Two articles came out over the weekend featuring two curators: Fumio Nanjo and Douglas Fogle. Nanjo is the curator of the Singapore Biennale that opened today. Fogle is the curator of the 2008 Carnegie International. Both articles had the curators speaking about the influence of the city on the shows they curated (or in Fogle’s case, the show he is still developing).

Fumio Nanjo says, in the interview portion of the article:

“In the beginning, we were talking about the location of Singapore, so we thought maybe (we should) refer to content. Then we visited many places in the city, 60 different locations, to look at the space for art. Then we visited many temples, shrines, churches. We thought this is quite interesting, the first time (in Singapore) art is being placed in religious sites.”

Towards the end of the article on Douglas Fogle, he has this to say:

“We’re not just transporting this show in from Mars. I’m hoping it will connect with Pittsburgh. It’s such a wonderful city, with such a great history, and such a great history of the International.” […] “it’s about doing a really interesting show.”

It’s excellent to hear curators of high-profile exhibitions like these discussing the impact that host cities will have on their shows. Biennales don’t happen in bubbles, and it will be interesting to see how their awareness of their respective locales manifests in the final exhibitions. I wish I could be in Singapore right now to see some of the examples that Fumio spoke of.

Article on Fumio Nanjo in The Star (Malaysia).

Article on Douglas Fogle in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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