Book Chapters

Whitelegg, I. 2019 (Forthcoming). São Paulo & Other Models: the Biennale in Latin America, 1951-1991. In: R. Greele, M. Sullivan (Eds.), Modern and Contemporary Latin American & Latino Art. London: Blackwell

The Bienal de São Paulo (1951- ) occupies a distinct position within a biennial landscape now characterized by proliferation. It is the world's second biennial, the first to successfully transform the Biennale di Venezia from a singular event into a replicable model. By increments, it has moved from co-existence with a handful of perennial internationalist art exhibitions to the position of being one amongst many.  This chapter asserts the multi-faceted nature of the Bienal de São Paulo’s critical history by focusing on the changing position of Latin America within its internationalist purview. I begin with the period of its founding in the context of the post-war, and subsequently the cultural politics of the Cold War, before considering the altered terms of the Bienal de São Paulo’s existence during Brazil's military dictatorship. It was at this time that writers who invested critical attention in this biennial’s future sought to alter the terms by which an international event might meet national and regional responsibilities. Rather than drawing an absolute distinction between São Paulo and other models, I map out a critical continuum that links moments within the lifecycle of a series of biennials within Latin America from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. Together, biennials in locations including Salvador, Medellín, Havana, and Porto Alegre have contributed to the shaping of a shared discursive space - at the centre of which is a consideration of the purpose and critical potential of the biennial model within Latin America

Whitelegg, I. 2018a. Everything Was Connected. Kinetic Art and Internationalism at Signals London, 1964-66. In: J. Applin, C. Spencer, A.Tobin (Eds.), London Art Worlds. Pennsylvania: Penn State University Press

Since the early 1990s, the collectively conceived and co-operated gallery Signals London (1964-66) has come to a renewed attention for reasons related to its international perspective. It is now widely recognized for playing a decisive role in the British reception of Latin American art by lending early support to now-celebrated artists and by extending its reach towards previously unacknowledged artistic centres, such as Caracas and Rio de Janeiro. At the same time, those involved in organizing Signals’ exhibitions, and editing its Newsbulletin, argued that the role played by immigrant and exile artists within Britain should be better acknowledged. Such factors have drawn Signals into loose relation with the post-colonial, the global, and the transnational. In this chapter I pay attention to an interrelation between the specific parameters of Signals’ internationalism, and the centrality of kinetic art to its activities. I draw attention to certain connections that Signals made, notably with English and North American kinetic art, which are more often not emphasized within revisions of its history, and aim to ground Signals’ interconnectedness within a specific place and time: in London and at the very crux between post-war attitudes and the dawning of new aesthetic and geo-political perspectives. In this process its initially optimistic emphasis on untroubled pan-Western connection is seen to have been put under pressure, by both international political upheavals and contrasting perspectives on the value of scientific and technological innovation. As such Signals’ definition of the kinetic, however flexible, is revealed to be one that also necessarily involved tensions, divergences, and disconnections.

Whitelegg, I. 2018b. The São Paulo Bienal Complex: MAM-BSP-MAC. In: Michele Greet, Gina McDaniel Tarver (Ed.), Museums of Latin America: Structuring Representation. New York: Routledge (Research in Art Museums & Exhibitions)

The biennial is often defined in opposition to the museum, but this chapter argues for a new understanding of Brazil’s Bienal de São Paulo, not only as temporary event but also as a situated, permanent institution, and one whose particular adoption of museal functions has amplified the cumulative historical effects of any established biennial model. I position the history of the Bienal de São Paulo (BSP) as one bound to that of two museums, the Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (MAM) and the Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo (MAC). Addressing how the three institutions have operated as an interactive complex upsets a generalized opposition between museum and biennial that has been staged by recent literature. The chapter focuses on two significant episodes when the development of the biennial operated in tandem with that of the museum. During its first decade of existence (1951–1961), with MAM as its organizing institution, the biennial played an essential role in sustaining the collecting, educational, and art historical functions of the museum, through acquisition prizes, pedagogical programs, and special exhibitions. After the closure of MAM, this symbiotic relationship was replaced by a critical, artist-articulated dialogue, initiated while MAC operated from a space within the BSP pavilion (1963–1985) and enacted by young artists, notably the duo Arte/Ação (Francisco Iñarra and Genilson Soares). These two different forms of relation mark both the transfer of MAM’s collections to MAC and a transition from a modern to a contemporary, artist-centered, museum.

