Conference and first IBA General Assembly

Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany
10 Jul 2014 - 13 Jul 2014

Conference and first IBA General Assembly

The International Biennial Association (IBA) announces the First General Assembly will be held in Berlin at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) on the 10 to the 13 of July, during the 8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art. The event with the focus on the inaugural ceremony of IBA will be open to the public, consisting of keynote lectures and panel discussions.

The conference will bring together artists, critics, art historians, curators, and biennial directors who influenced important questions and developments related to perennial art exhibitions. The conference will begin with the question “Why Biennial?” leading into the topic of “Biennial Writing, Re-assessing Art History.” The second question that will be addressed is “Why Associate?” opening up discussions on “Institutional Critique and How to be Self-Critical in Biennial Work.”

Over the last 50 years, biennials as a form of contemporary art exhibitions have increasingly become a focus of academic and critical inquiry. Biennials are becoming the most talked about artistic events and being reviewed more and more by art writers in order to highlight their innovativeness or the role they play in the local and international context


Thursday, 10 July
Guided tour of 8th Berlin Biennale by Juan A. Gaitán, Curator, 8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art—IBA members only
Preview and opening at the ifa Gallery Berlin: Moshekwa Langa: The Jealous Lover

Friday, 11 July: open to public
Welcoming address
Keynote lecture: “Why Biennial?”
Maria Hlavajova, Artistic Director BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht and FORMER WEST
Panel discussion: “Biennial Writing—Re-assessing Art History”
How do biennials as ephemeral exhibitions take their part in art history? What kinds of histories of the biennials are visible and readable? Is a new reading of art history based on perennial exhibitions possible? Are biennials as a format of the display of art exhausted or is it possible to think about different potentials?

Bruce Altshuler, Director, Museum Studies Program, New York University
Nicolas Bourriaud, Director, École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts/Curator, Taipei Biennial 2014
Juan A. Gaitán, Curator, 8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art
Victoria Noorthoorn, Director, Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires
Moderated by Koyo Kouoh, Founding Director, RAW Material Company

Keynote lecture: “Why Associate?”
Bartomeu Marí, President, International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art/ Director, Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art
Panel discussion: “Institutional Critique—How to be Self-Critical in Biennial Work”
How can biennials serve as instruments to open up cultural debates? Can they encourage plurality of diverse opinions and support the right to freedom of artistic expression? How do international/local as well as sources of funding influence the decisions about biennials? Is it the right time to be self-critical and incorporate institutional critique into the current debates?
Galit Eilat, Co-Curator, 31st Bienal de São Paulo
Hedwig Fijen, Director, Manifesta – The European Biennial of Contemporary Art
Geeta Kapur, art critic and curator
Ahmet Ö?üt, artist
Moderated by Bige Örer, Director, Istanbul Biennale

Saturday, 12 July: IBA members only
Opening word from Yongwoo Lee, Interim President
Introduction of Interim Board
IBA report
Board and executive election
First IBA board meeting
Preview launch of the World Biennial Forum No 2 at the ifa Gallery Berlin
Celebration dinner IBA

Sunday, 13 July
Visit the 8th Berlin Biennale
All venues

Be part of the first IBA General Assembly
How? Become a member in the network of art professionals and take part in the General Assembly by applying directly through the IBA website or alternatively download an application form and submit it to the IBA Office.

The International Biennial Association (IBA) is a nonprofit arts association composed of institutions, individuals and associates from the biennial community and arts-related industry; created to expand and share activities of curatorial, artistic creation and knowledge production through cooperation and exchange among biennials and other institutions.

For all enquiries, please contact


The Conference on the occasion of IBA’s General Assembly is organized by the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art. The Conference and General Assembly are hosted and generously supported by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation).

With kind support of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt.

Haus der Kulturen der Welt
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10
10557 Berlin
Free admission


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