Art Critic Guilherme Gutman writes critical reflection about PIPA Prize

Member of PIPA 2016 Nominating Committee, Guilherme Gutman is an art critic and curator, psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, teacher at PUC-Rio and at Visual Arts School of Parque Lage.

In the text below, Gutman reflects and comments on PIPA Prize based on an article titled “Digital Archive – Wikipedia of Art”, published on the newspaper O Globo last February. In the article journalist Nani Rubim interviews Luiz Camillo Osorio, PIPA’s Board member, about new project developments.

Read the full text below:
*Translated freely from the original*

I would like to make a few observations on the article, written by Nani Rubin published on
the (Brazilian) newspaper – O Globo, including a testimony by Luiz Camillo Osorio:
I believe Prêmio PIPA – PIPA Prize project is a set of successful actions. From all, I
highlight two:

1) The plurality of the nominating committee

2) The fact that the long list of participating artists (seven editions up until now)
configurates it as a research platform – which is mandatory abroad but also has a
greater growing relevance here (in Brazil) – to a consistent selection and
representative group who still have substantive work and a more or less recent
trajectory, and still deserves a valuable recognition for the serious and careful work
of PIPA team, in direction towards a more consolidated position.

It seems to me that both items deserve more deep and long discussions, but I would like,
at least, to briefly articulate these. There are representatives of all the “characters’’ of the
artistic scene in the nominating committee: curators, critics and professors, gallerists,
collectors and, of course, artists (adding to the fact that there are participants of all regions
of the country).

It seems to me that this selection model is an anti-hypocrite decision, since, in fact, all
these figures are articulated and seem to move trajectories in a time in which one can not
“ask” to a single place or character, what are the most interesting productions, powerful
and provocative at this particular point in time, that is what we live now.

Of course, there are artists and nominators who have not been appointed or invited yet;
but one can imagine that in the following years the next editions will keep expanding and
this circle will become increasingly broad and plural.

This brings us to the second item; it leads to a kind of relief, just the fact that a platform like
PIPA, is not drawn by one or two, but for something that resembles an electoral process
that results in this “expanding pool” of new works and emerging contemporary artists.

One should not be fooled, what is in fact a “electoral process” ? It the best of cases – and
this is the case of PIPA, I can securely afirm – is the expression of divergences, of
conflicting positions, of interests which do not touch and for last, different perspectives on
a complex object.

Ensuring the presence and representativity of all elements constituting what Roland
Barthes could have called System of Art, the Prize and the Platform achieve what all
contests should achieve: the precision of an imprecise moment: the instantaneous in a
present of a polaroid which, not long ago or a bit further ahead, would already be another

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