Biennales in Palestine: Thinking Art and Making Art

Khaldun Bshara
parse journal

This essay sheds light on the biennales in Palestine that have a responsive/radical perception of space (where things happen) and time (when things happen and for how long), and against the practices of artistic production and biennales that lend themselves to already formulated agendas. I critically engage with the Riwaq Biennale (RB) and Qalandiya International (Qi) to further speculate on the role of biennales and art in changing not only the content and form, but also the management modalities and the managerial structures of events in the public sphere. Biennales in Palestine, I claim, have a management twist to the artistic events and artistic production, and are therefore permanently oscillating between creative (thinking) and non-creative (making) artistic work. This twist acknowledges the inherent dialectical relation in the field of artistic production that strives to alternately celebrate and conceal the art and the practical world behind it.