Sunday, August 31, 2014

  • Sunday, August 31, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon

From Hyperallergic:

Artists participating in the 31st São Paulo Biennial have signed an open letter calling on the organizers to return sponsorship funds accepted from the Israeli state, Hyperallergic has learned. The patronage, credited to the Israeli consulate in São Paulo, appears on the sponsor board in the main exhibition space, in official publications, and online, alarming some participating artists who arrived in São Paulo ahead of the September 1 preview.

In the letter, the artists state that with the Israeli sponsorship, their exhibited work is “undermined and implicitly used for whitewashing Israel’s ongoing aggressions and violation of international law and human rights.” The missive follows an August 20 meeting between objecting artists and the Biennial president, Luis Terepins, who said that the organization would consider the matter, a source close to the discussions told Hyperallergic. When no resolution seemed forthcoming, the open letter was organized. The letter, reproduced below, has 55 signatories as of this writing; the biennial lists 68 participating artists and collectives.

Israel's consulate contributed $40,000.

At least one of the artists who signed this anti-Israel letter is Israeli, Yael Bartana.

A Turkish group is another sponsor of the biennial, to no one's dismay, except perhaps some Kurds and Armenians, but who cares about them? Certainly not these progressive artists!

The curators of the show support the artists:

The curators of the 31st São Paulo Biennial have supported the artists’ call on the organization to return Israeli sponsorship funds, a demand they believe “should also be a trigger to think about the funding sources of major cultural events.” Their stance, articulated in a three-paragraph statement sent to Hyperallergic earlier this evening (and reproduced below), endorses the broader strategy undertaken by the open letter the objecting artists released yesterday.

In their statement, Biennial curators Charles Esche, Galit Eilat, Nuria Enguita Mayo, Pablo Lafuente, and Oren Sagiv write, in part: “[S]ources of cultural funding have an increasingly dramatic impact on the supposedly ‘independent’ curatorial and artistic narrative of an event. The funding, whether state, corporate or private, fundamentally shapes the way the public receives the work of artists and curators.
So to be consistent, the artists should reject all outside funding, right? If funding affects the art, then it is just as immoral to accept funding from Samsung and KPMG and Air France as it is from Israel and Argentina, right?

But, as we've seen many times, "you've gotta start somewhere," and Israel is where these self-righteous hypocrites always start - and end.

Sickeningly, two of the curators who support the artists are Israeli as well.

UPDATE: The sponsor page has removed all "international support" donors from their list of partners.

The page before:


And now:





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