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Archives 2nd half of 2013

The 3rd Ghetto Biennale 2013: Decentering the Markett and Other Tales of Progress

Ghetto Biennale, Port-au-Prince (Haiti)

26.11 - 16.12.2013

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Ghetto Biennale Press release

In December 2009 Atis Rezistans, the Sculptors of Grand Rue, hosted their first Ghetto Biennale. They invited fine artists, film-makers, academics, photographers, musicians, architects and writers, to come to the Grand Rue area of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, to make or witness work that was made or happened, in their neighbourhood. In the words of the writer John Keiffer, it was hoping to be a "'third space' event or moment created through a collaboration between artists from radically different backgrounds." The 2nd Ghetto Biennale took place in December 2011 and seemed, in a contradiction to its aims, to reveal contextual, internal and institutional vulnerabilities to the inequalities that run across race, class and gender, provoking further questioning of the way these dynamics play out in an increasingly globalized art world.


The 3rd Ghetto Biennale 2013,  Port-au-Prince

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2013. All Rights Reserved

Fungus Collective, Bermuda at 2nd Ghetto Biennale. Photo: Melitza Jean.

While the Ghetto Biennale was conceived to expose social, racial, class and geographical immobility, it seemed to have upheld these class inertias within its structural core. The Ghetto Biennale is looking for balance amongst the multifarious and often contradictory agendas underpinning the event. Are we institutional critique or a season ticket to the institution? Are we poverty tourism or an exit strategy from the ghetto? What was the effect of the earthquake and the ensuing NGO culture on cross-cultural relations in Haiti? The straplines for the previous Ghetto Biennales were 'What happens when first-world art rubs up against third-world art? Does it bleed?'…did the Ghetto Biennale bleed, and if so where?

We have decided to respond to the challenges posed by the previous incarnations of this event by giving the 3rd Ghetto Biennale a theme. We have been seeking artistic projects made on site, which investigate or respond to, 'The Market: From the local to the Global.'

Fungus Collective, Bermuda at 2nd Ghetto Biennale. Photo: Melitza Jean.

The 3rd Ghetto Biennale seeks to expose the boundaries of a globalized art market, and have meaningful discussion about sameness and diversity in an allegedly de-centered art world. The 3rd Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince is trying to create a space for artistic production that attempts to offer, whilst understanding all its limitations, artists from wide socioeconomic classes, a complex creative platform. The Ghetto Biennale hopes to contain the seeds of a possibility to transcend different models of ghettoization.

The 3rd Ghetto Biennale 2013 will take place from 26 November until 16 December 2013. All works must be made and exhibited in Haiti. Artists will be invited to pass one to three weeks in Haiti before presenting their work in the neighbourhood to an audience of local people, Port au Prince neighbourhood communities, arts collectives and arts organisations.