European Biennial Network and International Curators Forum – Sept 20


European Biennial Network and International Curators Forum

Saturday 20 September
A Foundation, Greenland Street

Admission is free. Telephone +44 (0)151 709 7444 or email


11.00 – 12.30 Biennials: Short term effect or long term results?

What are the long-term results of Biennials in their host cities? Or is the primary role of Biennials to provide a short-term injection into the bloodstream of art and place. Can they do both?

Since the expansion and proliferation of Biennials in the 90s, we can now begin to detect accumulative benefits within their local arts ecologies. If so, why does criticism focus mainly upon the reception of authored curatorial strategies in an ever-expanding global art world?

This debate brings a number of European Biennials together to focus the spotlight behind the scene and looks at different approaches of Biennials to connect curatorial models with the cultural infrastructure in their cities. An expert panel of invited international curators, artists, commissioners and writers, will respond those responsible for the organization of the biennials.

Chaired by Paul O’Neill, GWR Research Fellow, Situations, University of the West of England. With Kerstin Bergendal, artist, author Kunstplan Trekoner; Paul Domela, Programme Director Liverpool Biennial, Annie Fletcher, curator van Abbe museum, Eindhoven; Bige Örer, Director Istanbul Biennial, Jack Persekian, Artistic Director Sharjah Biennial; Renate Wagner, Co-ordinator berlin biennale, Augustine Zenakos, founder and co-director Athens Biennial.

In association with Situations, a research and commissioning programme based at the University of the West of England.

The European Biennial Network is a collaborative structure, active in the field of contemporary art, that aims to promote dialogue, interaction and collaboration between contemporary art Biennials in Europe. It intends to use the knowledge, experience and wealth of information accumulated by organisers of large-scale periodic art events, in order to support the communication and mobility of artists and art professionals.

14.00 – 15.30 Raising the Curtain: a conversation in two parts

We all experience artworks at different velocities and much has been said of the need for artworks to engage us both within the spectacular flash of first impact and the slow retinal aftershocks of perception. This vertiginous moment is perhaps most precarious within the context of the international Biennial when as the curtain rises the accumulation of ideas is exposed and the work becomes a spectacle in an international melee of artworks.

Hosted by David A Bailey, Director of ICF and senior curator at Autograph, with contributions from Lina Dzuverovic Curator of Nordic Biennial 2009; co-founder and Director of Electra; Cedar Lewisohn curator of Tate Modern Street Art and Tate Triennial; Michael M. Thoss, Director of the Allianz Cultural Foundation; Axel Lapp, writer and curator; Jiyoon Lee Director of SUUM and curator of Fantasy Studio Project; Patricia Bickers, Editor Art Monthly, Polly Staple, Director Chisenhale Gallery and Editor at Large Frieze and Artists Anonymous.

In 2007 the International Curators Forum (ICF) staged two International Symposia and facilitated a group of over eighty arts professionals on a curatorial networking project. This experience has given us a unique insight into the needs of contemporary curators and in particular those from culturally diverse backgrounds. It ideally positions the ICF as a leading provider of skills development and business opportunities for professional curators.

With the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union