AUSTIN, Texas—Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, curator of Latin American art at The University of Texas at Austin’s Blanton Museum, will be the first non-Brazilian to serve as the chief curator of the Mercosur Biennial, an exhibit in Porto Alegre, Brazil, that attracts more than one million visitors.
Pérez-Barreiro was born in Spain, studied in England and moved to Texas in 2001.
Pérez-Barreiro will be organizing seven exhibits as part of the biennial event, which will run from September to November 2007. The theme of this sixth Mercosur Biennial developed around a metaphor, “the third shore of the river,” inspired by one of the greatest Brazilian novelists of the 20th century, João Guimarães Rosa.
“I think we’re all on a third shore,” says Pérez-Barreiro. “Whenever you have a situation of two choices and you chose a third, or look critically at both of them, you’re creating a third shore. So it’s a metaphor that works in many ways. There’s going to be a third shore in many of the artists who will be chosen, who are those who don’t think that art has to be figurative or abstract, social or formalist.”
The Mercosur Biennial takes its name from the Mercosur, a customs union between Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Venezuela that was founded in 1991. Its purpose is to promote free trade and movement of goods, peoples and currency.
In keeping with the metaphor of “the third shore,” the biennial will offer various artists’ views on the Mercosur region, from a local reality and an international perspective, creating a dialogue or “third shore.” The Mercosur region will be seen as cultural geographies of art rather than as national geographies, focusing on the work that resulted from shared knowledge, information and influence between groups of people rather than nation-states.
For more information contact: Leslie Lyon, College of Fine Arts, 512-475-7033.