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Cultural Anthropophagy: The 24th Bienal de Sao Paulo

Pablo Lafuente

The 1998 Bienal de São Paulo remade art history from a Brazilian perspective, and presented a new model for exhibition-making in the era of post-colonial globalisation.

The show employed the Brazilian notion of anthropophagy as both concept and method, encouraging "contamination" and "cannibalisation" of the canon, alongside an expanded understanding of its pedagogic function for the integration of art, culture and political history. By doing so, it proposed a new model for large-scale curatorial projects that could effectively address non-specialist audiences. Photographs and gallery plans reconstruct this important project, and an essay by Lisette Lagnado provides extensive critical analysis and historical context. Additional texts by Renato Sztutman, Mirtes Marins de Oliveira and Carmen Mörsch and Catrin Seefranz are complemented by recent interviews with curator Paulo Herkenhoff and participating artists.