March 12, 2009 - Biennale de Lyon - The Spectacle of the Everyday
March 12, 2009

The Spectacle of the Everyday

The Spectacle of the Everyday
The 10th edition of the Biennale de Lyon

16 September 2009 – 3 January 2010

Preview: 14 – 15 September 2009

The Spectacle of the Everyday, the 10th edition of the Biennale de Lyon

The Biennale de Lyon will be led by Hou Hanru, Curator, and Thierry Raspail, Artistic Director. This 10th edition, entitled The Spectacle of the Everyday will run from 16 September 2009 to 3 January 2010.

The professionals’ days will be 14-15 September.

Everyday life as art was born in the ’50s with John Cage’s Silence; between East Coast and West Coast with George Brecht and Allan Kaprow; with Anna Halprin, Richard Rauschenberg and the Judson Dance Theater; with Terry Riley and La Monte Young too, and George Maciunas. That was long ago.

In the Western world, spectacle was born with the Greeks and tragedy. The Renaissance turned it into perspective; and the Situationists, into an ideology. That was long ago.

Spectacle and Everyday have set the tempo for civilisation since time immemorial, but today they have become underpinnings of a globalised artistic practice involving exchange, comparison, reciprocal contradiction and reversal of signifiers.

The dazzling success of art biennales in the ’90s, and the way they have swept the planet, have paradoxically helped to flatten particularisms – Edouard Glissant’s isthmuses and archipelagos – and to erode the processes of filiation and transmission. Today, putting aside the mercantile dealings, the aesthetic issues, the syndromes of universality and relativism, problems of centre and periphery, conflicts between cultural eras, and power struggles of every kind and gender, the everyday (“art and life”) remains a central question. Spectacle is its economic extension, its finery, its bête noire – and, in a sense, its embodiment.

And so, in today’s life, what time and narrative, in Paul Ricoeur’s sense, are we to construct, if not those of the spectacle of the everyday?

This is the title of the 10th Biennale de Lyon.

Thierry Raspail
Artistic director of the Biennale de Lyon

Hou Hanru, Curator of the Biennale de Lyon 2009
Born in 1963 in China, Hou Hanru is a prolific and dynamic critic and curator based in Paris and San Francisco. He is Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs and also Chair of Exhibition and Museum Studies at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Hou Hanru received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, where he was trained in art history. He has been a consultant for several cultural institutions internationally including the Solomon Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Deutsche Bank Collection, Frankfurt; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Contemporary Art Museum in Kumamoto, Japan. He has taught and lectured at numerous institutions including the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam and the Hoger Instituut voor Schone Kunsten in Ghent.

Hou Hanru is a correspondent for Flash Art International and a regular contributor to several other contemporary-art journals including ART iT, artasiapacific and Yishu.

He has curated many exhibitions including: the exhibition programme at the Walter and McBean Galleries, San Francisco Art Institute, since 2006, featuring artists such as Sarkis, Allora & Calzadilla, Jens Haaning, Adel Abdessemed, Teddy Cruz & Pedro Reyes and Yan Pei Ming, as well as groups shows including “World Factory” and “Wherever We Go”; “Too Early for Vacation”, EV + A 2008, Limerick, Ireland, 2008; “Trans(cient) City” and “Global Multitude”, Luxembourg, 2007; “Not Only Possible, But Also Necessary – Optimism in The Age of Global Wars”, 10th Istanbul Biennale, 2007; “Everyday Miracle, four woman artists in the Chinese Pavilion (Shen Yuan, Yin Xiuzhen, Kan Xuan, Cao Fei)”, 52nd Venice Biennale, 2007; “Laboratoire pour un Avenir Incertain (Laboratory for an Uncertain Future)”, Grand Palais, Paris, France, 2006, “Go Inside”, 3rd Tirana Biennale, 2005; “The Second Guangzhou Triennial: Beyond – An Extraordinary Space of Experimentation for Modernization”, 2004-2006; Nuit Blanche, Paris, 2004; “Z.O.U, Zone of Urgency”, Venice Biennale, 2003; Gwangju Biennale, 2002; and “Shanghai Spirit”, Shanghai Biennale, 2000.

Professional Relations Management
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Biennale de Lyon
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