If are an art, design and architecture buff like myself, this would be the year to work remotely and visit the top biennales being exhibited across the world. Here are my top 10 picks to visit in 2022.
Kathmandu Triennale, Nepal
When: February 11–March 11, 2022
Curators: Artistic director Cosmin Costinas and co-curators Sheelasha Rajbhandari and Hit Man Gurung
Opening in February, the Kathmandu Triennale for 2022 is themed KT 2077 – and offers an ambitious and forward-looking programme that will incorporate the ideas of decolonisation, indigenous knowledge and displacement while looking beyond the Eurocentric canon.
The event, curated by artistic director Cosmin Costinas along with artists and cultural organisers Sheelasha Rajbhandari and Hit Man Gurung, will be held in three different venues across Nepal’s capital: Patan, Boudha, Kathmandu. More than 100 artists and collaborators from 40 countries are expected to exhibit their works.
Toronto Biennial of Art, Canada
When: March 26–June 5, 2022
Curators: Tairone Bastien, Candice Hopkins, Katie Lawson and contributing curators Clare Butcher, Myung-Sun Kim
Having post poned the event by six months, the Biennial will bring together 37 local and international artists, hailing from over 18 places of origin including Argentina, Canada, England, France, Germany, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Norway, Pakistan, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, and Zimbabwe, as well as Indigenous communities in Canada, Colombia, Aotearoa | New Zealand, Norway, and the United States. The range of contributors reflects Toronto’s status as one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world and the Biennial’s commitment to inspire people, bridge communities, and contribute to global conversations.
Read my blog post of the 2019 Toronto Art Biennial review here.
Venice Biennale, Italy
When: April 23–November 27, 2022
Curators: Cecilia Alemani
Two years later, the Venice Biennale 2020 will finally take place from April 23 to November 27. Last year, the major art event in Italy was postponed because of the pandemic.
The title and theme of the next event – The Milk of Dreams – was announced in June 2021. Curated by Cecilia Alemani, the title is borrowed from a book by Leonora Carrington and will consider the state of the world today, particularly in terms of the body and its relation to the earth, ecologies and our relationship to technology.
Watch my interview with 2021 Canadian Pavilion curator David Theodore of McGill University and realized by Montréal architecture and design practice T B A / Thomas Balaban Architect here.
12th Berlin Biennale, Germany
When: June 11–September 18, 2022
Curators: Kader Attia
Since its founding in 1996, the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art has become one of the most important international forums for contemporary art. Each edition brings together the most influential current positions of artists, theorists, and practitioners from a variety of fields in one of the most culturally progressive cities in Europe.
The Berlin Biennale takes place every two years at varying locations in Berlin and is defined by the differing concepts of its renowned curators. It promotes experimental formats and provides the appointed curators the space and freedom to present the latest relevant and challenging positions independent of the art market and collection interests. Participation in the exhibition has contributed to numerous young artists achieving international status.
Documenta 15, Germany
When: June 18–September 25, 2022
Curators: ruangrupa artist collective
There is much excitement for documenta fifteen, a contemporary art exhibition that takes place every five years in Kassel, Germany.
This year’s event has been curated by the Indonesian collective ruangrupa. The choice of artistic director for the 15th documenta marks a few firsts – the first collective to be at the helm of the event and the first Asians, too.
For the show, the collective has chosen the agricultural concept of “lumbung” (rice barn) as the starting point to consider various ideas about sustainability, collective and community-based practices, in particular artistic practices that depend on knowledge and dissemination.
When: July 16–October 2, 2022
Curators: Artistic directors Prem Krishnamurthy and Tina Kukielski
Launched in 2018, FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art is a contemporary art exhibition across Northeast Ohio comprised of artist commissions, performances, films, and public programs that takes place across Cleveland, Akron, and Oberlin every three years. Its inaugural edition An American City, which was curated by Artistic Director Michelle Grabner, generated over 90,000 visitors from more than 25 countries and brought $31 million in new economic activity to the region.
Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows, the second iteration of FRONT International, will run from July 16 through October 2, 2022. Building on the success of the first edition, FRONT 2021 will further the Triennial’s commitment to stimulating new and sustained cultural conversations within the region.
When: September 7–November 30, 2022
Curators: Lydia Kallipoliti, Areti Markopoulou, co-curator: Ivan Sergeyev and Sonia Ralston
Tallinn Architecture Biennale TAB 2022 is titled “Edible; Or, The Architecture of Metabolism” and is curated by Lydia Kallipoliti, Areti Markopoulou in collaboration with Co-Curator Ivan Sergejev.
See my previous article of when I visited TAB in 2019 here.
17th Istanbul Biennial, Turkey
When: September 17–November 20, 2022
Curators: Ute Meta Bauer, Amar Kanwar, and David Teh
The largest international art exhibition organised in the region, Istanbul Biennial plays a critical role in the continuation of a conversation between the local and international scene. Istanbul Biennial promotes knowledge and artistic production through the exhibition and alternative learning programmes and generates tangible and intangible spaces that bring together a wide range of visitors.
Considered one of the most thought-provoking art events, the Istanbul Biennial embraces an exhibition model which encourages a dialogue between artists and the audience through the work of the artists instead of a national representation model. The curator, appointed by an international advisory board, develops a conceptual framework according to which a variety of artists and projects are invited to the exhibition.
Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Portugal
When: September 29–December 5, 2022
Curators: Cristina Veríssimo, Diogo Burnay
Terra is the Lisbon Architecture Triennale 2022 theme. With different meanings, depending on the scale and the observer, Terra expresses territory, city, landscape, the place where we belong or a continent seen from the sea. It could be a habitable planet or matter for cultivation. It can be in excess or in short supply, an obstacle or an element in building communities.
The program comprises four exhibitions, four books, three awards, three days of conferences and a selection of Independent Projects. The design of this edition is curated by Cristina Veríssimo and Diogo Burnay, Portuguese duo founders of the architectural studio CVDB.
Read my blog post on the triennale’s theme here
When: July22-October 30, 2022
Curators: Catherine Nichols
Manifesta, the European Nomadic Biennial, changes location every two years. Founded in the early 1990s, Manifesta rethinks the relation between culture and civic society, investigating and instigating positive social change through contemporary culture in response to, and in close dialogue with, the social sphere of the Host City and its communities. Manifesta has consistently chosen unexpected host locations that reflect Europe’s ever-changing DNA to shed light on a world defined by changing ethical and aesthetic imperatives. Manifesta, as a recurring event, has transformed itself into a multilayered and inclusive instrument of civic engagement projects.
In 2022, Manifesta 14 Prishtina will take place in Prishtina, Kosovo. Manifesta 14 aims to support the citizens of Kosovo in their ambition to reclaim public space and to rewrite the future of their capital as an open-minded metropolis in the Balkans and in Europe through the development of a new cultural institution.