Whitelegg, I. 2013*. The Other World Is This, Mira Schendel’s Participation in the X Bienal de São Paulo, 1969. In: Tanya Barson, Taisa Palhares, Mira Schendel . London: Tate Publishing

* Versão portuguesa do livro publicado pela Fundação de Serralves/ Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, 2014

Journal Articles

Whitelegg, I 2013. The Bienal de São Paulo: A Concise Critical History, Perspective, la revue de l’INHA, 2

Whitelegg, I, 2012*. 'Brazil, Latin America, the World: The Bienal de São Paulo as a Latin American Question', Third Text, 26:1

Publicado em português como A Bienal de São Paulo torne-se latino-americana. In: Maria de Fátima Morethy Couto (Org.), Histórias da arte em exposicoes: modos de ver e exhibir no Brasil (Riobooks, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, 2016)

Whitelegg, I, 2009. 'The Bienal de São Paulo: Unseen/Undone', Afterall, 22

Catalogue Essays

'Signals London, Signals' Latin America', Radical Geometry, Ed. Gabriel Perez-Barreiro; London: Royal Academy

'Resistance Exercises, for Marta Traba,' The Peripatetic School, Ed. Tanya Barson, London: Ridinghouse

Exhibitions (Curated)

2018. Signals, If you like I shall grow, Thomas Dane, London & kurimanzutto, New York

2015. (with John K Blakinger) György Kepes, The New Landscape, Exhibition Research Centre, Liverpool

2014. Equipo3 1973/2014, Museu da Cidade de São Paulo, São Paulo

2013.. Geraldo de Barros, What Remains, The Photographers Gallery, London
Images Essay Reviews: Guardian; Art Forum; Dazed

2011. Sergio Sister, Entre Tanto, Nara Roesler Gallery, São Paulo

2009. Collector Collecting, Gallery 32, London

2008. Cinthia Marcelle: This Same World Over, Camberwell Space, London

2008. Nicolas Robbio: Indirections, Pharos Centre for Contemporary Art, Nicosia

Conference Papers

2016 A Time Before Now, from the archives of the Bienal de São Paulo to a History of Collective Practice, Critical Museology, UNAM/MUAC, Mexico City

2015 Situation Vacant, the search for a Latin American Biennial, 1951-1996, New Worlds: Frontiers, Inclusion, Utopias, UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

2014 At the Crux of the Postwar – Collective Exhibitions at Signals London, 1964-66, Postwar: Between the Atlantic and the Pacific, Haus der Kunst, Munich

2014 Everything Was Connected: The Particular Internationalism of Signals London, London Art Worlds, University of York

2012 Signals London, Universalisms in Conflict, Institute for Art and Theory and Cultural Studies, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria

2012 The international reception of “Brazilian Art under Dictatorship", Historiographies of Latin American Art, Reception & Institutions, Getty Research Institute/Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil

2012 Inventing Latin America, Between Theory and Practice. Rethinking Latin American Art in the 21st Century, Getty Research Institute/Museo de Arte de Lima; Museo de Arte de Lima, Peru

2011 Brazil, Latin America, the World, Goethe Institute, São Paulo, Brazil

2009 An archival avant-garde: Latin American Art and the UK. Latin American Studies Association Conference; PUC, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

2008 A Bienal Não Vista da Fora. 28 Bienal Internacional de São Paulo, Brazil

2008 Biennales contra Biennales. Association of Art Historians Conference, Tate Britain, London

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