Curated by Harrell Fletcher and Jens Hoffmann
For this exhibition, five art institutions in the United States will present a biennial of contemporary art consisting of works by five artists in each of the institutions’ local communities, selected by the show’s guest curators, Harrell Fletcher and Jens Hoffmann. The institutions must be in locations that lie outside mainstream art centers, but in places where art nonetheless thrives. Five appropriate, geographically widespread institutions will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis. The curators will visit each community to choose artists and works, and will be available to conduct round-table discussions at each institution during their stay.
People’s Biennial is a response to several critical issues within the often-isolated world of art. Prominent among these is the fact that many biennial exhibitions in the United States focus primarily on art from just a few cities, usually New York and Los Angeles and sometimes Chicago, Miami, and San Francisco. An even larger problem is the art world’s ever increasing exclusivity, which has turned the spaces where art is produced and exhibited into privileged havens detached from the ordinary realities of everyday life. A critique of the often overly spectacular biennial model is also a key aspect of this exhibition. In contrast, People’s Biennial will display significant contemporary work originating from often overlooked locales by artists who have not had significant exposure, thus offering a potential model for more community-based and even grassroots exhibitions.
Harrell Fletcher is an artist who has worked collaboratively and individually on socially engaged, interdisciplinary projects for more than fifteen years; his work has been exhibited throughout the United States, and in Europe. He is a professor of art and social practice at portland state university in Portland, Oregon.
Jens Hoffmann is director of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco. He has curated over three-dozen exhibitions since the late 1990s. He was director of exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London from 2003 to 2007. Hoffmann is an adjunct professor at the California College of the Arts, San Francisco, a guest professor at the Nuova Accademia de Belle Arti, Milan, and a faculty member at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He is the co-curator for the 12th Istanbul Biennial in fall 2011.
Caleb Belden, Mary Bordeaux, Ally Drozd with Judge Evans and the Portland Community Court, Laura Deutch, Gary Freitas, Jorge Figueroa, Sylvia Gray (with the Elsewhere Collaborative), Jim Grosbach, Nicole Harvieux, Warren Hatch, Jake Herman, Maiza Hixson, David Hoelzinger, Howard Kleger, Cymantha Diaz Liakos, Ellen Lesperance, Jonathan Lindsay, Dennis Newell, Bob Newland, Raymond Mariani, Alan Massey, Jim McMillan, Jennifer McCormick, Beatrice Moore and The Mutant Piñata Show (with piñatas by Mike Maas, Ana Forner, Chris Clark, Tom Cooper, and Koryn Woodward), Joseph Perez, Bernie Peterson, Bruce Price, David Rosenak, JJ Ross, Andrew Sgarlet, Robert Smith-Shabazz, Rudy Speerschneider, Andrea Sweet, James Wallner, Presley H. Ward, Paul Wilson
January 27, 2012 - March 2, 2012
October 15, 2011 - January 15, 2012
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
July 8, 2011 - September 18, 2011
Rapid City, South Dakota
January 14, 2011 - March 27, 2011
September 10, 2010 - October 17, 2010
Portland Institute for Contemporary Art
THE WORKS at Washington High School
531 SE 14th Ave.
Portland, OR 97214
September 9, 2010
370 Lancaster Avenue
June 29, 2010
Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art
750 Marguerite Drive
May 20, 2010
Dahl Arts Center
713 7th Street
Rapid City, SD
April 8, 2010
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
7380 E. Second St.
February 23, 2010
The Cleaners at the Ace Hotel
403 SW 10th Ave
February 6, 2010
The Lumber Room
November 20, 2009