Rumos Artes Visuais 1999-2000 +
Rumos Arte e Tecnologia – Novas Mídias 1998-1999

The Rumos program was formulated in the late 1990s with the Novas Mídias and the Artes Visuais areas. Its general premise – to encourage the emergent production all over the national territory, allowing for a mapping, incentive and exchange between agents from diverse regions – has been applied to these areas, creating the basis for programs that had 15 years of duration and went though several adjustments as time went by. In its first edition, Rumos Artes Visuais faced regional contrasts, which challenged a
common understanding of the contemporary arts and, above all, of the production system, creation and circulation of the arts. Experiments in photo and video, in the first edition and in the following one, served as a converging arena between so different productions and contexts. At this point, the program was paying a
legitimating role, committed to a plural image of the country, at the same time that it discovered its own networking potential and, potentially, of reflection networking.

Paulo Miyada


Consolidated by its second edition, Rumos Artes Visuais reinforced its identity as a formation initiative not only for artists, but also for curators. In parallel to this, initiatives in several parts of the country reflected the Brazilian art circuit’s inclination to foment and divulge the output of artists who were in their formation processes, both under national or regional scopes. Moves for the future of the arts in Brazil were being carried out. Even though some regions were apparently more resistant and many initiatives were interrupted due to a lack of means and planning, the spaces dedicated to the contemporary arts experienced a
multiplication during the early 2000s, in both quality and diversity of management models. Regarding the artists, the emphasis given to debates and language novelties was, in many cases, overcame by the concrete disposition to act in physical and symbolical spaces of the urban environment. Meanwhile, the Rumos Novas Mídias became Transmídia, reflecting the urgency in defining concepts that were comprehensive enough to embrace incipient artistic outputs.

Paulo Miyada


With 79 artists selected, Rumos Artes Visuais’ third edition emphasized a certain balance and outreach in approaching medias – from drawing to video, including installation and urban intervention – while concentrated its reflection efforts in thinking meanings that could be associated to a set of emergent production in the
Brazilian contemporary arts. In the rationale introduced by the curators and invited speakers, discussions about the contrasts and the continuity between local contexts and global tendencies were recurrent. The
artistic collectives, often present in the debates about Brazilian art in the last decade, were also discussed; reflects of the increasing internationalization; and the circuit’s professionalization regarding the youngest artists. In parallel to this, the recent development in the field of art and technology led to the adoption of a third and definitive name to its section in Rumos: arte cibernética [cybernetic art].

Paulo Miyada


Faced with the impressive multiplication of programs for emergent artists, in all latitudes of the country, the broad curatorial team of this edition of Rumos Artes Visuais noted that one of the original goals of the Rumos program was achieved: a certain universalization of the idea of contemporary arts in territorial scale. Simultaneously, however, they were concerned with possible side effects of this expansion, as well as its most severe gaps, omissions and discontinuities. The exhibitions with selected artists after the mapping stage gave prominence to considerations about locality and space, which made the interregional quality of the program resound in the exhibitions. Meanwhile, Rumos Arte Cibernética reached its last edition, facing the possible hiatuses between its field of action and that of contemporary art.

Paulo Miyada


In its last edition, the Rumos Artes Visuais program emphasized the idea of travel as its theme and fundamental principle – even capable of superseding the previous edition’s concerns with the popular culture of each site. In retrospect, given the 15 years of its implementation, the general picture shows that displacement is a mark of this generation of artists and a part of their life trajectories, of their
professional opportunities and even, in international scale, a part of the interpretation keys for their works. Besides the facets mentioned in other editions, a great change stands out in the approach to video by the artists. With this edition, the mission partially accomplished, Rumos Artes Visuais ended the model that advanced itself, opening space to a new transdisciplinary support program.

Paulo Miyada

Other national programs in the late 1990s

If, from the mid-1980s to early 1990s, the unique Galeria Macunaíma (Inap-Funarte, Rio de Janeiro) acted as an opportunity for artists, from all over Brazil, at the early stages of the careers to make their first exhibition, in the late 1990s this role was played by the Programa de Exposições [Exhibitions Program] of Centro Cultural São Paulo (since 1989), by the Temporada de Projetos [Projects Season] of Paço das Artes (since 1997), by the Centro Universitário Maria Antonia [Maria Antonia University Center] and by the calls for occupying the Funarte halls in several Brazilian States (higher in numbers, but less known then before) – all these programs used to select, via a board, a set of small and medium solo shows.

Paulo Miyada

The Antarctica Artes program, with Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, tried out, in 1996, a model that, later on, could be related to CNI Sesi Senai Marcantonio Vilaça Prize (since 2004), to the Professional Investor in Art Prize (Pipa, since 2010), to the EdP Prize (since 2010) and others. In common, they have the following program: promoting a national mapping of emerging artists (more or less experienced, depending on each case), that is backed up by a curatorial committee and results in publications and group exhibitions showing relevant artworks by the selected artists. The propagation of these projects results in consolidating the image of young artists as part of the art circuit in the country.

Paulo Miyada

Technology as institutional choice

The existence of a Rumos program dedicated to the new medias, launched a year after the visual arts program, reflects Itaú Cultural’s choice for technology and digitalization as an institutional goal. Since its creation, in 1987, the institute fostered digitalization as an action area, which gained room with the pioneer Centro de Informática e Cultura [Center for Informatics and Culture]. The center’s results today include the digital encyclopedia and Hélio Oiticica’s and Leonilson’s documents database. A decade later, the Rumos Novas Mídias reflected this field of interest when it started to support the research and the production of artistic expressions based on digital, electronic and virtual media.

Paulo Miyada


The term emerging refers to artists in the early stages of theirs careers and, potentially, in professional and artistic ascension. As young artist, this is a term full of contradictions. From a practical point of view, the Rumos program solved the ambiguity within these terms by defining that only artists with a maximum number of career years were eligible. Nevertheless, this has never released curators from, in every edition, engaging in debates about the meaning of “new” in the contemporary arts.

Paulo Miyada

“Young” is a conventional term, often full of psychological projections from those who give it qualities as freshness, spontaneity, innovation or iconoclastic capacity. “Young” means “unseen”. And “unseen” is an ambiguous concept, because it not always hides the fact that true independent and remarkable characteristics might also lack to the artwork of 20-25 year-old-artists. “Young” might lead to a yet non-firmed and non-consolidated practice. Many “young” artists produce less “original” and unique works than their older colleagues.

Stéphane Huchet, “Rumos: Continuity or Symbolic Big Bang?”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2005-2006, p. 295

The program’s structure

The concept that underpinned the mapping promoted by the Rumos Itaú Cultural Artes Visuais 1999/2000 program was to start a process instead of only making another event. Therefore, the program was not conceived as a mere mechanism of obtaining unseen attractions to discontinuous shows. The intention was to create a close dialogue with the artistic field [...].

