The Taipei Biennial is organised by the Taipei Museum of Fine Arts. The 6th edition, curated by Manray Hsu [Germany/Taiwan] and Vasif Kortun [Turkey], takes place between September 13, 2008 and January 4, 2009.
In addition to the Taipei Museum of Fine Arts, which is the main venue established for the Taipei Biennials, the 6th edition also includes projects in the Beer Brewery, on the mega-digital screen at the Taipei Arena, in Taipei Art Park, at the Zhongxiao Xinsheng MRT Station, and an intervention at No.13, Qidong Street. The Biennial will also employ a number of advertising boards in the city, spreading the exhibition throughout different neighbourhoods and bringing the project into view when least expected.
In addition, upon the invitation of the curators, the artist/activist Oliver Ressler presents an exhibition within the context of the Biennial titled A World Where Many Worlds Fit that is dedicated to resistance movements.
The Taipei Biennial originates from a constellation of correlated themes all connected to neo-liberal capitalist globalisation. The threads of investigation in the exhibition include urban transformation in Taiwan, circumstances for immigrant and illegal labour, mobility, borders, divided states and micro-nations, permanent war condition, ecological breakdown, global unrest, and the opportunities for change. All these threads are processed and witnessed through do-it-yourself practices, individual stories, and humour. While art does not provide answers, it has the capacity to reflect on these issues from multiple angles, to work with different forms of enquiry and determine when to focus on individual moments. As with the approach of the Biennial, no story is infinitely singular. Each area of focus is associated with many other questions, for example, the mobility of a tourist, a temporary worker, or a foreign bride are certainly not the same, not even similar. Towards this end, the Biennial has been commissioning as many new works as possible, or asking the participating artists to rethink and adapt previous projects in light of their presentation in Taipei. There will also be existing works presented in juxtaposition to the new ones. The exhibition will include thematic compilations and farcical and biting videos.
There will be performative works and interventions in the city, some of which will be documented and reconfigured in the exhibition venues. The Beer Brewery, a site that has been through an extended process of transformation from its inauguration as Taiwan's first beer factory (a production and distribution site built during the Japanese occupation), to a state monopoly that involved the privatisation, re-branding and finally relocation to a site outside of the city centre. While the factory's history can be read as a classic example of shifting states of use in any post-industrialised city in the world, the exhibition is interested in seeking the nuances and specificities found within the general. The brewery's daily operation will continue during the exhibition run, and its space will be utilised as a real place rather than an insular exhibition zone.
Parallel programming includes a conference co-presented with the Dictionary of War that takes place on October 24 and 25, 2008; a film programme related to the themes of the exhibition co-hosted by the Urban Nomad Film Festival; and in collaboration with Taipei Drift, an International Workshop for Art Academics, 2008.
By means of these projects the curators and artists will explore the diverse opportunities that this Biennial is capable of creating and responding to.