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Exhibition 96 1 English  Nederlands

Amsterdam Biennale 2009

Because it wasn't here before...

The Amsterdam Biennale 2009 presented the contemporary art scene from all over the world. More than thirty international curators from the Mediamatic network provided their view of art in their city.

The Biennale was a project in progress that started on the 16th of October 2009. On the 12th of December we celebrated the completion of all the pavilions. Until the 3rd of January 2010 there were 37 pavilions on show: Kabul, Napels, Amsterdam 1, Melbourne, Belgrado, Damascus, Munich, Boston, Cairo, Tallinn, Amsterdam 2, Lima 1, Lima 2, Stuttgart, Portland, Kobe, Beirut, Istanbul, Casablanca, Seoul, Bogota, Tokyo, Leeds, Toronto, St. Petersburg, Tehran, Rio de Janeiro, Amsterdam 3, Bamako, Taipeh, Brooklyn 1, Brooklyn 2, Rome, Copenhagen, Milan, Porto Alegre and Nicosia.

An overview of all contributing curators and artists can be found here and an overview of pictures taken at the biennale can be found here.
Have a look all the openings in our calendar.

Mediamatic Travel

The Amsterdam Biennale is part of Mediamatic Travel. This project consists of the Amsterdam Biennale 2009, a do-it-yourself travel network of local experts in over 50 countries, the website and the travel catalogue Destinations 2010.

Mediamatic Travel particularly focuses on places that are known for their wars, pyramids, hunger or cheese. We’ll show you that there is vital contemporary art to be found in Damascus, Detroit or Dakar, and we offer the right entrances for you to get acquainted.

Travel website and catalogue

All over the world there is contemporary art and there are artists who would like to share their art with you. Mediamatic Travel is an open network of creative people in over 50 cities around the world. From Lima to Nairobi, and from Kiev to Kabul, these local experts will introduce you to their personal network and the local galleries, studios, festivals, fashion shows, music scene, art projects and more. No ready-made trips to timeworn destinations, but a do-it-yourself travel network to explore unknown places.

In the travel catalogue Destinations 2010 (56 full-colour pages, in Dutch), over 20 local experts introduce the project. At the Travel website travellers can make contact with these local experts, and they can find tips and information on many more destinations. The Travel website is intended to be an open network in which more and more local experts and travellers can take part. It was launched on 16th October 2009.

Exhibition Team

Anne Baan Hofman, Alice Bodansky, Martin Butler, Marjolijn Leijtens, Thomas van Lier, Lucy Luxton, Mhairi Macfarlane, Eline Muris, Katja Novitskova, Jans Possel, Liene Rubane, Willem Velthoven, Machiel Veltkamp, Femke Vos, Marco Wessel

Thank you

Mondriaan Foundation, Hivos/NCDO, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds

Mediamatic Travel is a cooperation between Mediamatic and Partizan Publik

  • Maultauschen Scenery - 

    Stuttgart pavilion. Stuttgart's pavilion is created by German artists Susanne Kudielka and Kaspar Wimberley. The local speciality of ‘Maultasche’ figures as a symbol for the stereotypes that outsiders have of the city (the 'hidden mentality'). You can see pictures and make your own Maultaschen in the gallery.

  • Een Ogenblik Geduld - 

    Taken at Bogota Pavilion at Amsterdam Biennale 2009

  • Robot detail Joe Franscheschi - 

    Rome pavilion. Roman artists Joe Francheschi and Stefano Monfeli  present  the  specially commissioned sculpture "Robot Romanus". A monstrous thought provoking  work that combines 50's robot style with classically Roman iconography. A cultural and historical  clash as much as  Rome is itself.

  • Posters Lima paviljoen - 

    Lima pavilion. Peruvian curator Eliana Otto shows the work of  Juan Javier Salazar, Rodrigo Quijano and Japanese artist Ann Kaneko in her Lima pavilion. Set up as a newspaper kiosk, the  colorful drawings, newspaper prints and portraits of presidents hang outside. Inside a selection of Andean hand made finger puppets lay on the ground in stark contrast to the movie about the 15 years under the Fujimori dictatorship.

  • Having fun in Kabul - 

    Kabul pavilion. Middle Eastern expert Robert Kluijver's pavilion  is a personalised experience of his time living and working in Afghanistan.  The Kabul pavilion explores  the areas in the center of Kabul that have progressively been cordoned off from normal access by Afghans to form a kind of Green Zone, where foreign nationals and high-level Afghan returnees can feel secure. The Kabul pavilion  looks at the experiences that these international zones, and the opposing "local" zones offer, ranging from the Taliban to  new young Afghan pop idols.

