Biennials and Beyond: Venice, Kassel and More
Jennie Hirsh, art historian, director of critical studies at the Maryland Institute College of Art
What is the difference between a biennial and a biennale? What is the relationship between art fairs and world’s fairs? Why have so many cities across the globe begun hosting biennials in the past two decades? This lecture will explain the nineteenth-century origins of international art fairs, in general, as well as the creation of specific events such as the Biennale in Venice, Italy (founded in 1895) and Documenta in Kassel, Germany (founded in 1955), both of which are scheduled to open in early summer 2017. In examining the particular political, economic, and artistic motivation behind establishing and developing these groundbreaking exhibitions, the lecture will explore the history of these two exhibitions from their founding up until present day. The lecture will include historical case studies as well as artists to be featured in this summer’s fairs. This lecture will be delivered in anticipation of summer 2017’s so-called “Grand Tour,” when the Venice Biennale coincides with both Documenta and Skulptur Projeckte Münster (held every ten years since 1977).
$15 door fee for guests and subscribers