The Slow Bird

O pássaro lento [The Slow Bird], was the group exhibition I curated for Affective Affinities, the 33a São Paulo Biennial in 2018.

Both the guest artists and I presented artworks that activated links between the visual arts, literature and translation, through experiences that proposed expanded temporality as an alternative to the modern fetish of speed. I understand the experience of speed and slowness as political experiences rooted in the body. They influence our understanding of space and distance, how we affect each other and how we meet. For over a century now, our species was trained from a young age to despise slowness and to desire speed. As a result, we are now all struggling when trying to imagine a different way of being with oneself and with each other.

The Slow Bird featured artwork by artists Roderick Hietbrink (Holland, 1975),  Ben Rivers (UK, 1972), Daniel Bozhkov (Bulgaria, 1959), Elba Bairon (Bolivia, 1947), Katrín Sigurdardóttir (Iceland/USA, 1967), Paola Sferco (Argentina, 1974), Sebastián Castagna (Argentina, 1965), Žilvinas Landzbergas (Lithuania, 1979) and writer Pablo Martín Ruiz (Argentina, 1964). Outranspo  –Ouvroir de translation potencial, group of multilingual translators, writers, researchers and musicians dedicated to creative and experimental translation- wrote the interpretative texts that introduced the artworks on the extended labels. 

My own piece in the show, Footnote, worked both as artwork and as the curatorial text for the exhibition.




The Slow Bird, curatorial fiction book (PDF)

PDF version of the book published on the occasion of The Slow Bird show. It contains The Locked-Room Mystery, detective story commissioned from writer and translator Pablo Martín Ruiz. The briefing was to create a detective story that would work transversally in relation to all other artworks in The Slow Bird. This fictional narrative taps into key concepts of the curatorial strategy while connecting poetical and ludic fragments of texts inspired in the artworks exhibited in The Slow Bird.


Press conference text by Claudia Fontes (PDF)

Presentation by Claudia Fontes at the press conference for the 33a São Paulo Biennial.


Interview to Claudia Fontes by Gabriel Pérez Barreiro (PDF)

Interview published in the 33a São Paulo Biennial catalogue.


Lhayialh (audio track)

Track for The Slow Bird in the 33a SP/biennial audioguide.

Wind-caller performed by Mawó Juan Mendoza from the Wichi community Santa Victoria Este II in Wichi territory, Chaco salteño, Salta, Argentina. Recording made by artist Duncan Whitley and Mawó Juan Mendoza during The Creature in Between. The sound of the wind-caller inspired The Slow Bird name.


El lento vértigo de la materia. Por una estética materialista post-antrópica (PDF)

A post-human analysis of The Slow Bird by philosopher Paula Fleisner.



The Politics of Preference
By Jayne Wilkinson for Canadian Art, Sept 2018

Video Interview on The Slow Bird
By Kekena Corvalán for Leedor

Bienal dos vínculos afetivos
By Márion Strecker for Select, 21 Sept 2018

El vuelo lento y poético de Claudia Fontes en la Bienal de San Pablo
By Ana María Battistozzi for Revista Ñ, Clarín, 14 Sept 2018

Artists are taking back control at the São Paulo biennial
By Aliza Edelman for Apollo Magazine, 18 Oct 2018

Artists get carte blanche at São Paulo Biennial
By Gareth Harris for Financial Times, 28 Sept 2018

Obras refletem atrito entre natureza e cultura
By Felipe Molitor for Folha de S.Paulo, 30 Aug 2018

Artistas-curadoras na 33a Bienal de São Paulo
By curadoria Piscina for Piscina, 14 May 2018

Bienal de São Paulo recupera su carácter experimental
By Yasmín Monsalve Reaño for El Universal, 9 Sept 2018

Three exhibitions to see in São Paulo this weekend
By Gareth Harris for The Art Newspaper, 7 Sept 2018

Une Biennale démissionnaire (1)
By Lunettes Rouges for Le Monde, 15 Oct 2018

33rd São Paulo Biennial Pays Attention to Art
By Cathy Bird for Fresh Art International, 12 Nov 2018
(Podcast in English)

33ª Bienal de São Paulo conta com a curadoria de quatro artistas mulheres
By Anna Laura Moura for Claudia Magazine, 3 Oct 2018

Bienal de San Pablo: El curador en retirada
By Ana María Battistozzi for Revista Ñ, 14 Sept 2018

Afinidades Afetivas: crónica de un encuentro perceptivo
By Ángela León Cervera for Luster, 14 Sept 2018

Inaugurata la Biennale di San Paolo. Reportage dal Brasile
By Federico Godino for Art Tribune, 9 Sept 2018