PRINT February 2000


the London Biennale

WITH BIENNALES SPREADING EVERYWHERE, can the concept and practice of the biennial be revitalized? Can the aura that evidently still attaches to the term be “borrowed” for what is unashamedly an artist-initiated project? The London-based Filipino artist David Medalla certainly believes it can.

Medalla has launched, and is almost single-handedly putting together, the London Biennale 2000 (May 1–Aug. 31), a “participatory festival of the arts.” Inspired by the mushrooming of biennials in cities formerly marginalized in the international art world, but also highly critical of the exclusive, strictly limited nature of artists’ participation in most of these events, he wanted to initiate a show that would be open to any artist anywhere in the world.

Medalla sees this as a do-it-yourself biennial. There’s no building or office or bureaucracy. It’s up to artists to find a venue and funding for their

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