Ricardo Ribenboim, then head-director for Itaú Cultural, in Rumos Artes Visuais 1999-2000, p. 5

Unbalances, Brazilian Northeast (CE, RN, PI, MA)

In this region, almost everything still needs to be done. There is no teaching of visual arts in the local universities. The closest to these contents is in the courses of architecture and social communication. [...] Cultural centers follow that same pattern of absolute scarcity, with only one exception: Centro Dragão do Mar de Arte e Cultura [Dragão do Mar Center of Arts and Culture], in Fortaleza [...]. We must also mention the existence of Alpendre – Casa de Arte, Pesquisa e Produção [Alpendre – Center of Arts, Research and Production] –, that, inspired by an experience carried out by Torreão, in Porto Alegre, promotes action that contributes to the reflection about the contemporary production.

Angélica de Moraes, coordinator-curator, in Rumos Artes Visuais 1999-2000, p. 11

Unbalances, South

There is an abundance of specific university courses in teaching arts (Passo Fundo, Rio Grande, Ijuí, Blumenau e Criciúma) and BAs (Porto Alegre, Pelotas, Novo Hamburgo, Florianópolis e Joinville). [...] The efficient learning generated a numerous and qualified artistic class, that is intensifying and consolidating a high level production for at least two decades. Paradoxically, however, the other agents of the art circuit are quite shy, which results in an enormous frustration regarding the visibility of these artworks.

Angélica de Moraes, coordinator-curator, in Rumos Artes Visuais 1999-2000, p. 11

The mediums of the contemporary arts

The curatorial essays produced in Rumos Artes Visuais’ first edition reflect a peculiar challenge: the indefinite relationship between the mediums and the languages in the contemporary arts. Although the technical diversity that can cohabit in contemporary artists’ practice has already been accepted as a common ground by many art schools and by the professional art system, this comes back to the agenda when a program as Rumos faces the deeply unequal environments from each Brazilian region. In Porto Velho, Cuiabá or Rio Claro the dialogue often ends up concentrating the efforts to answer questions such as: “What makes a work to become contemporary? Is it necessary to be more (or less) than a painting?”. In this first edition the curatorial essays answer the question in an oblique way: they often rely on sections oriented by specific techniques – photography and video, not by chance, occupy a central position in five out of ten groupings proposed by the curators.

Paulo Miyada

The show gathers some artists from the main currents of Brazilian contemporary artistic output, mapped for the Rumos Itaú Cultural Artes Visuais’ first edition. It is, therefore, a summary of the journeys that have been pursued by the arts in the 1990s: the exploration of photographic images, videographic etc, the investigation of non-conventional approaches and mediums, the repetition, the modulation and the interventions in both body and space.

Fernando Cocchiarale, coordinator-curator, “Contemporary Currents”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 1999-2000, p. 142

Speculating the photographic

In the first two editions of Rumos Artes Visuais, the presence of artists selected for their experiments in photography and video is noticeable. It can be said that more than one third of these editions’ participants work with these mediums. On one hand, the attention of curators to these experiments allowed for the program to get closer to young people from all over Brazil, even in areas with small numbers of schools directly dedicated to the contemporary arts. On the other hand, the spread and the lower prices of equipment made them increasingly accessible and allowed for a variety of essays trying to “expand” the limits of each media, either by exploring its possibilities of spatial insertion, or by interfering on its technical processes.

Paulo Miyada

Considerably fertilized by its transformation in time and morphology brought with cinema, video and digital edition, the contemporary photography condenses not only very clear individual poetics as also makes the sense of vision become completely questionable. Manipulated, distorted, reduced and remade, image is less and less an index of reality and more and more the construction of an artistic expression. In this way, it’s the better-finished expression of a time (ours) that watched while all the accuracy was ruined.

Angélica de Moraes, coordinator-curator, with João Henrique do Amaral, “Photography: the Unfaithful Mirror”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 1999-2000, p. 12

Initial mapping as legitimation

With the selected artists’ average age slightly higher than in the following editions – 32 years-old –, the first Rumos Artes Visuais exposed, alongside with young people in their twenties, a significant amount of artists who could not necessarily be described as “emerging talents”, but instead as locally consolidated artists who were facing the process of legitimation in national scale.

Paulo Miyada

Cultural policies in times of fiscal incentive

Even considering that investments via incentive laws overcome the governmental direct fomenting, cultural politics under the governments led by Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva managed to highlight an image of the Brazilian culture based on the diversity of the Brazilian regions and social groups. If, on one side, The main cultural equipment and investments on events and exhibitions spaces continue to be concentrated in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, on the other side, affirmative policies to other states have been tried out and gained visibility with the idea of integrating the different regions. Rumos itself fits in this definition: it is a national scale program, with principles that celebrate the diversity and the Brazilian cultural potential, proposed by the cultural incentive federal law.

Paulo Miyada

In 1986 the first fiscal incentive law was adopted in Brazil – known as Sarney Law. It was the first legal instrument through which government could release a sum of its collection of taxes for agents to invest in cultural projects previously approved in the governmental instances. In president Fernando Collor government, in the early 1990s, the cultural policies supported the reduction of direct public investments, made evident with the shutout of Funarte and in the revocation of the Sarney Law. Responding to the popular pressure, the Rouanet Law created a new via of fiscal/cultural incentive in 1992. During the two following decades, the diffusion of initiatives supported by Ministério da Cultura [Ministry of Culture] under the incentive law boosted the support to medium and large events and to the creation or the consolidation of cultural spaces financially supported by banks and other private institutions.

Paulo Miyada

Travelling as learning 1

Beyond surveying according to the contemporaneity indexes and indicating artists to itinerant shows, the curatorial team did, in each visited region, a brief diagnosis of the teaching situation, approaching the diffusion and the technical and conceptual set of the visual arts [...]. Since the program is based in a complex combination of actions, including the exhibitions, surely the activities that the institution has been promoting should provide quality changes that soon will show us their consequences.

Maria Eugênia Saturni, coordinator, in Rumos Artes Visuais 1999-2000, p. 9

Formation of artists and, also, curators

The program’s main goal is to collaborate in the formation process of the participating artists and curators, newcomers in the art circuit. [...] Based on the concept that the confrontation with regional outputs reinforces the multiplicity and richness of the Brazilian arts, in each program edition, artists are selected and curators are appointed from different Brazilian regions. This highlights the arts created beyond the traditional circuit represented by the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Itaú Cultural, “Mapping the Emergent Production”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2001-2003, p. 6

The curatorial teams organization went through adjustments. Therefore, beyond its approach on disclosing new artistic outputs, Rumos Artes Visuais also started to reinforce its own role in supporting the formation of both the artists and the curators, who experienced an exceptional opportunity to refresh ideas and mindsets under a national scope. In some cases, the deputy curators experienced in Rumos one of their first professional activities; as well as the artists, part of them intensified their trajectories from this moment on, and others looked for parallel patterns, in both teaching and other areas linked to research in the arts field.

