frieze Magazine & S.E.A. Focus present: Bye-Bye Biennial? Large-scale exhibitions in the post-pandemic world

A digital discussion with Natasha Ginwala, Dr. Apinan Poshyananda & Reem Shadid, moderated by Amy Sherlock, Deputy Editor, frieze Magazine


January, 2021


frieze Magazine & S.E.A. Focus, an STPI Project, present a digital discussion on Bye-Bye Biennial? Large-scale exhibitions in the post-pandemic world.

Long before the Covid-19 pandemic, artists, critics and organizers were questioning the value of large-scale exhibitions in terms of their economic, environmental and social impact. With many biennials postponed due to the global health crisis and restrictions to international travel forcing a renewed focus on local audiences and ecologies, could Covid-19 be the end of the international biennale as we have come to know it? What are the new ideas for the future of exhibition making?

A discussion between 

Natasha Ginwala, Co-artistic Director of the 13th Gwangju Biennale and Artistic Director of COLOMBOSCOPE 

Prof. Dr Apinan Poshyananda, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Bangkok Art Biennale

Reem Shadid, Independent curator and researcher

Moderated by Amy Sherlock, Deputy Editor, frieze Magazine

Natasha Ginwala is a curator and writer. She is co- artistic director of the 13th Gwangju Biennale, Associate Curator at Gropius Bau, Berlin and artistic director of COLOMBOSCOPE, Colombo. Ginwala has curated Contour Biennale 8, “Polyphonic Worlds: Justice as Medium” and was part of the curatorial team of documenta14, 2017. Other recent projects include “Arrival, Incision. Indian Modernism as Peripatetic Itinerary” in the framework of “Hello World. Revising a Collection” at Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, 2018; “Riots: Slow Cancellation of the Future” at ifa Gallery Berlin and Stuttgart, 2018; “My East is Your West” at the 56th Venice Biennale, 2015; and “Corruption: Everybody Knows…” with e-flux, New York, 2015. Ginwala was a member of the artistic team for the 8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, 2014, and co-curated “The Museum of Rhythm” at Taipei Biennial 2012 and at Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź, 2016–2017. From 2013–2015, in collaboration with Vivian Ziherl, she led the multi-part curatorial project “Landings” presented at various partner organizations. Ginwala writes on contemporary art and visual culture in various periodicals and has contributed to numerous publications. She is a recipient of the 2018 visual arts research grant from the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe. 

Prof. Dr. Apinan Poshyananda is Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the Bangkok Art Biennale. Poshyananda served as Director-General, Office of Contemporary Art and Culture, Director-General of Cultural Promotion Department, and Permanent Secretary and Acting Minister, Ministry of Culture, Thailand when he was to commission and curate the first Thai Pavilion at 50th Venice Biennale in 2003. He has curated and directed international art exhibitions in Asia, Europe, USA and Australia including Contemporary Art from Asia: Traditional/Tension (1996, Grey Art Gallery, Queen Museum of Art, and Asia Society Galleries, New York); Traces of Siamese Smile: Art + Faith + Politic + Love (2008) the inaugural exhibition of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC); Thailand Eye (2015, Saatchi Gallery, London and BACC).  

Reem Shadid is an independent curator and researcher. She is the producer and host of Radio Alhara’s show , Listening with Reem Shadid, a weekly listening session with artists, researchers and curators working at the intersection of sonic, visual and literary productions. Between 2006 and 2020, she was the Deputy Director of Sharjah Art Foundation, where she was instrumental in developing and managing Sharjah Biennial and the foundations’ team, operations and public and curatorial programmes which also included March Meeting, exhibitions, publications, film, music, education and community outreach programmes.  

More information about S.E.A. Focus, an STPI Project HERE

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