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Biennial Foundation’s Deputy Director Rafal Niemojewski speaking at The Art Society in Brussels, Belgium, on 26 January, 2015.

“Contemporary Biennials: a Global Perspective”.

A lecture by Dr. Rafal Niemojewski, Deputy Director of the Biennial Foundation.


7:00 p.m.       Conference “Contemporary Biennials, a Global Perspective” (in English)

8:30 p.m.       Question time
9:00 p.m.       Walking dinner

Venue: ING auditorium Marnix
Rue du Trône
11000 Brussels

Title of the Lecture:
“Understanding the Phenomenon of Contemporary Biennials: a Global Perspective”.

There are few transitions in the contemporary art world over the past quarter century, that have made an impact comparable to the proliferation of large-scale international recurrent exhibitions, commonly referred to as biennials.

Since the mid- 1980s they have been instrumental in the most effervescent debates in contemporary art and theory, in particular those surrounding cultural globalisation, postcolonialism and postmodernism, and encouraged the progressive absorption into the discourse of contemporary art of vocabulary and concepts borrowed from a variety of disciplines, including the humanities, but also the social and political sciences, economics, urban studies.

These exhibitions are also said to have provided increased visibility for certain types of avant-garde art practices, notably those that are socially and politically committed, research-based, site-specific and community-based, that might have had difficulty finding a place in the context of a museum or commercial gallery.

Simultaneously they have privileged the display of certain media, including installation and video. Intersecting new and existing networks, biennials have been responsible for substantially reshaping the contemporary art world, whose calendar revolves around them at least as much as it does around art fairs and exhibitions in the major museums.

The Art Society in Brussels is a members’ organisation for amateurs and collectors of contemporary art, an exchange platform for meeting likeminded people and discussing each other’s interests. 

The Art Society
Avenue Marnixlaan 24
BE ● 1000 Brussels
T: +32 2 547 3195

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