Third Taipei Biennial

Taipei Fine Arts Museum

Viewers entering the Taipei Fine Arts Museum were immediately confronted by Arena, 1997, Rita McBride’s enormous, semicircular sculpture in the form of curved empty stadium bleachers made of Kevlar. McBride put the viewers on stage, so to speak, in a performance of their own making and yet allowed them, if they wished, to sit down and take in the museum’s surroundings and the ongoing, ever-incipient play of others. This tension between potentiality and vacancy, between acting and watching, informed “Great Theatre of the World,” which took its title from a play by the seventeenth-century Spanish playwright Calderón. The biennial featured numerous works directly or indirectly involving theatricality and sought to extend the notions of “theater” and “world” to questions concerning globalization, simulation, and possibilities for political action.

Not surprisingly for an exhibition curated

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