About the event

This initiative investigates Brazilian modernist photography, its relationship to race, and its place within a dynamic international network of images and ideas. From experimental work that resonates with broader postwar trends of creative photographic expression to modern forms with local and sometimes ethnic inflections, photographers were instrumental in formulating new visual languages in Brazil. Since 1939, the São Paulo-based Foto Cine Clube Bandeirante (FCCB) nurtured a wide range of avant-garde practices that anticipated many elements of Concrete Art in Brazil featured at the first São Paulo Biennial in 1951. This diverse group included photographers from immigrant communities such as São Paulo’s growing German, Hungarian, Jewish, Italian, and Japanese populations. These artists participated in international networks of exchange around the globe that increased their visibility and expanded their approach.

Taking FCCB as a starting point, the conference stretches the boundaries of what we understand as experimental art in Brazil in the mid-twentieth century. Photography has been largely excluded from current scholarship about Brazilian modernism and abstraction, and Brazilian photographers of this era are overlooked in narratives around modern photography. The aims of the conference are thus threefold: first, we will examine the distinctive nature of Brazilian modernist photography. Second, we hope to explore photography within the context of modernist and abstract art in Brazil, probing the relationship of modernist photography to other marginalized media and art forms such as mail art and Afro-Brazilian art. Third, we encourage an international perspective that investigates networks of modernist photography through transnational photo clubs, salons, exhibitions, and the many magazines that flourished domestically and across Latin America, the United States and Europe.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017
The Celeste Bartos Theater, The Museum of Modern Art (4 West 54 Street)

6-8pm: Keynote Panel at MoMA (RSVP HERE)
: Edward Sullivan, The Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

Roberto Conduru, Rio de Janeiro State University
Helouise Costa, Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Universidade de São Paulo
Heloísa Espada, Instituto Moreira Salles, São Paulo
Sarah Hermanson Meister, The Museum of Modern Art
Click here for more information about the Keynote Panel, and click here to view the livestream.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Martin E. Segal Theater, The Graduate Center, CUNY (365 Fifth Avenue)

9:30-9:45am: Opening Remarks

9:45-11:45am: International Photographic Networks in Brazil and Beyond
Moderator: Claudia Calirman
, Associate Professor, John Jay College, CUNY

Lucas Menezes, Ph.D. Candidate, Art History, Université Paris 1—Panthéon Sorbonne, Paris
“Where are the pretas of Bahia and the morenas of Rio? The Collection of Brazilian Photographs of the Société Française de Photographie.”

Marly Porto, M.A. Candidate, Art History, Universidade de São Paulo
“The Salons of Foto Cine Clube Bandeirante (1942 - 60): A Venue for the Promotion, Sharing and Update of Photography by National and International Photo Clubs”

Marcio Siwi, Ph.D. Candidate, History, New York University
“Making the Cultured City: The Rise of the Modern Art Museum in Postwar São Paulo

Alise Tifentale, Ph.D. Candidate, Art History, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Bandeirante photographers in global context: Brazilian participation in FIAP, 1950–1965”

11:45am-1pm: Lunch Break

1:00-2:30pm: Reversing Spheres of Influence: The Artists of Foto Cine Clube Bandeirante
Harper Montgomery, Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art, Hunter College, CUNY

Ana Cândida de Avelar, Adjunct Professor, Department of Fine Arts, University of Brasília
Recreations, by José Oiticica Filho: Concrete Art and Gesture”

Adrian Anagnost, Assistant Professor, Newcomb Art Department, Tulane University, New Orleans
“São Paulo Gestalts: Geraldo de Barros' Fotoformas (1946-51)”

Paula V. Kupfer, Independent Scholar
“Gertrudes Altschul and the Foto Cine Clube Bandeirante: Modern Photography and Femininity in 1950s São Paulo.”

2:30-3pm: Coffee Break

3-4:30pm: Race and Circulation in the Urban Sphere
Moderator: Anna Indych-López
, Associate Professor, City College and The Graduate Center, CUNY

Monica Bravo, Lecturer, History of Art Department and Program in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration, Yale University
Faces and Places: Genevieve Naylor’s Photographic Impressions of Race in Brazil”

Danielle Stewart, Ph.D. Candidate, The Graduate Center, CUNY
“Isto É São Paulo: Depictions of Race in the Forth Centennial Photo Books”

Abigail Lapin Dardashti, MRC Fellow, The Museum of Modern Art; Ph.D. Candidate, The Graduate Center, CUNY
“Foto Cine Clube Bandeirante in Print: Immigration and the Redefinition of Whiteness in São Paulo”

4:30-6pm: Reception

This conference will be livestreamed, click here to watch starting at 9:30am on Wednesday, May 3rd.

The conference is organized by Abigail Lapin Dardashti, Museum Research Consortium Fellow, Department of Photography, MoMA and Ph.D. Candidate, CUNY, and Sarah Hermanson Meister, Curator, Department of Photography, MoMA.

Co-sponsored by The International Council at The Museum of Modern Art; and at The Graduate Center, City University of New York: the Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean (IRADAC); Advanced Research Collaborative (ARC); the Rewald Endowment of the Ph.D. Program in Art History; Dominican Studies Group; the Feminist Studies Group; and the Postcolonial Studies Group; The Doctoral Students' Council (DSC).