ARTISTIC OFFICE: constructing the 7th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art
(Free University Berlin)
Paper short abstract:
The film is a construct of fragments from the exhibition making process at the 7th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art. As an evocative portrait of my research path, the film follows the transformation of ideas as manifested in the collaborative work of the artistic office.
Paper long abstract:
ARTISTIC OFFICE (2012) aims to shed insights onto the workings of a large-scale international art exhibition. Comprised of visible forms of complex social processes, the film attempts to expose the mechanisms of how an exhibition is conceptualized and realized. The 7th Berlin Biennale for contemporary art was a discourse-oriented performative exhibit, which attempted to transform the reality of contemporary politics through socially engaged art. The underlying focus of my research was to understand how culture is constructed within an elite art institution, what collaborations and negotiations take place, and how power hierarchy is manifested. I traced lines of thinking involved in the collective process of constructing the biennale, both in terms of artistic production within a defined conceptual framework, and in the curatorial realization of the project in creating a shared context and meaning. The main protagonist is a process, the articulation of an idea from linguistic to visual form in a collaborative trans-cultural context. This process is revealed through the transformation trajectory of ideas as manifested in collaborations, decision- making, and interpersonal relationships. It is presented through the prism of the artistic office team, led by curator Artur Zmijewski and associate curator Joanna Warsza, in a construct of multi-layered fragments evolving parallel to the Biennale.