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Biennials, Triennials, and Documenta

Book Description

This innovative new history examines in-depth how the growing popularity of large-scale international survey exhibitions, or 'biennials', has influenced global contemporary art since the 1950s.

  • Provides a comprehensive global history of biennialization from the rise of the European star-curator in the 1970s to the emergence of mega-exhibitions in Asia in the 1990s
  • Introduces a global array of case studies to illustrate the trajectory of biennials and their growing influence on artistic expression, from the Biennale de la Méditerranée in Alexandria, Egypt in 1955, the second Havana Biennial of 1986, New York’s Whitney Biennial in 1993, and the 2002 Documenta11 in Kassel, to the Gwangju Biennale of 2014
  • Explores the evolving curatorial approaches to biennials, including analysis of the roles of sponsors, philanthropists and biennial directors and their re-shaping of the contemporary art scene
  • Uses the history of biennials as a means of illustrating and inciting further discussions of globalization in contemporary art

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
  2. Introduction
    1. Why Biennials?
    2. Part 1. The Second Wave
    3. Part 2. The Politics of Legitimacy
    4. Part 3. Hegemony or a New Canon
    5. The Cultural Geography of Biennials
    6. Notes
  3. Part 1: The Second Wave
    1. 1: 1972: The Rise of the Star-Curator
      1. Introduction
      2. Preparation for a Walk-Through Event Structure
      3. “Therapy Has Changed and No Longer Encourages Copious Art Production”
      4. “The Most Important Exhibition of Recent Years”
      5. Conclusion
      6. Notes
    2. 2: 1979: Cultural Translation, Cultural Exclusion, and the Second Wave
      1. Introduction: Biennials as Models for Cultural Encounters
      2. Founding the Sydney Biennale
      3. White Elephant or Red Herring? Selecting the 1979 Biennale of Sydney
      4. Import/Export: Sydney and São Paulo
      5. Conclusion
      6. Notes
    3. 3: 1986: The South and the Edges of the Global
      1. Introduction: Origin Stories
      2. A Brief History of Southern Biennials
      3. The Second Bienal de La Habana
      4. Conclusion: The Stakes of Southern Histories
      5. Notes
  4. Part 2: The Politics of Legitimacy
    1. 4: 1989: Asian Biennialization
      1. Introduction
      2. Experimental Versus Traditional Art: “Traditions/Tensions”
      3. Conclusion
      4. Notes
    2. 5: 1997: Biennials, Migration, and Itinerancy
      1. Introduction
      2. Manifesta and Critical Regionalism
      3. Locality Fails: The 2nd Johannesburg Biennale
      4. By Way of Conclusion: The <i xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xmlns:epub="http://www.idpf.org/2007/ops" xmlns:m="http://www.w3.org/1998/Math/MathML" xmlns:svg="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg">Emergency Biennale in Chechnya</i>
      5. Notes
  5. Part 3: Hegemony or a New Canon
    1. 6: 2002: Cosmopolitanism
      1. Introduction
      2. The Five-Year Subaltern Plan
      3. Black Box, White Cube
      4. Conclusion
      5. Notes
    2. 7: 2003: Delegating Authority
      1. Introduction
      2. Tirana: “Opening Up the Conversation”
      3. Escape
      4. Curating by Delegation: The 50th Venice Biennale: <i xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xmlns:epub="http://www.idpf.org/2007/ops" xmlns:m="http://www.w3.org/1998/Math/MathML" xmlns:svg="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg">The Dictatorship of the Viewer</i>
      5. “Counterbalance the Decadence of the Ancient City”
      6. “Outmoded Structure of National Pavilions and Theme Exhibitions”
      7. Conclusion
      8. Notes
    3. 8: 2014: Global Art Circuits
      1. Introduction
      2. The Game of Comparison and Competition
      3. Negotiated Inequality
      4. Contemporary Play Time
      5. Coda: 2014
      6. Notes
    4. 9: Conclusion
      1. Notes
  6. Index
  7. EULA