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Antoni Abad – megafone.net/2004–2014

01 Aug 2015
18 Oct 2015

AUG 01, 2015
OCT 18, 2015

On August 1, Pinacoteca de São Paulo, the art museum of the São Paulo State Secretariat of Culture, opens the exhibit Antoni Abad – megafone.net/2004–2014, which presents a retrospective and a reflection on the artist’s work in the last 10 years. Abad is a pioneer in the exploration of new technologies and the use of the Internet as creative and research platform.

In the project that preceded the show, representatives of different marginalized social groups – the physically disabled, illegal immigrants, political refugees, sex workers, taxi drivers, motorcycle couriers, among others – were invited to share their experiences and opinions through audio messages, videos, text and pictures taken from mobile phones and posted on the Internet. This content acted as digital megaphones capable of amplifying the voice of these people and communities often ignored by the mass media.

A collaborative initiative of mobile publishing on the Internet that currently adds up to 261 participants and over 54,000 posts. Now in Brazil, the audiovisual exhibit – which was previously shown in Spain – brings together photos, videos and documentary records of the different editions of the project carried out from 2004 to 2014 in Mexico, Spain, Costa Rica, Brazil, Switzerland, Colombia, Algeria, the United States, and Canada. The show is curated by Cristina Bonet, Soledad Gutiérrez, and Roc Parés.

“Megafone.net is a genuine observatory of experiences and positions that presents new possibilities for using mobile phones, and pioneered the construction of virtual social networks. It was carried out here in Brazil and gained wide media coverage. It remains active to this day, still questioning the cultural realities and the different economic and political contexts,” said Abad.

Antoni Abad – megafone.net/2004–2014 was organized by the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), with the collaboration of Laboratorio Arte Alameda and Centro Cultural de España en México, Matadero Madrid, and Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, plus the support of Acción Cultural Española. It is sponsored by Banco Bradesco, and visitation is free of charge through October 18 as part of the Octagon project – in the central area of the museum that connects all areas of the Pinacoteca and receives contemporary works.

Born in Lleida (Spain) in 1956, Antoni Abad holds a bachelor’s degree in Art History from the University of Barcelona (1979). His projects have been featured at major cultural institutions such as the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía/Madrid (1997 and 2008); 2nd Bienal Iberoamericana de Lima (1999); ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany (1999–2008); Venice Biennale (1999); New Museum of Contemporary Art/New York (2001); Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2002); Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (2003 and 2014); 1st Biennial of Seville (2004); Centro Cultural São Paulo/Brazil (2007); Centre d’Art Contemporaine/Geneva (2008); Mercosur Biennial/Porto Alegre (2009); Golden Nica Digital Communities do Festival Ars Electronica/Austria (2006); Queens Museum/New York (2012) and Concordia University/Montreal (2012).

Created in 2003, the “Octagon Contemporary Art” project occupies an important space in the museum, which presents contemporary art production in line with the Pinacoteca’s collection. Over these 12 years, the project presented around 40 site-specific exhibits by Brazilian and foreign artists. Including Carlito Carvalhosa, Artur Lescher, João Loureiro, Rubens Mano, Joana Vasconcelos, Alexandre Estrela, and Laerte Ramos.