In 2009, the city of Bergen hosted a conference called “To biennial or not to biennial?” Under discussion was a proposal to establish a new biennial in Norway, ambitiously envisioned as becoming the biggest international art event in the region. In the end, the city settled on a project called the Bergen AssemblyAn Initiative for Art and Research, and opted for a triennial cycle instead, considering the two-year model rushed. Its first edition, “Monday Begins on Saturday,” curated by the Moscow-based duo Ekaterina Degot and David Riff, was conceived as a rewriting of the titular 1964 Soviet sci-fi novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, an absurdist satire about a secret research institute dedicated to investigating the nature of human happiness by employing every conceivable method, from biology to witchcraft and black magic. Trapped between their love of scientific inquiry
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