Exhibitions in this chapter: Shanghai Biennale (2000, Shanghai, China); Guangzhou Triennial (2002, Guangzhou, China); Beijing Biennale (Beijing, China); Gwangju Biennale (2008 and 2014, Gwangju, South Korea); Asia-Pacific Triennial (2009, Brisbane, Australia); Istanbul Biennial (2013, Istanbul, Turkey)
This chapter traces the development of twenty-first-century biennials during which they scheduled their openings within days of each other, coordinating vernissage weeks that ensured international movement across whole networks of exhibitions. In Europe in 2007, then across the Asia-Pacific region in 2008, and by 2014 across the globe, these conjunctions became more and more common. The reasoning behind the networked semi-coordination of biennials was significant, as were the challenges. The historical basis for such networks was the Romantic-era paradigm of the World Exposition, as many scholars have noted, and behind that the even earlier vogue for the Grand Tour.1 It was now updated for an age of global nomadism (or global commuting, as we said in the previous chapter) and internet connectivity. We then describe the shift towards the massive spectacularization of art that evolved after the Great Recession of 2008, but also the rapid emergence of a reaction against the postcritical attitude that this represented.