Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement
20 new works commissioned and produced by the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève
The Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement was founded in 1985 in Geneva and was reinvented in 2014 as a platform for producing new works. A unique hybrid event—at the crossroads of a film festival, a plethora of solo exhibitions, performances and a platform for research and production—the BIM brings together visual artists, performers, musicians and filmmakers. The latter engage in a dialogue with the curators throughout the production process of a new work, financed or co-financed by the Centre and premiering in Geneva. The Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement in Geneva has therefore become a full-fledged production platform, with each edition presenting only new works.
The 2018 edition: The Sound of Screens Imploding
The Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement 2018 is curated by Andrea Lissoni, Senior Curator, International Art (Film) at Tate Modern, and Andrea Bellini, Director of the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève.
While the project’s strategic focus remains on production, the 2018 edition takes a new approach: alongside an extraordinary series of films, performances, and concerts, it presents an exhibition conceived as a series of individual environments. The concept for this show, which covers more than 2500 square meters, revolves around a fundamental principle: that moving images now dwell outside the screen, lingering on in a fascinating kaleidoscope where vision can be shaped by sound as much as by the image itself, or even more so. Inevitably, this edition of the Biennale explores the status of the moving image and its exhibition format, building on the idea that the long era of projection on screens is coming to an end and will give way to environments that reverberate with the radiant echo of their implosion.
For this edition, an immersive exhibition has been dreamt up, presenting a series of contiguous, differing worlds that alternate within a densely packed space that is a unified whole, yet teeming with eclectic forms. As visitors are sucked into these universes, they may begin to lose their grip on reality and their sense of time. The future could start to blur into some vague, digital present, while primeval sounds bear echoes of a past that struggles on, refusing to fade away.
Emphasizing the innovative potential of new languages connected to the moving image, the 2018 Biennale forges an intense dialogue with a generation of artists from a wide range of countries and backgrounds.
The artists featured in the exhibition are Meriem Bennani, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Korakrit Arunanondchai & Alex Gvojic, Ian Cheng, Tamara Henderson, Kahlil Joseph, and Fatima Al Qadiri & Khalid al Gharaballi, each with a work commissioned and produced by the Biennale. Meanwhile, Andreas Angelidakis has been entrusted with tying all of these installations together into a single, cohesive project.
Ligia Lewis will offer a preview of her new choreography—the final part of a trilogy—co-produced by the Biennale with the HAU Hebbel am Ufer theater in Berlin. Musician Elysia Crampton will present a new live concert, and artist Pan Daijing will premiere a performance piece.
Nine films and single-channel videos made for theatrical screening have been commissioned from Sarah Abu Abdallah, Neïl Beloufa, Irene Dionisio, James N. Kienitz Wilkins, Tobias Madison, Florent Meng, Bahar Noorizadeh, Eduardo Williams (with Mariano Blatt), and Leslie Thornton & James Richards. These films and videos, like all the installations in the show, have been commissioned and produced by the Biennale; together, they form a remarkable series of new works that will be premiering at the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève and in other venues around Geneva during the opening days, from November 8th to November 10th, 2018.
The Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement was founded by André Iten in 1985. It was initially called the “International Video Week” and was one of the first events of its kind in Europe.
From the outset, the Biennale has been a meeting ground for curators, artists, and the general public, as well as a space for reflecting on the questions posed by artist-made films and videos. Even in the mid-1980s, the event was built around four main objectives: to spread and promote video made by artists, produce and co-produce new work, educate the public, and foster international collaboration and exchange. In just a few years, the International Video Week became a touchstone not only for specialists in the sector, but for a broad global audience.
In 1999, André Iten turned the International Video Week into the Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement. This name change hinted at how the boundaries between different techniques and disciplines, between video and film, were beginning to dissolve: a process that the Geneva Biennale has been recording as it happens.
Since its inception, the Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement has provided a platform for art and ideas by surveying the ever shifting territories of moving images while aiming to make sense of this extraordinary profusion of images that has progressively invaded all aspects of contemporary art.
Over a period of 30 years the BIM has brought together the very best in video art, showing works by artists such as Bill Viola, Gary Hill, Steina and Woody Vasulka, Robert Filliou, Chris Marker, Guy Debord, Vito Acconci, William Wegman, Bruce Nauman, Chantal Akerman, Rebecca Horn, Jean-Luc Godard, Andy Warhol, Philippe Garrel, Nam June Paik, Laurie Anderson, Artavazd Pelechian, Harun Farocki, Matt Mullican, Anri Sala and the Straub/Huillet duo.
In 2009, when the Centre pour l’Image Contemporaine in Saint-Gervais closed its doors, the City of Geneva entrusted the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève with the task of organizing the new Biennale. Though some fundamental elements—such as the collaboration with art schools, the calendar of performances, live events, seminars, and the exhibition itself—remained the same, the Biennale was radically transformed. Since 2014, the festival has essentially focused on the production of new works. A specific budget is allocated for each artist to create a new film or video that will debut at the opening of the exhibition. The idea of an international competition was thus cast aside; a group of curators (different each time) now directly selects the artists and commissions the new works.