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,6 Open ioo/No.

16/Te Art Biennial as a Global Phenomenon


Boris Groys
From Medium
to Message
Te Art Exhibition
as Model of a
New World Order
Art phi|osopher
Boris Groys sees the
art insta||ation as a
way of making hid-
den rea|ity visib|e.
Te ambiguous
meaning of the
notion of freedom
that Groys observes
in our democratic
order is a|so present
in the contempo-
rary art insta||ation.
Tis can be exposed
by examining it and
ana|ysing the ro|e of
the artist and the
curator. Te pub|ic
space created by the
insta||ation, and by
the biennia|, is the
mode| for a new
po|itica| wor|d
order.
From Medium to Message ,;
Today, art is frequent|y equated with
the art market, and the artwork is
primari|y identied as a commodity.
Tat art functions in the context of
the art market and that every work of
art is a commodity is beyond doubt.
But art is a|so made and exhibited for
those who do not want to be art co|-
|ectors and they are the majority of
the art pub|ic. Te typica| exhibition
visitor rare|y sees the exhibited art as
a commodity. At the same time the
number of |arge-sca|e exhibitions, of
biennia|s and triennia|s, documentas
and manifestas, is constant|y growing.
A|| these big exhibitions, in which so
much money and energy is invested,
are not made primari|y for art buyers,
but for the |arge mass, for the anony-
mous visitor who wi|| perhaps never
buy an artwork. A|so, art fairs which,
on the face of it, are meant to serve
the art buyers are now being increas-
ing|y transformed into events in
pub|ic space which a|so attract peop|e
who have no interest or not enough
money to buy art. Te art system
thus is on the way to becoming part
of that mass cu|ture that art has |ong
been out to watch and ana|yse from a
distance. It is becoming a part of mass
cu|ture not as a production of indi-
vidua| pieces traded on the art mar-
ket, but as an exhibition practice that
combines with architecture, design
and fashion as it was envisaged by
the pioneering minds of the avant-
garde, by the artists of the Bauhaus,
the Vkhutemas, and others as ear|y
as in the 1ios. Tus, contemporary
art can be understood primari|y as
an exhibition practice. Tat means,
among many other things, that it is
becoming increasing|y di cu|t today
to dierentiate between the two main
gures of the contemporary art wor|d
the artist and the curator.
Te traditiona| division of |abour
inside the art system was c|ear
enough. Te artworks were produced
by artists and then se|ected and exhib-
ited by curators. But at |east since
Duchamp this division of |abour has
co||apsed. Today there is no |onger
an onto|ogica| dierence between
making art and disp|aying art. In the
context of contemporary art, to make
art means to show things as art. So
the question arises: is it possib|e and,
if yes, how is it possib|e to dierenti-
ate between the ro|es of artist and
curator when there is no dierence
between art production and art exhi-
bition? Now I wou|d argue that such
a dierentiation is sti|| possib|e. And
I wou|d |ike to do so by ana|ysing the
dierence between the standard exhi-
bition and the art insta||ation. A con-
ventiona| exhibition is conceived as
an accumu|ation of art objects which
are p|aced next to one another in the
exhibition space to be viewed one
after the other. Te exhibition space
works in this case as an extension of
the neutra|, pub|ic urban space |ike
a side a||ey, in fact, that the passer-by
may turn into if he or she has paid the
admission fee. Te movement of the
visitors through the exhibition space
remains simi|ar to that of a passer-by
wa|king down a street and watching
the architecture of the houses |eft and
right. It is by no means accidenta| that
Wa|ter Benjamin shou|d construct
,8 Open ioo/No. 16/Te Art Biennial as a Global Phenomenon
his Arcades Project around the ana|-
ogy between an urban stro||er and
an exhibition visitor. Te body of the
viewer in this case remains outside art:
art takes p|ace in front of the viewers
eyes as an art object, a performance,
or a |m. According|y, in this case
the exhibition space is understood
as being an empty, neutra|, pub|ic
space. Te exhibition space is here a
symbo|ic property of the pub|ic. Te
on|y function of such an exhibition
space is to make the art objects that
are p|aced in it easi|y accessib|e to the
gaze of the visitors.
