In Different Places: Imagining the Biennial Form (8/6/2022)

May 19th, 202212:51 pm @

Image courtesy 10th Havana Biennial, 2009.
Public event – online and “in-real-life” – Göteborgs Konsthall, Wednesday 8 June, 5–7:30pm. Margarita Gonzalez Lorente, Ioana Leca, Bige Örer, Henk Slager, and Mick Wilson. ZOOM:

The event is free. Streaming details posted shortly. No need to book for online, However, spaces are limited for physical attendance at meeting so booking is recommended for attending the event in person.


This public symposium takes as its point of departure three different biennial traditions—Gothenburg, Havana and Istanbul—to consider how biennial futures are being imagined and projected with reference to diverse histories, institutional contexts, economies, and geopolitical positionings. 
Rather than a general pronouncement upon the biennial format however, we are seeking a sense of the particularities and situatedness of each tradition. Among the issues proposed for consideration are: How the pandemic experience is impacting? How questions of sustainability and growth/degrowth are affecting production? How different cultural political contexts are unfolding in each case? What might be the specific local and regional factors impacting how the future trajectory of each biennial tradition is being imagined? How does the intensified role of digital networks in the cultural field in general, and in the contemporary art field in particular, impact thinking and practice around each biennial?

The agenda will be structured by three presentations by curators with extensive experience of the respective biennial traditions and contexts: Margarita Gonzalez Lorente (Havana), Ioana Leca (Gothenburg), and Bige Örer (Istanbul). This will be followed by a round table discussion facilitated by Henk Slager and Mick Wilson.
This blended event—meeting face-to-face at Göteborgs Konsthall and streaming online—is co-organized with HDK-Valand Academy of Art and Design, European Artist Research Network (EARN), and Gothenberg International Biennial for Contemporary Art (GIBCA). The event is free. However, spaces are limited so booking is recommended for attending the event in person.

The symposium is realised in conjunction with the EARN Curatorial Studies Workshop meeting June 8–10, 2022, with presentations from Nick Aikens, Inci Eviner, Catalin Gheorghe, Hongjohn Lin, Steven Henry Madoff, Portia Malatjioe, Nontobeko Ntombela, Carolina Rito, and Marloeke van der Vlugt. For more information on the network meeting go here.

Margarita Gonzalez Lorente is the Curator of International Contemporary Art at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana). Previously, she was the Deputy Director of the Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center and has served as the curator of the Havana Biennial (2005-2019).

Ioana Leca is Artistic Director of Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art. Recent positions include Producer for the 2017 edition of the Biennial and Curator for Programme and Project Manager at the Romanian Cultural Institute in Stockholm (2011-2016). 

Bige Örer is currently the Director of the Istanbul Biennial and contemporary art projects at Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV). There she directs the artistic vision and programme for the Istanbul Biennial as well as a wide variety of cross disciplinary projects, including the Pavilion of Turkey at the Venice Biennale; learning, residency and public programs.
Participants discuss the different trajectories of the biennale format, from left to right: Bige Örer (on screen), Ioana Leca, Margarita Gonzalez Lorente, Mick Wilson and Henk Slager. (08/06/2022)