The São Paulo Pinacoteca presents the exhibition The Machine of the World: Art and Industry in Brazil 1901 – 2021, on display between November 6, 2021 and February 21, 2022. The exhibition brings together around 250 works by more than 100 artists in the seven temporary exhibition galleries of the Pina Luz building. The exhibition examines the various ways in which industry has impacted the production of artists in Brazil since the beginning of the last century, in an unprecedented novel perspective on the last 120 years of Brazilian art history.
It is curated by José Augusto Ribeiro and assisted by Daniel Donato Ribeiro. The selection privileges the internal reflections raised by by the works and, based on them, questions the impacts of the modern industry on the thought of art and on the social contexts in which such paintings, sculptures, engravings, photographs, objects, films and poems were produced. On the one hand, the machine is associated with the notion of the work of art itself as an apparatus, a construct. On the other hand, the machine is linked to factories, to places that are symbols of modernity, with workers concentrated in assembly lines, heavy machinery, processed products and mass circulation, which define a significant part of modern and contemporary life.
The title of the exhibition originates from the idea of the world as a machine, composed essentially of a universal device whose mechanical principle would govern the cosmos, the celestial bodies and the elements of nature. Figurations of this “machine of the world” appear in the Divine comedy (c. 1308-1320), by Dante Alighieri, in Os Lusíadas (1572), by Luís de Camões, in the poem A Máquina do Mundo (1951), by Carlos Drummond de Andrade , and in Haroldo de Campos' last book, "A Máquina do Mundo repensada" (2000).