Te curator administers this space
in the name of the pub|ic and as a
representative of the pub|ic. Accord-
ing|y, the curators ro|e is to safeguard
the pub|ic character of the exhibition
space and at the same time to bring
the individua| artworks into this pub-
|ic space, to make them accessib|e to
the pub|ic, to pub|icize them. It is
obvious that an individua| artwork
cannot assert its presence by itse|f,
forcing the viewer to take a |ook at it.
It |acks the vita|ity, energy, and hea|th
to do so. Te work of art, it seems,
is origina||y sick, he|p|ess in order
to see it, viewers have to be taken to
it just |ike hospita| sta takes visitors
to see a bed-ridden patient. It is no
coincidence that the word curator
is etymo|ogica||y re|ated to cure. To
curate is to cure. Curating cures the
power|essness of the image, its inabi|-
ity to show itse|f by itse|f. Exhibition
practice thus is the cure that hea|s
the origina||y ai|ing image, that is,
gives it presence, visibi|ity brings it
to the pub|ic view and turns it into
the object of the pub|ics judgment.
However, one can say that curating
works |ike a supp|ement, |ike a phar-
makon in the sense of Derrida in that
it both cures the image and further
contributes to its i||ness.
1
Tis icono-
c|astic potentia|
of curating was
initia||y directed
against the sacra| objects of the past
by presenting them as mere art objects
in the neutra|, empty exhibition
spaces of the modern art museum
or Kunsthalle. In fact, it is curators,
inc|uding museum curators, who
origina||y produced art in the mod-
ern sense of this word. For the rst
art museums founded in the |ate
eighteenth and ear|y nineteenth cen-
turies and expanded in the course of
the nineteenth century due to impe-
ria| conquests and the pi||aging of
non-European cu|tures co||ected a||
sorts of beautifu| functiona| objects
that were previous|y used for re|igious
rites, interior decoration, or the mani-
festation of persona| wea|th, exhibit-
ing them as works of art, that is, as
defunctiona|ized autonomous objects
put up for the mere purpose of being
viewed. A|| art origina||y is design
be it re|igious design or design of
power. In the modern period, too,
design precedes art. Looking for mod-
ern art in todays museums, we have
to rea|ize that what is to be seen there
as art is, above a||, defunctiona|ized
design fragments, be it mass-cu|ture
design from Duchamps urina| to
Warho|s Bri||o box or utopian
design which from Jugendsti| to
Bauhaus and the Russian avant-garde,
1. Jacques Derrida Force de
loi (Paris: Editions Ga|i|e,
1 [1o])
From Medium to Message ,
and on to Dona|d Judd sought to
give shape to the new |ife of the
future. Art is design that has become
dysfunctiona| because the society that
provided its basis suered a histori-
ca| co||apse, |ike the Inca Empire or
Soviet Russia.
Autonomous Art
In the course of the modern era,
however, artists began to assert the
autonomy of their art understood in
the rst p|ace as autonomy from the
pub|ic opinion, from the pub|ic taste.
Te artists have required the right to
make sovereign decisions regarding
the content and form of their art
beyond any exp|anation and justica-
tion vis--vis the pub|ic. And they
were given this right but on|y to a
certain degree. Te freedom to create
art according to ones own sovereign
wi|| does not automatica||y guarantee
the artist that his or her art wi|| be
a|so exhibited in pub|ic space. Te
inc|usion of any artwork into a pub-
|ic|y accessib|e exhibition must be at
|east potentia||y pub|ic|y exp|ained
and justied. Of course, artist, cura-
tor and art critic are free to argue for
the inc|usion of some artworks or
against such an inc|usion. However,
every such exp|anation and justica-
tion undermines the autonomous,
sovereign character of artistic free-
dom that modernist art has aspired
to win. Every discourse |egitimizing
an artwork can be seen as an insu|t
to this artwork. Every inc|usion of an
artwork in a pub|ic exhibition as on|y
one among other artworks disp|ayed
in the same pub|ic space can be seen
as a denigration of this artwork. Tat
is why in the course of modernity the
curator was considered most|y to be
somebody who keeps pushing himse|f
between the artwork and the viewer
and disempowering the artist and the
viewer at the same time. Hence the
art market appears more favourab|e
to modernist, autonomous art than
the museum or Kunsthalle. On the art
market, works of art circu|ate singu-
|arized, decontextua|ized, uncurated,
which apparent|y gives them a chance
for an unmediated demonstration of
their sovereign origin. Te art market
functions according the ru|es of the
pot|atch as it was described by Mar-
ce| Mauss and Georges Batai||e. Te
sovereign decision of an artist to make
an artwork beyond any justication is
trumped by the sovereign decision of
a private buyer to pay for this artwork
an amount of money beyond any
comprehension.
