January 26th, 2014

Biennale de Lyon

Anicka Yi

Artists: Jonathas de Andrade, Ed Atkins, Trisha Baga, Matthew Barney, Neïl Beloufa, Gerry Bibby, Juliette Bonneviot, Dineo Seshee Bopape, The Bruce High Quality Foundation, Antoine Catala, Xavier Cha, Paul Chan, Ian Cheng, Dan Colen, Petra Cortright, Jason Dodge, Aleksandra Domanovi, David Douard, Mette Edvardsen, Erró, Roe Ethridge, Edward Fornieles, Gabríela Friðriksdóttir, Robert Gober, Karl Haendel, Rana Hamadeh, Louise Hervé & Chloé Maillet, Fabrice Hyber, Glenn Kaino, John Kelsey, Jeff Koons, Donna Kukama, Margaret Lee & Michele Abeles, Patricia Lennox-Boyd, Laida Lertxundi, Aalliicceelleessccaannnnee&Ssoonniiaadde errzzyyppoollsskkii, Ann Lislegaard, Nate Lowman, MadeIn Company, Václav Magid, Helen Marten, Thiago Martins De Melo, Bjarne Melgaard, Takao Minami, Meloko Mokgosi, Paulo Nazareth, Paulo Nimer Pjota, Yoko Ono, Aude Pariset, Laure Prouvost, Lili Reynaud Dewar, James Richards, Tabor Robak, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Matthew Ronay, Tom Sachs, Georgia Sagri, Hiraki Sawa, Mary Sibande, Alexandre Singh, Sumakshi Singh, Gustavo Speridião, Tavares Strachan, Nobuaki Takekawa, Ryan Trecartin & Lizzie Fitch, Peter Wächtler, Hannah Weinberger, Ming Wong, Helga Wretman, Yang Fudong, Yang Zhengzhong, Anicka Yi, Zhang Ding

Exhibition Title: 12th Biennale de Lyon

Curated by: Gunnar B. Kvaran

Date: September 12 – January 5, 2014

Click here to view slideshow

Neïl Beloufa

Jonathas de Andrade


Gabríela Friðriksdóttir

Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.


Images courtesy of Biennale de Lyon.

Press Release:

The 2013 Biennale de Lyon brings together and presents the work of artists from all over the world who work with narrative and use their artworks to experiment with the modalities and mechanisms of storytelling. The exhibition foregrounds the inventiveness which contemporary artists have brought to bear on finding new ways to tell new stories – something they do by dismantling mainstream narrative codes and off-the-peg plotting devices.

These artists present their narrative works in a wide variety of forms and they use many different registers, materials, techniques and technologies. It is not surprising, then, that the exhibition contains a mix of sculptures, paintings, still and animated images, arrangements of texts and of sounds and objects in space, performances, and other genres. It underlines how young artists today, according to whether they work in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa, or in North America, imagine tomorrow’s stories. Their narrative methods eschew the suspense and excitements of global fiction as peddled by Hollywood, television, and international best-sellers. Theirs are completely new narratives which defamiliarise the world, and restore the radical strangeness and complexity that is usually flattened and smothered by conventional storytelling. They are artistic narratives that show us the world and make us understand it as something that remains constantly new and intelligible.

There are, then, a host of stories of all kinds and genres that the artists have developed from actual experience or imaginary constructs, from anecdotes of daily life, social phenomena or significant historical events, and they will spread and interact, with no hierarchy and no meta-narrative intention, across the various venues of this year’s Biennale: La Sucrière, the Museum of contemporary Art (macLYON) and the Bullukian Foundation – and for, this edition, two new venues, the Chaufferie de l’Antiquaille and the Saint-Just church. There are also works which, along with the narratives they convey, will be nosing their way into private houses and flats in Lyon to be displayed there according to the curatorial whims of the inhabitants of these unusual exhibition venues for the entire time oftheBiennale.Allthesestoriesareoutthere for visitors to appropriate and retell in their turn, perhaps with a different slant, perhaps developing them a little and no doubt distorting them sometimes as well. There are various ways in which the stories will spread: through conversations, hearsay, rumour, perhaps also through social networking technologies. And the resulting narratives will be unpredictable – embellished, discontinuous and fragmented. Although the intention is, above all, that this new edition of the Biennale de Lyon should be a pluralistic, shared, collective event, it is nonetheless a totally subjective affair and I take full responsibility for that. The list of artists reflects the path that has led me to give it its present form. In the first place, there are the established artists: Erró, Yoko Ono, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Robert Gober, Jeff Koons, Matthew Barney, Fabrice Hyber, Tom Sachs, Ann Lislegaard and Bjarne Melgaard – people I have already worked closely with, people whose experimental approaches have opened my eyes to the new narrative configurations in contemporary art. These artists have impressed me with their ability to invent a politics of visual narrative through their works that makes things that strike us as natural and inevitable seem merely incidental; and they do this by challenging the myth of natural narrative order that any social, moral or political order uses in order to consolidate and prolong its sway.

An art biennial must, of course, give an account of what is happening in contemporary art. To avoid being lulled into blinkered thinking, and realizing that one must be constantly on the look-out for new ways of interpreting and narrating the world, I decided to present a whole new generation of artists that I have discovered in the course of research and trips to all parts of the world. These artists have been finding new ways of representing the complexity of the modern world using narrative experimental forms that transcend words.

The thinking behind the 2013 Lyon Biennale involves the idea of a contemporary art biennial as a way of highlighting what works have in common rather than constructing a prescribed world. And for this reason the title chosen for the 2013 Biennale carefully avoids any descriptive synthesis of the works presented but seeks rather to remove them from the kind of easy explanatory setting that too often works against their inherent multiple meanings. The title chosen foregrounds the processes of storytelling. It is a statement about the need for an exhibition to remain true to its purpose: in this case, a renewed attention to form as the generator of meaning, and the recognition that in a story the way it is told, the construction of a new narrative form, is primordial.

Link: Biennale de Lyon

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