Gabriel Borba Filho (São Paulo, 1942) has a strong body of work developed in short period of time which goes through the late 60’s to the early 80’s of the last century. An intense, and still not very well known oeuvre, which is without any doubt of great relevance and importance in order to grasp and understand the vast diversity of conceptual art in Latin America. His complexity as an artist has been quite often misunderstood, he has been frequently named under different labels, some call him a video artist with a political approach, others call him a more existential conceptual artist and some others call him a visual poet. But these three labels suit him well without making any exclusion. There are three aspects in his practice that are perfectly complementary.
Gabriel Borba Filho has a degree in Architecture, Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo of the University of São Paulo, and he is presented by many art historians [Walter Zanini, Cristina Freire… ] as one of the pioneers of video art in Latin America in the 1970’s. Gabriel Borba started experimenting with video in the early 1970’s, he was also quite involved in the experimentalist dynamics of the Museu de Arte Contemporânea of the University of São Paulo during Walter Zanini’s tenure. Besides he worked as an assistant to philosopher Vilém Flusser, and he was one of the founders of the Cooperativa Geral Para Assuntos da Arte [General Co-op for Artistic Matters] in 1974 and of the Cooperativa de Artistas Plásticos de São Paulo [Plastic Artists Co-op] in 1978.
In 1979 he won the first prize Forma de Desenho Industrial. He also was the director of Fine Arts Division in the CCSP [Cultural Centre São Paulo] in the beginning of the 1980’s, and the consultant of cultural matters in EMPLASA [São Paulo Company of Metropolitan Planning] in the mid 1980’s. He worked as the director of the Divisão de Museografia [Exhibition Design Division] in the Museu de Arte Contemporânea of the University of São Paulo for the last 30 years until 2012.