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Berlin, Germany

27 April - 1 July 2012

Curator: Artur Żmijewski

Associate Curators:
Voina, Joanna Warsza

Forget Fear

The 7th edition of the Berlin Biennale takes place from 27 April - 1 July 2012, and is curated by Artur Żmijewski together with Joanna Warsza and Voina art collective, as associate curators.

Visual artist Artur Żmijewski, born in 1966 in Warsaw (Poland), works almost exclusively with the media of photography and film. He is particularly interested in the power of art and its relation to politics. From an almost anthropological viewpoint he investigates social norms, morality and representations of power in today’s society and the effects that art have on it.

Artur Żmijewski was elected by an internationl committee integrated by: Jacob Fabricius, Malmö Konsthall; Bartomeu Mari, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona; Matthias Mühling, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus and Kunstbau München, Munich; Joanna Mytkowska, The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw; and Hoor Al Qasimi, Sharjah Biennial.

In his manifesto The Applied Social Arts, Artur Żmijewski developed his distinct position on social activism, which also forms the point of departure for the 7th Berlin Biennale: "Does contemporary art have any visible social impact? Can the effects of an artist’s work be seen and verified? Does art have any political significance – besides serving as a whipping boy for various populists? Is it possible to engage in a discussion with art – and is it worth doing so? Most of all, why are questions of this kind viewed as a blow against the very essence of art?"

In preparation of the 7th Berlin Biennale, within the framework of an Open Call, artists were invited to submit their material and political statements. By the deadline, more than 6,000 entries from all over the world had been received. In response, all those who sent materials are invited to become artists of the digital venue of the Berlin Biennale. Together with Berlin-based media activist and writer Pit Schultz the Biennale has developed ArtWiki, a digital art library based on the model of Wikipedia, which is a sustainable project that will continue into the future.

P/Act for Art: Berlin Biennale Newspaper

For this newspaper, an initiative of the 7th Berlin Biennale and its curator Artur Żmijewski, statements were solicited from various actors from the field of culture, and requested opinions regarding the current state of cultural policy in Berlin. An additional objective is proposing a pact to be negotiated anew with commitments for all those involved as a productive solution. P/Act for Art: Berlin Biennale Zeitung is distributed for free.

(From press information)

Organizer, contact:

Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art
Auguststrasse 69
D-10117 Berlin
Website / Email

Director: Gabriele Horn

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