(this page was last updated in November 2017)
PIPA Prize Finalists Exhibition 2016 took place at MAM-Rio from September 3rd to November 13th and presented artworks by the four finalists of the seventh edition of PIPA Prize: Clara Ianni, Gustavo Speridião, Luiza Baldan and Paulo Nazareth. Selected amongst 71 nominees, they are, according to Luiz Camillo Osorio, “four artists with very assertive, diverse and politically-charged poetics. In a country, and in a world, convulsed by political crises and civilizing challenges, commitment and involvement with the current situation is the least we can expect from art”.
Clara Ianni, whose research for a doctorate in Visual Arts at USP is focused on the relationship between art and politics, shows the video installation “Circle” (2014-2016), featuring a documentary video of a demonstration against the Football World Cup in the streets of São Paulo in 2014. In that context, the police used the Hamburg’s Cauldron technique, controlling the demonstration by training police circular cords that move and push the crowd as to confine it to a certain area. “The idea of the work is to make us think about the shape of the circle and its various applications”, says Ianni. The artist replicates this circle on the museum’s ground, connecting this time the Hamburg circle to the institutional art space: the circle reminds us of the tapes attached to museum floors indicating the minimum distance from which one can observe a work of art.
Gustavo Speridião‘s works are probably the most explicitly political amongst all items on view at the exhibition. There, he displayed the installation-painting “Fora” (2013), a 6.5-meter canvas clipped on the wall. Filling the pictorial plane, there are words evoking a political demonstration banner or a notebook with political notes. For Speridião, the raw materials of the painting were “tears, blood, sweat, and nankin“.
“Everyone has a very political profile. Perhaps in Baldan’s work that profile is less obvious, but it can be found nevertheless in the way she explores architecture”, comments Osorio on yet another of PIPA Prize 2016 finalists, Luiza Baldan. In the video installation “Perabé” (2014-2015), the artist presents a narrative account of her relationships with the cities she has lived in. “São Paulo was the first city where I lived that is not on the coast. I realized how much I miss the sea in my relationship with the city”. The installation is constituted by a collection of photographs and a text written by the artist, read in four different voices through four separate sound channels, adding to the work an immersive quality.
Baldan also builds a link between hers and the winner of PIPA Prize 2016, Paulo Nazareth: “[his] work seems to be completely different from mine, but both of them share the same idea of wandering, of displacement. Of things that are somehow built through what you pick up and find along the way”.
PIPA Prize and PIPA Popular Vote 2016 winner Paulo Nazareth has been traveling long distances by foot: from the small village of Caiová to New York, from Miami to Mumbai. Amongst several of his curious destinations, the artist exhibited the series “Produtos de genocídio”/”Products of Genocide” (2015-2016), which gathers screen prints, an installation composed of “ready-made” objects and a video. The series reflects on the extermination of indigenous populations and the appropriation of culture as consumer goods. Talking about PIPA Prize Finalists Exhibition as a whole, he observes: “I don’t know how our artworks will talk to each other. At the same time, they are necessarily in a dialogue, because we are all living in the same reality. Each one of us with our own backgrounds and ways to face the current historical times”.
Watch below the PIPA Prize Finalists exhibition being set up and the finalists talking about their own works: