10 Ciudad Generosa copy
René Francisco Rodríguez and the 4th Pragmatic Collective. Ciudad Generosa (Generous City), 2012. Havana, Cuba


Revista MESA 2nd issue

Ala Plástica (La Plata, Argentina) is an artistic environmental non-governmental organization that develops its main activity in the area around the Rio de La Plata estuary and Paraná Delta. In this context, the collective works on intuitive, emotional, imaginative and sensorial relations of art with social and environmental development. Since 1991, the Ala Plástica collective has developed a series of non-conventional artistic initiatives on a “bioregional scale”. Participants and collaborators come from diverse disciplines, so the collective transforms itself according to the type of project being developed. Each project constitutes a complex web of interventions that bring together ecology, sustainability, working in networks, knowledge production, recovering local economies and the social fabric. Two people are behind the coordination of the collective’s activities: Silvina Babich and Alejandro Meitin.

Angela Carneiro is a professor and psychologist. She received her doctorate from the Postgraduate Program in Social Psychology at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) in the area of micropolitics of training and production of subjectivities. She researched youth culture at Lisbon’s Institute of Social Sciences and Permanent Youth Observatory and developed projects in public schools with youth, exploring processes of the construction of self and the relationship between ways of life and career choice. More recently, she has worked in the Advanced Program of Contemporary Culture (PACC) as a member of the Literature Faculty at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (URFJ) and as a professor and part of the coordinating pedagogic team of the university’s outreach program Universidade das Quebradas (literally the university of broken territory – a term drawing from the Portuguese “quebrar” meaning “to break”, which is used to describe the narrow alleyways of the favelas). She researches the methodologies and integration of work and social transformation with youth groups, the culture of the periphery, and professional choice as a form of inventing ways of life. She is a researcher with the group Entre_Redes (between networks), an Actor-Network theory, comprising professors and associated students, and of the Cultural Industry Observatory (Oi Cult).

Beá Meira is a designer and illustrator and works with teaching and learning processes in the field of art. She graduated with a degree from the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism at the University of São Paulo. She was a high school arts teacher at the Logos School in São Paulo, assistant professor of architecture at FAUSantos, and a graphic design teacher in the course of Multimedia PUC, São Paulo. She has authored teaching materials for elementary and secondary school, published by Attica, Scipione and SM. Recently, she worked as educational coordinator and editor of the digital platform of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro’s (UFRJ) extension course Universidade das Quebradas (literally the university of broken territory – a term drawing from the Portuguese “quebrar” meaning “to break”, which is used to describe the narrow alleyways of the favelas). She has collaborated as an art consultant in collective urban interventions of APALPE – The word of the periphery, FLUPP – literary Fair of the UPPs (Urban Pacifying Police) and T-Shirt Education project no. 50 of the artist run art gallery, Gentil Carioca.

Carlos Vergara was born in the city of Santa Maria in Rio Grande do Sul in 1941. He began his career in the 1960s, when young artist were incorporating resistance to the military dictatorship into their work. In 1965, he participated in the show Opinião 65 at the Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro, considered an historical landmark in the history of Brazilian art by the included artists’ critical posture toward the social and political reality of the time. This exhibition prompted the forming of the New Brazilian Figuration movement of which Vergara was a part along with other artists, such as Antônio Dias, Rubens Gerchman and Roberto Magalhães, all of whom produced art with strong political content. In the 1970s, Vergara’s work underwent major change and he began to carve out his own particular space in the history of Brazilian art, mainly through photographs and installations. Since the 1980s, his paintings and monotypes have been at the center of his art practice and travels, in which experimentation has been his trademark. New techniques, materials and thoughts have resulted in contemporary works, characterized by innovation – but without losing the identity and the certainty that the field of painting can be expanded. Over the course of his career, Vergara has been involved in more than 180 solo and group shows. http://www.carlosvergara.art.br/en/

Chloé Le Prunennec is a visual artist, writer, filmmaker and tattoo artist. Born in Paris in 1991, she graduated in Animation in 2012 and soon after traveled to South America (including Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay) and begun writing a travel blog called Les Chiens du Mexique Noirs. She came to Brazil in 2014 and worked on writing and illustrating the book Estrelas Cadentes, shortly before her first solo exhibition in Florianopolis. She works as a production assistant and tattoo artist at Fox Tattoo studio.

