Juan Gaitán, the curator of the ‘Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art 2014’, recently talked about his research of the contemporary art scene at the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan.
As part of this, he contextualised the recent history of the Berlin Biennale, its international relevance and the comprehensive impact of the festival on the cultural life of Berlin.
He also discussed the processes and the beginning of his research. “The research phase is a nice phase to be in, as one can include everything without constrictions. The ‘biennale’ brought a lot of people into the country,” states Juan.
Talking about his topic of research, Juan explains how art is for the public and how he wants to treat Berlin as a subjective microcosm, tracing its globality and mercantile linkages in the late 19th to early 20th centuries, as well as its journey from empire to
He also discussed the migration of historical forms and circulating figures within the formation of modernity.
The 20-minute-long lecture was followed by an open discussion, where Juan was flooded with questions from the participants of the talk.
Discussing the concept of art and public, Juan details, “I see art as a space, where everyone is a citizen. It’s more like a Utopian model of a place. Anyone can be a member of the public to criticise and be an artist.”
Kerstin Polzin, an audience member, comments about the talk, “It is a great opportunity to have met him, and heard about the special roles of citizens. I’m from Berlin and I see the possibility of new concepts from what Juan talked about here.”
“The talk was inspiring and intriguing. It made me wonder about the socio-economic facets of art, and how much goes into the making of a biennale,” adds Tasqeen Macchiwalla, who also attended the programme.
“Art is often represented here in a constricted space. The thought of art being touched, felt and experienced, and the concept on the whole, is very enticing,” says an excited Surekha, a visual artist.