Obscuring representation: contemporary art biennials in Dakar and Taipei

Julie Ren
2021 Geographica Helvetica  
Abstract. There has been a proliferation of contemporary art biennials in the past 20 years, especially in cities outside of North America and Europe. What biennials represent to their host cities and what is represented at these events reveal a great deal about the significance of this proliferation. The biennial platform entails formalistic notions of representation with regards to place branding or the selection of artists as emissaries of countries where they were been born, reside, or to
more » ... rn, reside, or to which they have some kind of affinity. This notion of representation is obscured considering the instability of center and periphery, artists' biographies, practices, and references. In contradistinction to the colonial world fair, the biennial thwarts the notion or possibility of "authentic" representation. The analysis incorporates works shown at the 2018 biennials in Dakar and Taipei, interviews with artists, curators, and stakeholders, and materials collected during fieldwork in both cities.
doi:10.5194/gh-76-103-2021 fatcat:6v5t5zgqi5hhnmdsfdrjpg4n64