M4C Logo AHRC Logo

Caroline Fucci

Cultural and Museum Studies, University of Leicester

Thesis title:

Brazilian Contemporary Art in the Global Biennial Context, 1998-2020

The 1990s and 2000s saw rapid worldwide growth in the number of large-scale, biennial exhibitions of contemporary art. While the biennial model took root within formerly peripheral locations, long-established Western biennials also pursued a more geographically expansive perspective. Focusing on the representation of Brazilian art within key biennials between 1998 and 2020, this project asks how the expansion and diversification of the biennial model have impacted knowledge and understanding of the contemporary art of formerly peripheral nations.

By selecting artists deemed worthy of international recognition (Zacarias and Spricigo, 2021) biennials play a role in establishing the formal, conceptual and geographical boundaries of contemporary art and its history. Since the 1990s, the biennial field has introduced new genealogies of contemporary art into mainstream knowledge, contributing to a wider post-global epistemological shift (Marchart 2014; Hoskote 2010; Kompatsiaris 2017). When formerly marginalised nations are repeatedly represented by a limited number of artists, however, biennials may also produce homogenised perspectives (Ott 2015; Lee 2012) and perpetuate exoticizing discourses (Asbury 2017).

Grounded by archival research and interviews, my analysis of how these biennials have shaped Brazilian contemporary art and its history will be framed by theories of cultural identity articulated by Bhabha (1994), Canclini (1995) and Hall (1996). By exploring the biennial as a site where knowledge about contemporary art and its history is produced, this project will provide a model applicable to other previously marginalised countries.

Research Area

  • Cultural and Museum Studies
  • Museum and Gallery Studies


'The Third World in the Third Havana Biennial: Contemporary Art in the Global South', Plataforma de Curadoria, Federal University of Espírito Santo (UFES), 2021. 

'Issues of Authenticity in Modern and Contemporary Art', XII CODAIP Curitiba, Federal University of Paraná (UFPR), 2018-2019. 

'The Value Gap: An Examination of its Origins and the Current Situation in Latin America', IAEL Book, FRUKT: London, 2018. 

'The Copyrights of Works of Art and the Mechanical Reproduction: The Brazilian Factual Status of Sculptures', Law Review of the Federal Judge, Rio de Janeiro, 2016-2017. 


2023 University of Leicester Doctoral College Researcher Conference, paper presentation 'The biennial as a platform for knowledge about contemporary art and its history'. 

2023 UK Association for Art History Annual Conference, University College London. Paper presentation: 'Brazilian Indigenous Art on a Global Stage: The Politics of the 34th São Paulo Biennial'. 

2021 University of Georgia and Georgia Museum of Art Emerging Scholars Symposium 'Visualizing Identity: Exploring Dimensions of the Self through Art'. Paper presentation: 'Tarsila do Amaral's A Negra: The Portrait of the Black Woman and the Legacy of Colonialism in Brazil'. 

Public Engagement & Impact

Gallery Talk From Biennale to Biennalization at Canteiro Campo de Produção em Arte Contemporânea, São Paulo, Brazil (July 2023). 

Other Research Interests

  • Contemporary art and globalisation
  • Brazilian modern and contemporary art  
  • Exhibition histories
  • Biennial studies
  • Art and culture in the post-1989 context
  • Postcolonial theory
  • The politics of curating, display and art institutions
  • Art and labour
  • Aesthetics 


  • UK Association for Art History 
  • The Paul Mellon Centre's Doctoral Research Network 
  • ICOM UK (International Council of Museums UK)