The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
Undermining the guidelines of the exhibition Universalis: a desmaterialização da arte (XXIII São Paulo Biennial, 1996), Puerto Rican curator Mari Carmen Ramírez explains the contrarian concept of the “re-materialização” of art which, in her view, is fundamental to the work of the artists chosen for that show. Even North American art critic Lucy R. Lippard, who is credited with coining the term “dematerialization” to define a strain of Conceptual art that would finally bring release from what she called the “frame-and-pedestal syndrome,” admitted—years after the publication of her book—that that process never really took hold. Nonetheless, Ramírez argues, Latin American artists embraced “the challenge that dematerialized art implied” from a unique perspective and in two manners very specific to the context of the region at the time: first, as a way to work around the censorship imposed by the military dictatorships in power and, second, by making use of unwieldy “poor” materials or trash, which meant rejecting the merely decorative function of art. This second path ultimately gave rise to a “poetics of precariousness.”
A curadora Mari Carmen Ramírez explica o conceito da "Re-materialização" da arte, que esta fortemente presente nos artistas escolhidos para sua colaboração na exposição "Universalis". A própria crítica norte-americana Lucy R. Lippard que cunhou o termo desmaterialização para descrever uma nova arte conceitual que se libertaria para sempre da chamada "síndrome da moldura-e-pedestal" teria admitido alguns anos depois que esse processo nunca ocorreu. Ramírez afirma que a arte conceitual teria sido totalmente incorporada ao mainstream artístico. No entanto, os artistas latino-americanos teriam aceitado o "desafio imposto pela arte desmaterializada", à qual acrescentam uma perspectiva particular. Por um lado, essa era uma maneira de contornar a censura em países sob ditaduras militares e, por outro, a utilização de materiais precários que distanciam a arte de uma função decorativa acabou por resultador no que a autora chama de "poética da precariedade".
Mari Carmen Ramírez (b. 1955) has a graduate degree in art history from the University of Chicago. Since 2001, she has been the Wortham Curator of Latin American Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH); she directs the International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA), which operates under the auspices of the MFAH. She has curated countless international exhibitions on Latin American art, among them Inverted Utopias: Avant-Garde Art in Latin America (her co-curator on that occasion was Hector Olea, the editor of this digital archive) held at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in 2004. The New York Times considered that exhibition one of the two most significant exhibitions to be held in the United States in the first decade of the 21st century. Two other touring shows—also produced in conjunction with Olea—that had major impacts internationally were Building on a Construct: The Adolpho Leirner Collection of Brazilian Constructive Art at the MFAH and Carlos Cruz Diez: Color in Space and Time (the catalogues to both exhibitions were published by Yale University Press in 2009 and 2011, respectively). In New York, she was awarded the Peter Norton Family Foundation prize for curatorial excellence in 1997.
The exhibition Universalis—which formed part of the XXIII São Paulo Biennial—featured forty-two living artists who were grouped into seven regions: the United States and Canada, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Oceania, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Brazil. With a formulation rooted in the idea of multiculturalism central at that time, Universalis gave rise to intense debate and discussion among Brazilian critics and curators.
On that exhibition, see the essays by Nelson Aguilar entitled “Universalis 96” (ICAA digital archive doc. no. 1111100) and “Ruptura com o suporte” (doc. no. 1111099). The book that inspired the show was Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966 to 1972: A Cross-Reference Book of Information on Some Esthetic Boundaries (New York: Praeger, 1973).
Mari Carmen Ramírez é historiadora da arte e diretora do International Center for the Arts of the Americas do Museum of Fine Arts de Houston. Foi curadora de diversas exposições de arte latino-americana como "Inverted Utopias: Avant-Garde Arte in Latin America". Em 1997, recebeu o prêmio de excelência em curadoria Peter Norton Family Foundation Award. A exposição "Universalis", integrada à XXIII Bienal, apresentou 42 artistas vivos e foi dividida em sete blocos: Estados Unidos e Canadá, América Latina, Oriente, África e Oceania, Europa Ocidental, Europa Oriental e Brasil. A proposta da "Universalis", cuja inspiração seriam as idéias do "multiculturalismo", causou polêmica entre os críticos de arte e o curador da Bienal.
k- Atuação curatorial
m- Bienal de São Paulo