• Bill Viola, Still from Greetings, 1995.

    Bill Viola, Still from Greetings, 1995.

    First Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art

    Various Venues
    Sharjah United Arab Emirates
    January 28–February 28, 2005

    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.