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The Municipal Foundation of the Cuenca Biennial, directed by artist and curator Katya Cazar, inaugurated the presential event of its 15th edition on 10th December 2021.
The current Cuenca Biennial presents for the first time an exhibition project that seeks a change in the model, committing to a more sustainable edition through the curatorial thesis "Biennial of the Biocene: Change the Green to Blue" by Spanish curator Blanca De La Torre. Her concept is a powerful approach that tackles issues linked to the climate and eco-social crisis, and it is based on the blue of water and air to leave behind practices of false commitment, known as 'greenwashing'. The curatorship unfolds around three main axes: Ancestral Knowledge, Ecofeminisms and Futurible Scenarios.
The 15th edition of the Cuenca Biennial is structured in a complex moment in time, due to the abnormality of living in times of pandemic. It is also a temporal and spatial space where uncertainty prevails, generating a particularly difficult and simultaneously challenging atmosphere.
In the midst of this global scenario, the Cuenca Biennial builds an edition under a female leadership and curatorship, establishing some determinant actions, namely producing a sustainable biennial that gives rise to a profound change in what represents the productive matrix of a biennial as a pre-established format, which causes another challenge at the time of its staging, because it determines a local production that energizes an important dialogue between artists, artisans and various professionals who supported the development of the creative ideas of the artists. On the other hand, this Biennial ships only 5% of the works from abroad, in order to have the least possible impact on the carbon footprint. The curatorial narrative has been sensitive to current times, proposing works that speak of the Biocene and are linked to the key curatorial axes of this proposal: Ancestral Knowledge, Ecofeminisms and Futurible Scenarios. The production is accompanied by a strategy that reviews the history of the Biennial and proposes a greater presence of women artists in coordination with a curatorship that is aware of this problem, making possible a greater representation of the female artists and their works.
The Biennial unfolds in nine venues which are architectural heritage and museum spaces in the historic center. It is an edition that is easy to navigate and that, from its pre-production, is accompanied by a sensitive project in all areas. Its educational project establishes bridges with the different audiences. Everything in this biennial is built with care in the gearing of its different phases, not only within the team but also with the nearby community, with institutions, companies and cooperatives that have fundamentally supported the work of the artists. The premise has been to be a sensitive biennial that narrates the times that we live in, knowing that art weaves the links, those alternative and possible ways, in these states of crisis of the world and of humanity.
Last but not least, this edition -in compliance with the regulations that govern the Biennial- recovers the concept of Prizes, expanding one of the Biennial's fundamental objectives, which is to foster thought, recover memory, build and preserve heritage.
© Fotos: Courtesy Fundación Municipal Bienal de Cuenca