German curator and art writer Anselm Franke has been selected by a five-person-strong selection committee to take on the challenge of curating a biennial that draws its thematic inspiration from “the current situation of a global systemic crisis.”

Anselm Franke is the curator for the 2012 Taipei Biennial. Image courtesy TFAM.

Anselm Franke is the curator for the 2012 Taipei Biennial. Image courtesy TFAM.

The curatorial aims for the 2012 edition of the Taipei Biennial, scheduled to launch in September 2012, are precise and ambitious, as detailed in a press release sent out by the Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM), who administer the event.

The Taipei Biennial 2012 aims to bring artists together who question the foundations of our perceptions of history, not as the past, but as actuality. Just as the very grounds on which we stand today are becoming ever-more unstable, the question is whether we are able to negotiate those foundations and retrieve new narratives capable of grasping global modernity and giving host to its local experience. … Inspired by a recent book by Taiwanese literary scholar David (Der-wei) Wang on the question of representation of history and the monstrosity of modern violence (‘The Monster That Is History‘, 2004), we plan to invoke a broader forum which, through an engagement with history, aims at negotiating perceptions of reality.

Anselm Franke has extensive experience in both performing arts and the visual art industry. In 2005, he co-founded Forum Expanded, a section of the Berlin International Film Festival dedicated to bridging the gap between art and cinema, and has curated the event every year since. From late 2006 to late 2010, he was the director of Extra City – Kunsthal Antwerpen in Belgium and, in 2008, he co-curated Manifesta 7 and the first Brussels Biennial.

Major exhibitions curated by Franke include “Territories: Islands, Camps and Other States of Utopia” (2003), after which a book by the same name was published, and “Animism” (2010). He has given lectures and presented at seminars in several prestigious academic institutions, has edited and published a number of important art books and his articles have appeared in contemporary art publications such as Cabinet Magazine, Parkett, Domus Magazine, Manifesta Journal, Mousse and e-flux journal.

The Taipei Biennial 2012 exhibition will be accompanied by events, talks, performances and workshops that aim to broaden the scope of visual art for both artists and audiences. One such event is The 2Y Project for which selected artists have been asked to build upon the works they created for the Taipei Biennial 2010 and re-present them in 2012. The project includes a series of public talks and workshops, in which Franke will be present as a Guest Speaker, to be held at various cultural institutions around Taipei beginning 26 November 2011.


Related Topics: biennials/biennales, Taiwan art happenings, curatorial practice

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By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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