IBA International Conference in Shanghai: “Biennials in Transformation: Hybridization as New Challenge”, 03 Sep 2016 — 03 Sep 2016

IBA International Conference in Shanghai: “Biennials in Transformation: Hybridization as New Challenge”

Power Station of Art, 200 Huayuangang Road

September 3, 10am

The International Biennial Association organizes an IBA International Conference at the Power Station of Art in Shanghai this September 3, titled “Biennials in Transformation: Hybridization as New Challenge.” Examining the multidisciplinary trend in the biennial format over the past decade, the conference will consider disciplinary specialization and seek to discover whether this affects the biennial’s ability to be applied beyond cultural fields. It will also question what the multidisciplinary turn in biennials means for the future of the traditional format.

The IBA International Conference takes place during the opening weekend of the Shanghai Project, a unique multidisciplinary ideas platform that incorporates festival elements and research to unravel mankind’s future, with the title 2116. Under the co-directorship of Yongwoo Lee (Executive Director, Shanghai Himalayas Museum) and Hans Ulrich Obrist (Artistic Director, Serpentine Galleries), the first phase of the Shanghai Project focuses on public programming, including an architectural pavilion (Envision Pavilion), Community Participation Programs, a Library and pop-up bookshop project, a children’s project, Qidian Open Call and international conferences. Instead of linear exhibitions on arts and culture, Shanghai Project aims to revitalize the definition of public participation in the context of China by introducing site-specific programs centered on alternative spaces such as public parks, disused and forgotten spaces in the city and tourist sites, which do not usually host cultural programs.

As one of Shanghai Project‘s inaugural events, the IBA International Conference invites cultural practitioners and the public to gather together for a day-long seminar featuring numerous renowned scholars, curators, critics, artists and professionals. Divided into two sessions, the first session, “Multidisciplinarity as the New Paradigm,” will consider the applications of the new possible model, especially in its recent hybrid forms. The second session, “Biennial Format at Stake,” will analyze how the transition to multidisciplinarity will affect the format of biennials.

First session: “Multidisciplinarity as the New Paradigm”
Moderated by: Bige Orer (Director, Istanbul Biennial)
Keynote: Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (Professor, Columbia University)
Guest speakers: Sylvie Fortin (Executive and Artistic Director, Montreal Biennale), Alnoor Mitha (Artistic Director, Asia Triennial Manchester),
Wang Chunchen (Curatorial Research Department Head, CAFA, Beijing),
Clive Adams (Director, Center for Contemporary Art and Natural World, UK)

Second session: “Biennial Format at Stake”
Moderated by: Philip Tinari (Director, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing)
Keynote: Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (Director of Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, Turin; Artistic Director, dOCUMENTA 13)
Guest speakers: Jens Hoffmann (Director of Special Exhibitions and Public Programmes, Jewish Museum), Tan Boon Hui (Director, Asia Society Museum, New York), Sarah Wilson (Professor, Courtauld Institute of Art)

The following day will feature the opening of the Envision Pavilion designed by renowned Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, which serves as the symbolic structure of the Shanghai Project. A roundtable series will be held in the pavilion followed by the opening ceremony festivities in the evening.

The IBA International Conference is organized by the IBA Office and hosted by the Shanghai Project in collaboration with Power Station of Art, the hosting institution of the Shanghai Biennale.


International Biennial Association (IBA)
111 Biennale-ro, 3rd Floor
Buk-gu, Gwangju, Republic of Korea 61104
T +82 62 608 4132

Contacts & Details
tue, wed, thu, fri, sat, sun 11:00 am – 7:00 pm


T: +86 21 3110 8550

Power Station of Art, 200 Huayuangang Road

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