necessary to abandon closed and monolithic views in order to open to the multiplicity of possible and constantly evolving relationships.
By proposing a network of cultural connections, the 34th Biennial proposes to reinforce the articulating role that the Biennial of São Paulo has historically played in the Brazilian panorama, taking into account the current scenario and the specificities and diversity of local institutions, with which the Foundation Biennial seeks to relate in an unprecedented way.
In order to enable the establishment of a wide range of relationships, at the most different levels, the 34th Bienal will be articulated around three main axes: time, surface and depth. These vectors concern the movement of the exhibition, both from the institutional point of view and the relationship between the works and with the public.
The effective start of the 34th Bienal will take place in March 2020, with the holding of the first of three individual exhibitions, which will occupy specific areas of the Bienal Pavilion, before merging, in other configurations, into the larger exhibition, where they can be seen and read from other relations. These shows will be produced and curated in collaboration with international institutions, which will include them in their programming from 2021 onwards. Additionally, three short-term and more performative events are also planned for the period between March and August 2020.
In terms of space, the 34th Bienal will also change. At first, the exhibition area will be just that of the surface occupied, inside the Bienal Pavilion, by each of the exhibitions, until the building is completely occupied from September onwards, when the Bienal will also expand to other cultural institutions in the City. Collaboration with other cultural spaces in São Paulo responds to the desire to establish a dialogue that emphasizes the importance of exchanges and relationships that are built together, central strategies for the project, which also go hand in hand with the movement of articulation and openness to the city carried out by Fundação Bienal in recent years, a reflection of the institution's incessant questioning of its own role in the context of an artistic panorama in constant transformation, which the Bienal largely contributed to constituting.
Finally, with regard to depth, the 34th Bienal is initially articulated around in-depth statements, to open up to dialogue and relationships in a second moment. “The first episodes of the Bienal, made up of individual exhibitions, can be considered affirmations. Gradually, as the building is occupied, these exhibitions will begin to be placed in relation to other works and other reflections, becoming part of a discussionmore complex and articulated project that, in its final stage, will expand to the city”, explains the curator. These collaborations will be detailed in a close dialogue between each institution with the curator and his team.