The organizers and the international selection committee of the 5th berlin biennial for contemporary art in 2008 are delighted to announce the appointment of Adam Szymczyk, Director of the Kunsthalle Basel, as the curator of the forthcoming berlin biennial.
Adam Szymczyk is a curator and writer who was born in Piotrkow Trybunalski, Poland, in 1970. In 1997, he was one of the founding members of the Foksal Gallery Foundation (FGF) in Warsaw where he organized projects together with Andrzej Przywara and Joanna Mytkowska, both in Warsaw and internationally. In 2003, he was appointed to the Kunsthalle Basel, where he most recently curated the retrospective “Lee Lozano: Win First Don’t Last Win Last Don’t Care” (in association with Van Abbemuseum, Eidhoven) and the group show “Quauhnahuac: The Straight Line Is An Utopia”. He has written extensively about various artists in books, catalogues and art magazines and has been responsible for exhibitions in Poland, Sweden and Switzerland. He is a member of the Program Advisory Board of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, a project launched in 2005.
Established in 1998, the berlin biennial has become a major international event in contemporary art. Located in Berlin, in the midst of the vibrant cultural scene of the fast-changing capital of Germany, the berlin biennial has received an enthusiastic response from the audience as the experimental, forward-looking and context-sensitive show. The four editions of the berlin biennial that have taken place until today, explored a variety of exhibition formats and involved diverse curatorial agendas, including those of the founding director of the berlin biennial, Klaus Biesenbach, with Nancy Spector and Hans-Ulrich Obrist (1st berlin biennial, 1998), Saskia Bos (2nd berlin biennial, 2001), Ute Meta Bauer (3rd berlin biennial, 2004) and the curatorial team of Maurizio Cattelan, Massimiliano Gioni and Ali Subotnick (4th berlin biennial, 2006).
In 2003, the Kulturstiftung des Bundes/German Federal Cultural Foundation designated the berlin biennial as one of the “Beacons of Contemporary Art”. In consequence, the German Federal Cultural Foundation decided to support the two following editions of the berlin biennial from 2003 to 2008, the 4th berlin biennial and the 5th berlin biennial, with a total amount of 2.5 m Euro in order to enable the curators to focus on the content and communication of their project and to secure the much-needed financial stability of the whole event.
The selection committee of the 5th berlin biennial consisted of Chris Dercon, Director of the Haus der Kunst Munich, Charles Esche, Director of the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Chrissie Iles, Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Udo Kittelmann, Director of the Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, and Chus Martínez, Director of the Frankfurter Kunstverein. The organizer of the 5th berlin biennial is KW Institute for Contemporary Art. KW is also one of the berlin biennial’s exhibition venues. Other venues will be announced later.
There will be a press conference held in spring 2007 to introduce Adam Szymczyk and his concept of the 5th berlin biennial to the public and media.
The 5th berlin biennial is funded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes/German Federal Cultural Foundation.