Biennale Lectures

The Biennale Lectures will be held in cooperation with the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in the runup to the Austrian contribution to the Biennale Arte 2019. The series, cocurated by Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein and Andreas Spiegl, aims to make the Biennale itself the subject of discussion as both a significant and controversial institution. It will feature talks by academics and artists.

The series kicks off in autumn with a conversation with Ralph Rugoff, the Artistic Director of the Biennale Arte 2019.

The Austrian contribution to the Biennale Arte implicitly combines three art- and cultural-political issues. Each of them will be the subject of a Biennale Lecture.

  1. Art and the Artificial Boundaries of National Concepts of Culture

    The exhibition pavilions of individual nations convey both the international positioning of the Biennale and the segmentation into national representations of art. The current return of nationalistic cultural policies once again calls attention to the history of the kinds of national differentiation that have become historically manifest in the Biennale’s installment of national pavilions. How and where are the lines drawn between contemporary concepts of art and the ideas of national cultures? What distinguishes universalist or cosmopolitan perspectives from “inter-national” ones or democratic concepts of culture from the construction of national cultures?

  2. Aesthetics of Risk

    The history of feminist art is inextricably linked with an aesthetics of risk. The critique of prevailing role ideals has been and still is a practice of challenging and breaking with the role of normative social ideas. What distinguishes feminist art and criticism is a persevering readiness to approach the means and goals of the respective critique itself in a critical manner and thus to risk running counter to the normative tendencies within one’s own concepts. How are sociopolitical objection and the risk of contradiction related to the divergences and differences that are connected to the history of feminist art and critique?

  3. Politics of the Temporary

    The rhythm of the Biennales and the exhibitions’ limited duration are directly related to a politics of the temporary. However, the exhibitions’ questions and themes inevitably go beyond the time limits of the (temporary) presentation. What boundaries delineate the periods of exhibitions in relation to the concepts of time that are expressed in the artistic works and practices? How heterogeneous and heterochronic are their temporalstes?


Details about dates and venues will be updated regularly.

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