2008 Biennial Curators

Henriette Huldisch and Shamim M. Momin

“More and more, artists work in a kind of project-based nature, where the work tends to be specific to the site or to the exhibition or to the project that they’re working on, rather than producing discrete paintings, discrete photographs, that we then would come into their studio and select and then be done with. One isolates a kind of conceptual structure, or set of ideas, and they will propose a type of project that could work for the exhibition. And we have a dialogue with them about how that will work in context and can evolve into the show.”

“None of this obviously starts from zero…Any selection is building on what we always do, which is going to see artists, going to see studios, going to see exhibitions, as well as fairs. Once we started doing this exclusively, which was at the beginning of 2007, we saw hundreds of artists personally in their studio and many, many more.”

“To be clear, we didn’t start with a set of ideas that we predetermined and then applied those to the work. But rather, we started with a group of artists that we were most interested in. The clarity with which some of these thematics and sensibilities came, and rose to the top, I think is something due to the intensity of the research. You’re seeing so many people all at once.”

“We felt it was really important to represent people in greater depth, across sort of a range of activities that they pursue because we find it notable that so many artists are not strictly just painters, or photographers, or video makers, but actually span a range of different kinds of works and we thought it was important that that be felt in this exhibition. And then secondly, there’s a lot of sculpture and large-scale installation in this exhibition because that is a very prevalent mode of working right now.”

“There’s a lot of contextual issues to consider, beyond even the specific history of the Biennial proper. And what it can do, and continue to do, within the scope of the art world.”

“There’s a big responsibility to all this work that we have seen, and I think to do justice to the fact that so many people have shared their work and their thinking process with us.”