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The four curators of the next Berlin Biennale
Get more updates at www.biennialfoundation.org
The new year is seeing a jam-packed calendar of biennials and other art events from every part of the world. Our selectors include some of the most anticipated shows happening in Europe, Australia and South America.
April 24–May 10
Glasgow International is Scotland’s largest festival for contemporary art, taking place over three weeks every two years across the city of Glasgow. Renowned as a centre for contemporary art, the festival draws on the city’s strengths as a vibrant and distinctive centre of artistic production and display. Combining the characteristics of a visual arts biennial with an open submission model for artists and curators based in the city, GI is a truly unique event in the European cultural calendar.
The theme of the 2020 edition of the Glasgow International is Attention. It will include new commissions by UK and international artists – Martine Syms, Bodys Isek Kingelez, Eva Rothschild and Dawn Mellor. The theme explores our attention in the chaos of noise. Glasgow International’s director, Richard Parry, and curator Poi Marr, ask: “How we attend to others whom we care for as well as ourselves?”
Biennale of Sydney
March 14–June 8
The inaugural Biennale of Sydney was held in 1973 as part of the opening celebrations of the Sydney Opera House. Initiated by Founding Governor Franco Belgiorno-Nettis and supported by Founding Patrons Transfield Holdings, the Biennale of Sydney was the first exhibition of its kind to be established in the Asia-Pacific region. Alongside the Venice and São Paulo biennales and documenta, it is one of the longest running periodic exhibitions around the globe. Since its inception in 1973, the Biennale of Sydney has showcased the work of nearly 1,800 artists from more than 100 countries and holds an important place on both the national and international stage.
Brook Andrew, the artist-curator of the 22nd Biennale of Sydney is putting the issues facing indigenous and First Nation peoples, along with the planet’s most “urgent concerns” center stage. The biennale’s title is Nirin and its performance program is called Wir or sky—both phrases that come from the curator’s ancestors, the Wiradjuri people of central western New South Wales. Andrew wants artists to expose “unresolved past anxieties and hidden layers of the supernatural.”
For the first time, artists from Nepal, Georgia, Afghanistan, Sudan, and Ecuador will take part in the exhibition held across six venues in the Australian city and beyond to the Blue Mountains. They will be joined by artists including Arthur Jafa, Jose Dávila, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Teresa Margolles, Zanele Muholi, Lisa Reihana, and Laure Prouvost.
Venice Biennale of Architecture
May 23–November 11
The Venice Biennale has been for over 120 years one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world. Established in 1895, the Biennale has an attendance today of over 500,000 visitors at the Art Exhibition. The history of the La Biennale di Venezia dates back from 1895, when the first International Art Exhibition was organized. In the 1930s new festivals were born: Music, Cinema, and Theatre (the Venice Film Festival in 1932 was the first film festival in history). In 1980 the first International Architecture Exhibition took place, and in 1999 Dance made its debut at La Biennale.
The curator of the biennale, MIT architecture dean Hashim Sarkis calls on exhibiting architects to imagine spaces in which we can better live together. Sarkis wants architects to achieve this by working with artists, builders, and politicians, journalists, social scientists, and citizens. Finding solutions to the problem caused by climate change, widening political divides, and growing economic inequalities are uppermost on the brief. Highlight: The curators of the American pavilion plan to celebrate wood-frame houses built with humble two-by-four timbers.
Photo: Manifesta 13
June 7–November 11
Manifesta is the European Nomadic Biennial, which originated in the early 1990s in response to the political, economic, and social change following the end of the Cold War and the subsequent steps towards European integration. Manifesta has developed into a platform for dialogue between art and society by inviting the cultural and artistic community to produce new creative experiences with, and for, the context in which it takes place.
Manifesta was founded by the Dutch art historian, Hedwig Fijen. Each new edition is fundraised individually and managed by a mix of permanent international team and local specialists. Manifesta is working from its offices in Amsterdam and Marseille.
For its 13th edition, Manifesta takes place for the first time in France in Marseille in 2020. There could be no better city than Marseille to further expand Manifesta’s research and discussion about the challenges Europe is facing today. Manifesta 13 Marseille proposes to work with existing cultural institutions and associations, both symbolically and practically, by introducing different voices while expanding their narratives. With this ambition, Manifesta 13 Marseille will unfold through site-specific artistic commissions, performances, and urban interventions to imagine new forms of being together: Traits d’union.s.
Photo: Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art
11th Berlin Biennale
June 13–September 13
Since its founding in 1996, the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art has become one of the most important international forums for contemporary art. Each edition brings together the most influential current positions of artists, theorists, and practitioners from a variety of fields in one of the most culturally progressive cities in Europe.
The Berlin Biennale takes place every two years at varying locations in Berlin and is defined by the differing concepts of its renowned curators. It promotes experimental formats and provides the appointed curators the space and freedom to present the latest relevant and challenging positions independent of the art market and collection interests. Participation in the exhibition has contributed to numerous young artists achieving international status.
The first Berlin Biennale was founded on the initiative of Eberhard Mayntz and Klaus Biesenbach – founding director of the Kunst-Werke Berlin. The Berlin Biennale is organised by KUNST-WERKE BERLIN e. V.
Four South American curators have taken the helm of the yet-to-be-titled upcoming edition of the Berlin exhibition. María Berríos, Renata Cervetto, Lisette Lagnado, and Agustín Pérez Rubio, a group of “intergenerational, female identified” curators, are currently unfolding a series of events from now until May to build more sustainable relations with the city and its artists.
São Paulo Art Biennial
September 5–December 6
The São Paulo Biennial was initiated in 1951 and is the second oldest art biennial in the world after the Venice Biennial, which was set up 1895 and served as its role model. The Biennial was founded by the Italian-Brazilian industrialist Ciccillo Matarazzo (1898-1977). Since 1957, the Biennial has been held in the Ciccillo Matarazzo pavilion in the Parque do Ibirapuera. The pavilion was designed by a team led by architects Oscar Niemeyer and Hélio Uchôa, and provides an exhibition space of 30,000 m2. The São Paulo Biennial features both Brazilian and international artists, and is considered to be one of the most important art exhibits in the country.
This year, the show will be organised by São Paulo-based curator Jacopo Crivelli Visconti and will explore the concept of “relation” in an increasingly polarised political climate in Brazil. It is also changing its format with a series of solo shows that will take place in the lead-up to the official show in September. In the biennial’s Oscar Niemeyer-designed home, artists including Deana Lawson from the US and the Peruvian artist Ximena Garrido-Lecca will present solo works.
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