Paulo Miyada

Inclusion of young artists in the circuit (São Paulo)

Centro Cultural São Paulo and Paço das Artes run similar projects, with portfolio-based shortlisting of young artists, who are awarded individual exhibitions throughout the year, made in parallel to exhibitions by more experienced and consolidated artists. The two museums of contemporary arts in the city – Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, MAM [Modern Art Museum of São Paulo], and Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo, MAC/USP [University of São Paulo Contemporary Arts Museum]– also carry out projects dedicated to the young production: the Panorama de Arte Brasileira [Brazilian Art Overview], by MAM, is biennial, and mixes works by consolidated and emerging artists, as well as Heranças Contemporâneas [Contemporary Heritage], from the MAC.

Juliana Monachesi in Cristina Freire, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2001-2003, p.18

Inclusion of young artists in the circuit (Rio de Janeiro)

It is interesting to observe how certain permeability between the institutional art teaching and the alternative centers managed by artists is taking place. [...] Adding to the fact that these are becoming a reference in the arts field, as well as an event in the cities, these are initiatives that, in their experiences, are getting a political and cultural dimension, thanks to their relational and critical nature. [...] These groups are very active in the Rio de Janeiro art scenery and boost up, in their networks, a relevant part of the emergent artistic production. These are: Atelier DZ9, Portas Abertas and Prêmio Interferências Urbanas (coordinated by Júlio Castro), Espaço Agora, Projeto Capacete, Galeria do Poste (Niterói), Zona Franca and Projeto Dromo.

Marisa Cesar Flórido and Fernando Cocchiarale, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2001-2003, p. 14

Inclusion of young artists in the circuit (Belo Horizonte)

Among the exhibition venues in the city, it seems fair to highlight the efforts that have been carried out by Centro Cultural da UFMG [University of Minas Gerais Cultural Center], that has opted to run young artists individual shows, allowing for an important maturation stage to take place in their trajectories.

Paulo Schmidt and Fernando Cocchiarale, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2001-2003, p. 13

Inclusion of young artists in the circuit (Olinda and Recife)

The Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Pernambuco [Contemporary Arts Museum of Pernambuco], based in Olinda, owns a rich set of modern art. It has halls for exhibitions, but it dependencies lack on maintenance. It has hosted the Salão dos Novos [The Newcomers Art Show], in 2000, an important event that added visibility to several artists who were consolidating their trajectories. [...] Installed in the Cultural Outreach Department of UFPE (Federal University of Pernambuco, in Recife, the IAC [Contemporary Arts Institute] runs, in the Galeria Pequeno Formato [Small Format Gallery], small shows of local artists.

Maria do Carmo de Siqueira Nino and Moacir dos Anjos, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2001-2003, p. 28

Alternative routes

By focusing on artists under formation, often showing some of their first artworks, Rumos has selected several professionals who ended up moving to other work areas in the following years. In this group there are those who clearly preferred to work in different creative areas – as scenography, direction, production – and also those who continued to produce art, however without enough interlocution, intensity and quantity to maintain themselves inserted in the visual arts circuit.

Paulo Miyada

A significant part of the artists who took part in Rumos had some academic education in the field of visual arts; from these, many joined post-graduation programs and, later, started to teach. To some of them, this ensured a room for research and deeper work activities, while, to others, there was a deceleration in production and less participation in exhibitions.

Paulo Miyada

Institutional Challenge

For how long will we send curators to track down the circumstances in the contemporary arts and, with clear conscience and a mission accomplished feeling, they will state once more that nothing is happening? It seems tyrannical to expect partnerships when we already know that they cannot be established. The problem has deeper roots, and one needs to give without expecting to receive. It is not enough anymore to promote a mapping with a simple overview, it is necessary to create a map of effective and generous action.

Eduardo Frota and Jailton Moreira, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2001-2003, p. 22

The need for formation instead of spectacle

[in the Ceará América (Fortaleza, 2002) and Cariri (Juazeiro do Norte, 2001) biennials] the existing idea is that of a messianic power given to projects, however without an acceptable cultural guarantee, risking to end up not finding a reasonable pillar within fragile cultural mechanisms. These are proposals that, even though well intentioned, are meant to merely pursue visibility, neglecting the educational needs. Those who believe that every gap in a cultural dynamic can be filled up by the magic powers of a big event are wrong.

Eduardo Frota and Jailton Moreira, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2001-2003, p. 22

New spaces, agents and terms

The trajectories of the three coordinator-curators in this edition of Rumos Artes Visuais can be seen as an indicator of a renewal regarding the contemporary arts’ spaces in Brazil. While Cristina Freire was known for her work in a established institution from São Paulo (Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo), Moacir dos Anjos was then the curator of a museum out of the Rio-São Paulo circuit in the late 1990s (Museu de Arte Moderna Aloisio Magalhães, in Recife) and Jailton Moreira was introduced as the founder for an independent space dedicated to the contemporary arts in Porto Alegre (Torreão). In spite of the differences in the guidelines adopted in each of these institutions, the presence of a young museum in this set reflects the increasing importance of these models as references to approach the plurality present in the Brazilian art circuit.

Paulo Miyada

Willing to be up-to-date

There is [...] a certain “disenchantment” caused by the low representativeness in art shows dedicated to paintings. To many artists, painting and other conventional medias, such as engraving, has always been the way forward to most of those who start in the arts field [...]. Within this context, artists often feel pushed to modify, often in an abrupt manner, the direction of their production, starting to work with non-traditional forms of expressions (installations, performance, new technologies), that eventually will help their insertion in the contemporary arts field.

Maria do Carmo de Siqueira Nino and Moacir dos Anjos, “Rio Grande do Norte/Paraíba/Pernambuco”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2001-2003, p. 26

The city and the society as problem

Specially in the curatorial set proposed by Marisa Cesar Flórido – named Sobre(A)ssaltos and realized in Belo Horizonte – a reflection has been tried out regarding a significant parcel of the mapped artists’ generation whose processes of formation and action were strongly characterized by experiences in managing independent spaces, creating artistic collectives and immerging in their cities’ public spaces. Interested in resuming a confrontation attitude towards social reality and, at the same time, looking for new types of organization and collaboration, these artists stimulated the curator to propose an itinerancy that involved the proposition of new artworks and actions, to be specially formulated to the city that would receive the set. Unfortunately, the second itineration of this show that would go to Porto Alegre was cancelled – which stopped the proposal from continuing and developing with the variations that another city could add.

Paulo Miyada

These are poetics that keep within them the cities and the contamination and dispersion of territories: the fluctuation of boarders and meanings between the author and the audience, the art and the world. A relative constitution that causes and highlights the relationships in which these artworks are inserted, triggered and criticized: a path of affections, systems and phenomena, external to the sovereign and autonomous universe of the modern art, to the abstract and ideal space and time features that this art claimed. Being invaded by external stimulus, they move to the world’s spaces, taking place under fortuitous meetings and circumstances, submerging in the urban entropy.

