Biennials: Prospect and Perspectives

  • Deadline:
    Feb. 27, 2014, 7 p.m.
  • Location:
    ZKM_Media Theater, Lorenzstr. 19, Karlsruhe, 76135, DE

Symposium at the ZKM | Karlsruhe
February 27 – March 1, 2014

As part of the theoretical foundations of GLOBALE, the ZKM, in cooperation with the ifa [Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations], has organized a large-scale conference with approx. 40 curators who seismographically record and reflect the process of transformation triggered by globalization. The event’s objective is to sound out the potential of such large-scale events following almost three decades of Biennialisation.

The conference forms part of the series “biennials in dialogue”, which ifa has been realizing with cooperation partners since 2000. Previous conferences took place in Kassel, Frankfurt am Main, Singapore and Shanghai. As one of the leading actors in international art exchange, with this series of events ifa gives impulses to the scientific encounter with biennials, as well as to the international discussion around the modes of contemporary exhibition formats.

The striking spread of the Biennial structure has brought about a multiplicity of concepts and discourses. While the biennial system is frequently criticized as a purely marketing instrument, it also provides a space for the critical encounter with political and social issues, for which existing institutions often provide no space. Clearly, the number of Biennials has grown exponentially as a means of offsetting the pressure of selection produced by the art market. A multiplicity of art is produced worldwide, the platform of which is not the market and the museum, but the Biennial.

The conference focusses on five core themes: the opening section entitled Biennials and Public Space, discusses art as public sphere and new public conceptions. The selection Biennials as the Motor of Social Transformation seeks to examine the potential influence of biennials on the transformation of society and politics, and to investigate whether this question can be adequately answered. A further section is dedicated to the theme entitled The Dynamics of Biennials and the Role of their Actors (curators, artists, organizers and public). In the past, for example, the increased spread of biennials has decisively strengthened public perception among curators. Have there been similar effects on other actors, such as artists or the public? The Chances and Limits of Biennials in Reference to Marketing and Politics is given over to the question as to the way in which Biennials deal with demands, such as urban development, location, marketing and political ambitions. The concluding discussion Alternatives / Public Spaces is concerned with the alternative biennial models which point to new visions for the future of biennials.

Andrea Buddensieg and Elke aus dem Moore

The ifa is committed to a peaceful and enriching coexistence of people and cultures worldwide. It is promoting art and cultural exchange in exhibitions, dialogue and conference programs. As a competence centre for foreign cultural diplomacy, the ifa is connecting civil societies, cultural practices, art, media and science. It is initiating, moderating and documenting discussions on the international cultural relations.

The ifa has a global network and counts on long-term cooperation. It is supported by the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany, the state of Baden-Württemberg and its capital Stuttgart.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

7 p.m. Keynote Lecture Ute Meta Bauer

Friday, February 28, 2014
9.30 a.m.−10 a.m. Introduction

10 a.m.−12 p.m. Biennials and Public Space
Chair: Carol Lu
Panel: Fulya Erdemci, Sheika Hoor Al Qasimi, Yongwoo Lee, Katja Aßmann
Respond: Blair French, Christoph Schäfer

2 p.m.−4 p.m. Biennials as a Motor for Social Change
Chair: Christine Eyene
Panel: Abdellah Karoum, Patrick Mudekereza, Alia Swastika, Gerardo Mosquera
Respond: Elise Atangana, Jun Yang

4.30 p.m.−6.30 p.m. The Dynamics of Biennials and the Role of its Actors (Curators, Artists, Organizers, Audiences)
Chair: Marieke van Hal
Panel: Basak Senova, Marah Braye, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Mônica Hoff
Respond: Gabriele Horn, Patricia F. Druck

Saturday, March 1, 2014
9.30 a.m.−11 a.m. Chances and Limitations of Biennials in the Context of Marketing and Policies
Chair: Sabine B. Vogel
Panel: Zhang Quin, Tan Boon Hui, Kasper König, Bige Örer
Respond: Ursula Zeller, Sally Talent

11.30 a.m.−1 p.m. Alternatives / Open spaces
Chair: Rafal Niemojewski
Panel: Leah Gordon, Pan Gongkai

Final Discussion

Event in English, admission free

ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe
in cooperation with ifa - Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen [Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations]