IN OUR OWN BUBBLES – RESEARCH METHODS, INGORANCE AND THE BIENNALES
lecture by JOANNA WARSZA
8th of May 2014, Node Gallery
There are around 400 biennial exhibitions around the world, and one could go from one opening to another every second day. And most of these biennales engage with a great deal of research done by all the critical people involved – artists, curators, project managers, coordinators and, of course, interns. But what do we mean when we talk about artistic research? Should we know exactly what we are doing when we research, or rather should we be losing control over the process? Is artistic research expected to bring the unexpected, or rather to affirm a couple of pre-determined agendas? As a curator working predominantly outside of the white cube: with performance, public art, contextresponsive interventions, art and activism – I reflect on the rise of the importance of practice-oriented research in contemporary art. Taking as a starting point a few research methods: such as ‘journalist-like’ during the 7. Berlin Biennale, ‘investigation-like’ for the Gothenburg Biennale, as well as the current preparation process for the public program at Manifesta 10 in Saint Petersburg – the presentation will raise some recurring questions about the ignorance, sustainability, project-dictate and many other side effects one encounters while doing
‘research’ in the bubbles of the contemporary art. Joanna Warsza is a researcher, writer and curator in visual, performing arts and architecture. Currently she is in charge of the public programs for Manifesta 10 in Saint Petersburg. Previously she has acted as the curator of the Georgian Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale, and as the associate curator of the 7th Berlin Biennale. She is based in Berlin and Warsaw.