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Oct 2021

Perennial Biennial is Searching for Local Biennial Discourse for Upcoming Publication

The Perennial Biennial is a partnership of five European contemporary art biennials working together to develop and explore sustainable models for perennial practices in the biennial field. The project runs as a year-round collaboration between Liverpool Biennial, Berlin Biennial, RIBOCA, MGLC and Bergen Assembly. Initiated in September 2018, it runs until September 2022 and is supported by Creative Europe, the European Union's programme
to support the cultural, creative and audio-visual sectors.

The Perennial Biennial is currently working on a new publication engaging with the biennial format as it is encountered, engaged with, and critiqued in its local context. We are reaching out to biennials, artists, collaborators and others for existing texts written in response to biennials in their local context, and specifically published outside of the international biennial discourse.

Working from the proposition that the urgencies, responses and discussions that we see around biennials locally are significantly different to the ones we find in the international biennial discourse, we believe that there is much potential learning to be gained from lifting these debates up to an international platform.

We are searching for articles, opinion pieces and debates that have been ongoing in the local press around biennials - historical as well as contemporary. We hope to collect a wide range of formats about different contexts and types of biennials, in different languages and from across the world. The texts will be brought together in a digital publication due to come out Summer 2022.

All proposed texts must be submitted to by midnight October 24, 2021. Please send a short paragraph, of maximum 500 words, explaining the significance of the text or debate as well as a copy of the text in question, preferably in a format that allows text recognition.
Selected texts will be professionally translated, and we will additionally commission a contextualizing short introduction by the person nominating. The nomination and introduction of selected texts will be remunerated with a fee of 400 Euro and the rights of original text will be cleared on a case-by-case basis. We aim to respond to all submissions by December 2021.

The project supports research, writing and the formulation of new narratives in the biennial field through collaborative working, staff exchanges and the sharing of expertise and models for sustainable practice. Its aim is to create a dynamic European platform of exchange which will strengthen the contemporary art sector at global, European and local level.

Sept 2021

Publication: KW, a history

“It was quiet on Auguststraße, and in the rest of Berlin-Mitte, this area of the former metropolis whose buildings with their bullet-pocked facades had been left to decay for more than four decades since the war. The West had not yet moved eastwards: too dilapidated, too dirty, too dark, poor infrastructure, no telephones, pre-digital, unresolved ownership, the acrid smell of brown coal in the air. Few of the local residents remained. Even before the Wall fell, this neighborhood had been sparsely populated and now many had hurriedly relocated to the West, often leaving all their belongings behind. One sunny afternoon in spring, the five of us stood for the first time in the courtyard of the former margarine factory, most recently home to VEB Elektromontage: 2400 square meters of floor space, ruinous, contaminated, listed, and state-owned. We signed up.”

Alexandra Binswanger in: KW, a History

KUNST-WERKE BERLIN e. V., the supporting association of KW Institute for Contemporary Art and the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021. Released on occasion of the anniversary, the first comprehensive publication about KUNST-WERKE BERLIN e. V. is the fruit of KW fellow Jenny Dirksen’s extensive research into the organization’s history. It presents selections from the sizable archive of KW and the Berlin Biennale and unfurls a polyphonic institutional history on 496 pages, with essays by Klaus Biesenbach, Jenny Dirksen, Susanne von Falkenhausen, and Jan Verwoert, and a detailed timeline with short texts by Eva Scharrer, an exhibition list, photographs, posters, invitation cards, press responses, and recollections of contemporary observers, friends, and associates from three decades.

Edited by Klaus Biesenbach, Jenny Dirksen, Krist Gruijthuijsen, Gabriele Horn / KW Institute for Contemporary Art
20 × 27 cm, 496 pages, numerous color and b/w images, softcover with dust jacket
ISBN 978-3-95476-372-6
September 2021


Mar 2021

Kader Attia, photo: F. Anthea Schaap

Kader Attia appointed as curator of the 12th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art

The Berlin Biennale is pleased to begin preparations for the 12th edition with the curatorship announcement. The 12th Berlin Biennale will take place in 2022.

For over two decades, Kader Attia has worked with the concept of “repair” in his artistic practice. It allows him to investigate the dialectic between destruction and repair, in which repair is understood as a way of cultural resistance as well as a means for a society or a subject to reappropriate their history and identity. Raised in Paris and Algeria, Kader Attia studied philosophy and art in Paris and Barcelona; today he lives and works in Berlin and Paris. In 2016, Kader Attia founded La Colonie in Paris’ 10th arrondissement as a space for the exchange of ideas and discussions focusing on decolonization, not only of people but also of knowledge, attitudes, and practices. Driven by the urgency of social and cultural reparation, it aims to reunite what has drifted apart or been broken. Since March 2020, La Colonie has been closed to the public due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In July 2021, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin hosts the fourth part of a conference series initiated by Kader Attia, Ana Teixeira Pinto, and Giovanna Zapperi entitled The White West.

Gabriele Horn, director of the Berlin Biennale, and the team warmly welcome Kader Attia.

The international selection committee for the curatorship of the upcoming Berlin Biennale included: Yael Bartana (artist, Amsterdam, NL, and Berlin, DE), Beatrice von Bismarck (professor of art history and visual culture at Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst / Academy of Fine Arts, Leipzig, DE), Anita Dube (artist and independent curator, Greater Noida, IN), Krist Gruijthuijsen (director of KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin), Sohrab Mohebbi (Kathe and Jim Patrinos Curator of the 58th Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, US), Gabi Ngcobo (artist, educator, and independent curator, Johannesburg, ZA), and Gabriela Rangel (writer and director at Fundación Malba – Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, AR).