the Biennale d’Art Contemporain de Lyon

Various Venues

The seventh installment of the Biennale de Lyon is subtitled “It Happened Tomorrow”—a reference to René Clair’s eponymous 1944 screwball comedy and perhaps a valentine to the host city, where the Lumière brothers invented cinema. But the title’s suggestion of cockeyed temporality also reflects biennale director Thierry Raspail’s antagonism toward what he decries, in a statement on the event’s website, as other biennials’ “perpetual present”: a topicality that instantly dates and is always erased by the next topical biennial. Indeed, Raspail and his team of curators—Le Consortium founders Xavier Douroux, Franck Gautherot, and Eric Troncy; Bob Nickas; and Anne Pontégnie—appear to have studied snapshot colossi like the Venice Biennale as models of what not to do. Unlike Venice’s most recent iteration—which, though also attempting to improve on the “expo” paradigm, essentially

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