An art insta||ation, however, does
not circu|ate. Rather, it insta||s eve-
rything that usua||y circu|ates in our
civi|ization: objects, texts, |ms, etcet-
era. At the same time it changes in a
very radica| way the ro|e and func-
tion of the exhibition space. Tis is
because the insta||ation operates by
symbo|ic privatization of the pub|ic
space of exhibition. It may |ook |ike a
standard, curated exhibition, but its
space is designed according the sover-
eign wi|| of an individua| artist who is
not supposed to pub|ic|y justify his or
her se|ection of the inc|uded objects
or organization of the insta||ation
space as a who|e. Te insta||ation is
6o Open ioo/No. 16/Te Art Biennial as a Global Phenomenon
frequent|y denied the status of a spe-
cic art form, because the question
arises what the medium of an insta|-
|ation is. Te traditiona| art media
are a|| dened by a specic materia|
support: canvas, stone, or |m. Now,
the materia| support of the medium
of the insta||ation is the space itse|f.
Tat does not mean, however, that
the insta||ation is somehow immate-
ria|. On the contrary, the insta||ation
is materia| par excellence, since it is
spatia| and being in the space is
the most genera| denition of being
materia|. Te insta||ation transforms
the empty, neutra|, pub|ic space into
an individua| artwork and invites
the visitor to experience this space
as a ho|istic, tota|izing space of this
artwork. Anything inc|uded in such a
space becomes a part of the artwork
on|y because it is p|aced inside this
space. Te distinction between art
object and simp|e object becomes
insignicant here. Instead, what
becomes crucia| is the distinction
between marked insta||ation space,
and unmarked, pub|ic space. When
Marce| Broodthaers presented his
insta||ation entit|ed Muse dArt Mod-
erne, Dpartement des Aigles at the
Dsse|dorf Kunstha||e in 1;, he put
up a sign next to each exhibit saying:
Tis is not a work of art. As a who|e,
however, his insta||ation has been con-
sidered to be a work of art, and not
without reason. Te insta||ation dem-
onstrates a certain se|ection, a certain
chain of choices, a certain |ogic of
inc|usions and exc|usions. Here one
can see an ana|ogy to a curated exhibi-
tion. But it is precise|y the point: the
se|ection and the mode of representa-
tion is here a sovereign prerogative of
the artist a|one. It is based exc|usive|y
on his or her persona| sovereign deci-
sion that is in no need of any further
exp|anation or justication. Te art
insta||ation is a way to expand the
domain of the sovereign rights of the
artist from the individua| art object to
the exhibition space itse|f.
And that means: the art insta||a-
tion is a space in which the dierence
between the sovereign freedom of
the artist and the institutiona| free-
dom of the curator becomes visib|e,
immediate|y ab|e to be experienced.
Te regime under which art operates
in our contemporary Western cu|ture
is genera||y understood as freedom
of art. But the freedom of art means
dierent things to a curator and to
an artist. As it was a|ready said, the
curator inc|uding the so-ca||ed
independent curator makes his or
her choices u|timate|y in the name of
the democratic pub|ic. Actua||y, to be
responsib|e towards the pub|ic a cura-
tor does not need to be part of any
xed institution: the curator is a|ready
an institution by denition. Accord-
ing|y, the curator has the ob|igation
to pub|ic|y justify his or her choices
and it can happen that the curator
fai|s to do so. Of course, the curator
is supposed to have the freedom to
present his or her argument to the
pub|ic. But this freedom of the pub|ic
discussion has nothing to do with the
freedom of art understood as freedom
of private, individua|, subjective, sov-
ereign artistic decisions beyond any
argumentation, exp|anation and justi-
From Medium to Message 61
cation. Te sovereign decision of an
artist to make art in this or that way
is genera||y accepted by the Western
|ibera| society as a su cient reason to
perceive this artists practice as |egiti-
mate. Of course, an artwork can a|so
be criticized and rejected. But an art-
work can be rejected on|y as a who|e.
It makes no sense to criticize any
particu|ar choices, inc|usions or exc|u-
sions made by an artist. In this sense
the tota| space of an art insta||ation
can be a|so rejected on|y as a who|e.
