the Endless Biennial

HERE’S A SPOT QUIZ. What do the cities São Paulo, Havana, Kassel, Münster, Venice, Santa Fe, Lyons, Kwangju, Istanbul, and Johannesburg mean to you? Either the preceding list reads as a disconnected set of far-flung travel destinations, or else you’re double-checking to make sure you packed the melatonin. If it’s the latter, you’re probably among those who recognize the extent to which those in the art world racked up Frequent Flyer miles over the last twelve months.

If anything, 1997 seemed to be the year of the never-ending Biennial, with older, more established international shows joining upstart exhibitions in less-known locales. Artists and curators in particular became nomads, trailing each other around the globe, comparing notes on what and whom they saw and on how one artist’s work looked up against another’s. As a curator constantly fighting jet lag, I have a particular interest

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