On September 23, the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art opens its fourth edition. Titled “Rewriting Worlds,’‘ the Biennale will run until October 30. The main exhibition features 64 individual artists and 16 groups of artists from 33 countries, and is curated by Peter Weibel, director of the ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany. As in previous editions, Joseph Backstein, is the commissioner.
The main project will be located at two venues – the ARTPLAY Design Center, and the TSUM Art Foundation, both in central Moscow. There will also be 6 special guests: Semyon Faibisovich, William Kentridge, Bertrand Planes, Jannis Kunellis, Irina Nakhova, as well as 69 special projects and parallel programs at different venues. The Biennale expands its geographic boundaries beyond Moscow, with special projects planned in Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Kiev, and London.
The Moscow Biennale is Russia’s most prestigious contemporary art event. It is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, Moscow city government, ROSIZO State Museum and Exhibition Center, and the Moscow Biennale Art Foundation.
“Peter Weibel is a specialist in new media,’‘ said commissioner Joseph Backstein. “Unlike the contents and style of the main project of the Third Biennale, this year’s exhibition will show different approaches to how media can be used in the contemporary artistic process, as well as types of art that are deliberately critical of the role of technology and media in the life of modern civilization.”
“Rewriting Worlds” proclaims that art is a sphere where new things are unceasingly generated, and contemporary artists rewrite the world as it exists around them by conveying new ideas and viewpoints in their work. Peter Weibel believes the exhibition’s main goal is “to demonstrate different levels of artistic thought – technological, political and psychological.”
Toward this goal, Peter Weibel has invited the following artists to exhibit in the main project: Kader Attia, Chen Chieh-jen, EVOL, Claire Fontaine, Susan Hiller, Rebecca Horn, Manabu Ikeda, Shilpa Gupta, Armin Linke, Fabian Marcaccio, Neo Rauch, Rosangela Renno, Timo Toots, Ai Weiwei, Guido Van der Werve, and many others.
Ai Weiwei will exhibit his video, “Beijing: The Second Ring,’‘ (2005). This artwork documents the two opposite views of traffic flow on the 33 bridges along Beijing’s Second Ring Road. The artist films each side (direction) of each bridge for 1 minute, which means 2 minutes for each bridge.
Shilpa Gupta will show her video, “Shadow 2.’‘ As the viewer walks in front of the projection, his/her silhouette is integrated with the narrative in the projection. Waves are created and windows triggered open which bring in street and religious sounds from different part of the world, birds fly over, and within, a child dances, and houses fall.
Thomas Feuerstein will show his sculpture, “Manifesto” (2009), in which a large hand made of wood responds to changes of prices on the stock exchange. The change in stock prices of major insurance companies such as Münchner Rück, Swiss Re, and Lloyd’s sets the hand in motion following the information on the wall. Data from the stock exchange (a real “performance” of insurance companies) is collected through the real-time computer server in the form of a container ship.
Internationally renowned artist, Rebecca Horn, will also attend the Biennale, with Russian premiere of her film, “Moon Mirror Journey,’‘ (2011).
“We won’t exclude any form of artistic expression,’‘ Peter Weibel says “That is exactly what I wanted to talk about – ‘justice to all media’. We do not reject painting, nor do we reject new media technology. The Biennale will show painting but in a rather uncommon form. The Biennale will be an exhibition where all techniques are given fair and equal treatment – new media as well as objects, sculptures and installations.’‘
Russian artists will be out in force, including works by the Blue Soup group, Electroboutique group, Learning Film group, as well as artists Valery Chtak, Alina Gutkina, Olga Kisseleva, Taisiya Korotkova, Taus Makhacheva, Yelena Yelagina and Igor Makarevich and others.