  • Beirut peephole - 

    Beirut pavilion. The Beirut Pavilion by Rani al Rajji is an inpenetrable cube with peepholes on all sides. Look in and you will see glimpses of every day life in Beirut. The pavilion plays with Western expectations of Lebanon and demonstrates that you won't get to know the real Beirut until you look inside.

  • Temporary Services Newspaper - 

    Brooklyn pavilion. Curator Caroline Woolard has organized a one-off newspaper, focusing on art labor and economics in the United States for  the Brooklyn Pavilion.  A collection of these  newspapers  lay on the ground for  you to take home, to share or just to read here.

  • Betelnut Beauty detail - 

    Taipei pavilion. Kai Ting Ling, Tsai Cheng and XAN  have recreated  the unique Taiwanese experience of the "betelnut bar" phenomenon for the Amsterdam Biennale.

  • Tallinn's printed works - 

    Tallinn. The Tallinn pavilion  curated by Magrit Sade is a wooden stand with 20 different packs of A4 sheets attached to it with office ring binders. Visitors can open the binders, make a magazine from the sheets they like, bind it and take it home. Each pack contains a unique work by one of 20  young Estonian artists and designers.

  • The Sis publication Dina Danish - 

    Cairo pavilion. The Cairo pavilion by Nat Muller shows the work of Dina Danish's  'Manuals for Failure'. "Manuals for Failure" offers four instances which engage humorously and repetitively with the refusal of definition and fixity. These performative actions, recorded in video, speech or print, frame the artist in self-designed settings governed by impossible rules, or demands that cannot be met.

  • Munich traditions - 

    Munich pavilion. The Munich pavilion is a project initiated  by German artist Sascha Glasl. Personalised souvenirs chosen for  their evocation of memories of Germany  are being collected.  These  are exhibited in separate transparent cubes. As the collection grows so do the unique stories  and memories that they tell.

  • Toronto interior - 

    Toronto pavilion. Candian artist Kyle Tryhorn has commissioned a series of "Take Home" posters from a selection of young and emerging artists from the Toronto art scene displayed in a campfire setting..

  • Sabine Delafon Corporation - 

    Milan pavilion. Milan based artist Sabine Delafon showcases her SDC project; gold medals, data cards, T-shirts, ribbons, fanzines, stamps. Everything you need to become part of the Sabine Delafon Corporation.

  • Towards Casablanca - 

    Casablanca pavilion. The Casablanca pavilion is curated by Aicha el Beloui and shows a conflicting, chaotic, yet image-rich photographic collage of daily life in the city.

  • Proposal by Claudia Zanatta - 

    Porto Alegre pavilion. In the pavilion of Daniele Marx and Marcos Sari 'Through a Hidden City', utopian ideas about the Brazilian city become deconstructed. With a series of postcards, 'prototypes' that are supposed to start a dialogue, and the prospect of placing the pavilion under the Azenha bridge after the Biennale is over, so the homeless people in Porto Alegre can use it to sleep in.

  • Dangling street culture - 

    Seoul pavilion. The Seoul pavilion created by Jihyun Ryou, David Artuffo, and Seoungeun Jung is an installation about the street food culture of Seoul. Characteristic signs, posters, electrical wires, food, and culinary equipment all hung out on street level.

  • Aynouk Tan's Amsterdam Pavilion - 

    Amsterdam pavilion Fashion. Amsterdam fashion icon and fashion editor Aynouk Tan presents her personalised signature perfume range. Aynouk Tan's "Nº 1", "Nº2" and "Nº3" are exclusively available at the Amsterdam Biennale.

  • Portland Publications - 

    Portland pavilion. Forty artists and writers created a book that was published by the Publication Studio run by Matthew Stadler. The books are all on view in the Portland pavilion and can be printed on demand.

  • Reconnecting Naples - Archis publication - 

    Naples pavilion. Neapolitan curator and journalist Diana Marrone, selected a series of works by artists Danilo Capasso, Alessandro Cimmino, Roberto Paci Dalo, Marco Zezza and N.E.S.T. The pavilion focuses on what Naples is now and on its most interesting underground voices. Artists who love to investigate the limits of the Neapolitan life, in search of those little quantities of peace the city itself is not able to fulfill.

  • "Give Up" by Nickie Wynnychuck - 

    Melbourne pavilion. Young Australian curator and  art researcher  Helen Grogan presents the work of  Sean Bailey, Courtney Lucas and Nicki Wynnychuck. All three of the upcoming artists are currently working  in Melbourne's Northside.

  • Boston Pavilion - 

    Boston pavilion. The Boston based new media artists, Eric Gunther, Andras Sly Szalai and Jeff Lieberman showcase their latest work, "FriendSlicer', developed during Hacker Camp 2009. "FriendSlicer" lets you become a central part of a music video that stars you and your friends, simply by making some noises. Your sounds are recorded, and your network of friends is searched to find others who have also entered their own sounds. These samples are cut together to form a totally unique music video clip.

