Fundação Bienal de São Paulo - Brasile
6/09 – 10/12/2023

choreographies of the impossible brings together a set of artistic practices and cultural and social movements that challenge the impossible in varied and incalculable ways. They refer to modes of expression that deal with total violence, the impossibility of life in complete freedom, and the limits of the idea of justice. Just like their languages, impacted by the daily challenges of the times and contexts in which they live, they choreograph aesthetic and political possibilities in which they manifest knowledge and know-how that is built, above all, from the body’s memory.

They invite us to move through experiences that subvert the concept of a progressive, linear, and Western history. Based on cosmologies and models of governance where time is conceived as a spiral, without the rigidity of established structures and chronologies, this Bienal has been staged without categories or themes.

At the Bienal Pavilion, we find a choreography of paths and narratives that favors dialogue between artistic expressions based on a web of relationships that is built, reflects, and finds resonance in different impossible territories around the globe. They go against history, develop tools, technologies and devices, question systems of representation, speculate about the end of this world, and promote exercises in radical imagination and unsubmissive knowledge.

This narrative unfolds in the architectural design, a proposal capable of making us feel in our bodies what the changes in flow and the interventions in the building produce. The inversion of the floors, a strategy created by enveloping the central span, unleashes a sequence of movements that accelerate, delay, pause, and suggest different speeds, provoking distinct rhythms and counterpoints.

The choreographies of the impossible also take shape from a conceptual exercise that is reflected in our own curatorial training and practice, a horizontal group, without the hierarchy of a head curator or the homogeneity of a collective. What ruptures, consensus, and differences can these encounters create? For us, this is a central question: they enable the manifestation of unimaginable choreographies in the face of impossible times.

—Curatorial team Diane Lima, Grada Kilomba, Hélio Menezes, and Manuel Borja-Villel

The 35th Bienal de São Paulo—choreographies of the impossible takes place at the Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavilion, in the Ibirapuera Park, in the heart of São Paulo, Brazil. It runs from September 6–December 10, 2023. The admission is free.