Does the Art World Need an Online Biennial?


The proliferation of biennial exhibitions takes a leap into cyberspace this spring.

The first BiennaleOnline, an exclusively Internet-sited contemporary art exhibition, launches Apr. 26 under the direction of Jan Hoet, currently artistic director of Germany’s MARTa Herford. Among his other credentials, he founded SMAK in Ghent and curated Documenta IX (1992).

For “Reflection & Imagination,” more than two dozen curators worldwide are choosing works in all mediums by a list of artists to be released Apr. 15. Among the curators are Daniel Birnbaum (director, Moderna Museet, Stockholm), Fulya Erdemci (independent curator, Istanbul and Amsterdam), Yuko Hasegawa (chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, and organizer of the upcoming Sharjah Biennial), Adriano Pedrosa (independent curator, São Paulo, Brazil) and Nancy Spector (Guggenheim Museum, New York).

Each curator selects five artists, with a minimum of two from his or her own country. The number of works is unlimited, and can comprise both recent and older work. According to the press release, “The curators have chosen at least one work in each of the following categories: photography, new media, installation, performance, and traditional media (painting, drawing, sculpture and the like).”

Previews of the show start Apr. 19. Visitors will pay $80 for access for the first week, and can purchase $8 advance tickets for access after the opening, or $10 at time of entry. After July 15, access will be free. According to the press release, younger artists will receive 30 percent of the gate.

The exhibition is organized by ART+, an online initiative founded by David Dehaeck and his wife Nathalie Haveman.