11th Berlin Biennale, supports diversity and equality?

By Helena Majewska

berlinbiennale11The motto of 11. Berlin biennale is: ‚the crack begins within’ – the changes are coming from the inside, the world that we live in is defective. bb11 is a process that started a year ago and now, the ongoing exhibitions are the epilogue. Artists and participants of the process have examined the cracks of the system and now they are ready to share these experiences with the wider audience. Was the aim of this process to acknowledge with the inevitable change or is the bb11 a change itself?

For this edition the curators: María Berríos, Renata Cervetto, Lisette Lagnado and Agustín Pérez Rubio – all based in South America – invited artists to tell stories from their own lives, close environments or countries. Their stories are about marginalization, suffering and 

growing resistance, so the walk through the bb11 galleries is not facile. It brings a lump to the throat, gives a great deal of emotions and what is more – a bunch of knowledge. Every artwork is accompanied by a text about it written on A4 format paper hung on the wall. Some of them are underexposed and put a bit too low, what makes the stories even more heavy to assimilate. It takes time to go through all the artworks. Nevertheless, the device with headphones which plays sounds from the exhibitions happens to be very helpful solution.Most of the artist are women from the Global South, many idenfities as a queer. Moreover, many haven’t been widely exhibited in Europe yet. Unquestionably that makes 11.berlin bienale a place to spread the idea 

of diversity and equality in the art world. But it’s just the tip of the iceberg – the art world and its system need profound, structural change. Still “85% of artists in major U.S. museums are white” – (Cornell University, 2018) and “Overall, 96.1% of artworks sold at auction are by male artists” – (Fabian Bocart, 2018). Join ODBK, where we work for real equality and democratization of the art world. More info on our page – link in bio!