Neo Rauch, Haus des Lehrers, 2003, Oil on canvas, 98.43 x 78.74 in. (250 x 200 cm)

Sao Paulo

26th Bienal de São Paulo

Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavilion

September 25–December 19, 2004

Under the swashbuckling banner “Free Territory,” the latest edition of the granddaddy of Southern Hemisphere biennials features the work of 142 artists from sixty countries in its massive Niemeyer-designed space. German-born Alfons Hug, who also curated the Bienal’s timid 2002 installment, now proposes the theme of the “no-man’s-land,” described as a “power-free zone,” a land of “emptiness, of silence and respite, where the frenzy that surrounds us” is brought to a momentary standstill. Biennial regulars Julie Mehretu, Jorge Pardo, Santiago Sierra, and Neo Rauch operating in a “power-free” zone? For those preferring their artistic lands manned, the exhibition also contains the old standby, “National Representations.”