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The Uroborus Effect

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This article explores some contradictions that arise from the recent prominence of Brazilian contemporary art within the international art circuit. One can note on the one hand a denial of any specificity relating to notions of national identity, while on the other this new globalised condition is defended by the incorporation of theories emerging from the struggles against cultural derivation from European modernism. The contradiction pertains to the fact that such theories were themselves elaborated on the assertion of cultural specificity.

The article concludes that instead of using the presence of contemporary Brazilian art within the international circuit of art fairs, biennials, European and North American museum collections as a gauge for its recognition and pertinence within the new global order, a more productive means of assessing its standing within the international context would be to analyse the state of consolidation of collections and art historical narratives within the national context.
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Keywords: Adriano Pedrosa; Brazilian contemporary art; Gerardo Mosquera; Max Bill; MoMA; Uroborus; anthropophagy; globalisation; identity politics; modernism

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2012

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