The ICF (international Curators Forum) & The European Biennial Network
Liverpool Biennial 2008
The European Biennial Network was initiated with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union, the Biennial Exchange and Residency Programme: a two-year cycle of workshops, residency and traineeship programmes, research visits, and networking events. These activities were designed to reflect the diversity of different approaches to contemporary art, and to create opportunities for research, exchange of ideas, and creative partnerships. The Liverpool Biennial is the UK's largest festival of contemporary visual art. Established in 1998. Since its inception, this international exhibition had commissioned well over 100 new works, many for the streets and public spaces of Liverpool, by established contemporary artists from around the world.
European Biennial Network & The International Curators Forum.
Was it appropriate on the opening day of Liverpool Biennial to look at the long-term results of biennials? Or was the primary role of biennials to provide a short-term injection into the bloodstream of art and city.
Can they do both? Since the expansion and proliferation of biennials in the 1990s, could we begin to detect accumulative benefits within their local arts ecologies? If so, why does criticism focus mainly upon the reception of authored curatorial strategies in an ever-expanding global art world?
This debate brought a number of European biennials together to focus the spotlight behind the scene and look at different approaches of biennials to connect curatorial models with the cultural infrastructure in their cities. An expert panel of invited international curators, artists, commissioners and writers represented those responsible for the organisation of the biennials.
Chaired by Paul O'Neill, Research Fellow Situations, University of the West of England; with Kerstin Bergendal, artist, and author of Kunstplan Trekoner; Paul Domela, Programme Director Liverpool Biennial; Annie Fletcher, curator van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven; Bige Orer, Director Istanbul Biennial; Renate Wagner, Berlin Biennale; Augustine Zenakos, founder and co-director Athens Biennial; and others and Jan Verwoert, contributing editor at Frieze.
Images: © Julia Waugh
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