Mihnea Mircan and Kasia Redzisz appointed curators of the fourth edition of the Art Encounters Biennial, held in Timișoara, Romania, October 1-November 14, 2021.
The 2021 edition of the Art Encounters Biennial, titled Our Other Us, responds to the current global context with two curatorial projects that explore empathy and responsibility as values that drive our existence. Investigating various modes of collectivity as alternative ways of being in the world, the curators will simultaneously explore certain transformations which influence the act of self-perception. The ideas embedded in their exhibitions, held in various locations in Timișoara, are reflected in the Biennial’s ongoing engagement with local institutions, organisations and initiatives establishing new partnerships and collaborations. The accompanying public programme will feature performances, screenings, talks and presentations curated by Mircan and Redzisz together with the Biennial team.
The curatorial projects reflect Mihnea Mircan and Kasia Redzisz’s commitment to interdisciplinary formats and to establishing transnational dialogues between artistic practices stemming from diverse geographies. Responding to the context and history of Timișoara while also addressing global concerns, they embrace the Biennial’s mission to support local art eco-systems and will feature new commissions by emerging artists from Romania and the wider region.
Mihnea Mircan is a curator, writer and PhD candidate at the Monash University, Melbourne. He was the artistic director of Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerpen, between 2011-2015 and he curated numerous exhibitions at prestigious art institutions, such as Le Pavillon – Palais de Tokyo, Stroom Den Haag, MUSEION, Bolzano, Fondation Ricard Paris. Mihnea Mircan is an author and editor of books and exhibition catalogues, among which is the monographic survey of Miklos Onucsan, and a regular contributor to international art publications, such as Afterall, Mousse and Manifesta Journal.
Kasia Redzisz is Senior Curator at Tate Liverpool, where she is responsible for the programme and international collaborations. Prior to that she worked at Tate Modern (2010-15), where she curated a number of exhibitions. Between 2008 and 2015 she was Director of Open Art Projects, an organisation dedicated to innovative art commissions. Her independent work includes numerous interdisciplinary exhibitions, most recently the inaugural exhibition of Muzeum Susch. Redzisz has edited and contributed to several exhibition catalogues and published her texts in magazines such as Frieze, Mousse and Tate Etc.
Commenting on his exhibition for the Biennial, Mihnea Mircan said: “The title, Landscape in a Convex Mirror, along with the temporal and spatial visions that the show coalesces through the works of contemporary artists and their relationship with the art of the past and the crises of the present, centres around the theme of vertigo. Vertigo as a modus operandi: a methodology of attention, a composition of vanishing points, of degrees and units of measure for directions, intensities and cadences.”
Kasia Redzisz summarises her concept for the Biennial as follows: “My proposal for the biennial consists of two exhibitions: a regional, historical survey investigating the relationship between artists and nature and its contemporary counterpart. I hope that, together, these shows will present proposals for meaningful coexistence in the world, not a simple critique of the present moment, but a stimulating reflection on our possible futures.”
A series of talks with Biennial participants and an exhibition organised by The Interart TRIADE Foundation at the Timișoara Art Museum complement the Biennial exhibition, as well as a dedicated platform exploring issues relevant to the Romanian art scene and creating opportunities for talks, workshops and a symposium. A new edition of the Autumn School of Curating organised in collaboration with Cluj Cultural Centre reflects the Biennial’s commitment to supporting young curators; and a mediation and education programme, encouraging active participation in the arts, designed in collaboration with Contrasens Association, continues to be one of the Biennial’s primary areas of focus.