The 2020 edition of the São Paulo Bienal has been postponed to 2021.
Performance by Neo Muyanga on February 8, 2020, as part of the 34th Bienal de São Paulo. Photo © Levi Fanan / Fundação Bienal de São Paulo.
The main exhibition of the 34th edition of the Bienal de São Paulo has been postponed until 2021. Originally scheduled to open in September of this year, the biennial had been postponed by a month due to COVID-19. Brazil currently has 1.4 million cases, second only to the United States. As a result, the prominent biennial will open a full year later than originally planned, on September 4, 2021, and continue through December 5, 2021. Consequently, the following edition of the biennial will take place in 2023, not 2022. Changes to the exhibition’s schedule were approved by the Fundação Bienal de São Paulo’s governing board in a meeting on Tuesday.
The 34th edition of the biennial is titled “Though it’s dark, still I sing” and is being led by chief curator Jacopo Crivelli Visconti, adjunct curator Paulo Miyada, and guest curators Carla Zaccagnini, Francesco Stocchi, and Ruth Estévez. It will take place at São Paulo’s Bienal Pavilion, as per usual, and public programming related to the biennial, which kicked off in February and has included physical, digital, and educational initiatives, will continue through the end of 2021. In a virtual press conference today, the biennial’s organizers said the list of participating artists will be revealed in the late winter or early spring of 2021.
The São Paulo Bienal, one of the world’s most closely watched recurring exhibitions, is just the latest in a string of biennials, triennials, and more to have had their upcoming editions canceled or pushed back due to the pandemic. In May, the Venice Biennale postponed its 2021 edition until 2022. The Gwangju Biennial’s 13th edition, which was to open in September 2020, pushed back its opening to February 2021. The next Prospect New Orleans triennial was pushed back by a year, and is now slated to open in October 2021. The second edition of Front, Cleveland’s triennial, was postponed from 2021 to 2022. And in March, the just-opened 22nd edition of the Biennale of Sydney shifted online as much of the world went into lockdown.
Correction: The headline of an earlier version of this article suggested that the 34th Bienal de São Paulo had been postponed from 2021 to 2022, but it was postponed from 2020 to 2021. We apologize for this error; the article has been revised accordingly.