To use the same examp|e: nobody
wou|d criticize Broodthaers for hav-
ing over|ooked this or that particu|ar
image of this or that particu|ar eag|e
in his insta||ation.
Te Insta||ation as a Testing Ground
So one can say that in our Western
society the notion of freedom is
deep|y ambiguous and, of course,
not on|y in the e|d of art but a|so in
the po|itica| e|d. In many domains of
socia| practice such as private con-
sumption, investment of ones own
capita|, or choice of ones own re|igion
freedom is understood in the West
as freedom to take private, sovereign
decisions. But in some other domains,
especia||y in the po|itica| e|d, free-
dom is understood primari|y as the
freedom of pub|ic discussion guaran-
teed by |aw and thus non-sovereign,
conditiona|, institutiona| freedom.
But, of course, the private, sovereign
decisions are contro||ed in our socie-
ties to a certain degree by pub|ic opin-
ion and po|itica| institutions. (We a||
know the famous s|ogan: private is
po|itica|). And on the other hand the
open po|itica| discussion is time and
again interrupted by private, sovereign
decisions of the po|itica| actors and
manipu|ated by the private interests
(here, on the contrary, the po|itica|
becomes privatized).
Te artist and the curator embody
these two dierent kinds of freedom
in a very conspicuous manner: the
sovereign, unconditiona|, pub|ic|y
irresponsib|e freedom of art making
and the institutiona|, conditiona|,
pub|ic|y responsib|e freedom of cura-
torship. And that means that the art
insta||ation in which the act of art
production coincides with the act of
art presentation becomes a perfect
experimenta| terrain to revea| and
exp|ore the ambiguity of the Western
notion of freedom the ambiguity
that |ies at the core of this notion.
According|y, in the past decades we
have seen the emergence of the inno-
vative curatoria| projects that seem
to empower the curator to act in an
authoria|, sovereign way. And we a|so
see the emergence of artistic practices
that want to be co||aborative, demo-
cratic, decentra|ized, de-authorized.
Indeed, the art insta||ation is often
viewed today as an art form that
a||ows the artist to democratize his or
her art, to take pub|ic responsibi|ity,
to begin to act in the name of a cer-
tain community or even of society as
a who|e. In this sense the emergence
of the art insta||ation seems to mark
the end of the modernist c|aim to
autonomy and sovereignty. Te deci-
sion of an artist to |et the mu|titude
of visitors enter the space of his or her
6i Open ioo/No. 16/Te Art Biennial as a Global Phenomenon
artwork, and to a||ow them to move
free|y inside it, is interpreted as open-
ing the c|osed space of an artwork
to democracy. Te c|osed artworks
space seems to be transformed into
a p|atform for pub|ic discussion,
democratic practice, communication,
networking, education, and so forth.
But this ana|ysis of the art insta||ation
practice tends to over|ook the act of
symbo|ic privatization of the pub|ic
space by the artist that precedes the
act of the opening of the insta||ation
space to a community of visitors. As
it was a|ready said, the space of the
traditiona| exhibition is a symbo|ic
pub|ic property and the curator who
manages this space acts in the name
of pub|ic opinion. Te visitor of a
standard exhibition remains on his
or her own territory the visitor is a
symbo|ic owner of the space where a||
the individua| artworks are exposed,
de|ivered to his gaze and judgment.
Te space of an art insta||ation, on the
contrary, is the symbo|ic private prop-
erty of the artist. Entering the insta||a-
tion space, the visitor |eaves the pub|ic
territory of democratic |egitimacy
and enters the space of sovereign,
authoritarian contro|. Te visitor is
here, so to say, on foreign territory,
in exi|e. Te visitor of an insta||ation
space becomes the expatriate who has
to submit him- or herse|f to a foreign
|aw to a |aw that is given to him or
her by the artist. Here the artist acts
as a |egis|ator, as a sovereign of the
insta||ation space even and maybe
especia||y so if the |aw that is given by
the artist to a community of visitors is
a democratic |aw.
