[-empyre-] welcome to paradise

Renate Ferro rtf9 at cornell.edu
Thu May 3 00:11:56 EST 2012

Christiane,  When Tim and I visited the biennial last summer we were
both intrigued by the fact that the farther (literally territorially)
away from the main center of the Central Pavillion, The Arsenale, and
the Giardini we traveled the work became edgier, more politically
engaged, more interesting from out point of view.  Was that by design
or happenstance I am not sure.  I was particularly in awe with the
Iran pavilion.  Also was curious about that fact that many of the
countries did not entail curators from their home lands but used
"professional" curators enlisted by the bienniale.  Thanks so much for
joining us this month.  Renate

On Tue, May 1, 2012 at 1:44 PM,  <Christiane_Paul at whitney.org> wrote:
> Hi Johannes,
> thanks! I hope I can clarify a bit...
> Johannes wrote:
>> Finally, it puzzled me to no end that no one seems to disagree with Christiane's resigned-sounding point of view :
> Sorry if this came across as "resigned," that certainly wasn't the sentiment behind it. Again, I want to point out that I very much liked the work by the artists from around the world that I saw at The Ungovernables. No reason for resignation. However, I do get the impression that the art we encounter in "international" art exhibitions (e.g. the Biennials and Triennials around the world -- from Venice to New Orleans and Sao Paolo) often "speaks" a common aesthetic language. This is no doubt a generalization -- I also recall seeing work in Venice that constituted a distinct break with the common aesthetic paradigms of the overall exhibition.
> Christiane wrote:
>> ... the "globalized art world" seems to adhere to a largely Western paradigm of artistic expression. I was thinking about this phenomenon when I saw The Ungovernables (http://www.newmuseum.org/exhibitions/448) at The New Museum in NYC. I very much liked a lot of the art (only 3 artists were from the US), but -- the different subjects of the work aside -- most of the artists seemed to have gone to the same "art school" (no matter if they were from Africa or Colombia or ...). It would be great to see more art with a distinctly different aesthetic language from other parts of the world; I would assume that it is precisely this "difference" (visual or conceptual languages that are not easily categorizable) that poses problems for the global art scene. There is a need for more international curatorial voices who could introduce this art.
>> I think there a great deal of work with  distinctly different aesthetic languages from other parts of the world existing and being produced.
> Precisely.
>> Your last sentence, Christiane, is a bit confusing to me, as surely you are not arguing that globalized/international curatorial voices should/could introduce globalized/international art scene art?
> I was arguing that there should be more opportunities for curators from around the world (whose work is not regularly seen) to introduce "work with distinctly different aesthetic languages" from their own cultures (and beyond).
>> When you say "More international curatorial voices" (outside New York), whom do you have in mind?
> First of all, I think of international as bigger than outside New York (my original post referred more to curators from non-Western cultures). There are many curators -- from Asia and Africa -- whose exhibitions and choices I would like to see outside of their country, on an "international" scene. My point being that a Venice Bienniale curated by Raqs Media Collective presumably would look very different from one curated by Francesco Bonami.
> All best,
> Christiane
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Renate Ferro
Visiting Assistant Professor of Art
Cornell University
Department of Art, Tjaden Hall Office #420
Ithaca, NY  14853
Email:   <rtf9 at cornell.edu>
URL:  http://www.renateferro.net
Lab:  http://www.tinkerfactory.net

Managing Co-moderator of -empyre- soft skinned space

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