It is Biennale season, and Art Radar picks 2017 Autumn’s Biennales not to be missed.
Art Radar previews the curatorial visions behind this Autumn’s biennales, taking a look at a number of participating artists in each.
1. 4th Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art — “New Literacy” (opens 14 September 2017)
Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art is a relatively new biennale, appearing on the scene in 2010, when the curatorial team took over factory spaces in and around Ekaterinburg with a series of events and exhibitions aimed at exploring problems of material and symbolic production, industrial and artistic labour, and the industrial and the post-industrial in the context of the city of the Ural region. In keeping with its initial research focus on post-industrial forms of production, the biennial theme in 2017 is “New Literacy” – a programme curated by João Ribas that explores the so-called “fourth industrial revolution” as a transformative force affecting the way we live, work, dream and play. Do not miss work by young Russian artits such as Sasha Pirogov, Sergey Poteryaev, Kirill Savchenkov, Russian art collectives ZIP group and ZhKP art-group, as well as international artists and collectives such as Kuwait City-born Ala Younis, Slavs and Tatars, Forensic Architecture (Charles Heller, Lorenzo Pezzani) and Bandung-based Tromarama (formed of artists Febie Babyrose, Herbert Hans Maruli A. and Ruddy Hatumena).
2. 15th Istanbul Biennale — “a good neighbour” (opens 16 September 2017)
Organised by The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) since 1987, the Istanbul Biennale is the most comprehensive international art exhibition organised in Turkey and throughout the region. The edition, curated by Norway- and Denmark-based artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset, takes on the them “a good neighbour” – a phrase that has been distributed across the region on billboards and posters. With recent art events suffering the pressure to close due to political violence across the country, this edition is set to be an important gathering point for artists, curators and collectives based in Turkey. Do not miss work by Heba Y. Amin, Mahmoud Obaidi, Young-Jun Tak, Xiao Yu, Tsang Kin-Wah and Fred Wilson.
3. 7th Moscow International Biennale of Contemporary Art — “Clouds⇄Forests” (opens 19 September 2017)
Curator Yuko Hasegawa has developed the programme of the 7th edition of Moscow International Biennale of Contemporary Art according to the theme “Clouds⇄Forests” – an exploration of new eco-systems formed through a circulation of “Cloud Tribes”, who were born on the Internet cloud space, and “Forest Tribes” who are born from cultural origins. Yuko Hasegawa commented in a press statement:
Clouds⇄Forests focuses on artists as a creative tribe transitioning, expanding and dissipating, from forest to cloud, rebuilding the subjectivity of spectators and showing that creativity is vital to the creation of new environmental spheres.
Russian artists Alexey Martins, Anastasia Potemkina, Valya Fetisov, Dashi Namdakov, Ilya Fedotov-Fedorov and the creative association Where Dogs Run were commissioned to create new works for the biennale.
4. 14th Lyon Biennale — “Floating Worlds” (opens 20 September 2017)
Since its creation in 1991, Artistic Director Thierry Raspail has invited guest curators to organise the event around a keyword, assigned for three editions of the biennnale. 2017 marks the second iteration of a trilogy of biennales focused around the general theme of “modernity”. The Biennale takes its title “Floating world” from the Japanese word ukiyô, which refers to a view of the world as impermanent and continuously renewing itself, a source of freedom and creativity. Work by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Pratchaya Pinthong, Yuko Mohri, Anawana Haloba, Hao Jingfang & Wang Lingjie, Ari Benjamin Meyers and Shimabuku.
5. 2017 Asian Art Biennial in Taichung — “Negotiating the Future as a Means of Meeting the Ultimate Aspiration for Changing the Society and Fashioning the Future” (opens 30 September 2017)
Not to be confused with the 10th edition of the Taipei Biennale in 2016, the Asian Art Biennial was first organised by National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts in 2007 in Taichung. Unlike previous editions, 2017’s sixth edition of the Asian Art Biennial is curated by an international team, made up of Kenji Kubota from Japan, Ade Darmawan from Indonesia, Wassan Al-Khudhairi from Iraq and Hsiao-Yu Lin from Taiwan. The theme this year is the rather long title “Negotiating the Future as a Means of Meeting the Ultimate Aspiration for Changing the Society and Fashioning the Future”. The curatorial team plans to invite around 30 artists/collectives, including Okin Collective, Atul Dodiya, Lee Kai Chung, Lee Wen, Trinh Thi Nguyen and Rina Banjeree.
6. Screen City Biennial 2017 — “Migrating Stories” (opens 12 October 2017)
Screen City Biennial is the first Nordic Biennial dedicated to the expanded moving image in public space. It returns in October for its third edition, and presents artworks that explore relations between the moving image, sound, technology and urban space. The architectures of Stavanger will facilitate artworks of the expanded moving image in three-dimensional, multi-sensual and tactile experiences, together with screening programmes and gallery installations. This year’s theme is “Migrating Stories”, and asks how art may respond to the political crisis in Europe, which traverses how nations states are narrating history as well as the current so-called Migrant crisis. The artworks included intend to reflect upon journeys, diaspora and post-colonialism, transformation of place, and “alien” realities. Do not miss work by Marcus Neustetter (South Africa), Absence of Paths (Tunisia), Budhaditya Chattopadhyay (India), Matti Aikio (Norway/Sami), Shezad Dawood (UK) and Yael Bartana (Israel).
7. 10th Berlin Biennale Programme “I’m Not Who You Think I’m Not” — (with Biennale between 9 June to 9 September 2018)
The 10th edition of the Berlin Biennale is still in its early preparations, as it is due to open in July 2018. However in July this year the Berlin Biennale curatorial team (made up of Thiago de Paula Souza, Gabi Ngcobo, Nomaduma Rosa Masilela, Yvette Mutumba, Moses Serubiri) launched the 10th Berlin Biennale Programme entitled “I’m Not Who You Think I’m Not”, a series of conversations, workshops and performances that, as the press release states,
disavows assumed beingness and know-hows. Those assumptions are based on existing, constructed social frameworks and their associated speculations about particular subjectivities.
Actions by Donna Kukama, George Shire, Jota Mombaça, Philipp Khabo Koepsell and Victor Omere have so far been announced. The full list of artists participating in the biennial in 2018 is due to be released soon.
- Preview: sound and digital art highlights from Sónar Festival Istanbul – March 2017 – music and digital arts festival Sónar comes to Istanbul for the first time
- Four artists win the 2017 Sharjah Biennial Prize – March 2017 – the Sharjah Biennial Prize 2017 winning artists explore the ever-changing reality of contemporary life
- Cevdet Erek’s Turkey Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2017 – March 2017 – Turkey Pavilion releases plans for Cevdet Erek’s exhibition to be presented at the Venice Biennale in May 2017
- Anna Laudel Contemporary launches in Istanbul with “When did we stop playing…” – January 2017 – Anna Laudel Contemporary Gallery in Istanbul hosts inaugural show “When Did We Stop Playing…”
- Dissolution: Azade Köker at Elgiz Museum in Istanbul – November 2015 – Turkish artist Azade Köker explores the relationship between man and nature
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