Daniel Birnbaum Nominated for Director of the Visual Arts for the 53rd Venice Biennale

April 9, 2008 · Print This Article


The Board of Directors of the Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, held a meeting on 7th April 2008 in which it nominated Daniel Birnbaum as Director of the Visual Arts Sector, with specific responsibility as curator of the 53rd International Art Exhibition, to be held in 2009.

Born in Stockholm in 1963, Daniel Birnbaum has been the curator of institutions and exhibitions at an international level, and has since 2001 been Rector of the Staedelschule in Frankfurt-am-Main in Germany, an international academy which concerned an assessment of traditional and contemporary art as well as the development of entirely new practices. Since 1998, he has also been a contributing editor of Artforum in New York, with which he has been working regularly since 1995. Since the early 1990s he has also contributed regularly to other magazines such as Parkett and Frieze

Following the nomination, Daniel Birnbaum declared:“My recent exhibitions have all been close collaborations with artists, often individually, sometimes in larger contexts. The Venice Biennale is a new kind of challenge, but the principle remains the same: the artist’s vision is at the center. How does one steer clear of the hierarchies dictated by commercial interests and fashion? As the director of an art academy, my interest has long been directed towards another kind of influence and another kind of significance.

There are artists who inspire entire generations and these key artists are not always the most visibile in the world of museums and fairs. I would like to explore strings of inspiration that involve several generations and to display the roots as well as the branches that grow into a future not yet defined. The geography of the art world has been expanding rapidly with new centers emerging: China, India, the Middle East… It will be my ambition to create a show that, although articulated into individual zones of intensity, remains one exhibition.

”The President, Paolo Baratta, for his part declared:“With the nomination of a figure with such a rich variety of experiences, the Biennale di Venezia has
found a curator for the 53rd Exhibition able to bring to bear original criteria for selection, geared to the artist’s point of view. I am convinced of this
choice, of which I am particularly pleased. Between the valleys of ideology and the valley of the market, there is the steep hill of quality. This is where
the Biennale must plant its standard. The new Director”, added the President, “will also be an interlocutor for our reflections concerning the future development of more permanent activities”.

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6 Responses to “Daniel Birnbaum Nominated for Director of the Visual Arts for the 53rd Venice Biennale”

  1. Dear dr. Daniel Birnbaum ;

    Congratulation of your nomination as the Curator for the upcoming Venice Biennale . My name is waleed Abdulkhalek, Curator and Art consultant from Egypt, also Founder and Director of Almasar Gallery | Contemporary Art .

    i remain as a Curators and a gallerist in Egypt having high hopes and aims to present my Contemporary Artists for the Biennale or the Arsinale , so i would pleasulrly like to ask you to find a minute to browse my gallery’s website at your convinience to have a closer idea about Modern and Contemporary Artists from Egypt.
    Kindly browse Almasar gallery at : http://www.almasargallery.com .

    Many thanks for your time, i remain.

    Sincerely yours

    Waleed Abdulkhalek
    Tel: +2012 216 1115

  2. A short story of “Firma Boresta” project

    It happened in 1999. The Biennale exhibition in Venice – in that year Harald Szeemann was in charge “suppressed” the Italian Pavilion, who was conflated in the international exhibition, as part of the project of the Director, from the Corderie up to the Arsenale area. Italy, host country of the event, lost the possibility to compete for the prize to be assigned to the best pavilion. And, more importantly, Italy seemed to be definitively relegated to accepting the historical weight of a tradition that ties our country to a bright artistic past, but does not allow herself – a difficulty found in different fields – to become a driver of innovation. In 2005 the protest. An open letter – with many signatures, thanks to the collaboration of many cultural associations, administrators and art critics – was addressed to the President of the Foundation of the Biennale exhibition in Venice, David Croff. They wrote about the urgency of a national presence and the creation of a Commissioner to take charge of the Italy Pavilion.