Marisa Cesar Flórido, “Sobre(A)ssaltos”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2001-2003, p. 135

Glossary of concepts

Immersive environments, biologic art, thematic art, artificial intelligence – these were some of the concepts risen by the Rumos Transmídia edition, aiming for creating a vocabulary to think the journeys pursued by artists and researchers of the interactions between artistic processes and digital medias and/or new technologies. With disposition to collaborate to the maturation of this debate, the program not only involved the exhibition of artists selected by a curatorial board, but also encouraged the development of artworks from their initial conception as well as the publication of theoretical research.

Paulo Miyada

Under its scope, Rumos Transmídia gathered research and production. This was an initiative that reflected the trajectories of many artists engaged in promoting works and debates related to art and technology in Brazil – many of them were connected to universities in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro or Brasília. At this point, the post graduation programs absorbed (and educated) many artists and thinkers that took part in this edition of Rumos, and also helped to make some of its proposals real, since its scope, complexity and costs represented challenges to the immediate insertion in the consolidated contemporary arts circuit.

Paulo Miyada

Simply art

With a remarkable scope of languages and resources, this edition diminishes the inclination to this or that media or to the super valorization of clearly “contemporary” formats. Drawing, painting, photography and videos coexisted without necessarily being presented in their “expanded” or “installation” forms – simultaneously, the presence of artistic collectives and performance agents demanded travelling and action in public spaces. This happened due to a general maturation of the contemporary art circuit, already less concerned about explicitly stating its differences towards tradition.

Paulo Miyada

Brazilian art

[...] to what extent Rumos seemed a utopic project to me, regarding its will to create unity, beyond the articulation of several Brazilian centers, by the collective introduction of artists under so diverse formation processes and backgrounds? [...] When trying to understand how a young Brazilian curator sees what is named Brazilian art, one faces a thick fog, the words are so complex that it is hard to decode them. “There is not a Brazilian art as the origin of something that carries a spontaneous identification. The Brazilian art concept is an artificial product based on will and representation”. It would be easier to say that “Brazilian art” is an artificial term. Nevertheless, to me, Brazilian art has been, for years, the art that is made in Brazil. Full stop.

Aracy Amaral, “Introduction”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2005-2006, p. 19

To visit Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul pushes us to broaden some concepts: what Brazil is and what the contemporary arts are. These are Brazilian states that are closer to the culture of their bordering countries (Bolivia and Paraguay) than to Brazilian shore cities or to São Paulo and that are still trying to get used to the split of the great state of Mato Grosso that happened in the 1970s. [...] In Mato Grosso, the talks focus on the relevance of establishing local aesthetical parameters that are independent from the power centers of the arts. There was no access to the emergent production, but the little that was shown revealed a close link with popular art, naive art and art craft. Artists who are not related to these focus on experiments with materials within the academic model.

Cristiana Tejo, “Mato Grosso”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2005-2006, p. 84

In Rio Branco, the artist “aspires” to become contemporary, but dedicates time to craftwork for a living. It must be said that these two activities often coexist without much success. It seems worthwhile to make a distinction from circumstances such as in the city of Americana (São Paulo countryside) and Rio Branco: these are two non-equivalent types of self-taught experiences. It is possible to witness, in Rio Branco, that a sharper view is present: “We need to make our view unnatural”, in Hélio Melo’s words.

Lisette Lagnado and Aracy Amaral, “Rio Branco, Acre”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2005-2006, p. 36


The contemporary arts in Brazil mean the arts conceived from spaces understood in a specific temporality, in which we live. And what are these spaces? Those which we have visited, from north to south, from west to east in the country, in all its diversity, in spite of the attempts for unification based on the increasingly powerful mass media that impose a behavior and a mentality, despite the maintenance of peculiarities and attributes in many parts of Brazil. And peculiarities and attributes are simultaneously irradiated by tradition and/or by daily circumstances as well as by the overwhelming external information.

Aracy Amaral, “Introduction”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2005-2006, p. 9

Global and local are, therefore, relational terms – as also are center and periphery –, and not descriptions of physical or symbolical territories well defined and isolated. However, the relationship between these instances is not established in a polarized way; there is an extensive communication network dedicated to the “negotiation of diversity”, from which the media, the academia, the museums and many other institutions are part. The intensification of the relationship and the levels of exchange in this network make them gradually impure, generating a field in which, somehow, cultural formats that did not exist before become interwoven. These are constant contact points with what is different, that finally produce the multicultural aspect of the contemporary societies.

Moacir dos Anjos, “The Redefined Local and Global”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2005-2006, p. 279

Local/global (Recife)

Differently from the 1990s generation, that aimed for conciliating the local culture with the influences from the outside (in spite of an immense diversity), the 2000 generation, in its majority, presents a production with an attenuated accent, in other words with less referencing to the popular culture in Pernambuco or with aspects that could be identified as being from a specific place. These groups are agglutinated according to their own interests and mindsets and there are many young artists who are organized in networks with artists from de Porto Alegre, São Paulo, Fortaleza, João Pessoa, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, breaking this persistent dichotomy between center and periphery.

Cristiana Tejo, “Attenuated Accents and Centers’ Proliferation”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2005-2006, p. 209

Local/global (Brasília)

Maybe this is the point that really matters to us: the geographical-symbolical circumstances of a specific set of artworks that define a certain type of approach, a certain look over/from the world? This is a question that more often touches readers/commenters than artists, while creating their work. Faced as a reference that can orientate visits to art workshops, projects’ discussions with artists, portfolios reading, this is also seems to always be built between the documenting and the fictional interpretation, as geography and cartography have taught us.

Marília Panitz, “Brasília, Excentric Center”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2005-2006, p. 273


Writing about the art that is being made in the great urban centers of Brazil demands command and acceptance of a whole terminology that has been inserted after recent events, such as “artistic collectives”, “interactive”, “resident artists”, etc. regarding the young artist, it points out an acceptance about “belonging” – recurrent expression – to a group attitude and abdication, in many cases, of an individual and detached action. Actually, these terms do not reveal anything new, since the “interactive” art (then with another denomination, “participatory art”) existed, as we know, with a strong stress in the 1960s between us who were abroad. Similarly, “resident” refers to a work-stimulus system for artists that exists for a long time in foreign countries and that has been developed here in the recent years, while “collectives” are getting closer to “groups”, artists gathering for a common aim.

Aracy Amaral, “Paradoxes Brazil”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2005-2006, p. 115

The participation of the artistic collective Cine Falcatrua and of collaborative project Re:Combo in these editions of Rumos Artes Visuais and Rumos Arte Cibernética, respectively, spot a peak (between 2003 and 2006) of a multiplication cycle of both artists collectives and artistic collaboration taking place since the late 1990s in Brazil. These are other initiatives of different formats and variable dimensions, often embracing a shared authorial outcome, sometimes only articulating individual works of each participant. In any of these cases, they have worked as spaces for ideas circulation, meeting up point and inter-regional connection, and proposal for the artistic scene and/or to their cities – with potential to act beyond the institutional scope.

