THE BIENNIAL AS CURATORIUM
by Patricia Watts
This year’s 12th edition of the Istanbul Biennial
(Sept. 17-Nov. 13, 2011), designated “Untitled,” is likely to disappoint -- that is, if you are looking for what we might expect from a biennial: a large, open-ended survey of recent global contemporary art. What you will see instead is actually akin to a museum exhibition, a focused, thematic and interpreted group of artworks -- a curatorium, if you will -- and as such, it is a bold (if problematic) move on the part of co-curators Jens Hoffman, director of San Francisco’s Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, and Adriano Pedrosa, an independent curator based in São Paulo.