Various Venues

Cecilia López, RED, 2018, audio cables, double basses, sound equipment, dimensions variable. From the 14th Bienal de Cuenca.

14th Bienal de Cuenca

Cuenca, Ecuador

It is hard to determine the Bienal de Cuenca’s position within the jet set of contemporary-art biennials. Not only does it take place in Ecuador, which is surrounded by far more established South American art scenes, but for the first fifteen years or so since its founding in 1987, it was a primarily national show dedicated to painting. After opening up to so-called international contemporary art in recent years, it expanded in scale and historical reach. This time around, for its fourteenth edition, the exhibition spread through dozens of venues in Cuenca, addressing the city’s pre-Columbian and colonial pasts as well as its geopolitical present. The viewer was thus left with the palpable sense of an inadvertent resistance to the smooth takeover of international contemporary art, which often felt like an intrusion in institutions mostly devoted to other matters.

For the biennial’s title,

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