Monday, June 2, 2008

Mapping the European Biennial Network Conference

Sunday, June 1st, 2008, Athens
@ B & M Theocharakis Foundation for the Fine Arts and Music
organized by the Athens Biennial

Augustine Zenakos, Co-Director, Athens Biennial, and Project Manager, Biennial Exchange and Residency Programme
Did you know of the European Biennial Network?

How about its members? Well, here they are: Athens Biennial, berlin biennial, Göteborg Biennial, Istanbul Biennial, Manifesta, Liverpool Biennial, Lyon Biennial, Periferic Biennial (Iasi, Romania), Tirana Biennial and Venice Biennial.

Apparently, the European Biennial Network is a collaborative structure 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.

Also, the European Biennial Network has initiated the BERP (Biennial Exchange and Residency Program), a two-year cycle of activities co-funded by the European Commission, that includes workshops, research visits, traineeship programs for art professionals, artist residencies, etc

The participants of the conference took part in a closed workshop the previous day, the results of which were presented at the conference. This is the first public presentation of the European Biennial Network.
It was an introductory presentation within a supportive, friendly and comforting setting.

A discussion regarding the pros and cons of such a network has yet to take place.
It’s always disappointing seeing less than 10 artists at a conference in Athens and especially when the guest speakers are of this caliber. Other than that, during intermission, some orange juice and a cookie of sort should be offered to the attendees of a 10 am to 5 pm conference.

Overall it partly satisfied my geeky nature on a 96 degree Sunday.
Berlin Biennial: Maike Cruse, Communication and Press & Renate Wagner, Coordination office
& Istanbul Biennial:
 Maya Ersan, Exhibition Management
Lyon Biennial:
 Frederique Gautier, Artistic Coordination with Liverpool Biennial: Antony Pickthall, Head of Marketing & Communications
& Despoina Sevasti: International Projects Coordination, Athens Biennia

"Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk? - Visibility and research, can they go together?": Cush Martinez, Director, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, and Chief Curator, MACBA; "The biennial and art as norm":
 Lars Bang Larsen, independent writer and curator
& "Networked Cultures and the Politics of Connectivity": Peter Mörtenböck, Professor of 
Visual Culture, Vienna University of Technology, and Visiting Fellow, Goldsmiths College, London
 & Helge Mooshammer, Research Fellow, International Research Center for Cultural Studies, Vienna, and Visiting Tutor, Visual Culture Department, Goldsmiths College, London

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