Paulo Miyada

These artists groups/collectives took part in Rumos Artes Visuais: Ateliê Aberto (Campinas, SP), Mergulho (Porto Alegre, RS), Anti Prosa (Brasília, DF), Grupo EmpreZa (Goiânia, GO), Coletivo Gráfica Utópica (Rio de Janeiro, RJ), Grupo PS (Joinville, SC) and GIA (Bahia). Furthermore, artists who were or who had been linked to other groups also participated, including Grupo Camelo (Recife, PE), Núcleo Performático Subterrânea (São Paulo, SP), Laranjas (Porto Alegre, RS), Transição Listrada (Fortaleza, CE), Atrocidades Maravilhosas (Rio de Janeiro, RJ), Urucum (Macapá, AP) and Branco do Olho (Recife, PE). The simple variety and quantity of these groups proved the relevance they had to this generation – even though, their maintenance and continuity face the same challenges that independent spaces do. From the mentioned groups, only EmpreZa and GIA are still in action as spaces of artistic production and collective authorship.

Paulo Miyada

Art galleries, market and internationalization

In the first editions of Rumos Artes Visuais, one can find pinpoint examples of artists that, right after participating in the program, were invited to be represented by medium and large commercial art galleries. In the mid-2000s, this became more and more frequent. Even if, for those artists, being represented by a gallery does not always mean a secure source of income, it usually implies an increase of visibility in the contemporary art circuit; possibilities of connections and sponsorship are multiplied and, in this generation, those who accomplish their first individual exhibition within their first three years of career are not rare.

Paulo Miyada

Since the beginning of the present decade, opportunities for international residencies and collective or individual exhibitions for Brazilians increased, especially in Europe and the United States. In a first moment, this happened loosely – through partnerships and projects seized, instance by instance, by artists or their galleries, sometimes counting on little infrastructure and resources. From then on, these opportunities kept multiplying until reaching the current situation, in which there are more than a dozen exhibitions and international programs dedicated to Brazilian art, including both acclaimed and rising artists.

Paulo Miyada

The display of contemporary production from regions commonly subordinated to global mechanisms of symbolic legitimation without reducing it to identitary stereotypes does not imply, moreover, the appeasement of conflicts promoted by those mechanisms. It reveals, merely, the gradual and lackadaisical absorption of the world’s cultural diversity into the international art scheme, including, albeit in an almost episodic way, the access to its asset valorization spaces.

Moacir dos Anjos, “Redefined Local and Global”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2005-2006, p. 284

In the Southeast and South regions, then, we can only be astounded by their possibility of exhibiting, individually or collectively, in the most diverse countries in Latin America (such as Argentina, Cuba, Mexico), Europe (Finland, Germany, France, Spain, etc.) and Asia (Australia, India, Indonesia). We keep asking ourselves if these articulations happen through the internet, or are the result of a current interest from curators of several countries in young artists in general, or of the constant traveling of these curators. Or if they are a network of contacts that grows every year, and promote exchange, of which the range of influence, surely, is impossible to foresee within this nomadic globalization that, nowadays, populates résumés of artists that are not even 35 years old.

Aracy Amaral, “Paradoxes Brazil”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2005-2006, p. 115-116

Featured projects (Bolsa Pampulha [Pampulha Scholarship])

It is important to mention attentively here the scholarship project, since five of seven artists from Minas Gerais in the final selection of Rumos were or are recipients of the scholarship. Created by the Museu da Pampulha [Pampulha Museum] (with support from the city government of Belo Horizonte), it consists in a revision of the old Salão Nacional de Arte de Belo Horizonte [National Arts Exhibition of Belo Horizonte], now turned into a program of support to the emergent production which awards twelve artists, biannually, incentive scholarships for the production of new works. The artists reside in Belo Horizonte for a year and assemble paired individual exhibitions, in the Pampulha Museum, during the course of the following year. During the first year, all recipients are supervised through monthly visits carried on by critics and curators. In 2004, the exhibitions of the first group of recipients took place.

Luisa Duarte, “Minas Gerais”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2005-2006, p. 89

Featured projects (Alpendre and Dragão do Mar)

The expressive numbers of artists from Fortaleza in the final selection displays the rise of a capital city that shelters a qualified emergent production, one which deserves watchful eyes from now on. The scene not only has talented artists, but it is possible to notice that it is an informed generation, which arrives with well-presented portfolios and a body of work that reveals knowledge of what goes on in contemporary art. It is also noticeable a plurality of analyses: works of political substance, investigations about the body, researches of a more subjective aspect, performances, collective works, etc.

Luisa Duarte, “Fortaleza”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2005-2006, p. 63

Ponto digital [Digital point]

In 2002, the renovated head office of Itaú Cultural was launched. In it, the meeting area was notably occupied by Ponto Digital [Digital Point], an environment of “futuristic” furniture and technology – resembling a bit the imagery of the 1960’s – in which the public could access the internet and audio-visual materials. Also in that year, the Itaulab was created – a center for the proposal of projects in the fields of art and technology, responsible for the program Emoção Art.ficial [Art.ficial Emotion] and other ideas that aimed at highlighting poetic approaches with interactivity systems.

Paulo Miyada

Cyber Art

An interdisciplinary field of studies, cybernetics was structured from the 1940’s, blending theories and regulatory mechanisms of communication systems and constant interaction with its context. In nominating the concept of cyber art, Rumos asserted that its interest in technological experimentation in the field of arts would make interaction its core. Being it between man and machine, between environment and machine or between machines, the conception of systems able of responding, in an organic way, to interaction and shift dynamics should be favored as the most cogent case of the relationship between arts and new media. The very selection of works to be produced was directed by this motto which, since 2002, was gaining shape within Itaú Cultural with the seminars and the biennial exhibition Emoção Art.ficial [Art.ficial Emotion].

Paulo Miyada

Latitudes (Feira de Santana)

With an art field in outright development [...] Feira puzzles its visitors when, for example, it reveals to hold contemporary art study groups (one of such with ten years of existence, and which dedicated its meetings in 2007 to the discussion of Documenta 12) or artists that had participated, for example, in the Venice Biennial. Therefore, even if these initiatives result from the isolated actions of some, they have been preparing local scenes for the gradual approach to the referential of contemporary production in art.

Clarissa Diniz, “Feira de Santana”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2008-2009, p. 75

Latitudes (Uberlândia)

The museum [Museu Universitário de Arte (MUnA) – University Museum of Art] is a true laboratory for the UFU [Universidade Federal de Uberlândia - Federal University of Uberlândia]. Its actions are coordinated by its own lecturers, as referred previously, and undergraduate students find, in its programs, space for the development of internships and scientific initiation researches [...] There is a great concern from the lecturers that manage the activities at MUnA in turning each exhibition into a special training program. [...] The scene in Uberlândia gave a very good impression through its different strategies and actions of training and support to the young production. Located in the Triângulo Mineiro [planning region in the west of Minas Gerais state] and, by its own geographical condition, very far from the capital city, its main partners are based in the states of São Paulo and Goiás.

