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Diana Campbell Betancourt

Thinking beyond the event -
considering large scale exhibition platforms in the 21st century
9–18 August 2018

exhibition view, Dhaka Art Summit 2016
Sandeep Mukherjee, the Sky Remains, exhibition view, Dhaka Art Summit 2016, courtesy of the artist, Samdani Art Foundation, and Project88
photo: Jenni Carter

Curatorial theory and practice

Hohensalzburg Fortress


What to bring

Reading will be provided in advance

Maximum number of participants

Mirela Baciak

Participation fee
€ 600,– (€ 470,–)

Biennials and the “global grand exhibition” were born during the late 19th century, a time when the ability to journey beyond one’s immediate geographic reach was limited to a small group of people. Today, international travel is cheaper than ever, making foreign travel more accessible. New biennials and large-scale recurring exhibitions still emerge every year, increasing employment opportunities for curators in diverse contexts and creating a “global biennial ecology”.

In recent years, a group of curators and artists have been questioning and rethinking the biennial model and its constraints and possibilities. Along with a number of guest lectures of notable curators of past biennials, this course will explore how we evaluate a biennial and the concomitant expectations and ethics, and consider the legacy of notable historical exhibitions of this type. We will envision what a new form of biennial for the 21st century might look like – one that allows space for artists, space for freedom, local roots, and mobility beyond the existing “biennial circuit”, “art world” or “tourist trap”. The course includes a two-night trip to Vienna, completely funded by the Austrian Federal Chancellery.

Following the course, the Culture Department of the Styrian Provincial Government will invite three curators to explore the lively art scene in Graz from 19 to 21 August 2018. They will receive travel and accommodation expenses. Please apply by 2 May 2018 to Christiane Kada with a Letter of Intent.
Diana Campbell Betancourt is an American curator based in Manila and Dhaka; she has been working across South Asia since 2010. She is artistic director of the Samdani Art Foundation in Dhaka and chief curator of the Dhaka Art Summit, which has established itself in the six years since its inception as a pioneering, non-commercial research and exhibition platform for contemporary South Asian art. Betancourt has worked on questions of cross-cultural encounters in public space, and rethinking what public space might mean in non-Western contexts. She was a Henry Moore Institute Fellow for 2015–2016, curator in residence at the FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, a research fellow at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum for 2016, and nominee for the ICI Independent Vision Curatorial Award. Concurrently with her work in Bangladesh, she is artistic director of Bellas Artes Projects (PH), and chairs the board of the Mumbai Art Room (IN).

2018 Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka. Out of Body: Bruce Conner, Bellas Artes Projects, Manila and Bataan (PH). 2017 High Noon at Cagayan Garden, Bellas Artes Projects, Manila. Raqib Shaw, The Whitworth, London. Nazareno, Quiapo Constellations, Bellas Artes Projects, Manila. Prelude: Carlos Amorales, Bellas Artes Projects, Manila. 2016 8688, Project 88, Mumbai. You Cannot Cross the Sea Merely by Staring at the Waves, curated by_Vienna, Krinzinger Projekte, Vienna. Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka. Chemical Theater, Art C, Chennai (IN).

Diana Campbell Betancourt (ed.): Dhaka Art Summit 2016, OCA Norway, Mousse Publishing, Milan 2016.
Diana Campbell Betancourt (ed.): Dhaka Art Summit 2016, Samdani Art Foundation, Dhaka 2014.

Portrait photo Diana Campbell Betancourt