  • Map of Peru - 

    Lima pavilion. Peruvian curator Eliana Otto shows the work of Juan Javier Salazar, Rodrigo Quijano and Japanese artist Ann Kaneko in her Lima pavilion. Set up as a newspaper kiosk, the colorful drawings, newspaper prints and portraits of presidents hang outside. Inside a selection of Andean hand made finger puppets lay on the ground in stark contrast to the movie about the 15 years under the Fujimori dictatorship.

  • City Map of CPH TLK - 

    Copenhagen pavilion. Erik Pold, performer and director from Copenhagen has put together a unique Talkshow for the Amsterdam Biennale, exploring the highlights and lowlifes of this great Danish Capital.

  • Drinken van het Amsterdamse architectuur paviljoen - 

    Amsterdam architecture pavilion. Amsterdam's DUS architecture bureau have created a  pavilion only from red wine tetra packs. Come and enjoy a drink in our  contemporary Dutch bacchanalian temple.

  • KING KONG KOBRA rocks out at Equinox Pavilion - 

    Equinox pavilion. Femke Dekker curated the music pavilion of Amsterdam Biennale. Every week different bands or dj's performed in a broad range from the rocking King Kong Kobra to electronic odes of Stellar OM.

  • Een postkaart zenden naar een kunstenaar in Belgrado - 

    Belgrade pavilion. Especially for the Amsterdam Biennale,  Isidora Krstic has created an interactive art  post office. She  invited  12 Belgrade artists to create  a unique postcard for the exhibition offering their view on the city. You can come along and take a postcard but in return you have to send  one back to them.  

  • A look into the Kobe pavilion - 

    Kobe pavilion. Curator Paul Lefevre-Venet made a snow white pavilion with a video inside which shows interviews and studio visits, expressing the "city stories" from Kobe.

  • Foto's van Istanbul - 

    Istanbul pavilion. Turkish artist Suat Ogul, trained as a sculptor, didn't want the cube-form for his pavilion. Instead he made a construction with which he is able to show 3 video's, a sound system and a set of pictures of the city.

  • Artwork in the Damascus pavilion - 

    Damascus pavilion. The Damascus pavilion is a conceptual installation about the stereotypes that people from the West have of Arabs. The sisters Abir and Nisrine Boukhari put Syrian newspapers on the ground with shouting headlines about acts of terrorism and hang fashion items on the wall which play with the stereotypes, such as a pink sparkling belt that refers to the terrorist belt with bombs.

  • In the St. Petersburg pavilion - 

    St. Petersburg pavilion. Inspired by Russian's rich cultural tradition and the appearance of new generations of female artists, Olga Jitlina and Katja Sokalova from St. Petersburg created a temple for the male muse. With a sculpture and a video.

  • Pink interior of the Rio de Janeiro pavilion - 

    Rio de Janeiro. Curator Pedro Meyer made a painting-installation in Mediamatic's toilet with a naked transvestite on the door and pink illustrations on the walls inside. Come to the toilet and have a look!

  • Some components of the Bamako pavilion - 

    Bamako pavilion. The curator of the Bamako pavilion, Hama Goro, created a vertical construction of several boxes with which he shows videos from compatriots, pictures and authentic Malinese objects such as music instruments.

  • Tokyo Pavilion inside and out - 

    Tokyo pavilion. In the Tokyo pavilion artist/curator Reona Ueda, and photographers Ikunori Yamamoto and Yusuke Murata have worked together. Inside a video shows portraits of locals and their everyday life in 'delirious Tokyo'. Outside a long list of comments about the city, collected online, are displayed Together they expose the air of Tokyo.

  • Pingpong in het Leeds paviljoen - 

    Leeds pavilion. In the Leeds pavilion interaction is the key word. Do you want to play table tennis, drink the 'bloody mary' cocktail or see the film by German artists Gundun Kattke&Silvia Leibig? Then go to the Leeds pavilion and get an impression of what the East Street Arts does.

  • Artwork on the Skin of Tehran Pavilion - 

    Tehran pavilion. 'I Know What You Did Last Biennale' by Sina Khani critiques the boring Iranian art that circulates at biennials around the world. Khani wants everyone to know that there is fresh and groundbreaking art coming out of Iran. His pavilion is the one and only inflatable pavilion in the Amsterdam Biennale.

  • Sound Tapping Machine by Antonis Antoniou - 

    Nicosia pavilion. Curators of the Nicosia pavilion are Alana Kakoyiannis, Achilleas Kentonis, Maria Papacharalambous and Antonis Antoniou. The effects of climate change are of central concern to them. An interactive sound installation by Antonis Antoniou makes it possible to create your own composition from audio samples.