September 12, 2012

World Biennial Forum No. 1

Biennial Foundation
Biennial Map: Middle East-Asia. Courtesy: Biennial Foundation.

While most Western countries are experiencing fiscal austerity and slower growth, some of the emerging nations within the Asian continent are handling the strong forces of rapid progression. For centuries the West used to be the economical and cultural center of attention. Now there is an important shift of focus to Asia, a continent that has seen vibrant and innovative developments undergoing economic, cultural and social change, whilst its population is calling for more open and democratic structures within society.

The rapid expanding activities in contemporary art and the rising number of biennials established in Asia during the last two decades has implications for the construction of contemporary art history. How can we undo the teleologies of Euro-centric modernity? Do art biennials inspire and strengthen art communities and help to lay foundations for sustainable infrastructures? Facing increasingly homogenic and universal models of traditional art institutions, are biennials still alternative and sites for experimentation capable of resistance?

The World Biennial Forum No. 1 will present keynotes speeches by Wang Hui, Professor in the Department of Chinese Language and Literature at the Tsinghua University, Beijing, Nikos Papastergiadis, Professor for Cultural Studies and Media & Communications at the University of Melbourne, and Chantal Mouffe, Professor of Political Theory and Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster, London. They will be addressing issues related to democracy, migration and cosmopolitanism. Case study presentations of a wide range of biennales throughout Asia will be introduced, aiming to broaden the understanding of the specificity of each context, the conditions of production and the conceptual discourses they generate. All sessions are open to the public and admission is free of charge. The 1st World Biennial Forum takes place at the occasion of ROUNDTABLE: the 9th Gwangju Biennale (7 September–11 November, 2012).

Case study presentations include the Taipei Biennial, the Riwaq Biennale, the Sharjah Biennial, the Gwangju Biennale, the Singapore Biennale, the Yokohama Triennale, the Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, the Aichi Triennale, the Shanghai Biennale, the Emergency Biennale, the Istanbul Biennial, the Guangzhou Triennial, the Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, the Busan Biennale, Seoul Media City, the Tbilisi Triennial, the Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism Architecture, the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale, the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT), the Biennale Jogja, and Land Art Mongolia LAM 360˚.

Biennial Representatives Meeting
The aim of this meeting is to discuss common objectives for biennale organizations and their role in society, and to jointly look into the possibilities and benefits of stronger professional alliances and collective and cooperative action. This meeting addresses biennale organizations from all regions in the world. For more information about this specific meeting please contact: Marieke van Hal, Director of the Biennial Foundation: [email protected]

Please register online here by October 21, 2012.

Press accreditation

For more information:
Gwangju Biennale Foundation
WBF Coordinator Harian Cho: [email protected]

Biennial Foundation
WBF Coordinator Olga Hatzidaki: [email protected]

Supported by the Gwangju Metropolitan City Government, the Prince Claus Fund, and by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and Arts Network Asia (ANA) as part of the programme Creative Encounters: Cultural Partnerships between Asia and Europe.



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