Conference alongside the 9th Bucharest Biennale: Contemporary Art Biennials – Our Hegemonic Machines in States of Emergency

Image: Delia Popa, Cautious Mouse Holding the World, (after Atlas Holding Up a Celestial Map, 17th century, A. Quellinus), 2020. Linocut print on printmaking paper, 33/47 cm.

Online event
27–28 June 2020, each day with a full programme from 9.30am to 6pm.
You can find a detailed schedule here.

The online conference alongside 9th Bucharest Biennale is supported by Goethe Institut, The Suisse Arts Council ProHelvetia and Zurich University of the Arts (www.zhdk.ch).

Registration process
The conference will be held online via Zoom. Please register by sending an e-mail with your name to info@on-curating.org Once registered, an e-mail invitation will be sent to you closer to the conference with further details.

Speakers
Nora Sternfeld (Documenta Professor)
Farid Rakun (Ruangrupa, Documenta fifteen)
Roma Jam Session art Kollektiv
Beat Wyss (Art Historian)
Mirjam Varadinis (Kunsthaus Zürich, Manifesta Palermo)
Oliver Marchart (political theorist)
Ekaterina Degot (Steirischer Herbst)
Shwetal Patel (The Kochi — Muziris Biennale)
Yung Ma (11th Seoul Mediacity Biennale)
Vasyl Cherepanyn (Head of the Visual Culture Research Center / Kyiv Biennial)
Iona Leca (Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art)
Farah Wardani (Jakarta Biennale)
Patrick Flores (Singapore Biennale 2019)
Răzvan Ion (Spinnwerk Vienna & Bucharest Biennale)
Martin Guinard (Taipei Biennale)

Organised by Prof Dr Dorothee Richter (Head of PhD in Practice in Curating, University of Reading/ Zurich University of the Arts) and Ronald Kolb, Scientific researcher PhD in Practice in Curating). Respondents to the speakers are PhD Candidates of the PhD in Practice in Curating (University of Reading/ Zurich University of the Arts) and students of the MAS in Curating.

Schedule (all times are in CEST)

27 June 2020
09:50    Artistic Intervention by Delia Popa
10:00    Introduction (with Henk Slager / BB9)
10:30    Oliver Marchart (Political theorist)
11:00    Discussion
11:30    Farid Rakun (Ruangrupa, Documenta fifteen) & Farah Wardani (Jakarta 
               Biennale)
12:00    Discussion
12:30    Nora Sternfeld (Documenta Professor)
13:00    Discussion
13:20    Artistic Intervention by Delia Popa

14:30    Ioana Leca (Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art)
15:00    Discussion
15:20    Vasyl Cherepanyn (Head of the Visual Culture Research Center / Kyiv   
               Biennial)
15:50    Discussion
16:10    Martin Guinard (Taipei Biennale)
16:40    Discussion
17:00    Open Forum
17:30    Artistic Intervention by Diana Dulgheru


28 June 2020
10:00    History Bucharest Biennale by Răzvan Ion (Spinnwerk Vienna & Bucharest    
               Biennale)
10:30    Beat Wyss (Art Historian)
11:00    Discussion
11:30    Patrick D. Flores (Singapore Biennale 2019)
12:00    Discussion
12:30    Ekaterina Degot (Steirischer Herbst)
13:00    Discussion
13:20    Artistic intervention by Detox Dance Roma Jam Session

14:30    Yung Ma (11th Seoul Mediacity Biennale)
15:00    Discussion
15:20    Mirjam Varadinis (Kunsthaus Zürich, Manifesta Palermo)
15:50    Discussion
16:10    Shwetal Patel (The Kochi—Muziris Biennale)
16:40    Discussion
17:00    Open Forum
17:30    Artistic Intervention by Diana Dulgheru

An OnCurating Issue will be published alongside the conference with the same name at the 9th Bucharest Biennale (27–28 June 2020), directed by Henk Slager. Speakers of the conference will contribute with significant articles, and will be added by a wide array of writers, critics, art historians, curators and artists, who submitted their texts through an Open Call. The Open Call was occupied with the development of innovative research in the field of international biennials. The issue is co-edited by Dorothee Richter, Ronald Kolb, Shwetal A. Patel.

Abstract
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.

About ZHdK
The ZHdK is one of the leading art academies in Europe. The study and research program includes design, film, fine arts, music, dance, theater, transdisciplinarity and mediation. It belongs to the Zurich University of Applied Sciences ZFH and is a state university with its own legal personality.

University of Reading (UK) 
The University of Reading is one of the high ranked universities of the UK. Reading School of Art at the University of Reading in collaboration with the ZHdK is offering a new doctoral program for research in curatorial and/or artistic practice. The new PhD programme specializes in offering established curators, artists, art critics and designers from all disciplines the critical framework to focus on specific curatorial and cultural research topics in order to earn a Doctorate from the University of Reading through a combined theoretical and practical approach.
 
About PhD in Practice in Curating at ZHdK
The PhD in Practice in Curating is a, Practice-Based Doctoral Programme. The programme is a cooperation between Reading School of Art at the University of Reading with the Postgraduate Programme in Curating at the Department of Cultural Analysis, Zurich University of the Arts ZHdK.

PHD in Practice in Curating, cooperation of ZHDK and University of Reading, supported by swissuniversities, Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK)

OnCurating.org

Kontakt
Prof. Dr. Dorothee Richter
PHD in Practice in Curating, DKV
Zurich University of the Arts
dorothee.richter@zhdk.ch 
University of Reading
d.i.richter@reading.ac.uk

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