Conversations | Biennial Talk | How is Private Funding Affecting Biennials?
Michelle Grabner, Diana Nawi, Nicolas Bourriaud, and Mark Rappolt
Michelle Grabner, Artist, and Artistic Director, Front International, Cleveland Diana Nawi, Independent Curator, Los Angeles, and Co-Artistic Director, Prospect.5, New Orleans Nicolas Bourriaud, Curator, 2019 Istanbul Biennale, and Director, Montpellier Contemporain, Montpellier Moderated by Mark Rappolt, Editor-in-Chief ArtReview and ArtReview Asia, London
Long considered non-commercial mega-shows, biennials have usually been run with public funds and ambition. Their mission has always been to promote cultural engagement and education, and initially, they were financed by taxes and local investors; major fundraising initiatives or sales of artworks were not required. However, the biennial ecosystem has been hit hard by the accelerated leaning of the artworld towards privatization and commodification, making sales and co-production a necessity. This talk looks at how privatization is affecting curatorial practices at the highest level today and how biennial curators are adapting to this global condition.