2017 edition of the Festival SESC_Videobrasil. Photo by Denise Andrade. Courtesy SESC_Videobrasil

OPEN CALL: 21st Contemporary Art Biennial SESC_Videobrasil | Imagined Communities

21st Contemporary Art Biennial SESC_Videobrasil | Imagined Communities

Open call for artists
July 6, 2018 – August 10, 2018

Open from July 6 through August 10, 2018, the call for the selection of artists for the
21st Contemporary Art Biennial SESC_Videobrasil ​is open to applications of works in
any format and language from the Global South, Portuguese-speaking countries, and
Indigenous peoples from any country. Selected artists are invited to take part in the
exhibition at SESC 24 de Maio and in parallel activities at Galpão VB (São Paulo, Brazil)
from October 2019 through February 2020, as well as to compete for the following
awards offered by the 21st Biennial:
• State of the Art Award – Cash prize in the amount of R$100,000 for best
participating artist or group
• SESC Contemporary Art Award – Two prizes for works by Brazilian artists in the
amount of up to R$50,000 each. Works will form part of the SESC Brazilian Art
•Residency Awards – Offered to three young artists to support the production of a
unique work in partnership with Videobrasil’s residency network (details to be
announced soon)
• O.F.F. Award – Cash prize in the amount of R$25,000 offered by the Ostrovsky
Family Fund to an artist with original research on the moving image

About the 21st Contemporary Art Biennial SESC_Videobrasil | Imagined
From different shades of the political spectrum, nationalism has reemerged as a
critical theme to understand the disputes that shape our time, raising questions
about the duration and scope of this new, yet regressive, cycle. Within this context,
the 21st Contemporary Art Biennial SESC_Videobrasil | Imagined Communities
takes its title from Benedict Anderson’s classic study of the rise of nationalism to
explore how poetics stemming from the South have been addressing the
phenomenon. Without losing its geopolitical focus, the curatorial team of the 21st

Biennial, composed of Gabriel Bogossian, Luisa Duarte, Miguel López and Solange
Farkas, intends to expand the repertoire of questions and broaden the diversity of
the voices we encounter. Thus, they seek to include artistic expression from stateless
communities, Indigenous peoples, religious or mystical communities, communities
uprooted from their original lands, fictional, utopian, and clandestine communities,
and those constituted in the subterranean universes of sexual experiences and
dissident bodies.

Conceptual changes
To more explicitly position itself in the global art scene while keeping the focus on
current changes in its local context, the festival has adopted the name Contemporary
Art Biennial SESC_Videobrasil​. With dynamism and originality, the Biennial is
entering a new stage, aligned with the purpose and international calendar of Biennial
around the world.
Such changes do not alter the Festival’s encouragement of art production outside the
market, the creation of reflective content through seminars, debates and
publications, the initiatives to educate audiences, and the incentive for concrete
exchange among artists. Opening in October 2019, the 21st edition will present three
curatorial platforms that include an exhibition + film program, a publication and
several public programs, each under the direction of a guest curator.

Who may apply?
Applications are accepted from artists ​working in any media – who were born or
have lived for over five years in countries from the Global South or from
Portuguese-speaking countries, ​as well as members of Indigenous communities of
all nations. The works not have been previously presented in the city of São Paulo
until the opening of the Biennial.
Full details of the selection process may be found in the open call link:

About Videobrasil
Videobrasil is a contemporary art biennial, an art venue and a cultural association
that researches and disseminates art produced in regions of the world’s geopolitical
South—Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Chaired by
Solange Farkas, it forms part of a network of initiatives that includes exhibitions,
displays, publications, documentaries, meetings and artistic residencies. Galpão VB, a

research, exhibition and meeting space, houses and activates the collection of works
and publications gathered by Videobrasil since the festival’s creation in 1983.
About SESC

The SESC – Serviço Social do Comércio (Social Service of Commerce) is a private
non-profit institution, established in 1946 by entrepreneurs of the goods and services
market in Brazil. In the state of São Paulo, SESC has 39 centers that encompass its
areas of activity in the fields of culture, education, sport, leisure and health. SESC São
Paulo activities are guided by their educational nature and the pursuit of social
welfare based on a comprehensive understanding of the term culture. In this sense,
by offering full accessibility to its spaces and content, the institution aims for the
democratization of cultural assets as a form of individual autonomy.
For images, further information and interview requests, please contact:
Júlia Frate Bolliger or Cecilia Vilela at Pickles PR
E: julia@picklespr.com | Tel: +49 176 25155891
E: cecilia@picklespr.com | Tel: +44 (0) 7449 872799


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