8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, 2014
Press release #1
Juan A. Gaitán appointed Curator
KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin is delighted to announce the appointment of Juan A. Gaitán as curator of the 8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art. The 8th Berlin Biennale will take place in spring 2014.
Juan A. Gaitán (Canada/Colombia) is an independent writer and curator, currently based in Mexico City and Berlin. He is trained as an artist and art historian at University of British Columbia and Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver (Canada). Between January 2009 and December 2011, he was curator at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam (The Netherlands), and between September 2011 and June 2012 adjunct professor in the Curatorial Practice Program at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco (USA). During the 2006 – 2008 period, he was on the Board of Directors of the Western Front Society, and worked as external curator at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery in Vancouver. His writings have been published in several journals, including Afterall, Arte al Dia, Art Nexus, Canadian Art, The Exhibitionist, Fillip, and Mousse. His most recent exhibition, Material Information, spans three venues in Bergen (Norway), and looks for a renewed critical approach to the contemporary global distribution of labor from the perspective of arts and crafts. He is presently member of the acquisitions committee at FRAC Nord-Pas de Calais in Dunquerke (France).
The Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art is since its fourth edition one of the institutions supported by the German Federal Cultural Foundation as „outstanding cultural event“. The support of 2.5 Million Euros per edition ensures planning stability, enabling the organizers to address issues of content in an experimental way.
Since the first edition in 1998, the Berlin Biennale has become a major international event for contemporary art. Located in the midst of Berlin’s vibrant cultural scene in the fast-changing capital of Germany, the Berlin Biennale has received an enthusiastic response from the audience as an experimental, forward-looking and contextual show. The previous seven editions of the Berlin Biennale explored a variety of exhibition formats and involved diverse curatorial agendas.
Curators have been:
1st Berlin Biennale (1998): Klaus Biesenbach with Nancy Spector, and Hans Ulrich Obrist
2nd Berlin Biennale (2001): Saskia Bos
3rd Berlin Biennale (2004): Ute Meta Bauer
4th Berlin Biennale (2006): Maurizio Cattelan, Massimiliano Gioni, and Ali Subotnick
5th Berlin Biennale (2008): Adam Szymczyk and Elena Filipovic
6th Berlin Biennale (2010): Kathrin Rhomberg
7th Berlin Biennale (2012): Artur ?mijewski together with associate curators Voina and Joanna Warsza
The selection committee for the curatorship of the 8th Berlin Biennale consisted of Sergio Edelsztein (Director and Chief Curator, The Centre for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv); Cao Fei (Artist, Bejing), Susanne Gaensheimer (Director, MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt a. M.), Koyo Kouoh (Founding Director and Artistic Director, Raw Material Company - Center for Art, Knowledge and Society, Dakar), Matthias Mühling (Head of Department, Curator, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich), Bisi Silva (Director and Founder, Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos), and Patricia Sloane (Associate Curator, MUAC Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo and advisor to the Head of Visual Arts, UNAM Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City).
The Berlin Biennale is realized by KW Institute for Contemporary Art and funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.