Moscow in 2007 is at once a construction site, a ruin, and a cathedral. Beliefs teeter on top of ideologies, and skyscrapers soar beyond even the Stalinist imagination. Perched like oligarchs on high floors of the unfinished Federation Tower, soon to be the tallest building in Europe, were four of the five main exhibitions of the Second Moscow Biennale. While orange hard hats swarmed below, and mighty cranes swung chains just outside the glass walls, a team of Russian and international curators—Joseph Backstein, Iara Boubnova, Nicolas Bourriaud, Rosa Martínez, and Fulya Erdemci—sought to give their audience a blueprint of contemporary critical discourse. Works by the cream of the canon, from Anri Sala to Gary Hill, looked out on the surrounding landscape, where various buildings housed thirty-five ancillary “Special Projects,” forming a sort of response. In addition, there were “Special
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