The Bangkok Biennial has been set up as a challenge to the ‘authority’ of institutionalized access to representation in art and curatorial practices. It offers an open-source platform: a level playing field for creative experimentation and social installation which chooses a model of inclusivity in contrast to top-down art economics.
By engaging with the well-understood city-based ‘biennial/biennale’’ format, the Bangkok Biennial explodes many of the inherent assumptions; in an effort towards decentralization, the Bangkok Biennial has no central curators, no dispersion of resources and even does not take place only in the city of Bangkok. It is an ‘open-access’ event.
There is a global trend of experimental approaches to the large-scale biennial-type art event. We align ourselves in this direction, rather than attempting to emulate the model of a 100+ year-old institution such as the Venice Biennale. We find this contemporary experimenting with approach more relevant in the current economic-socio-political climate(s) than the traditional top-down processes.
Bangkok Biennial is an exploration of another structure of representation.
“Why do we use the word ‘pavilion’? We seek to deconstruct the… connotation of the word ‘pavilion’. This is a reclamation of access. A rejection of the authority which grants and restricts that access”
To this end, we have set up a model of decentralization through a platform on which to build autonomous pavilions called the Bangkok Biennial. A pavilion can be built by anyone who is able to do so. The nature of each pavilion will be determined by the instigator of that pavilion and the nature of the biennial will be determined by the sum of all pavilions.
This model sets up a participatory framework with which the various stakeholders can choose to engage or not. Engagement will come both from those who participate in the Bangkok Biennial as well as those who become active critics of it. We believe this approach will add to a more rounded representation of contemporary art practice and lead to a relevant and interesting biennial exhibition.