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Liverpool/Sheffield, United Kingdom

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Biennial review

My involvement with the Biennial has been mainly that of a spectator however due to the nature of my degree I have managed to get an brief insight in to how the Biennial was curated and how much dedication and time went in to the process.

Looking back over my Blog entries based on my Biennial experiences over that last few months has made me think about the talk given to us by Lorenzo at the very beginning. As I have experienced more of the Biennial the information given to us by Lorenzo has begun to make more sense and become very real. I recall something Lorenzo said in the talk about the importance of communication in organizing such a monumental event. When being involved in pieces such as the Allan Kaprow reenactment and Sachiko Abe piece it was very apparent how the quality of dialogue between curator and artist could potentially make of break an art work (especially a performance piece.) If there is a lack of understanding between curator and artist the piece would simply not work. It also made me realise that being involved with the curatorial side of contemporary art is something I would be good at.

For me I feel that this years Biennial has been far more successful than 'made up' in 2008. This is mainly due to my involvement in this years biennial however I also think the theme was far more successful and gave far more for the artists to work with.    

The theme of 'Touched' and its multiple and equally valid meanings have been addressed and made clearer in my own mind due to my engagement with the artists individual representations. At the end of last year we were given a brief to follow that involved creating a piece of art work that we would want to submit into the 2010 Biennial. My idea was instantly to concentrate on touched in the physical and sexual sense. I went on to develop a series of very abstract, very physical black and white photographs that described physical touch.

After experiencing the Biennial that my piece was hypothetically intending to be a part of it made me realise how completely unsuitable my piece would have been for display. If the Biennial has taught me anything about being a practicing fine artist it is to never take a brief too literally and to always think completely outside of the obvious. The theme was tackled in a number of ways. Franz West explored the theme physically with his touchable sculpture 'smears' .Ryan Trecartin made the saying to be "touched in the head" very real with his terrifying films. Lee Mingwei explored the theme in terms of emotion. I believe that the most successful pieces were those that appealed to my inner most emotions and fears. The works that touched me the most such as those by Sashico Abe, Lee Ming Wei and Teching Hseih made me feel anxious,uncomfortable, isolated, guilty and inspired.


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