Janaina Melo, “Uberlândia”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2008-2009, p. 111-113

Latitudes (Vitória)

The project Bolsa de Ocupação [Occupation Scholarship] happens at the Homero Massena art gallery. The project, promoted by the state secretary of culture, has as its main goal to award scholarships to artists in the beginning of their careers. Its overall structure consists in an annual selection of artists. During a period of five months, those selected are awarded a production support grant and occupy the space adjoining the gallery as a workshop. In this period, they are overseen by a supervisor nominated by the artists themselves. At the end of the program, they assemble an exhibition with the resulting works, opening the workshop to the public [...] The project is of paramount importance, since it offers conditions and space for work and research for the young artist. It also presents itself as a strategy to support training, until then unprecedented in the state.

Janaina Melo, “Vitória”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2008-2009, p. 109

Latitudes (Curitiba)

The capital city of Paraná centralizes, currently, the main mechanisms of research development in visual arts, and public infrastructure for exhibitions in southern Brazil. The Bolsa Produção [Production Grant], a project from Fundação Cultural de Curitiba [Cultural Foundation of Curitiba] in partnership with the city’s government, is the main instrument of support to the city’s emergent artists. Presently in its third edition, this project awards approximately ten annual grants to local artists, with supervision from curators and the assembling of an exhibition in the end of the period.

Gabriela Motta, “Curitiba”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2008-2009, p. 163

Equipe nacional [National team]

This edition of Rumos reclaimed the expansive format of its curatorial team, involving 13 curators, selected among active professionals in each region of the country. Clearly committed to the representation of each region in the body of curators, the event managed to gather professionals residing in nine different states.

Paulo Miyada

Universalismos [Universalisms]

The best of art nowadays is not benefiting any particular medium and treating, all of them, horizontally, looking for the poetic potency of the works; that’s why the almost millenarian woodcut can live, side by side, with videos that make use of advanced computer graphic resources. This would be the biggest achievement of what has been named – after Rosalind Krauss – “art in the post-medium era”. No medium, being it painting, engraving, sculpture, installation, photography or video, was or will ever be assurance of poetic talent and artistic quality.

Paulo Sergio Duarte, “Trails of Desire”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2008-2009, p. 13

Something notable, not only in this edition of Rumos, but also in different contemporary art shows in Brazil, is the wide prevalence of the urban world over the rural world. The latter, when depicted, which is rare, is interpreted through urban accents, and the concerns are more directed to a perspective influenced by ecology and environmental issues than to properly rural ones. The art reacts to the brutal displacement brought about by the country’s anarchic urbanization process. From an urban resident population of 45% in 1960, we went to 81% in the year 2000.

Paulo Sergio Duarte, “Trails of Desire”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2008-2009, p. 15

Suppression of the Artisanal?

To the growth of the field of contemporary art, many times, the counterpoint has been the dismantling, or even suppression, of other art production articulation systems. The appraisal of contemporary art languages, aesthetics and thinking has been happening in the Northeast in detriment of the negation of value of that (and those) which are outside of the artistic contemporaneity model [...] a concerning panorama of a crisis between generations, aggravated by the restructuring of the institutional environment that, designating the contemporary production as focus, ends up not giving due relevance to works that convey a history of the art in each locality [...].

Clarissa Diniz, “Northeast and Other States (BA, AL, SE, PE)”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2008-2009, p. 70

[...] the artist’s urgency in having his production endorsed and inserted within the “contemporary canon”, so to speak. This clamor is sensitive especially in North and Northeast states – not by chance regions in which the “regional feature” is very strong in the production, and mingled, in a understandable but perhaps confuse and mistaken way, in the works of art. Mistaken because it lacks the simplicity and spontaneity – albeit sketchy – expected from an artisanal product that represents a specific culture, or because the deliberate incorporation of these styles point towards aspirations of another nature, without, however, transposing them properly.

Guy Amado, “Longitudes, (L)Attitudes and Regionalisms”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2008-2009, p. 20, p. 70

Through conversations in workshops, with few exceptions, the artists expressed reservations concerning contemporary “conducts”, many times mistaken as an imposition of “internal colonialism” that does not respect their differences and drive them to abandon their roots, in detriment to a purely globalized way of thinking. Of this all, a certainty remains – the state of Acre is a conducive place to the investment of cultural institutions, justified by the quality and independence of its artists.

Armando Queiroz, “North Region, Acre, Rio Branco”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2008-2009, p. 30, p. 70


Several cities, including capitals, kept being described by traveling curators as institutionally precarious zones – lacking training places and with little visibility for the few local artists interested in contemporary art. This is the case of São Luís, in the state of Maranhão, just to cite one example. The common feature of these places is the virtual absence of public policies (continued or even sporadic) in this niche of culture – which turns an effort like the Rumos program into an insufficient stimulus for the dynamics and connection of artists.

Paulo Miyada

At the same time that Rumos Artes Visuais highlighted the possibility of collaboration among active curators in several states of the country, the journeys of their team showed that, throughout these years, some cities (although they counted with a significant number of contemporary artists and a moderately dynamic artistic circuit) did not managed to produce a generation of curators, researchers or critics. Short term, this did not hinder cities like Goiânia and Salvador in having artists mapped and selected by Rumos, but in the medium term the travelers started to identify the absence of new professionals in this area as a factor that hampers the formation in this field and dims the continuous challenge for the poetic researches of local artists.

Paulo Miyada

Possible detachment with the concrete

The lack of stronger social themes is another feature that draws attention, not only between the selected artists, but also among all applicants. I have not seen any work that referenced, even indirectly, the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra [Landless Rural Workers Movement] or to the growth of slums in the country, for example. These themes, when present, often are connected to a more immediate and individual existence [...].

Paulo Sergio Duarte, “Trails of Desire”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2008-2009, p. 15, p. 70

In informal conversations, it was given to me the understanding that the grandchild of the northeastern migrant bricklayer of the 1960s, the child of the unionized factory worker of the great strikes of May 1978, was able to study and become an artist, in other words, at least, an enlightening panorama of what the region represents today in Brazil. The city of Santo André and the Great ABC region do not have the due currency for cultural exchange with the capital city. The art system of the city of São Paulo turns its back to the reality and life at the ABC and it is often rumored that curators from the capital do not visit the region. There is something to be revealed in this post-industrial riddle.

Marcio Harum, “Santo André”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2008-2009, p. 151-152


Perhaps one of the main attributes of the Rumos program in its first constitution would be its continuity, which can be counterpoised, for example, by a large quantity of regional programs highlighted by one or other mapping effort, but discontinued afterwards. Production grant programs, art shows, residencies and even biennials promoted by cultural offices of municipalities and states were started and interrupted by changes in management, while private initiatives – commercial or independent – sometimes faded because of economic demands and/or exhaustion of their promoters.

