Participant :

9th Bucharest Biennale

Activity: Participating in or organising a conference / an eventParticipation in conference

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In 2020, in the midst of a new form of crisis, one might feel a certain affection for “hegemonic machines” like biennials, which aim for an international discourse in a democratizing manner in a different light. With all its underlying problems (canonizing, hegemony, colonial pasts, dominant art market, political influences), biennials tend to establish international discourse, at best, rooted in local cultural specificities/identities. States of emergency also enable states to not only protect but also control their citizens.

Biennials are, as Oliver Marchart has remarked, big hegemonic machines. They make proposals about how to understand the world in which we live—locally and globally—, how to be in the world as a subject within a regional and national frame, and how race, class, and gender are positioned. As a result, biennials are part of a bio-political process in the framework of specific local situations.

Biennials are deeply involved in politics of display, politics of sites, politics of transfer and translation, and they produce in each single case specific politics of knowledge. The scales of biennials are co-implicated not only with each other but also with different understandings of politics: contestation, resistance, dissent, hegemony, and empowerment.

For this conference (also in times of crisis), we are not only interested in how content directly agitates, but also in the formats, ideas, and concepts that are delivered through the politics of display, through specific forms of production and dissemination, through proposed communities and subjectivities—the more subtle ways of the bio-political arena when we encounter art. What forms can we use in states of emergency?

In the conference, we want to critically explore the pitfalls and benefits of these machines, how to use them progressively and how to keep and strengthen the cultural exchange they can provide. Biennials in that sense can become imaginary machines to shape and influence possible futures.

Research Unit / Event Journal/Book Series


Title9th Bucharest Biennale
Degree of recognitionInternational event