Everything you always wanted to know about biennials (but were afraid to ask…)

Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design at University of Bergen The Biennial Reader is now available at bookstores near you. Book launch at Art Basel Miami Beach on Sunday December 5.

Sunday Dec 5, 2010
2pm – 2.30pm

Book Launch and Panel Discussion: ‘The Biennial Reader. An Anthology on Large-Scale Perennial Exhibitions of Contemporary Art’

Ute Meta Bauer, Director of the Visual Arts Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MassachusettsElena Filipovic, Curator, Wiels Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels and Editor of ‘The Biennial Reader’Marieke van Hal, Director, Biennial Foundation and Editor of ‘The Biennial Reader’, Athens

Solveig Øvstebø, Director, Bergen Kunsthall and Editor of ‘The Biennial Reader’, Bergen

The Art Salon talk takes place at the Miami Beach Convention Center, in the auditorium adjacent to Info Zone D. Access via show floor

The Biennial Reader was commissioned and made possible by the generous funding of the City of Bergen.

An Anthology on Large-Scale Perennial Exhibitions of Contemporary Art
Edited by Elena Filipovic, Marieke van Hal, and Solveig Øvstebø
Hatje Cantz & Bergen Kunsthall

This anthology on the global biennial phenomenon includes seminal republished texts collected from around the world as well as newly commissioned contributions by the leading scholars, curators, critics, and thinkers of biennials today. By tracing the genealogy of the perennial exhibition format (understood here as including not only biennials but also other recurrent exhibitions such as triennials and quadrennials) and by examining some of the most emblematic examples of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries—from the biennials in Venice and Johannesburg to those of Havana and Gwangju, and from Documenta to Manifesta—this collection reads the artistic, theoretical, political, and other ambitions of such large-scale exhibition projects against the grain of their resulting exhibitions. Poised to be a vital resource, The Biennial Reader reflects on the past, the promise, and the future of these exhibitions and argues for a new history of art written through their analysis. In the process, this “reader” of essays explores perennial exhibitions and the global hegemonic shifts that made them possible as well as their impact on contemporary art, curating, culture, and art institutions.

Texts by: Lawrence Alloway, George Baker, Carlos Basualdo, Michael Brenson, Daniel Buren, Charlotte Bydler, John Clark, Okwui Enwezor, Bruce W. Ferguson, Elena Filipovic, Marieke van Hal, Maria Hlavajova, Milena M. Hoegsberg , Ranjit Hoskote, Caroline A. Jones, Yacouba Konaté, Oliver Marchart, Sabine Marschall, Federica Martini, Vittoria Martini, Thomas McEvilley, Gerardo Mosquera, Rafal Niemojewski, Paul O’Neill, Solveig Øvstebø, Marion Pastor Roces, Donald Preziosi, Raqs Media Collective, Simon Sheikh, Vinicius Spricigo, Jan Verwoert
2010. 512 pp., 70 ills.
16,80 x 25,10 cm
softcover, with 56page illustrated booklet from the Bergen Biennial Conference 2009

You can order The Biennial Reader at,,

Contact [email protected] or [email protected] for more information.

Bergen Kunsthall / Rasmus Meyers allé 5 / 5015 Bergen / Norway / +47 55 55 93 11/ [email protected] /