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Till Fellrath and Sam Bardaouil. Photo: NPUAE.
Till Fellrath and Sam Bardaouil. Photo: NPUAE.

Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath to Curate 2021 Lyon Biennale

Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath—the founders of Art Reoriented, a multidisciplinary curatorial platform launched in New York and Munich in 2009—will curate the sixteenth edition of the Biennale de Lyon, which will take place from September 2021 to January 2022. They also chair the Montblanc Cultural Foundation in Hamburg and are affiliate curators at Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin.

“For several years now, I have been interested in the profound engagement that Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath create with local audiences in cities across the globe, and the central role given to artists in their curatorial projects,” said biennial director Isabelle Bertolotti. “Their practices as independent curators, unattached to any institution, afford them high autonomy from which the Lyon Biennale will be able to benefit.”

Bardaouil and Fellrath have collaborated on numerous projects over the past ten years. Their exhibitions include “Walking through Walls” (2019–20) at the Martin-Gropius-Bau; “Art et Liberté: Rupture, War, and Surrealism in Egypt (1938–1948)” (2016–17) at the Centre Pompidou in Paris; “When Process Becomes Form: Dansaekhwa and Korean Abstraction” (2016) at Villa Empain in Brussels; and “Mona Hatoum: Turbulence” (2014) at the Mathaf: the Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha. The duo was also part of the Twentieth Biennale of Sydney’s curatorial team and curated the Lebanese pavilion and the United Arab Emirates pavilion in 2013 and 2019, respectively.

Commenting on their appointment, Bardaouil and Fellrath said: “We are thrilled by the invitation to curate one of the most globally recognized contemporary art biennales, and look forward to expanding its experimental and protean nature in the sixteenth edition. This is a great opportunity to bring the diverse artistic and cultural positions we have encountered over the years of our global independent practice into conversation with the French art scene. On the occasion of the Biennale’s thirtieth anniversary, we envision a meaningful manifestation that is ambitious, imaginative and boldly indicative of our time.”

Established in 1991, the Lyon Biennale is jointly funded by the Lyon Métropole, the French Ministry of Culture, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Regional Council, and the City of Lyon, as well as by private and institutional sponsors. The 2019 edition attracted nearly 280,000 visitors.