Blind Field, installation at Krannert Art Museum, 2013.
Blind Field, installation at Krannert Art Museum, 2013.
Blind Field, installation at Krannert Art Museum, 2013.
On View
Jan 25, 2013–Mar 31, 2013
Main Level, East Gallery

Brazil has long been called "the country of the future." From the dramatic construction of the ultramodern capital of Brasília in the late 1950s to the country's status as an emerging economic powerhouse in the 21st century, Brazilian national identity is inextricably intertwined with the idea of its potentiality.

Sponsored in part by Office of the Provost and Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, U of I; the Francis P. Rohlen Visiting Artists Fund/College of Fine and Applied Arts, U of I; Lemann Institute for Brazilian Studies, U of I; College of Fine + Applied Arts Creative Research Award, U of I; Fox Development Corporation; the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; School of Art + Design Visitors Fund, U of I; the Jerrold Ziff Distinguished Lecture on Modern Art; Consulate General of Brazil in Chicago; and Krannert Art Museum

Yet the Brazilian saying from which this idea derives is more complex, for it suggests that the notion of potentiality is itself something of a mirage, an illusion that blinds its citizens to the reality of the present day. In 1970, the French sociologist and philosopher Henri Lefebvre described the "blind field" as a transitional zone that lies between socio-economic modes of production and escapes comprehension within existing ideological paradigms. This exhibition takes up blindness as a critical category, a metaphor for the way in which the obstruction of perception can illuminate alternate modes of knowledge and experience. It features twenty emerging and mid-career artists working in Brazil who offer a critical perspective on processes of transition within contemporary society, be it from the public space of the street to the virtual zone of the computer screen, or the scale of local communities to the structure of large-scale political actions. These works speak to the complexity and heterogeneity of an art milieu that is both tied to the local and manifestly global in reach.

Artists: Jonathas de Andrade, Tatiana Blass, Marcelo Cidade, Carolina Cordeiro, Marilá Dardot, Marcius Galan , Cao Guimarães, André Komatsu, Graziela Kunsch, Cinthia Marcelle, Rodrigo Matheus, Carlos Mélo, Lais Myrrha, Nicolás Robbio, Matheus Rocha Pitta, Thiago Rocha Pitta, Shima (Marcio Shimabukuro), Marcelo Solá, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, and Héctor Zamora

Select Programming

February 14, 2013
Artist Talk “The Refusal of the Artwork” with exhibiting artist Graziela Kunsch
Sponsored in part by Jerrold Ziff Distinguished Lecture on Modern Art Fund and Krannert Art Museum


Curators: Tumelo Mosaka and Irene V. Small

Tumelo Mosaka, Curator of Contemporary Art

Prior to joining KAM, Tumelo Mosaka was the Associate Curator of Exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum where he organized the exhibitions, Infinite Islands: Contemporary Caribbean Art (2007), Passing/Posing: Kehinde Wiley(2004); he was also co-curator of Open House: Working in Brooklyn(2004). In addition he organized the presentation of Alexis Rockman’s monumental mural Manifest Destiny (2004), Petah Coyne (2008) and co-organized @ Murakami (2008). 

Previously, he worked for the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina where he co-curated the exhibition Evoking History (2002). Mosaka has organized several national and international exhibitions for other institutions such as the National Center for Afro-American Arts (2004) and the St. Louis Contemporary Art Museum (2003).

Irene Small, assistant professor, Art History, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Irene V. Small's area of study includes Modern and Contemporary Art History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her current book project, Hélio Oiticica: Folding the Frame, focuses on the emergence of a participatory art paradigm in mid-1960s Brazil. The project has been supported by the Creative Capital and Andy Warhol Foundations, the Getty Research Institute, the Dedalus Foundation, and the Research Board of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include historical and neo-avant-gardes; modernism in a global context, particularly Brazil and Latin America; abstraction; problems of methodology and interpretation; relationality and the social implications of form. Small has published essays and criticism in several journals including ArtforumArt Asia PacificGetty Research JournalRes: Anthropology and Aesthetics, and Spectator. Forthcoming essays consider autopoiesis and the notion of medium specificity (for the anthology Contemporary Art: Themes and Histories, 1989–Present, Wiley-Blackwell) and intersections between the historiography of the avant-garde and ideologies of development in 1960s Brazil (for the London-based journal Third Text). She received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 2008.