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Taipei Biennial Names Bruno Latour and Martin Guinard-Terrin Curators for 2020 Edition

Bruno Latour, left, and Martin Guinard-Terrin.


The Taipei Biennial, which closes its 11th edition on Sunday, has chosen philosopher Bruno Latour and independent curator Martin Guinard-Terrin to helm its 2020 edition. The next edition of the biennial is slated to open in October 2020.

Latour, whom the New York Times Magazine has called “France’s most famous and misunderstood philosopher,” is best known for his work that questions the very nature of facts. His best-known work is his 1991 book We Have Never Been Modern, which was a jumping-off point for the recent FEMSA biennial in Mexico.

In 2013 Latour was awarded the Holberg Prize, an annual award administered by the government of Norway that comes with about $750,000 for scholars in the arts, humanities, or social sciences. He is currently professor emeritus of political arts at Sciences Po in Paris, a fellow at the Zentrum für Kunst und Media (ZKM) in Karlsruhe, Germany, and a professor Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design.

Guinard-Terrin is a Paris-based curator who has collaborated with Latour on four projects previously, including “Reset Modernity!” at the ZKM in 2016. Guinard-Terrin has done other iterations of “Reset Modernity!” that focus on the locales in which they are staged, including one in 2016 in Shanghai; with Reza Haeri, he is now at work on a version for Tehran. Guinard-Terrin is currently developing an arts-science residency program at the Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania, Australia.

In a release, the biennial said that the curators for the 2020 edition were announced earlier than usual in order to provide Latour and Guinard-Terrin “with more resources and support as well as more freedom and time to experiment together.” The organizers also noted that this will allow for the outgoing curators, Mali Wu and Francesco Manacorda, to “share and discuss their perspectives to build connections and achieve coherence in curatorial themes” with Latour and Guinard-Terrin.

While details and a theme for the 2020 edition were not specified, the release said that Latour and Guinard-Terrin “will further probe into the geo-political and geo-historical issues based on the curatorial dialogue of the 11th edition, in hopes of opening discussions on how to establish a foothold on this land.”

This year’s biennial, titled “Post-Nature—A Museum as an Ecosystem,” looked “to address the urgent environmental conversations of the 21st century” and how they relate to “artistic and institutional practice,” according to its website.

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