previews

Bill Viola, Still from Greetings, 1995.

Sharjah

First Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art

Various Venues
Sharjah United Arab Emirates
January 28–February 28

Curated by Joseph Backstein, Daniel Birnbaum, Rosa Martínez, Iara Boubnova, and others

The specter of yet another biennial is haunting Europe. Under a nebulous Hegelio-Adornian banner, “Dialectics of Hope” aspires to “reintegrate contemporary Russian art into the international art world” by joining the biennial parade. The six curators, each with high-profile experience (Manifesta, Sao Paulo, Venice, etc.), introduce some forty artists, including such putatively hope-full international participants as Jeremy Deller and John Bock, to a Moscow audience. The smaller Russian and “nonconformist” Soviet contingent, like the Blue Noses Group, may attract the tourists that the curators are counting on to flock to Moscow in the middle of winter. Talk about hope springing eternal.