“The 10th Berlin Biennale Creates Space for Vital Artistic Positions” on Berlin Art Link

Titled ‘We Don’t Need Another Hero,’ the 10th Berlin Biennale (BBX) positions itself in the negative. It emphasizes a refusal of the status quo, of the imagined necessity of a savior to free us from the messy present. Yet, while the show exposes viewers to artists and positions critically missing from German institutions, the exhibition itself also reinforces the spaces and formats it negates. Like many other international, recurrent exhibitions, BBX is politically correct—it appears to cling to an idea of identity politics as a vehicle for social change—begging the question of how a hero-less curatorial project in the positive might look. Nevertheless, lead curator Gabi Ngcobo’s shared struggle to bring diversity of approach and personal origin to European institutions, themselves based on foundational acts of colonialist extraction and accumulation, must not be overlooked. Ngcobo and her team’s radical refusal of heroics—technological, national or cultural—in the struggle to decolonize and democratize art institutions opens a space for new lines of inquiry and action, in and outside of art.

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