is a unique event that serves both the vision of Sharjah and the goals of emerging and international artists."
Controversies surrounding biennials
also encompass the very structures and pretensions of the mega art exhibition/event itself.
are like that for art, which is also vastly less relevant than any of those things--movies, books, avocado toast.
It features over 100 artists from over 40 countries and Hasegawa has worked blood, sweat and tears to make it the success it is: "I got the invitation to curate the Biennial
in December 2011, so I have been working on this project for about a year and two months."
"I'm building new things," he laughs, when we meet to discuss his decade as chief executive in the Biennial
's offices on Jordan Street.
Lewis Biggs has spent the past 10 years growing the Biennial
from an unexpected event to one of the world's leading visual arts festivals.
Launching July 1, the Biennial
of the Americas, will be a World's Fair of art and ideas for the Western Hemisphere.
Foxgloves are magical plants in the late spring and early summer border and, while all parts of the plant are poisonous, they are the easiest of all biennials
to grow from seed, germinating quickly and thickly, almost like mustard and cress.
The most recent Sharjah Biennial
presented various attempts in visual arts and film that addressed the growing social, political and environmental challenges the world is facing due to excessive urban development, pollution, political ambitions, and the thoughtless misuse, abuse and exhaustion of natural resources - an exhibition that probably deserves to be resurrected, considering today's continuing fragile environmental and political issues.
The prime example here is Mai Abu ElDahab, Anton Vidokle, and Florian Waldvogel's attempt, albeit ultimately unsuccessful, to reimagine Manifesta 6 as an experimental art academy, but one could also mention Documenta 12, with its emphasis on workshops and colloquy, or New York's performance-only biennial
, Performa, now heading toward its third edition.
And most past Biennials
showed work by artists of different generations as well, without this having been highlighted as a theme.
The exhibition did three things: firstly, like other subsequent Asian biennials
, it contributed to the 'normalisation' of installation: film, video and performance becoming the dominant strand of contemporary art, with curatorial validation and the exhibition opportunities that came with the emerging biennial