PRINT September 2009


For the Fifty-third Venice Biennale, curator Daniel Birnbaum, seeking a kind of “new beginning” for contemporary art in our ever-changing cultural context, turned to the most elementary yet supple aspects of its production and reception—as is clear even in his exhibition’s infinitely variable title, “Fare Mondi//Making Worlds//Bantin Duniyan//Weltenmachen//Construire des Mondes//Fazer Mundos . . .” To tease out the stakes attending this reflective moment, Artforum invited THOMAS CROW, LYNNE COOKE, and DIEDRICH DIEDERICHSEN to survey the grand exhibition, while CLAIRE BISHOP and TOM HOLERT examine individual projects at the United Arab Emirates pavilion and the Teatro Goldoni, and SARAH K. RICH and LINDA NORDEN consider parallel shows in Venice sponsored by the Pinault (“Mapping the Studio”) and Prada foundations (“John Wesley”). Crow leads off the discussion, taking particular note of an increasingly performative dimension in art and its critical dialogues.