berlin

Alberto Baraya, Expedition Berlín, Herbarium of Artificial Plants (detail), 2013–, mixed media, dimensions variable.

the 8th Berlin Biennale

Various Venues

Alberto Baraya, Expedition Berlín, Herbarium of Artificial Plants (detail), 2013–, mixed media, dimensions variable.

EVER SINCE ITS FIRST EDITION in 1998, which took as its theme the colonization of abandoned or unoccupied real estate in East Berlin by artists, galleries, and other creative industries, the Berlin Biennale has made the use of vacant, unusual, or historically important spaces its hallmark. Indeed, this is what makes the biennial unique: It has always hinged not on the selection of specific artists or works, but on the particular and idiosyncratic venues it inhabits.

The eighth edition of the biennial, curated by Juan A. Gaitán, is no exception. Together, the sites it occupies make a statement about conditions of historical resuscitation, disavowal, and progress. The impulse of the biennial is clear: to provide an alternative to the ways in which history has been reclaimed through colonial programs of the nineteenth century, or the neoliberal vagaries of the twenty-first, via

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