Tania Rivera’s "think piece" points to the poetic resonance of art in the world and the importance of a curatorial, critical and pedagogical practice of dispersion and dissemination. In two International case studies Claudia Zeiske and Nuno Sacramento speak to the vitality of contemporary art in rural contexts. Two national case studies explore the potency of the public life of art: 8th Biennial of Mercosul, Porto Alegre and diverse reflections on Ernesto Neto’s The Animal SusPensiveIntheLandGenscape. This vitality also offers new horizons to re-imagine art making as practices of caring and healing such as the collaborative process between Brazilian artist José Rufino and Alzheimer patients--part of an exhibition and residency at The Andy Warhol Museum.
In addition, the video interview with Jailson de Silva e Souza, director of the Favela Observatory in Rio de Janeiro explores the city as a creative and pedagogic territory and the photographic essay by Leonardo Guelman captures the vitality of the folk religious world of people in northeastern Brazil.
Fred Coelho’s think piece explores the themes at play in the issue and points to a collective searching for finding ways and means of “how to live together”. The issue presents four case studies: Angela Carneiro introduces readers to the outreach course University of Quebradas; Roberta Condeixa explores Juan Manuel Echavarría’s experience in his therapeutic painting laboratory with former guerrillas of drug trafficking in Colombia; Felipe Moreno writes about René Francisco and his “pragmatic pedagogy” that engages students in creating collective actions outside the class room; and the argentine collective Ala Plástica describes their environmental and bioregional activism.
The video interview for this edition features the artist Carlos Vergara who, with his constant practice of dislocation and world travel, posits the potential of the artist as a “supporting actor”. The magazine also presents a sound essay by the artist Guilherme Vaz filmed and recorded in a part of Niterói’s Atlantic forest, once traveled by Charles Darwin. Finally, Cristina Ribas’ article explores her project “A Political Vocabulary for Aesthetic Processes,” a collaboration with 30 artists and researchers to create new political and transversal vocabularies.
Peter Pál Pelbart’s think piece initiates the issue’s play of networks and webs, associating the contemporary human being with the spider, in turn, intersecting with Rodrigo Nunes’ article on the political practice of “counterpimping” and Danilo Streck’s video interview on the reconfiguration of the public, then crisscrossing with the poignant embodiments of the Brazilian 2013 protests captured in the film by the collective ¡NoPasaran!.
A specially expanded volume, this issue highlights three national case studies with essays, videos, reflections, and testimonials resulting from the traveling project Publicness in Art, made possible by a grant award from the 10th edition of Funarte Redes de Encontros nas Artes Visuais (Networks of Encounters in the Visual Arts) of Brazil’s national art foundation: Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, and Juazeiro do Norte, Cariri, in the north eastern state of Ceará.
This web of insights is also cross-cultural with the inclusion of two international case studies: Glasgow Museum of Art, Scotland and Keleketla Library, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Edson Sousa’s think piece explores utopia as a movement from the future to the past, a current against reality. In her photo essay Graciela Carnevale shares this idea of the counterflow of the future with the silenced utopias of the radical experiments of the Argentine Artistic Vanguard Group in 1968.
Two national case studies explore contemporary projects inspired in the experimental histories of the School of Visual Arts Parque Lage and Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro in the 1970s. In their international case study Mary Jane Jacob and Kate Zeller explore the vital historical touchstones of John Dewey and Jane Addams for their multifaceted project A Lived Practice in Chicago. In Santiago, Chile, Claudia Zaldivar narrates the history of the Museo da la Solidaridad Salvador Allende and its genealogy of hope and struggle.
In his article on free universities Sergio Cohn sketches the history of anarchist-inspired schools in Brazil and explores contemporary parallels. The issue’s video interview explores The Model: A Model for a Qualitative Society at Moderna Museet, 1968 and The New Model: An Enquiry, a contemporary research project that investigates The Model’s legacy.
With the collaboration of more than ninety people, across continents and divergent socio-cultural contexts and territories, MESA # 5 examines the possibilities of encounters that create affective relationships, embrace differences, and open up to new forms of communication. Principally informed by the International Encounter Care as Method # 2 that took place in Rio de Janeiro in September and October 2017, this special issue is a culmination of several years of dialogue. Building on the debates, site visits, performances and festivities of Care as Method # 2, this issue both provides a platform to deepen these discussions and to register the work of individuals, institutions and groups in Scotland and the work of the Art_Care project in Rio de Janeiro. The diversity and generative resonance of this international network of collaboration is reflected in this issue’s rich array of case studies (brought together for the first time in this publication), think piece, dialogues, interventions, as well as videos, articles and essays.