Mihnea Mircan and Kasia Redzisz appointed curators of the fourth edition of the Art Encounters Biennial

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Mihnea Mircan and Kasia Redzisz appointed curators of the fourth edition of the Art Encounters Biennial
Mihnea Mircan. Photo: © Mihnea Mircan.

TIMIșOARA.- The Art Encounters Biennial has announced that Mihnea Mircan and Kasia Redzisz will curate its fourth edition, to be held in Timișoara, Romania, on 1 October-14 November 2021.

Under the title of Our Other Us, the 2021 edition of the Art Encounters Biennial responds to the current global context by presenting two curatorial projects that explore empathy and responsibility as values that drive our existence. The curators investigate various modes of collectivity as alternative ways of being in the world, while simultaneously concentrating on the transformations that influence the act of self-perception. The ideas embedded in their exhibitions find their translation in the Biennial’s ongoing engagement with local institutions, organisations, and in initiatives aimed at establishing new partnerships and collaborations. The Biennial’s exhibitions will span several locations in the city of Timișoara. The accompanying public programme will feature performances, screenings, talks and presentations curated by Mircan and Redzisz together with the Biennial’s team.

The two curatorial projects reflect Mircan and Redzisz’s commitment to interdisciplinary formats and to establishing transnational dialogues between artistic practices stemming from diverse geographies. Their projects respond to the context and history of Timișoara while also addressing global concerns. Embracing the Biennial’s mission to support local art ecosystems, their exhibitions will feature new commissions by emerging artists from Romania and the wider region.

Mihnea Mircan is a curator, writer and PhD candidate at the Monash University, Melbourne. He was the artistic director of Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerpen, between 2011-2015 and he curated numerous exhibitions at prestigious art institutions, such as Le Pavillon – Palais de Tokyo, Stroom Den Haag, MUSEION, Bolzano, and Fondation Ricard Paris. Mihnea Mircan is an author and editor of books and exhibition catalogues, among which is the monographic survey of Miklos Onucsan, and a regular contributor to international art publications, such as Afterall, Mousse and Manifesta Journal.

Kasia Redzisz is Senior Curator at Tate Liverpool, where she is responsible for the programme and international collaborations. Prior to that she worked at Tate Modern (2010-15), where she curated a number of exhibitions. Between 2008 and 2015 she was Director of Open Art Projects, an organisation dedicated to innovative art commissions. Her independent work includes numerous interdisciplinary exhibitions, most recently the inaugural exhibition of Muzeum Susch. Redzisz has edited and contributed to several exhibition catalogues and published her texts in magazines such as Frieze, Mousse and Tate Etc.

Commenting on his exhibition for the 2021 Art Encounters Biennial, Mihnea Mircan said: ‘The title, Landscape in a Convex Mirror, along with the temporal and spatial visions that the show coalesces through the works of contemporary artists and their relationship with the art of the past and the crises of the present, centres around the theme of vertigo. Vertigo as a modus operandi: a methodology of attention, a composition of vanishing points, of degrees and units of measure for directions, intensities and cadences.’

Kasia Redzisz summarises her concept for the Biennial as follows: ‘My proposal for the biennial consists of two exhibitions: a regional, historical survey investigating the relationship between artists and nature and its contemporary counterpart. I hope that, together, these shows will present proposals for meaningful coexistence in the world, not a simple critique of the present moment, but a stimulating reflection on our possible futures.’

Alongside a series of talks with the Biennial's participants organised in the run-up to the opening of the exhibition, and throughout its duration, the event will feature an exhibition organised by The Interart TRIADE Foundation at the Timișoara Art Museum. In addition, the Biennial will create a complementary platform dedicated to issues that are relevant to the Romanian art scene, and a whole host of opportunities for sharing and discussing ideas, such as talks, workshops, roundtables, and a symposium. The Biennial’s commitment to supporting young curators will translate into the Autumn School of Curating organised in collaboration with Cluj Cultural Centre. The mediation and education programme, designed in collaboration with Contrasens Association and aimed at encouraging individuals of all ages and with diverse backgrounds and interests to actively participate in the arts, will continue to be one of the Biennial’s primary areas of focus.

The Art Encounters Biennial is a cross between an experimental art festival and a contemporary art biennial. It focuses on extensive curatorial research that engages in meaningful dialogues with the historical and socio-cultural contexts of Timișoara. The Biennial’s mission is to become a creative meeting point for artists, communities, institutions, and ideas.

Founded in 2015, the Art Encounters Foundation is an independent art initiative aimed at enriching and supporting the development of the contemporary art scene in Romania and the wider region. The foundation’s activities are carried out in three main directions: The Art Encounters Biennial and the programme of exhibitions; the artistic and curatorial residencies; and a continuous education and mediation programme.

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