(c) Guimaraes and Cordeiro

Cao Guimarães and Carolina Cordeiro
Campo Cego (Blind Field), 2008
10 photographs
51 x 33 inches each
© Cao Guimarães and Carolina Cordeiro


Blind Field

Exhibition Fact Sheet

Checklist (click for images)

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. 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 focuses on a young generation of 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 action. 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 Include:
Jonathas de Andrade (b. 1982 Maceió, works in Recife)
Tatiana Blass (b. 1979 São Paulo, works in São Paulo)
Marcelo Cidade (b. 1979 São Paulo, works in São Paulo)
Carolina Cordeiro (b. 1983 Belo Horizonte, works in Rio de Janeiro)
Marilá Dardot (b. 1973 Belo Horizonte, works in São Paulo)
Cao Guimarães (b. 1965 Belo Horizonte, works in Belo Horizonte)
André Komatsu (b. 1978 São Paulo, works in São Paulo)
Cinthia Marcelle (b. 1978 Belo Horizonte, works in Belo Horizonte)
Rodrigo Matheus (b. 1974 São Paulo, works in São Paulo)
Carlos Mélo (b. 1969 Riacho das Almos, works in Recife)
Lais Myrrha (b. 1974 Belo Horizonte, works in São Paulo)
Nicolás Robbio (b. 1975 Argentina, works in São Paulo)
Matheus Rocha Pitta (b. 1980 Tiradentes, works in Rio de Janeiro)
Thiago Rocha Pitta (b. 1980 Tiradentes, works in São Paulo)
Shima (Marcio Shimabukuro) (b. 1978 São Paulo, works in Belo Horizonte)
Marcelo Solá (b. 1971 Goiânia, works in Goiânia)
Daniel Steegmann Mangrané (b. 1977 Spain, works in Rio de Janeiro)
Héctor Zamora (b. 1974 Mexico, works in São Paulo)

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 and 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


Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Tumelo Mosaka, Curator of Contemporary Art

Prior to joining KAM, he 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). He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and currently lives and works in Champaign, Illinois.

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 Artforum, Art Asia Pacific, Getty Research Journal, Res: 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.


Approximately 30 works

Space requirements:

Approximately 5,000 square feet


A fully illustrated catalogue featuring artists' interviews and essays by exhibition curators.

Accompanying materials:

Wall text and select extended labels will be provided electronically. 25 catalogues will be included.


Loan fee of $25,000 for a 15-week booking, plus pro-rated shipping.


Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion
January 25 to March 31, 2013

Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University
June 7 to September 8, 2013

Available for travel


Kathleen Harleman, Director

Click Checklist for select images online.