Po|iteia
One can say that the insta||ation
practice revea|s the act of uncondi-
tiona|, sovereign vio|ence that initia||y
insta||s any democratic order. We
know that: Te democratic order was
never brought about in a democratic
fashion. Democratic order a|ways
emerges as an eect of a vio|ent revo-
|ution. To insta|| a |aw means to break
one. Te rst |egis|ator can never act
in a |egitimate manner. Te |egis|a-
tor insta||s the po|itica| order but he
or she does not be|ong to this order,
remains externa| to this order, even if
he or she decides |ater to submit him-
or herse|f to this order. Te author
of an art insta||ation is a|so such a
|egis|ator that gives to the commu-
nity of visitors the space to constitute
itse|f and denes the ru|es to which
this community has to submit but
does not be|ong to this commu-
nity, remains outside of it. And that
remains true even if the artist decides
to join the community that he or she
has created. Tis second step shou|d
not cause us to over|ook the rst one
the sovereign one. And one shou|d
a|so not forget: after initiating a cer-
tain order, a certain politeia, a certain
community of visitors, the insta||ation
artist has to re|y on the art institu-
tions to maintain this order, to po|ice
the uid politeia of the insta||ations
visitors. Jacques Derrida meditates in
Force de loi on the ro|e of the po|ice
in a state.
i
Te
po|ice force is supposed to supervise
the functioning of certain |aws but de
facto it partia||y creates the ru|es that
i. See note 1.
From Medium to Message 6
it shou|d mere|y supervise. Derrida
tries to show here that the vio|ent, rev-
o|utionary, sovereign act of the intro-
duction of |aw and order can never be
fu||y erased afterwards. To maintain a
|aw a|ways a|so means to permanent|y
reinvent and re-estab|ish this |aw. Tis
initia| act of vio|ence is reca||ed and
remobi|ized again and again. And it is
especia||y obvious in our times of vio-
|ent export, insta||ation and securing
of democracy. One shou|d not forget:
the insta||ation space is a movab|e
space. Te art insta||ation is not site-
specic, it can be insta||ed everywhere
and at any time. And it shou|d be no
i||usion that there can be something
|ike a comp|ete|y chaotic, Dadaistic,
F|uxus-|ike insta||ation space free of
any contro|. In his famous treatise
Francais, encore un eort si vous
vou|ez etre repub|icain, Marquis de
Sade presents a vision of a perfect|y
free society that has abo|ished a|| the
repressive |aws and insta||ed on|y one
|aw: everybody has to do what he
or she |ikes, inc|uding committing
crimes of any kind. Now it is espe-
cia||y interesting that De Sade states
at the same time the necessity of the
|aw enforcement that has to prevent
the reactionary attempts of tradition-
a||y thinking citizens to return to the
o|d repressive state in which fami|y is
secured and crime forbidden. So we
sti|| need the po|ice even if we want to
defend the freedom of crime against
the reactionary nosta|gia of the o|d
repressive order.
By the way, the vio|ent act of con-
stituting a democratica||y organized
community shou|d not be interpreted
as contradicting its democratic nature.
Sovereign freedom is obvious|y non-
democratic and so it seems to be
a|so anti-democratic. However, even
if it |ooks paradoxica| at rst g|ance,
sovereign freedom is a necessary pre-
condition of the emergence of any
democratic order. And again the
practice of art insta||ation is a good
examp|e conrming this ru|e. Te
standard art exhibition |eaves an indi-
vidua| visitor a|one a||owing him
or her to confront and contemp|ate
individua||y the exhibited art objects.
Such an individua| visitor moves from
one object to another, but necessari|y
over|ooks the tota|ity of the exhibi-
tions space, inc|uding his or her own
positioning inside this space. On the
contrary, an art insta||ation bui|ds a
community of spectators precise|y
because of the ho|istic, unifying
character of the insta||ation space.
Te true visitor to the art insta||a-
tion is not an iso|ated individua| but
a visitor co||ective. Te art space as
such can on|y be perceived by a mass
of visitors, a mu|titude, if you |ike,
with this mu|titude becoming part
of the exhibition for each individua|
visitor and vice versa. So one can
say that the insta||ation art practice
demonstrates the dependency of any
democratic space on the private, sov-
ereign decisions of a |egis|ator or a
group of |egis|ators. It is something
that was very we|| known to the Greek
thinkers of antiquity and a|so to the
initiators of democratic revo|utions
but somehow became suppressed
by the dominant po|itica| discourse.
We tend especia||y after Foucau|t
6 Open ioo/No. 16/Te Art Biennial as a Global Phenomenon
to detect the source of power in the
impersona| agencies, structures, ru|es
and protoco|s. However, this xation
on the impersona| mechanisms of
power |et us over|ook the importance
of individua|, sovereign decisions and
actions that taken p|ace in private,
heterotopic spaces to use another
term introduced by Foucau|t. Mod-
ern, democratic powers a|so have a
meta-socia|, meta-pub|ic, heterotopic
origin. As it was a|ready said, the art-
ist who has designed a certain insta||a-
tion space is an outsider to this space.
He or she is heterotopic to this space.
Te artist is an outsider in re|ation-
ship to the artwork. But the outsider
is not necessari|y somebody who has
to be inc|uded to be empowered.
Tere is a|so empowerment by exc|u-
sion, and especia||y by se|f-exc|usion.
Te outsider can be powerfu| precise|y
because the outsider is not contro||ed
by society, not |imited in his sovereign
actions by any pub|ic discussion, by
any need of pub|ic se|f-justication.
According|y, these reections
shou|d not be misunderstood as a
critique of insta||ation as an art form
by demonstrating its fundamenta||y
non-democratic, sovereign charac-
ter. Te goa| of art is not to change
things they are changing themse|ves
a|| the time anyway. Arts function is,
rather, to show, to make visib|e the
rea|ities that are genera||y over|ooked.
By taking aesthetic responsibi|ity for
the design of the insta||ation space
the artist revea|s the hidden sovereign
dimension of the democratic order
that po|itics most|y tries to concea|.
Te insta||ation is the space where
we are immediate|y confronted with
the ambiguous character of the con-
temporary notion of freedom that
is understood in our democracies
at the same time as sovereign and
institutiona| freedom. Te art insta|-
|ation is a space of unconcea|ment
(in the Heideggerian sense) of the
heterotopic, sovereign power that is
concea|ed behind the obscure trans-
parency of the democratic order.
Biennia|s
Now the question arises how one can
interpret the aesthetic-po|itica| phe-
nomenon of the biennia| that can be
seen as an arrangement of curated
exhibitions and art insta||ations. Te
increasing success of the biennia| as a
specic form of art presentation has
sure|y a |ot to do with economica|
motivations and considerations. Te
biennia| rhythm can be coordinated
with the rhythm of contemporary
internationa| tourism. Te necessity
to come to a certain city annua||y
wou|d be experienced by the visitors
as a burden. On the other hand, after
three or four years one begins to forget
why he or she found this or that city
so attractive. So the biennia| rhythm
reects accurate|y enough the time
span between nosta|gia and forgetting.
But there is another, po|itica| reason
for the biennia| as an institution that
is successfu|. It is common know|edge
that the contemporary wor|d is char-
acterized by the asymmetry between
economic and po|itica| power: the
capita|ist market operates g|oba||y and
the po|itics operates regiona||y. Te
From Medium to Message 6,
|ast g|oba| po|itica| project that oper-
ated on the same |eve| as the g|oba|
market was communism. And it wi||
be awhi|e before the return of such a
g|oba| po|itica| project. At the same
time it is obvious that the asymme-
try between economy and po|itics is
damaging not on|y the possibi|ities
of emergence of a new g|oba| po|iti-
ca| order but even the economica|
order as it is. Capita|ism is incapab|e
of estab|ishing and securing its own
infrastructure, as the recent nancia|
crisis has shown yet again. Capita|ism
needs a sovereign po|itica| power to be
ab|e to function eective|y. Ear|ier it
was an abso|utist state in the future
it cou|d be a state of a new type. But
in any case, in the current situation
of transition to a new g|oba| po|itica|
order, the internationa| art system is
a good terrain on which to envisage
and to insta|| new projects of po|itica|
sovereignty be they utopian, dysto-
pian or both. So every biennia| can be
seen as a mode| of such a new wor|d
order because every biennia| tries to
negotiate between nationa| and inter-
nationa|, cu|tura| identities and g|oba|
trends, the economica||y successfu|
and the po|itica||y re|evant. A|ready,
the rst biennia|, the Venice Bienna|e,
tried to oer the pub|ic such a mode|
of a new g|oba| order. Te resu|ts were
most|y embarrassing and in some
times especia||y Fascist times even
frightening. But at |east there were
some resu|ts. And today, the biennia|s
are again the spaces where two c|ose|y
interconnected nosta|gias are insta||ed:
nosta|gia of universa| art and nosta|gia
of universa| po|itica| order.