Saturday 19th of September


The second day will focus on practice, elaborating on the different types of biennials today, looking at their function, development and evolution over time. This day will be an occasion for collective reflection on the biennial as a historically new type of art institution, where the variety of benefits and limitations ensuing from such large-scale art events are viewed in terms of their resulting exhibitions. A number of different questions will be raised: Do biennials foster different or more interesting art exhibitions and more inventive curatorial practices? How does the biennial differentiate itself from and/or depend on other art world structures?

Venue: Grand Hotel Terminus – Terminus Hall

* 10.00 Introduction

* 10.15 Biennial Species by John Clark
This lecture will lay the foundation for thinking about the different kinds or ‘species’ of bien¬nials and large-scale perennial exhibitions around the world. Different biennial types emerged from one or the other of specific motivations: political ideals, local artistic initiatives, market-driven motivations, responses to ecological disasters, institutional foundations etc. Special focus will be given to the Asian continent, in its relation to the rest of the world.

* 11:00 Biennial / Institution by Maria Hlavajova
This lecture will elaborate on the development of the biennial as a phenomenon in relation to the idea of ‘the institutional’. The myth of the biennial is that it is ephemeral, flexible, alternative, and independent in relation to traditional institutions, which are seen as rigid, slow, heavy, and conven¬tional. However, over time the ground may have shifted under this necessary fiction. How has the rise of institutional criticism (in the West) related to the rise of biennials? Whereas the discourse relating to and logic behind many biennials has stated that they aim to catalyse and encourage weak local institutions, have they in fact been responsible for weakening existing insti¬tu¬tions? How do biennials and museums/kunsthalls/art centres relate to, influence or react to one another? Is the biennial the new ‘institution’?


Break 10 min

* 12:00 The impact of Biennials on curating by Paul O´Neill
This lecture will look at the emergence of a discursive field relating to biennial curating and how biennial curators have supported a certain positivistic attitude towards global exhibitions as conveyors of a more inclusive form of internationalism. The focus will be on the impact of biennials on curating and vice versa. Particularly the relationship between contemporary art biennials and the professionalization of the independent curator.

* 12.45 Discussion

Moderator: Ute Meta Bauer
Reviewer: Ina Blom

Workshop 1: Biennial Reports
Venue: Bergen Kunsthall

* 16.00 Gridthiya Gaweewong: Saigon Open
* 16.20 Ann Demeester: the Vilnius Triennial
* 16.40 Ingar Dragset: the Nordic Pavilion, Venice
Break 20 min
* 17.20 Chrissie Iles: the Whitney Biennial
* 17.50 Discussion

Moderator: Elena Filipovic
Reviewer: Tommy Olsson

Workshop 2: How to run a Biennial
Venue: Bergen Art Museum – Lysverket

* 16.00 Yacouba Konaté: Dak’Art Biennial
* 16.20 Mahita El Bacha Urieta: the Sharjah Biennial
* 16.40 Per Gunnar Eeg-Tverbakk/Jonas Ekeberg: Momentum, Liaf
Break 20 min
* 17.20 Gerardo Mosquera: The Havana Biennial, a “Concrete Utopia”?
* 17.40 Discussion

Moderator: Marieke van Hal
Reviewer: Monika Szewczyk

Venue: Bergen Kunsthall

* 23:00 Utmark presents Golden Serenades
Bergen Kunsthall’s own concert series Utmark presents the Norwegian duo Golden Serenades, known for cultivating the aesthetics of guitar noise in concerts that take rock phenomena like guitar-smashing and feedback to extremes. Noise is a key concept for Utmark’s autumn program. In October Utmark will be responsible for the mini-festival Bergen Noisefest, a plunge into the noise genre that will last two days. Check for more info: