This year’s Berlin Biennale looks like a good one! I wish I’d planned my summer better…I’m heading to Berlin in August, so I’ll miss the big art happening of the year. Polish curator Artur Zmijewski has been causing a kerfuffle right from the get-go, stirring up trouble in Berlin like good art should.

Over at Der Spiegel, you can read the article “Polish Curator Lights a Fire under Berlin Art Scene.” Here’s an excerpt:

Zmijewski, an even-keeled man who sports a beard and has a large ego, is also an artist. He has participated in the Venice Biennale and the Documenta. Newsweekconsiders the Warsaw native to be one of the 10 most important contemporary artists. In one of his films, happy, naked people hop around in the gas chamber and cellar of a former concentration camp. The work, titled “Berek”, was recently banned from a Berlin exhibition after visitors had complained, prompting critics to accuse the organizers of censorship. Now Zmijewski plans to simply show the short film at the Biennale, as a symbol of a conflict over art.

The jury that selected him for the Biennale, and which includes several curators, knew why it picked him: because he would design this year’s show the way he creates art. His Biennale would be political, but also politically incorrect, bold and scandalous. It would address art’s existential crisis as a theme and, as a result, would pose a perfectly reasonable question: What exactly is art good for anymore, other than generating high prices at auctions?

Oh, you mean there’s more to art than just making lots of money? Imagine that!


~ by Valerie Palmer on June 21, 2012.

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