1st Mercosur Biennial - Home October 2 - November 20, 1997
Objectives and Curatorial Project
General Objectives
To foster the cultural integration of Mercosur
To make the art of the Mercosur countries internationally known
To foster public understanding regarding the diverse movements and techniques in order to continually further the understanding of art
To give a permanent public space for works created during the Biennial
To promote the city of Porto Alegre and the state of Rio Grande do Sul through an event of international scope

Thematic and Conceptual Emphasis

The general curator Federico Morais proposes to commence with this Biennial the urgent task of rewriting the history of art from a Latin American perspective and thereby to oppose the dominant Euro-American vision. This objective is established not only through diverse exhibits but also through an intense interchange of experiences and projects.

Morais begins with the premise that Latin American art contains three principal currents: the constructive, the political and the fantastic. The first two are handled in this Biennial. The third, according to Morais, plays a role principally in Mexico, Colombia and in Andean areas whereas constructive art is particularly prominent in the Cono Sul region and is therefore very significant in Brazil.

The Biennial is conceptualized in four sections:

1. Exhibitions

Constructive Movement
Comprehensive exhibit of Constructive Art: Constructive Universalism; Concretos - Invencionistas, Madistas and Kinetic artists from Argentina; Brazilian Concrete and Neo-Concrete artists; group Espacio y Forma; Kinetic artists from Venezuela.

Latin American Design

Political Movement
Morais writes that everyday life in Latin America is penetrated with socio-economic problems and with the political. For this reason it is natural that art and politics go hand in hand. The artworks show references to social and political reality and are presented within groups and artistic initiatives that have a social commitment.

Cartographic Movement
The image of Latin America, maps, artistic accounts of travels and expeditions.

Latin American Art in Brazilian Collections
A panorama emphasizing the principal artists, tendencies, movements and groups.

The Last Five Years
Works created by emerging artists between 1995 and 1997.

Homage to a Latin American Artist and Theoretician
For this first Biennial: Alejandro Xul Solar (1887 - 1963), Argentina.

2. Interventions in the City

Sculptures in Public Places
Works in the urban spaces of Porto Alegre completed with materials given by local industries.

Urban Interventions
Works in parks, uncultivated landscapes, disactivated factories, abandoned buildings, facades, the port, etc. Employing diverse techniques and mediums of expression. Also special works on the Internet.

The Imaginary of the City
Appropriations and recreations. Artists explore the imaginary object of the city in areas of deprivation and within the formal economy: work groups, furniture, decorative objects, clothing, flags, etc.

3. Seminars and Courses

See International Seminars

4. Didactic Activities

Special programs for children, scholars, and the general public. Workshops with art students and emerging artists. Courses for docent training and the extension of courses and exhibits into other spaces within the state of Rio Grande do Sul.

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