Cristina Ribas is an artist, researcher and occasional curator. Since 2008 she has been organizing residencies for artists and other interdisciplinary projects such as Interações Florestais and Pedregulho Residência Artística. Her practice in the broadest sense provokes articulations between diagrams, memory, history, archives, the public sphere and politics. Between 2005 and 2010 she developed the research project Arquivo de emergência (Archive of Emergency), creating an archive for collective and public oriented artistic practices in Brazil. In 2011 part of this research was transformed into the open platform Desarquivo.org. In 2014 she invited diverse professionals who ranged in focus from the arts to educational and political practices to work on the writing of the Political Vocabulary for Aesthetic Processes. She is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Fine Art Department at Goldsmiths College, London and has a Master’s degree in Contemporary Artistic Process from the Universidade Estadual do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ). She was born in São Borja, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil in 1980. Currently she lives in London.

Daniel Leão was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1984. He graduated in Cinema Studies from the Universidade Federal Fluminense in 2013 with a Master’s degree in Social Communication with a focus on the use of sound in the documentary film. Since graduation he has been working as an independent filmmaker as well as developing sound experiments and audiovisual works with artists such as Ivar Rocha and Mariane Monteiro. He is currently working on his first full-length feature film A felicidade às vezes mora aqui (Happiness sometimes lives here) inspired by an eponymous group exhibition in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Niterói (MAC). Also, over the past year he has been shooting Lo que seja em tu corazón ainda que em cinco minutes and acting as an audiovisual artistic producer for MAC.

Felipe Moreno received a graduate degree in Communications from the Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano of Bogotá (UJTL) in Bogotá, Colombia, and a Master’s Degree in Visual Languages at the School of Fine Arts at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). His theoretical research/practice in contemporary photography explores questions of representation and examines photography in an expanded field. He has participated in two editions of the International Festival of Photography Photo Rio. In Colombia he is part of the experimental video collective Akrofobia. Formerly a researcher of Latin American contemporary art at Casa Daros Latinamerica in Rio de Janeiro, he now works as a Producer of Art Content at Casa Daros, Rio de Janeiro.

Frederico Coelho is Professor of Literature and Performing Arts at PUC-Rio. Assistant curator at MAM-Rio de Janeiro between 2009 and 2011, Coelho has organized several books and written numerous articles, texts and essays on Brazilian visual arts. He was one of the first curators for the exhibition project Travessias in Bela Maré, a cultural center in Rio de Janeiro’s Maré favela (2011). He is author of the books: Livro ou Livro-me: os escritos babilônicos de Hélio Oiticica (EdUERJ, 2010) and Conglomerado Newyorkaise (with César Oiticica Filho, Azougue, 2013).

Guilherme Vaz was born in Brasília in 1948 and is a composer, artist and pioneer of Brazilian “sound art”. Together with the critic and curator Frederico Morais and the artists Cildo Meireles and Luiz Alphonsus, he founded the Experimental Unity at the Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro (1968–1970). Vaz worked with the Cultural Foundation of Ji-Paraná on the Bolivian frontier, where he developed anthropological works, visual art and pre-historic music with indigenous South America peoples. His work has been included in a number of important collective exhibitions such as: Rio Experimental, Fundación Botin, Santander, Spain (2011); 7th Mercosul Biennial, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2009); Equatorial Rhythms, The Sternesen Museum, Oslo (2008); VIII Biennale de Paris, Museu d’Arte Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France (1973); Agnus Dei, Petite Galerie, Rio de Janeiro (1970); Information, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York (1970). He also produced the following works with OM Records: O Vento sem Mestre (2007); Sinfonia dos Ares (2007); La Virgen (2006); Anjo sobre o Verde (2006); A Tempestade (2005); A Noite Original (2004); Sinfonia do Fogo (2004); O Homem Correndo na Savana (2003).

Jessica Gogan is an independent curator and educator and director of Instituto MESA, Rio de Janeiro. Recent projects include: Publicness in Art – a series of critical seminars and workshops in three distinct Brazilian regions; Contemporary Laboratory: Proposals and Discoveries of What Art Is (Or Could Be) exploring themes of art, pedagogy and politics for young artists with the Latin American art institution Casa Daros in collaboration with Coletivo E; Experimental Nucleus of Education & Art at the Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro, evaluation of the pedagogic project of the 8th Mercosul Biennial, Porto Alegre, Brazil and the exhibition and residency by Brazilian artist José Rufino at The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, USA, where Gogan was formerly director of education and curator of special projects. She is also currently a Ph.D. candidate in Art History at the University of Pittsburgh where her research focuses on socially engaged art, curatorship and pedagogy in Brazilian institutional contexts.