Paulo Miyada

Perhaps one of the main attributes of the Rumos program in its first constitution would be its continuity, which can be counterpoised, for example, by a large quantity of regional programs highlighted by one or other mapping effort, but discontinued afterwards. Production grant programs, art shows, residencies and even biennials promoted by cultural offices of municipalities and states were started and interrupted by changes in management, while private initiatives – commercial or independent – sometimes faded because of economic demands and/or exhaustion of their promoters.

Guilherme Bueno, “Rio de Janeiro”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2008-2009, p. 128

Place and space

Of the four deputy curators – Alexandre Sequeira, Christine Mello, Paulo Reis and Marília Panitz –, the first three proposed curatorial clippings based on theoretical and metaphorical terms about space and place in their texts, “Mirantes” [Lookouts], “Espaço em Relação” [Space in Relation] and “Um Lugar a Partir Daqui” [A Place From Here]. In common, they seek to assert the affinity of art with the field of relations that transforms space – geometric and objective notion – in place – social and cultural situation.

Paulo Miyada

The selected works also displayed a strong emphasis in the spatiality of their assembly. Repertoires and languages of painting, sculpture, objects, drawings and even engravings were processed by the artists in “installative forms” – meaning, assemblies that resolve themselves integrating to the exhibition space, many times creating immersive environments for the visitors or, at least, exploring volumes and planes in the scale of architectural elements in the space (walls, pillars, benches, etc.).

Paulo Miyada

Art, also, cybernetic

Since Rumos Arte Cibernética was seeking to favor not only interactivity, but also the poetic sense of the selected productions, its parallel and separated existence in relation to Rumos Artes Visuais started to be seen as a possible future obstacle. How to construe the fact that more than half of the selected applicants in that edition were trained in engineering, computation or other fields within the exact sciences? And what to think about the growing presence of “new media” employed by the artists selected by Rumos Visual Arts? The challenge given by the different Rumos in the areas of art and technology was how to effectively converge and merge the technical development and the acute usage of language in the programs promoted by the institution.

Paulo Miyada

Travel as principle

In the place of “mappers”, as they were named until the previous edition, which does not prevent them being called that again, they started to be called travelers, a term more in tune with those who are listening, who are moving incited by the interest in the unknown, in the other, in that, by uniqueness, leads to the desire to record, to register in notebooks, cameras and sound recorders, the portable prosthetics of memory. None of this assumes the term “mapper”, or its equivalent “cartographer”, which always had, as demonstrated by Michel Foucault, great utility for the apparatus of power. Maps and substitutes are coded narratives, information sources as precise as possible about the regions to be conquered.

Agnaldo Farias, “An Invitation to Travel”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2011-2013, p. 49

And if it is a fact that history, culture surpasses geography, that language and art are territories established in trans-spatial dimensions, that there is no loneliness inside a library or facing the possibility of connecting to a network, it is also true that direct contact, the exchange, has another quality. For one as well as for the other. For what to say of the informed youth, aligned with the most advanced theories, that lands in a reality so different from the generalizations depicted on books, spread by school syllabuses?

Agnaldo Farias, “An Invitation to Travel”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2011-2013, p. 56

Travel as reiterated principle

Relativizing geography, cartography and, above all, the assertiveness of the sciences of conquest, is a fruitful task for the field of art. To do so in the context of Rumos Artes Visuais [Rumos Visual Arts] is a way to keep reflective this structure of conversation/confrontation between artists, curators and public in all regions of the country. In these almost 15 years of the program, in its five editions, some methods and arguments were established, some generations, some “Brazils” are asserted. In this initiative format, which blends fieldwork premises to the selection by official edicts, and processual actions to the results in exhibitions, borderline or hybrid postulates are generated. In those, the desire to value and, in a certain way, to buffer differences (aesthetic, educational, institutional) coexists, in the opposite end, with the challenge to select them in a restricted and representative set, according to supposedly universal criteria of quality.

Ana Maria Maia, “Around the Day in 80 Worlds”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2011-2013, p. 225

The traveler is always aware of the noise and flaws that are spread in the blueprint of an encounter. He also knows that his presence interferes with the phenomena he observes and, for this reason, he feels invited, openly, to provoke and to offer a mutual contamination. In an effort to detach himself of the expectations he still keeps, the traveler opens up to the understanding of the idea of art that is build in each place he visits and, therefore, will have his own certainties and familiarities altered. The outlook of the traveler is constantly reinstated.

Julio Martins, “Reports from a Certain ‘Border’: Espírito Santo and Minas Gerais”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2011-2013, p. 155

The first thing we questioned was the term “mapping”. Should we then be simple mappers, when mapping covers only a more cartographic context? We opt to explore and know new places, new cultural realities and new artists. The most adequate term was “traveler”. My joy was to perceive, in the first meeting with all 13 curators, this very same concern. In this meeting, it was defined that we would be more travelers than mappers.

Franzoi, “Beginning… the Traveler”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2011-2013, p. 189

Relativizing the popular and the regional

There is no more naïve art, perhaps not even popular culture. This is an erudite invention of the 20th Century, one of the brightest, but it is dead. There can be art for tourists, art for gallery owners, art for intellectuals, but there is no naïve art anymore. I keep thinking about this, while I chat with Adriana. Because of this, I enjoy to amaze myself with the inclusion of the “primitive” paintings of Elisa Martins da Silveira in the concretist exhibition of Grupo Frente [Front Group], back in 1955, and its absence in the critics of Ronaldo Brito. I think about Adir Sodré and Gervane de Paula in the paintings of the 1980s generation.

Marcelo Campos, “Each Headland is a Nation”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2011-2013, p. 150

The challenging awareness of isolation summons artists and cultural agents to contemplate the conditions of production and flow within the scenes in which they operate. It is through this process that regionalisms appear (as a compromise from part of the region’s poetic production with certain popular local repertoires). These regionalisms turn up not as an aptitude, but as a blunt ideological itinerary against distances (geographic and cultural) imposed by the occupation dynamics of the Brazilian territory. These are the elements that ground a discourse of decentralization of artistic production, the valuation of a local culture and an effort to foster visibility strategies of these proposals in a national perspective. However, this same isolation is the main obstacle to be surpassed in an efficient articulation among the production centers of the region.

Matias Monteiro, “Dreaming Distances: Mapping of the Center-West Region”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2011-2013, p. 75

Immigrations as accomplished facts

[...] it is a fact that part of the artists that live in other states, and that are nowadays many, and responsible for researches of the highest quality, keep settling in one of these two cities when seeking for more solid institutional conditions. Artists from Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul, Goiás, Pará, Paraná, Pernambuco, Brasília and Bahia, especially those established in those states, are the most responsible for the effective airing of the national environment. And the significant persistence of displacement towards Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo is due to varied and converging perspectives: to advance their training by joining postgraduate programs; to brave a denser and more stimulating environment through associations, team projects or just by sharing workshops; to achieve visibility through collective or individual shows organized by several existing institutions, being them a museum, a profitable gallery or alternative place [...].

