Can a biennale be a biennale in a state that is not a state? In a place that is so overwhelmed with visual realities? What if this idea can be understood as an artwork itself, leaving room to speculate on its own conception, validity and continuity? These are just a few of the questions posed by the 3rd Riwaq Biennale, which forms itself first and foremost around a conceptual art project introduced by the artist Khalil Rabah. The name, starting point and aim of the 3rd Riwaq Biennale are taken from the Ramallah-based NGO Riwaq – an organization that works on the protection and rehabilitation of Palestinian cultural heritage. Advancing the aims of this organisation has been the starting point of all editions of the Biennale and the Palestinian section. As a journey between locations, the 3rd Riwaq Biennale does not feature any large-scale, central exhibitions, but consists of a series of trails, curated conversations and interactions in fragmented and disparate locations, reflecting on and moving through the fractured territory of Palestine. A deliberate confluence of geographies, contexts and authorities, the 3rd Riwaq Biennale has the possibility to metamorphose in Palestine into a kind of ‘living art’ – an art that does not necessarily add to the environment but calls upon it as it is, reflecting a geography that we can never take for granted.
Biennale Curators: Charles Esche, Reem Fadda. Biennale Coordinator: Carol Michael. Biennale Director: Khalil Rabah. From 12 – 16 October 2009.