    In the middle of all this we saw an apparently contrarian request by Pino Boresta. A provocative, direct and sincere artist, he wrote in that year “of a contemporary italietta”, a mediocre one, where the art system doesn’t have the courage to reward who is really deserving. He asked, moreover, not to sign that appeal and, instead, to sign an appeal extolling his own production, more qualified to compete in the same Biennale exhibition. The last Biennale has shown nevertheless that the hopes of Pino Boresta have been denied, in spite of an Italian Pavilion that, debatable as it is, has been returned to its rightful place. But Boresta persists.

    On Saturday 1st December 2007 the artist inaugurated his second attempt: “Sign Boresta” is a campaign of signatures for his participation in the next Biennale exhibition. This time he gives priority to the real Piazza over the electronic one. He shows an ancient predilection for the traditional agorà, starting with those interventions on the urban texture that represent the strongest expression of his artistic bent. Stickers with a grimace or small Urban Rectified Documents are the two most meaningful examples of his irreverence. Boresta seems to want to dust off the legacy of a Marcel Broodthaers, when he chooses to make the art a vector of consensus, when the Belgian artist used it as a vehicle of cultural approval, bypassing the official institutions or rather, emulating them in mock imitation.

    The Boresta project reveals itself as a desecrating reading on the last trends of doing politics, from the local participation to an interaction vis-à-vis the signatories of the petition. It is to be presumed, as far as the latter are concerned, that they have little to do with the matter of “inclusion” in the system of contemporary art.

    A second part of his work has been shown in the premises of the association: a Net art project called “No-Logo C.U.S.” has been presented: the really personal brand has been made very visible. Pino Boresta ties the visual account of one of his interventions “Look for a Face and it Use it” (L.F.U.) to some passages from the “No Logo” book by Naomi Klein, the “bible of the anti globalization movement”. From the citizen that signs his protest to the ‘netizen’ who visits the site in which the No-Logo C.U.S. project will continue to exist, Boresta doesn’t leave out anybody.

    Chiara Li Volti

  3. Dear Sir,
    congratulation of your nomination for Venice Biennale 2009.I’lld like to notify my art works.
    Thank you your time.
    Yours sincerely
    Gino Calenda di Tavani
    Italian visual artist based in Amsterdam

  4. my late father Mr. K.C.ARYAN was a rare genius and a famous master modern artist of INdia. His greatest contribution to modern Indian art was metal assemblages and collages which he did between 1958-1966. In 1964, he got the National Award from Lalit Kala Akademy in New Delhi for introducing this medium first time in India. Before that his figural works display his distinctive style inspired by folk art of India. In 40s, he painted large canvases based on some historical events fromancient Indian history. In 1947, he changed his style.Two books are already published on his works : SKY : Sadhana Kala Yatra and KALA CHINTAN : K C ARYAN Commemoration Volume by Dr. Subhasini Aryan. I`d like to promote his works abroad thru exhibitions in Tokyo or New York or wherever your contacts are. Pl. suggest how you can help us.I can send you his scanned pictures by email or thru a website. Pl. reply.
    drsaryan

  5. I have already written above what I expect from Mr. Birnbaum

  6. my late father Mr. K.C.ARYAN was a rare genius and a famous master modern artist of INdia. His greatest contribution to modern Indian art was metal assemblages and collages which he did between 1958-1966. 1964, he got the National Award from Lalit Kala Akademy in New Delhi for introducing this medium first time in India. Before that his figural works display his distinctive style inspired by folk art of India. Two books are already published on his works : SKY : Sadhana Kala Yatra and KALA CHINTAN : K C ARYAN Commemoration Volume by Dr. Subhasini Aryan. I`d like to promote his works abroad thru exhibitions in Tokyo or New York or wherever your contacts are. Pl. suggest how you can help us.I can send you his scanned pictures by email or thru a website. Pl. reply.
    drsaryan

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