THE 3RD GHETTO BIENNALE, 2013:
DECENTERING THE MARKET AND OTHER TALES OF PROGRESS
What happens when First World art rubs up against Third World art? Does it bleed? In December 2009 Atis Rezistans, the Sculptors of Grand Rue, hosted their first Ghetto Biennale. They invited fine artists, film-makers, academics, photographers, musicians, architects and writers, to come to the Grand Rue area of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, to make or witness work that was made or happened, in their neighbourhood. In the words of the writer John Keiffer, it was hoping to be a “'third space'...an event or moment created through a collaboration between artists from radically different backgrounds”. The 2nd Ghetto Biennale took place in December 2011 and seemed, in a contradiction to its aims, to reveal contextual, internal and institutional vulnerabilities to the inequalities that run across race, class and gender, provoking further questioning of the way these dynamics play out in an increasingly globalized art world.
While the Ghetto Biennale was conceived to expose social, racial, class and geographical immobility, it seemed to have upheld these class inertias within its structural core. The Ghetto Biennale is looking for balance amongst the multifarious and often contradictory agendas underpinning the event. Are we institutional critique or a season ticket to the institution? Are we poverty tourism or an exit strategy from the ghetto? What was the effect of the earthquake and the ensuing NGO culture on cross-cultural relations in Haiti? The straplines for the previous Ghetto Biennales were ‘What happens when first world art rubs up against third world art? Does it bleed?’…Did the Ghetto Biennale bleed, and if so where?
We have decided to respond to the challenges posed by the previous incarnations of this event by giving the 3rd Ghetto Biennale a theme. We are seeking artistic projects, which investigate or respond to ‘The Market’ from the local to the Global. We have also decided to make it a lens free Biennale to partially resist both the ethnographic gaze and the commodity fetishism that the lens can engender. *
The 3rd Ghetto Biennale seeks artistic projects that respond to this topic, help us to expose the boundaries of a globalized art market, and have meaningful discussion about sameness and diversity in an allegedly de-centered art world. The 3rd Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince is trying to create a space for artistic production that attempts to offer, whilst understanding all its limitations, artists from wide socioeconomic classes, a complex creative platform. The Ghetto Biennale hopes to contain the seeds of a possibility to transcend different models of ghettoization.
The 3rd Ghetto Biennale 2013 will take place from 26th November until the 16th December 2013. All works must be made and exhibited in Haiti. Artists will be invited to pass one to three weeks in Haiti before presenting their work in the neighbourhood to an audience of local people, Port au Prince neighbourhood communities, arts collectives and arts organisations. The 3rd Ghetto Biennale will be co-curated by Andre Eugene, David Frohnapfel, Leah Gordon and Celeur Jean Herard.
Atis-Rezistans: the Sculptors of Grand Rue' can be viewed at http://vimeo.com/14681755
Find more information about Atis-Rezistans visit www.atis-rezistans.com
Enquiries, applications & questions contact: Leah Gordon at Leahgordon@aol.com