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KUNST.EE SPRING ISSUE STILL ON SALE: "The fact that the artist is a beggar who essentially pays the state for art – for the opportunity to make art – was articulated very clearly in Estonia in the noughties by female artists in particular." – Eha Komissarov: "The noughties are a very difficult theme to brand.(KUNST.EE 2/2021)


Biennale as an event, biennale as a statement

Margaret Tali (3-4/2010)

Margaret Tali offers a critical visitor’s report from the Berlin and Poznán biennales
The comparatively short history of the Berlin biennale (started in 1998) is in step with the building of a new identity for Berlin – as the post-wall German capital. The Poznán biennale (started in 2008) is similarly tied to the process of renewing this city’s identity. As far as scale is concerned, this autumn Poznán biennale, Mediations, and the Berlin biennale this summer Was draußen wartet / What is Waiting Out There are quite similar. The Poznán biennale might even have been larger – and as it has claimed from the start to be the largest art biennale in Central and Eastern Europe, of the two, it was definitely the most ambitious and open to debate. In a way it is significant that the role of art as the initiator of debate has become more important in the context of the international economic crisis, where states have reduced sums spent on art, and where cultural circles need new and satisfactory explanations for exactly why art should matter to society. Biennales ought to be the perfect platform for instigating critical discussion, so they should become more of an event than an exhibition, which in essence is a statement. Having said that, it seems to me that such a biennial art initiative that dares to address current problems and deal with them is precisely what Estonia needs.
John Smith. The Girl Chewing Gum (1976) < back

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