Seikyo Kim

Seikyo Kim conductor – Anna Vinnitskaya piano

Symphony no. 1, op. 10
Eugene Onegin Polonaise & Waltz Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Concerto for piano n° 2 Sergey Prokofiev

Widely acknowledged as the international centre of the unified European Community, Brussels inaugurates its first contemporary art biennial in 2008. The Brussels Biennial responds to the ever-increasing critical impact of Brussels and its potential to provide a specific context for the presentation of contemporary art. Characterized by its intuitive insight into the art scene of the highly urbanized region between the Netherlands, Belgium, France and parts of Germany, the biennial takes place from October 2008 through January 2009. With contributions from more than 40 international artists, the biennial incorporates exhibitions by experimental art institutions located in two deserted buildings along the North-South railway axis in Brussels. The biennial represents a first step in a larger project designed as a trans-national endeavour that will unfold in two steps until 2010.

The first edition of the Brussels Biennial includes a wide range of institutions and projects regrouped under the conceptual umbrella devised by its Artistic Director, Barbara Vanderlinden. It is the result of a collaboration that crosses traditional boundaries between biennials, exhibitions, institutions, curators and artists. It aims to radically move away from the process in which artworks are produced, presented, disseminated and contextualized. In view of the crucial role of old and emerging institutions, this biennial will strive to present contemporary art in an exhibition developed and curated by a network of visual art organizations.

The timing of this new biennial was carefully thought of. It emerges as an answer to the growing reputation of Brussels as a destination for contemporary artists, curators and collectors. Indeed, the city has been home to a thriving international art community for several decades. Its unique combination of high standard of living, growing scene of galleries, powerful tradition of art collecting and legacy of art history ranging from Flemish medievalism to 1960s conceptualism attracts artists to Brussels -in many cases keeping them here. Recent significant innovations, including the new contemporary art centre WIELS and the Biennial, means that the city is now ready to enter a new era. The first edition opens on 19 October 2008. Henceforth, the city centre of Brussels will undergo a transformation. Every two years, it will change into a melting pot for contemporary art exhibitions, debates and workshops with international artists, curators and politicians.

Thematically, the exhibition is linked to the complex ideas emerging from the different modern complexities in a global context and its implications on individuals and societies from around the world. The project will start from the active involvement of artists within this new global modern reality.

Participating institutions will not be shown unrelated to one another, but will be structured according to various aesthetic and thematically build relations to one another, resulting in a productive exchange between the various contemporary art positions, artworks and audiences.

As a result, the biennial will incorporate a patchwork of institutions and an open geography into its sequence of space. These local and transnational activities can be perceived as a chain of travelling cultural worlds and idioms, a network of incommensurable experiments in a global culture. Using the notion of a space of encounters, the biennial wants to lay down a soft, porous line between context and practice, form and medium, artist and system, institution and locality.

The Brussels Biennial 1 event will include the participation of the Bangladeshi Drik, Images, Communication & Information Technology from Dhaka; the Belgian B.P.S.22, espace de création contemporaine de la Province de Hainaut from Charleroi (Pierre-Olivier Rollin); Extra City, Centrum voor Hedendaagse Kunst from Antwerp (Anselm Franke); and MuHKA (Bart De Baere), Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen from Antwerp; the Dutch BAK, basis voor actuele kunst from Utrecht (Mária Hlavajová); Van Abbemuseum from Eindhoven (Charles Esche); and Witte de With, Centrum voor Hedendaagse Kunst from Rotterdam (Nicolaus Schafhausen and Florian Waldvogel) and finally, Moroccan L'appartement 22 from Rabat (Abdellah Karroum).

The lecture programme of the first Brussels Biennial is put together by Belgian sociologist Pascal Gielen and carried out in collaboration with the BAM, the Ghent Instituut voor beeldende, audiovisuele en mediakunst (Institute for Visual, Audiovisual and Media Art); Fontys, Hogeschool voor Kunsten (Fontys University of Fine and Performing Arts), Tilburg (the Netherlands); and the Vlaams-Nederlands Huis deBuren (Flemish-Dutch Centre, deBuren), Brussels.

Alongside the main project of the Brussels Biennale 2008, there will be a series of special projects across Brussels in different institutions of contemporary art. These events e.g. at the Centre for Fine Art will tie the programme of the Brussels Biennial to the city itself.

Additionally, the Biennial will take account of the activities in the city to exhibitions initiated between 19 October 2008 and 4 January 2009.

Date: 19.10.08 > 04.01.09

Participating institutions: BAK, Basis for Contemporary Art/Van Abbemuseum; B.P.S. 22, espace de création contemporaine; Extra City, Centre for Contemporary Art; The Apartment 22, Lieu Indépendant pour la Création Contemporaine; MuHKA, Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp; Witte de With, Centre for Contemporary Art. Artistic Director: Barbara Vanderlinden. Curators: Bart de Baere, Charles Esche / Maria Hlavajova, Anselm Franke, Abdellah Karroum, Pierre-Olivier Rollin, Nicolaus Schafhausen/Florian Waldvogel, Paul Willemsen.

Former postal sorting centre (Avenue Fonsny 48, 1060 Brussels)
Metro Station Anneessens (beneath Avenue Maurice Lemonnier, entrance Place Fontainas)
Nationale Bank van België (Berlaimontlaan 14, 1000 Brussels)
Station Brussel Centraal (Europakruispunt 2, 1000 Brussels)

Brussels Biennial Off-Programme:
Centre for Fine Arts
De Electriciteitscentrale (Place Sainte-Catherine 44, 1000 Bruxelles)
Vlaams-Nederlands Huis deBuren (6 Rue Léopold, 1000 Bruxelles)

more information http://www.brusselsbiennial.org/