previews

Sam Durant, The Old Mole of History, 2005, steel, miscellaneous hardware, rock, brick, concrete, banner, street barricade, megaphone, cable, wire.

Moscow

“Second Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art”

Various Venues

March 1 - April 1

Preceded last fall by a symposium examining the intersections of political and aesthetic theory, the Second Moscow Biennale, whose theme is “Footnotes About Geopolitics, Markets, and Amnesia,” is centered around an eighty-artist exhibition and includes numerous special projects, ranging from a survey of the art of the former Soviet republics to the mournfully titled “The Feminist Project Was a Utopia.” Indeed, everything about the program indicates a post-utopian mood, with an emphasis on engagement over escapism. Elaborating their concept, the curatorial team—which includes Joseph Backstein, Daniel Birnbaum, Iara Boubnova, Nicolas Bourriaud, Fulya Erdemci, Gunnar B. Kvaran, Rosa Martínez, and Hans-Ulrich Obrist—posits art as a kind of radical footnote, a subversive exegesis enacted in the margins of “macroeconomic battles.” Not a very festive-sounding festival, but one that might just go down as invigoratingly as a cold shot of vodka.