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Biennales and Festivals in the South

Strategies and Aims. Round tables, 4 Dic. 2011

When applied to art, the concept of globalisation presupposes equality in cultural exchanges, in the promotion, dissemination and communication of art. This is the aim of major events like the Biennales in Venice, Lyon, Berlin, Basel Art Fair, or Documenta and countless others which are just as prestigious. Alongside these institutions, countries in Africa, the Middle East or South America are organising similar events that still occupy a secondary position compared to such Western models for several reasons: the insufficiency of financial or material means, the professional dependance on European models, the powerlessness to confront the dictatorship of the world (Western) art markets as well as its aesthetic orientation... and many others which can't all be enumerated here.

This state of affairs generates numerous questions posed to all the countries in these regions and fuels local debates about strategies, aims and the validity/efficiency of such events within the current international artistic cartography.

In the context of a convivial debate, we propose to discuss aspects of the questions raised when faced with aims that create a material and ideological dependancy and, as a consequence, interrogations about the rationale of these events and their aesthetic limits.

In this light, we are inviting the speakers to explore the following topics:

- Place and role of biennales in the South within the international artistic cartography

- The issues behind Western sponsorship of biennales and festivals in the South

- The identity of biennales and festivals in the South

- Dissemination and promotion of international artistic production: an unequal exchange?

Round tables, 4 December 2011
Galerie Mohamed Racim
7, Avenue Pasteur
al Jazāʼir, Algiers

1st Session:
Biennials and festivals of the south in the mapping of international contemporary art: unequal exchange?


Rachida Triki
Philosopher, independent curator, art critic; Tunis, Tunisia.

Bartomeu Mari
Curator, director of the Museu d’art Contemporani de Barcelona; Spain.

Moderator: Nadira Laggoune
Curator of the FIAC and the MAMA; Algiers.


Patricia Binder
Artist, curator, publisher of Universes in Universe - Worlds of Art; Berlin, Germany.

Gerhard Haupt
Art historian, critic, curator, publisher of Universes in Universe - Worlds of Art; Berlin, Germany.

Abdellah Karroum
Independent curator, researcher; Rabat, Morocco, and Paris, France.

Moderator: Nadira Laggoune

2nd Session:
Western sponsorship and identity of biennials and festivals of the South



Caroline Hancock
Curator, independent art critic; Paris, France.

Simon Njami
Writer, art critic and independent curator; Paris, France.

Gabriela Salgado
Independent curator; London, UK.

Marko Stamenković
Curator, independent art critic; Ghent, Belgium.

Moderator: Zahia Rahmani
Writer, researcher; Paris, France.

Presentation of the project "Art in Algiers" by the Algerian artists Zineb Sedira and Kader Attia.


(Press information)

Round tables
4 December 2011
Galerie Mohamed Racim
7, Avenue Pasteur
al Jazāʼir, Algiers

3ème Festival International D’Art Contemporain D’Alger

3 December 2011 -
3 February 2012

Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Algiers (MAMA)


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