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24 October 2020 - 28 February 2021
Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan
During their research trip to Taiwan in September 2019, they officially shared their curatorial concept and research plan for the upcoming Taipei Biennial, to be titled: "You and I don’t live on the same planet"— New Diplomatic Encounters.
"The expression 'you and I don’t share the same vision of the world' is a frequent figure of speech in political debates, whether in an official or informal setting. But the point is that today it is not merely a difference of 'visions' about a space that would be the same for everyone, but a question of 'the material nature' of the very world that we are talking about. Whereas in earlier times, geopolitics implied that there were different people with different interests fighting for territories that were parts of the same nature, today it is the composition of this very nature that is at stake.
It does not take much time to realize how divided the different people of the Earth are as to what is the exact nature of their planet. It is clear, for instance, that Donald Trump and Greta Thunberg don’t live on the same planet! In the world imagined by Donald Trump, CO2 emissions are not an existing threat to the environment, greenhouse emissions are a mere belief, and business as usual must go on with American interests at its center. Obviously, those who support such a view don’t live on the same land as those who are suffering from a deep ecological crisis."
The curatorial concept emphasizes that there is no way to hide society’s deep divisions on questions of ecology. Thus it is fair to portray the present political situation not only as a clash of visions, but also as a clash about what the earth is really made of. What was a mere figure of speech is now literal. Of course, "You and I" indicates a form of confrontation and division, but hopefully a productive one. By holding an exhibition, workshops and research projects, the museum will serve as a venue for a new form of diplomacy between the various positions depicted by each planet.
Director of TFAM Ping Lin relates that the 2020 Biennial’s curatorial blueprint gives her high expectations. To support the curators in developing their research, the museum team has been actively helping them build local connections. Based on the 2018 edition of the Taipei Biennial, Post-Nature, which tackled ecological issues, the 2020 edition, "You and I don’t live on the same planet"—New Diplomatic Encounters will engage in even deeper exploration of the interactions, dynamics and diplomatic tactics between human and non-human worlds. On this curatorial foundation of in-depth discourse on those matters of concern to contemporary society, the museum seeks to connect the curatorial team with the local community, to make the Biennial more three-dimensional and multilayered.
During the curators’ stay in Taiwan, Taipei Fine Arts Museum hosted a public talk by curator Bruno Latour on 21 September in the museum auditorium. The curator spoke on the topic "Towards the New Climatic Regime," as the very first public event of the 2020 Taipei Biennial, sharing its interconnected philosophical, sociological and cultural approaches.
From press information. © Photos: Taipei Fine Arts Museum.
Cover photo: Hicham Berrada's Présage, 2017. Exhibition view, Le Fresnoy, Studio national des arts contemporains, 2017. © ADAGP Hicham Berrada © Photo: Aurélie Brouet. Courtesy of the artist and kamel mennour, Paris/London.