Among the initiators of the new biennial of contemporary art were the photographers Malick Sidibé, Antoine Tempé and Baudouin Mouanda, the artists Dominique Zinkpé, Aston, Gérard Quenum and William Wilson and the writer Florent Couao-Zotti. Aim of the initiative is to promote and make dynamic the artistic scene of Benin by connecting it to the international practices and networks.
In 2012, the project becomes a biennial coordinated by the Consortium, a federation of local associations. The international exhibition and artistic program of the 2012 Biennale Benin “Inventer le monde” is curated by Abdellah Karroum and the Curatorial Delegation.
The programme of the biennial includes an international exhibition and several special projects in cooperation with cultural structures and local and international associations. The artistic project of Biennale Benin 2012 is entitled “Inventer le monde” and asks for the notion of “the artist as citizen”, his implication and projection in the city, the world, the memory. The project is in the first place inspired by the artists living in Benin, a country traditionally known for the production of wooden sculptures.
The international exhibition of the Benin Biennale will take place in dialogue with local artistic initiatives in the four cities Cotonou, Oidah, Abomey and Porto-Novo.
Abdellah Karroum (born 1970, Morocco) works as an independent art researcher, publisher and curator. He is the founder and artistic director of several art projects: ‘L’appartement 22’, an experimental space for encounters, exhibitions and artists’ residencies founded in 2002 in Rabat, Morocco; the ‘Le Bout Du Monde’ art expeditions to different locations undertaken since 2000 together with artists; and the ‘éditions hors’champs’ art publications that have been published since 1999 and Radioapartment22, an experimental online radio.
In 2007, Karroum served as a Member of the Golden Lion Jury in the Biennale of Venice. Karroum is also Member of the Prince Pierre Monaco Foundation’s Artistic Council for its International Prize of Contemporary Art. His research is funded in part by the Prince Claus Fund (Amsterdam) and the Clark Art Institute (Williamstown, MA). He is the curator of “Working for Change” proposal for a Moroccan Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale 2011. Karroum is Associate Curator for La Triennale of Paris 2012.