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¨Your body is a battleground¨(Kruger, B. 1989)
Photograph by Leo Correa of the meteorite Bendego (The largest meteorite found on Brazilian territory after the fire at the National Museum of Brazil 2018, few objects survived the flames, as this meteorites)
The west has glorified the idea that the body is something given: a thing. We have forgotten this condition is nothing more than a diagram constructed throughout history. Built by language, the gaze of other and the image of it, within the body all these aspects create an alienation not only of one’s own, but of the collective.
The 11th Berlin Biennial is under the curatorship of Maria Berrios, Renata Cervetto, Lisette Lagnado and Agustin Perez Rubio. The curatorial line facilitates reflection on how bodies move, while they inhabit and transform the places we get to call "home".The three-sequential exhibition poses the premise: How does one celebrate life while inhabiting a world that is on fire?
The sequential moments or procedural experiences happen under the titles of exp.1, exp 2. Exp. 3 at the Ex Rotaprint In Berlin: a project directed by tenants and initiated by artists that seeks to unify work, community, and art. Exhibitions, workshops, activiations, performances, residences and interventions are held here. The three experiences spin a narrative that starts with chaos, disaster and tragedy. As the second and third experiences unfold, a series of obstacles and objects appear not only as dividing boundaries, but as penetrables by bodies.
Flavio de Carvalho (1899)
Exhibition print and book cover
The First Moment. Exp. 1 The bones of the world.
(September 7th - November 9th)
The title is shared with Brazilian artist Flavio de Carvalho’s travel notebook (Os Ossos do Mundo), in which the author narrates his trip to Europe during the mid-1930’s. The bones of the world is an attempt to hold on to the complicated beauty of life; it is an initial moment that doesn’t lose consciousness with the rawness of time. The life that happens in the middle, against and despite our wasted surroundings … we move.
Exp. 2: Virginia de Medeiros – Feminist health research groups
(November 30th – February 8th)
In 1931, Flavio de Caravalho walked in the opposite direction of the crowd during a Corpus Christi procession in the streets of Sao Paulo. After that experience, he narrates his analytical reflection in the publication of Experience N.2. He wrote about the bodies pressing against each other and what it was like to face the crowd.He attempts to decipher what kind of monster this was, and what "being a body" means today. He shows the way the forces of dissident bodies are mobilized today.
Virginia de Medeiros’ artistic practice excavates the desire for a collective revolution of social, political and sexual reach within the perspective of queer subjectivity. The exhibition is structured through exchanges and alliances between artists, guests and the public. It was presented alongside the work of the Feminist Health Care Research Group (FHCRG) formed by the artists Inga Zimprich and Julia Bonn, who support mutual care as a community’s act of resistance. As artists and mothers, they develop different ways of questioning how a human body is supposed to perform and produce.
Exp. 3: Affect Archives. Sinthujan Varatharajah - Osías Yanov
(February 22nd - May 2nd)
Experience 3 presents the body’s transfers and searches and the traces of its collective geographies. Bodies are understood as deposits of historical and sensual memories, and permeable and moldable borders of themselves. Objects are obstacles that separate us, but simultaneously- and over time - become penetrable.
Sinthujan Varatharajah is a researcher, essayist and political geographer. Varatharajah's investigations inquire about physical and cultural boundaries; as well as about the memories of displacements of a community from the point of view of the Berlin Wall..
In ExRotaprint, we see transit routes; oral histories; photographs and maps making up an archive so that visitors can reflect on issues encompassing the strength of space, displacement and its travelers’ silent stories.
On the other hand, Osías Yanov, an educator and multidisciplinary artist, presents cultural objects affecting the body’s memory. We see the way we relate to bodies and the people around us in our daily interactions. The spoon is repeatedly used as an element of everyday use. Its shape signifies a sensuality with the body, mouth and tongue. Spoons are used to feed, nourish, and put things in the mouths of others. They are a celebration of the body’s permeability and the "nesting" of one body against the other.
Barbara Kruger’s (1989) piece "Your Body is a battleground" reminds us the body is a battlefield and battalion. We’re surrounded by chaos, fires, disappearances, violence towards the body, disputes and inequalities. The 11th Berlin Biennial is a reminder; ¨Solidarities of vulnerabilities push forward uprising beautiful rage”.
Osias Yanov (2019) Smoke Puff
Berlin Biennale, (2020) Affect Archives Sinthujan Varatharajah – Osías Yanov, recuperado de: http://11.berlinbiennale.de/
Rotund Magazine, (2020) La Próxima 11ª Berlin Biennale es latinoamericana: María Berríos, Renata Cervetto, Lisette Lagnado y Agustín Pérez Rubio son nombrados curadores, recuperado de: http://www.rotundamagazine.com/blog/11th-berlin-biennale-is-latinamerican/
Universes in Universe, (2020) Bienal de Berlín 2020, recuperado de: https://universes.art/es/bienal-de-berlin/2020