Agnaldo Farias, “An Invitation to Travel”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2011-2013, p. 53

Residencies as a common path

In early 2010s, the already acclaimed access route of Brazilian artists to foreign countries through residency opportunities widened even more – with many of those selected by Rumos Artes Visuais [Rumos Visual Arts] already coming from one or more similar experiences. In addition, residencies within the country multiplied and started to attract more and more applicants, from people of other states as well as people from abroad or even from the city itself. Today, programs that stand out are as diverse as Jardim Canadá Centro de Arte e Tecnologia [Canada Garden Center of Art and Technology] (JA.CA.) and the artistic residency program Terra Una [One Earth] (both in Minas Gerais), the Casa Tomada [Taken House], the Phosphorus and the Red Bull House of Art (all in São Paulo).

Paulo Miyada

Brasil, Brazil?

The exhibition Imagine Brazil, put together by Astrup Fearnley Museet (Oslo, 2013), and with curatorship by Gunnar B. Kvaran and Thierry Raspail, act as a symbol of the large quantity of exhibitions focusing in the recent production of emergent Brazilian artists abroad, throughout all Europe and the United States – be it by the mediation of local curators, be it by the also growing fondness of foreign curators in designing accounts on the array of production in the country. Likewise, the book ABC – Arte Brasileira Contemporânea [CBA – Contemporary Brazilian Art], organized by Adriano Pedrosa and Luisa Duarte, displays the strong representation of the generation of artists that was of Rumos interest in the general landscape of Brazilian art. In both, the great majority of emergent artists is represented by media and large commercial galleries and, among them, around 65% participated in some edition of Rumos Artes Visuais.

Paulo Miyada

The same interest that increases travel opportunities, visibility and international exchange for Brazilian artists also induces, sometimes, the superposition of the interpretation keys preconceived to their productions. It is an inevitable symptom, which can only be attenuated by the deepening of curatorial clippings and by critical argumentations that are able to override auto-exoticism commonplaces. One can also expect the spread of the healthy integration process that allows to Brazilian artists – as their trajectories are consolidated – to participate in shows of which themes transcend generational and geographic groupings.

Paulo Miyada

Video side by side with cinema

Compared to its use in the first editions of Rumos Artes Visuais, video was the medium of which approach transformed itself more broadly and radically in the years of duration of the program. If we saw the predominance of initiatives focused in the experimentation of this medium with more or less precarious equipment, now there are works produced with technical accuracy, and narrative and/or cinematographic refinement; projection resources and assembly of video-installations also became more precise. Following the trends in biennials and large international shows, the do-it-yourself imagery of the new media in the 1970s was sublimated by the challenge of fulfilling the standards and immersive atmosphere of cinema.

Paulo Miyada

The end?

After mapping Juazeiro do Norte, Crato and Sobral, I went to Fortaleza. Arriving there, the artist Júlio Pimenta, editor of the magazine Reticências Crítica de Arte [Reticences Art Critics], devises the following question: “How can this mapping help in building public policies for the visual arts?” [...] Perhaps the artist’s question is not pertinent within the reach of Rumos program. However, I ask myself: which institution in this country has such a broad diagnose of visual arts? There are ten years, more than 50 cities, including all capitals of the country. This database, if not useful for the creation of public policies, is feeding what?

Sanzia Pinheiro Barbosa, “Northeast Region”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2011-2013, p. 89

For a program that aims to “map, support, train and reveal” the young emergent artistic production of the country, perhaps actions in cities, focusing on training, mapping and support, were something that would put Rumos beyond the logic of financial institutions. [...] What would happen if Rumos, a unique program in the country, breaking away from the traditional art show pattern, focused its actions on the other provided goals? And not only on divulgence. The mapping could be strengthened through actions able to mobilize several agents of the art system (curators, artists, critics, builders, producers), in cities with production potential. In this sense, would not Rumos be more in tune with the current atmosphere?

Sanzia Pinheiro Barbosa, “Northeast Region”, in Rumos Artes Visuais 2011-2013, p. 96

A characteristic that must be pointed out in this very brief testimony about the beginning of Rumos Artes Visuais [Rumos Visual Arts] was its capability of articulating, by several means, peoples and places around common projects. An articulation that was done, and it is necessary to stress, during a time in which the electronic means of connection that are commonplace years later were not available to all, or, in some cases, did not even exist. Seen in perspective, those were the years that, starting at one region, little was known about the production in others, lest through a great effort of physical displacement around the country. In this sense, the program certainly contributed, already in its inception (or especially in its inception), for the enactment of meetings between artists that did not know each other, and between those and curators from various parts of Brazil; those meetings produced, in the following years, several fruits regarding projects of shared exhibitions, joint reflections, produced texts and impulses for the creation of networks that integrated them in several parts of the country.

Moacir dos Anjos, “When Finishing is Returning to the Start”, commissioned text for the exhibition, 2014, p. 5

Throughout the decade and half it was active, Rumos Artes Visuais [Rumos Visual Arts] remained always faithful to its main goals. It added, together with several other programs that we installed in this period, to the creation of a national sphere of production, research and diffusion of visual arts that has little to do now, in terms of expertise and complexity, with what existed when it started, still amateurish and fragmented. It trained artists, curators, and also the public. Perhaps, the best measure of its success is, paradoxically, its exhaustion, because the world in which it was necessary ceased to exist. At least partially. And partially because of it. It was necessary, therefore, to end Rumos Visual Arts for what will come to settle in its place has, for that other timeframe, the relevance which that program had for its timeframe. To end Rumos Visual Arts is to be loyal to its nature.

Moacir dos Anjos, “When Finishing is Returning to the Start”, commissioned text for the exhibition, 2014, p. 5

Novo Rumos

With the reconception of Rumos, developed in mid-2013 and being implemented at present, the support to the artistic production sponsored by Itaú Cultural seeks to break the established formats for each area (visual arts, cybernetics, dance, music, etc.) and to back projects of the most varied arrangements, many times with a transdisciplinary and interregional vocation, but not necessarily so. The theme for the emergent production was also reconsidered, being understood now as less of an attribute of the participants and more as a quality of the proposals submitted to the edicts. In relation to visual arts, these changes allow that Rumos reverts to strongly contrasting to the opportunities already propagated in this environment – such as programs for the divulgence of recent production of training artists, something made possible, nowadays, through the large variety and quality of programs sponsored by other agents and institutions, that were started or strengthened in the last 15 years.

Paulo Miyada

Perhaps, if it is appropriate to try to foresee something like this, the quality of the program Rumos Artes Visuais which may bring about more nostalgia from now on, would be its massive advance of movement and meetings between artists and curators all around the country. Even if other outlets for gatherings are laid out in the form of residencies, grants and programs, there are rare opportunities in which these movements are staged in effectively broad and national networks, plentifully and generously as it happened in all previous editions. More than exhibitions, catalogues and awards, the travels could have been the main legacy of this program, a priceless source of provocations, disaffections, friendships, relationships, learning and partnerships; this, in a world that increasingly grows in connectivity, as it shrinks in the effective sharing of repertoires and ideas.

Paulo Miyada