9TH BERLIN BIENNALE For contemporary art
THE PRESENT IN DRAG
Curated by DIS (Lauren Boyle, Solomon Chase, Marco Roso, and David Toro)
That was great. You learned that . . . you exist online, but your ass still hurts and grinds. Whenever you feel closest to “you,” you’re actually in drag. You practice mindfulness, but you are in deep debt. The promotional emails in your inbox contain the emotional language that’s missing in your personal life. Official narratives stopped working for you, so you built your own. You wonder: Can markets emote? Are corporations people? You’re a discerning consumer of culture, but you know that none of this will last.
(Excerpt from the back cover of the publication The Present in Drag)
The 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art—funded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation) as a cultural institution of excellence—came to an end attended by over 100,000 visitors. Through support provided by the Berlin Senate Chancellery for Cultural Affairs, the run of the Berlin Biennale was extended for over a month for the first time, which enabled it to contribute to the Berlin Art Week program with numerous events.
Titled The Present in Drag and curated by the New York collective DIS (Lauren Boyle, Solomon Chase, Marco Roso, and David Toro), the exhibition made tangible the digital conditions and paradoxes that increasingly impact the world in 2016. At the four stationary venues—Akademie der Künste on Pariser Platz, ESMT European School of Management and Technology, The Feuerle Collection, and KW Institute for Contemporary Art—along with the mobile Blue-Star sightseeing boat, artists and influential figures from other disciplines such as music, philosophy, hacktivism, design, politics, and economics examined and engaged with the conditions defining the post-contemporary. Collaborative partnerships and collective processes played a quintessential role. Almost all works in the exhibition were specifically produced for the 9th Berlin Biennale.
The 9th Berlin Biennale featured additional platforms to the exhibition venues: The Fear of Content section on the website enabled interested viewers to follow the Berlin Biennale from abroad through a continuous feed of articles, interviews, and digital projects. The website of the 9th Berlin Biennale remains accessible and has already counted more than 600.000 visits. As the soundtrack of the 9th Berlin Biennale, Anthem features collaborations between artists and musicians, which are available as vinyl singles and can be streamed online. LIT, based on the advertising panels of large-format light boxes and the visual codes of duty-free shops, formed one of several “exhibitions within the exhibition.” Contributions to Not in the Berlin Biennale were not on display in the exhibition, but were elements of a comprehensive communications strategy conceived to operate as a protective skin around the vital organs of the exhibition.
Featuring over 170 events, the tightly packed public program garnered a huge audience response. Not only BOAT RAGE, the weekly event series on the Blue-Star, but also performances, discussions, and concerts at various venues regularly sold out quickly.
A total of 288 participants presented their contributions within the 9th Berlin Biennale, which received widespread national and international media attention throughout the entire run of the exhibition.
In addition to regular public tours, individually booked tours in English, French, German, and Polish were also very popular within the 9th Berlin Biennale art education program. In numerous collaborations with educational and social institutions, workshops were conducted to examine the ideas presented at the 9th Berlin Biennale. The Young Curators Workshop Post-contemporary Art took place for the sixth time in conjunction with the Berlin Biennale. For this edition, philosopher Armen Avanessian conceived a ten-day program for thirteen invited international young curators.
DIS, photo: Sabine Reitmaier
the curatorial team of the 9th Berlin Biennale
DIS (Lauren Boyle, Solomon Chase, Marco Rosa und David Toro)
Not the Creative Director*
Meire und Meiré
*Babak Radboy is the Creative Director of Not in the Berlin Biennale.