Juan Manuel Echavarría (1947) is an artist, living and working in Bogota, Colombia. He has written two novels, La Gran Catarata, 1981, and Moros en la costa, 1991. The photography research project, Retratos (Portraits), 1996, initiated his path as a visual artist, and also marks a practice drawing on metaphor to examine tragedy. Works that followed, such as Bocas de Ceniza, 2003, engage with the violence of Colombian drug wars and show an artist interested in working outside the studio, as is also the case with La guerra que no hemos visto (The War We do not See) (2007-2009). Juan Manuel has exhibited at the Venice Biennale, El Museo del Barrio in New York, in the 15th Tallinn Print Triennia in Estonia, in Antioquia Museum in Medellín, Colombia, and Casa Daros, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, among other institutions.

Leandro Almeida is a cultural producer graduating from Federal Fluminense University (UFF). He studied filmmaking at the School of Cinema Darcy Ribeiro, the international Academy of film and UFF and is now completing a media course and extension education. He is a videographer and editor and works as a social educator in the field, having taught training courses for young communicators in cultural centers, NGOs and public schools. He coordinates the film club Cineclube Cineolho that has been running at Museum of Contemporary Art in Niterói (MAC) since 2007. He worked in the art education department at MAC from 2002-2009 where he coordinated and produced programs, projects and events in sociocultural fields with a focus on the communities surrounding the museum and on implementing the Community Action Module at MAC in the favela community of Morro do Palácio. Between 2010 and 2013 he served as the Audiovisual Secretariat of the Ministry of Culture through the Programmer Brazil. Currently, he coordinates the Museum Forum program at MAC Niterói and is a managing partner of the video and film production company Interim Permanent Cultural Productions.

Luiz Guilherme Vergara is a professor in the Department of Art at the Federal Fluminense University (UFF) and teaches in the graduate programs: Studies in Contemporary Arts and Culture and Territoriality. As curator/director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Niteroi (MAC) (2005-2008) he was responsible for curating several exhibitions focusing on the dialogue between the architecture of Oscar Niemeyer and contemporary artistic practices, such as Poetics of the Infinite (2005) and Lygia Clark: Poetic Shelter (MAC, 2006) as well as the outreach initiative Art and Environmental Action (MAC, 1998-) working with the favela community Morro do Palácio. In 2013, on returning to MAC, he curated exhibitions of the Brazilian artists Alexandre Dacosta, Suzana Queiroga and Carlos Vergara, as well as co-curating the exhibition Joseph Beuys: Res-Publica: Conclamation for A Global Alternative. His research interests focus on the interface between art, museums and society and he is co-editor of Revista MESA.

Noélia Albuquerque is an actress and photojournalist. She has produced still photography for various national feature films and socio-environmental video documentaries. She graduated with a degree in literature, studying Child and Youth Literature at the University of Cuyo, Argentina. She has a graduate degree in Performing Arts. She has been a photography teacher in more than ten municipalities of the greater lakes region of Rio de Janeiro, as well as in Quilombolas (Afro-Brazilian communities) in Maranhão and indigenous communities in Ceará. She participated in the 4th Cabo Frio Photo Marathon with the exhibition Interiors. Her work was also part of the photographic exhibition Interiors of Brazil at the Open University Gallery in Milton Keynes, England. Currently she is a photography teacher at Senac and President of the Center of the Theater of the Oppressed in Rio de Janeiro. She also participates in the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro’s outreach course Universidade das Quebradas (literally university of broken territory – a term drawing from the Portuguese “quebrar” meaning “to break”, which describes the narrow alleyways of the favelas).

René Francisco Rodríguez is a Cuban artist, born in 1960 in Holguín, Cuba. His work has been recognized and awarded internationally. He participated in the 26th São Paulo Biennial in 2004, the Venice Biennale in 1999 and 2007, and two editions of the Havana Biennial editions in 1997 and 2000. In 2001 he received the title Doctor Honoris Causa of Fine Arts at San Francisco Art Institute. He began his work as a teacher in 1989 at the ISA (Institute of Art in Havana) with innovative Pedagogical Pragmatics. In 2010 he was awarded the National Prize of Plastic Arts of Cuba.

Roberta Condeixa is an educator and art researcher. She currently coordinates the Art is Education program at Casa Daros, Rio de Janeiro and is studying for her Master’s Degree in Contemporary Art Studies at the Federal University Fluminense (UFF) focusing on collaborative art practices in Latin America, mapping artists that promote the inclusion of biographies within their work as a body of multiple voices. She develops research and projects that use art as a language of power and change in social structures. She has worked with diverse art and education institutions in Rio de Janeiro, such as Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) Niterói, Oi Futuro, and CCBB (Cultural Center of the Bank of Brazil) as well as initiating independent projects. While working at MAC’s Department of Art Education she developed youth projects with neighborhood schools and the favela Morro do Palácio and participated in an international exchange with The Andy Warhol Museum, USA.