Berlin’s 10th Biennale: “We Don’t Need Another Hero”

Mural by Johanna Unzueta, photographed by Michele Faguet



Berlin’s Biennale opened last weekend. We spoke with art writer Michele Faguet about her first impressions of the contemporary art show. The Biennale was curated by a team lead by Gabi Ngcobo, a South African artist, curator, and educator who oversaw a high representation of female artists. Faguet says: “One of the striking things about this year’s Biennale was there weren’t so many artists, only 46, around 35 of them were women. This is really rare…this is really noteworthy.”

Faguet draws attention to a few pieces in the exhibition, one of them being “Sitting on a Man’s Head” by Okwui Okpokwasili at the Kunst-Werke. Faguet explains that the phrase refers to a protest practice by women in eastern Nigeria who “use song and dance to critique government officials.” In addition, Johanna Unzueta presents a series of freestanding drawings at the Akademie der Künste which reveals the “tension between contemporary art, which tends to privilege ideas or concepts and the manual labor behind much of that art.”

The Berlin Biennale runs until September 9.

Featured photo is of a mural by Johanna Unzueta, photographed by Michele Faguet