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São Paulo Biennale Artists Urge Organizers to Refuse Israeli State Funding

August 29, 2014

Open letter to the Fundacão Bienal São Paulo

We, the undersigned artists participating in the 31st Bienal have been suddenly confronted, just as the show is about to open, with the fact that the Fundação Bienal de São Paulo has accepted money from the Israeli state and that the Israeli Consulate logo appears in the Bienal pavilion and on its publications and website.

At a time in which the people of Gaza return to the rubble of their homes, destroyed by the Israeli military we do not feel it is acceptable to receive Israeli cultural sponsorship. In accepting this funding our artistic work displayed in the exhibition is undermined and implicitly used for whitewashing Israel’s on going aggressions and violation of international law and human rights. We reject Israel’s attempt to normalise itself within the context of a major international cultural event in Brazil.

With this statement, we appeal to the Fundação Bienal to refuse this funding and to take action on this matter before the opening of the exhibition.

1. Agnieszka Piksa

2. Alejandra Riera

3. Ana Lira

4. Andreas Maria Fohr

5. Asier Mendizabal

6. Chto Delat collective: Dmitry Vilensky, Tsaplya Olga Egrova, Nikolay Oleynikov

7. Danica Dakic

8. Débora Maria da Silva and Movimento Mães de Maio

9. Erick Beltran

10. Etcetera… / Federico Zukerfeld/Loreto Garin Guzman

11. Farid Rakun

12. Francisco Casas y Pedro Lemebel (Yeguas del Apocalipsis)

13. Gabriel Mascaro

14. Graziela Kusch

15. Grupo Contrafilé

16. Gulsun Karamustafa

17. Halil Altindere

18. Heidi Abderhalden

19. Imogen Stidworthy

20. Ines Doujak

21. Jakob Jakobsen

22. John Barker

23. Jonas Staal

24. Lia Perjovschi and Dan Perjovschi

25. Liesbeth Bik and Jos van der Pol

26. Lilian L’Abbate Kelian

27. Loreto Garin

28. Luis Ernesto Díaz

29. Mapa Teatro-Laboratorio de Artistas

30. María Berríos

31. Maria Galindo & Esther Argollo, Mujeres Creando

32. Mark lewis

33. Marta Neves

34. Michael Kessus Gedalyovich

35. Miguel A. López

36. Nilbar Güres

37. Otobong Nkanga

38. Pedro G. Romero Archivo F.X.

39. Prabhakar Pachpute

40. Rolf Abderhalden

41. Romy  Pocztaruk

42. Ruanne Abou-Rahme Basel Abbas

43. Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti

44. Santiago Sepúlveda

45. Sergio Zevallos

46. Sheela Gowda

47. Tamar Guimarães e Kasper Akhøj

48. Thiago Martins de Melo

49. Tiago Borges

50. Tony Chakar

51. Voluspa Jarpa

52. Walid Raad

53. Ximena Vargas

54. Yael Bartana

55. Yonamine



31st São Paulo Biennial international sponsors listed on the official website

31st São Paulo Biennial international sponsors listed on the official website


The Bienal de São Paulo was initiated in 1951 and is the second oldest art biennial in the world after the Venice Biennial, which was set up 1895 and served as its role model. The 31st Bienal de São Paulo is curated by Charles Esche, Galit Eilat, Nuria Enguita Mayo, Pablo Lafuente and Oren Sagiv. More information here.

List of participating artists and projects here.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 29, 2014 8:58 AM


    I’ll be a guest speaker on November 27 at the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo in one of the events running concurrently with the São Paulo Biennale. Please add my name to your petition.

    My paper will deal with the collusion of artists and others with global capital, so perhaps there’s a good reason why the Israeli Gov’t is not funding me. Never has. Never will.

    Not in my name.

    Paul Werner
    Vienna and New York


  1. Sao Paulo’s Art Biennial Dissociates From Israel Funding | WebInvestigatorKK
  2. Art Foundation Returns US$40,000 to Israel* | Hwaairfan's Blog
  3. La presión de los artistas consigue que la Bienal de São Paulo retire financiación israelí


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