Weather Permitting

The title of the 9th Bienal do Mercosul | Porto Alegre was, in Portuguese, Se o clima for favorável; in Spanish, Si el tiempo lo permite; in English, Weather Permitting. These titles were an invitation to ponder when and how, by whom and why, certain artworks and ideas gain or lack visibility at a given moment in time.

Weather Permitting consisted of the multi-venue exhibition of contemporary art, Portals, Forecasts and Monotypes, which took place from September 13 to November 10, 2013 in the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil; a pedagogical program named Cloud Formations, begun on May 17, 2013 and concluding at the end of exhibition period; and a special initiative called Island Sessions, which events ran from May to November 2013 and of which a resulting online publication may still be browsed. Might as well add: there were numerous art performances during the exhibition period.

The promises of this ninth edition of the biennial were to identify, propose and repurpose changing belief systems and appraisals of experimentation and innovation. The intention was to raise ontological and technological questions through artistic practice, object making and nodes of experience. Weather Permitting was designed as an environment in which to encounter natural resources and material culture in a new light, and to speculate on the bases that have marked distinctions between discovery and invention, as well as the values of both sustainability and entropy.

Weather Permitting brought together visual art and other kinds of contributions to address the meeting points of nature and culture. It gathered works that explore different kinds of atmospheric disturbances propelling travel and social displacement, technological advancement and world development, vertical expansions in space, and transversal explorations through time. The project involved looking at the affections these movements provoked, and the affects that manifested. It entailed dwelling, mining, investigating and exploring what is below and above the social realm—what is palpable and tenuous, what is undersea and in the atmosphere, what is underground and in outer space.

The 9th Bienal do Mercosul | Porto Alegre was organized by the Fundação Bienal de Artes Visuais do Mercosul, a nonprofit institution in Porto Alegre with the mission to develop cultural and educational visual arts projects to encourage dialogue amongst diverse communities.