2008 Taipei Biennial


The 6th Taipei Biennial, like our lives, is uncertain, fragmented and fragile. The project does not have a single theme, but a constellation of correlated themes, most of which address the chaotic states of things in this time of globalization. The exhibition engages with the city of Taipei in various ways. It does not only take place in the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, but also exists in a range of urban spaces. There will be performative works and interventions in the city, some of which will be documented and reconfigured in the exhibition venues. These venues will include the Beer Brewery, a site that has been through an extended process of transformation from its inauguration as Taiwan’s first beer factory (a production and distribution site built during the Japanese occupation), to a state monopoly that involved privatization and re-branding and finally to its relocation outside of the city center. While the factory’s history can be read as a classic example of shifting sta tes of use in any post-industrialized city in the world, the exhibition is interested in seeking the nuances and specificities found within the general. The brewery’s daily operation will continue during the exhibition run, and its space will be utilized as a real place rather than an insular exhibition zone. In addition, the curators plan to employ a number of advertising boards in the city, spreading the biennial throughout different neighborhoods and bringing the project into view when least expected.

The biennial does not only refer to the physical site of the museum, where the art of the day turns to and reflects on, but also to other spaces, mental sites where discussions pertaining to globalization and its discontents, the states of things and the opportunities of change are at the core of daily life. It is here that the impacts and import of globalization in Taipei, the transformations that effect the mobility of people and the current conditions of labor are felt, and it is these spaces that artists learn from, feed-back into and to which their practice responds to. While art does not provide answers, it has the capacity to reflect on these issues from multiple angles, to work with different forms of enquiry and determine when to focus on individual moments. As with the approach of the biennial, no story is infinitely singular. A story in Taipei for example will link to many other places in Asia and the globe. Hence, the exhibition focuses on issues such as globalization and its resistances, the neo-liberal habitat, mobility, borders, divided states and micro-nations, urban transformations, informal economies, politics, and conditions of war. Each area of focus is associated with many other questions, for example, the mobility of a tourist, a temporary worker or a foreign bride are certainly not the same, not even similar. Towards this end, the biennial has been commissioning as many new works as possible, or asking the artists to rethink and adapt previous projects in the light of their presentation in Taipei. There will also be existing works juxtaposed against the new ones. The exhibition will have thematic compilations and farcical and biting videos. By means of these projects the curators and artists will explore the diverse opportunities that this biennial is capable of creating and responding to.

Curators: Manray Hsu, Vasif Kortun
Organizer: Taipei Fine Arts Museum

Participating artists [to be extended] (as of March 30, 2008)

Lara Almárcegui, Yochai Avrahami, Matei Bejenaru, Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkacova, Democracia, Didier Fiuza Faustino, Mieke Gerritzen, Shaun Gladwell, Nicoline van Harskamp Irwin, Oliver Ressler & Zanny Begg, Mario Rizzi, Katya Sander, Saso Sedlacek, Superflex, Bert Theis, Tsui Kuang Yu, Nasan Tur, Wong Hoy Cheong, Wu Mali


Taipei Fine Arts Museum
181, Zhong Shan N. Road, Sec. 3, Taipei 10461, Taiwan
tel +886 2 2595 7656 fax +886 2 2585 1886

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