Titled “The Imminence of Poetics”, this edition of the Bienal adopted the constellation as a metaphor and established discursive interconnections between past and present; center and periphery; object and language. With a large number of works by each artist, the exhibition focused on Latin American artists and paid tribute to Arthur Bispo do Rosário and Waldemar Cordeiro. The project Mobile Radio set up a radio station on the mezzanine floor of the pavilion that had broadcasts throughout the entire period of the exhibition

President of Bienal: Heitor Martins
Curator: Luis Pérez-Oramas
Associate Curators: André Severo, Tobi Maier
Assistant Curator: Isabela Villanueva


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"Bienal is Babel. [...] The Americas' ultimate tragedy, when it appears at last to be awakening, would be to carry on imitating Europe, and to imitate it, moreover, in its forgetting. There are those who believe that America's Biennials should be mentally created from outside, and since Europe and the dominant nations of the North Atlantic persist in their self-centred efforts to forget the world, we are supposed to, alongside them, shouldering the blame for an amnesia that is not ours, aim to be global, which is also, and always, in their interest. However, what we should instead be doing is learn to be local, to be situated: to reclaim a place in the world, to think from a place, and not like carnivalesque, masked, intellectual figures from all places, a particularly dangerous fallacy that leads us to the illusory belief that we have permanently overcome distances, differences, and times."

ORAMAS, Luis Pérez. "The Imminence of Poetics (A Polyphonic Essay in Three or More Voices)". In Catalogue Thirtieth Bienal de São Paulo: The Imminence of Poetics. Curators Luis Pérez-Oramas... [et al.]. São Paulo: Fundação Bienal de São Paulo, 2012, p.28

"'Imminence of Poetics' would be the way artists or ordinary people such as Arthur Bispo do Rosário structure a new way of looking at reality, a procedure that is typical of contemporary art. […] With this, curator Luiz Pérez-Oramas organized a Bienal that avoids the sensational, to reveal the spectacular in everyday actions, recreated by an artistic or simply paranoid intention."

CYPRIANO, Fabio. “Bienal revela delírios contidos e brilha pelo conjunto da obra” [The Bienal reveals contained delusions and shines for its body of work]. Folha de S. Paulo, Ilustrada, October 14. 2012

"[…] the project developed by curator Luis Pérez-Oramas not only abolishes compartmentalization, such as national representations and special rooms devoted to established artists, it also seeks to nullify the historical and geopolitical hierarchies between the artists represented. Almost half of those selected are Latin Americans, including the 23 Brazilians. Most of these, in turn, are at the Bienal for the first time. […] The obsession with the cataloging, recording and ordering of diversity is identified by Oramas as a central characteristic of contemporary art and constitutes one of the central pillars of the exhibition."

HIRSZMAN, Maria. “A arte como sistema visual” [Art as a visual system]. O Estado de S. Paulo, Caderno 2, September 02. 2012