Frestas circuits

Ana Maria Maia e Júlia Ayerbe

On this second edition of the Triennial, the editorial curators activated two discursive circuits tangential to an exhibition of contemporary art. Standing outside its domain, but with the power to lend it voice even before opening day, and to create a community of stakeholders around the event, the internet was the first of these circuits to come into play. As a natural extension to the exhibition, and imbued with the function of registering and reflecting upon it for posterity, the print catalogue was, naturally, the second one.


Memes are snatches of image, sound or text that circulate widely and swiftly online on the strength of knock-on sharing, often becoming viral regardless of their author’s wishes. The editorial curators were interested in exploring this language, which holds such a central place in present-day communication dynamics, in order to drum up online interest ahead of the opening of Frestas. Six artists and two collectives were invited to create content for different social media: the duo Angélica Freitas and Juliana Perdigão and Escola da Floresta on Facebook; Bruno Mendonça on Soundcloud, YouTube and Tumblr; Deyson Gilbert on Whatsapp; Gala Berger on  Wikipedia; Guerrilla Girls on a website of their own, and Ricardo Càstro on Instagram and Google Maps. Under the hashtag #frestas2017, the proposals were indexed to a small virtual archive, though their circulation was left to the mercy of sharings, to disappear or go viral depending on the whims of internet users and the calculations of algorithms.


The mission behind editorial projects for exhibitions is usually to safeguard the memory of what went on while the event was open to the public. More than that, they may also present additional content and experiments with editorial and graphic language related to the show’s concepts. To articulate for future readers what the second edition of the Triennial was all about, the editorial curators have designed this book to record, register and experience Frestas.


The circuit the curators created for the exhibition space is emulated in the layout of the book so as to revive the visitor experience. The first narrative element in this space is Everton Ballardin’s photo essay, which includes open panoramas and details of the show, and contextualises  the sequence of introductory texts to the works and their authors. In addition to the curatorial presentation, the team memorials help foster an understanding of the collective and interdisciplinary reasoning that gives rise to a contemporary art show, collaborating toward the formation of a museum-going public and a professional art circuit.


The permanent title of Sesc’s Triennial, Frestas [chinks], is a conceptual anchor for this second edition of the event, which embraces and examines that title. To attempt to define it and problematize it, we held and recorded a round-table discussion in April 2017 with five professionals from different areas.

“Post-truths and events”, the other two guiding concepts behind the exhibition, were developed in texts by Roberto Winter and Paula Sibilia. Symptomatically, in dealing with the proposed theme, Winter responded with a fictional dialogue, while Sibilia penned an essay that reflected on “a fusion between spectacle and control”, which makes “showing oneself” more important than showing something.


Rather than being cropped on its three sides, the binding left the bottom part unopened, creating interstices between the pages, chinks in the editorial structure. Using this device, the artists exhibiting at the Triennial were free to work on the backs of their catalogue entries. “Frestas das frestas” [Chinks in the Chinks] became an invitation to self-edit, opening a field of experimentation ripe for explorations, abstentions, disagreements, and parallelisms between institutional and personal discourses. The pocket-like structure of the unopened page presents a difficulty in accessing the content, forcing the reader to decide what approach to take: some might go for an optimized use of the book and not open the chinks, or do so only sporadically, while others might force them to a bursting point or just tear them open once and for all, laying the content bare.

Ana MariaAna Maria Maia é pesquisadora, curadora e professora de arte contemporânea, nascida no Recife e radicada desde 2009 em São Paulo. Faz doutorado em Teoria e Crítica de Arte na Universidade de São Paulo. Foi curadora adjunta do 33º Panorama de Arte Brasileira do Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (2013) e curadora do Rumos Artes Visuais do Itaú Cultural (2011-2). É autora do livro Arte-veículo: intervenções na mídia de massa brasileira (Editora Aplicação, 2016).

juliaayerbeJúlia Ayerbe é bacharel em Ciências Sociais pela PUC-SP. De 2010 a 2016 foi editora sênior da Pinacoteca de São Paulo, onde esteve a cargo de mais de sessenta publicações. Desde 2013 é gestora de Edições Aurora / Publication Studio SP, editora independente com foco em livros-trabalho e teoria sobre arte e política. Participou de diferentes projetos curatoriais como Elefante branco com paninho em cima e Cidade Queer. Atualmente é mestranda em História da arte pela Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Universidad Complutense e o Museo Reina Sofía.