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Nicolaus Schafhausen © Kunsthalle Wien 2014, Foto: Sabine HauswirthNicolaus Schafhausen © Kunsthalle Wien 2014, Foto: Sabine Hauswirth

Nicolaus Schafhausen: On Democray and Biennales

Lecture19 January 2016, 19:00Aula, Städelschule, Dürerstraße 10, 60596 Frankfurt am Main

What does the formation of a Biennale really mean? How can the function of a Biennale act to bridge the historical past with ideas for the future? Nicolaus Schafhausen will discuss his recent curatorial project The 6th Moscow Biennale 2015.
How do international art events transgress the boundaries of art and into the field of politics and international relations? Biennales connect nation states and cultures of the world. The Bienniale should be a public space for art, in other words, a space where art and thinking may resonate, propelled by their initial momentum, but pushing beyond this. If there is anything specific about the Bienniale, it is in the fact that it is bluntly radical, in the original sense of the word; it wants to go back to the roots of what we all continuously aim for, at least in principle. It is a space that is not defined by its apparatus, its architecture, its titles and the themes and rhetorics surrounding it. It is a space that comes into existence continuously, in a multitude of moments that we may grasp or fail to grasp, in any of the gestures and thoughts that are unfolding like a dance, weaving potential into shreds of possibility. 

Nicolaus Schafhausen is a curator, director, author, and educator. He is Director of Kunsthalle Wien and a Visiting Lecturer at HISK, Higher Institute for Fine Arts, Gent. He is currently on the Board of Directors at Fogo Island Arts, where he has served as Strategic Advisor since 2011. Fogo Island Arts is an initiative of the Canadian Shorefast Foundation to find alternative solutions for the revitalisation of an area that is prone to emigration. Schafhausen has curated a number of international festivals and exhibitions such as “Media City Seoul” 2010 or the “Dutch House” for the Expo 2010 in Shanghai. In 2007 and 2009 he was the curator of the German Pavilion for the 52nd and 53rd Venice Biennale, and for the 56th Venice Biennale he curated the Kosovo Pavilion in 2015.

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