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1st International Biennial of Contemporary Art, CARTAGENA DE INDIAS, COLOMBIA Opens 2/7

#1: Cartagena, an exhibition of contemporary art with both international and national artists, is a Biennial created with the idea of further enhancing Cartagena's image as a significant cultural center. In a city with existing deep connections to literature, cinema, music, dance and crafts art, the exhibition will honor these cultural manifestations through the artworks presented. Bringing together artists from different countries and generations, whose works will be exhibited throughout the city of Cartagena, the Biennial will include painting, sculpture, photography, electronic and audiovisual media, installation and performance.

The Biennial will focus on the idea of Presence and its multiple meanings such as:

Being (existing in the world,) Occurring (temporal experiences, either virtual or real), andTerritory (historical and personal roots, history of the Americas). This expanse concept is related to the relationship between past and present - seeing the past as a symbol, myth and memory contrasting and meshing with the texture of the present, as determining factors in the identity of the present and what will unfold after. In this context, much of the definition of Presence comes from the Dutch philosopher Eelco Runic to whom Presence is "being in touch", either literally or figuratively, with people, things, events, and feelings that make you the person you are. This is the reason why the works will address the cultural connections existing in Cartagena as they were explained above. The artworks will draw people closer to them where these connections will be presented. A segment about nature/environment and recycling was added to those deep cultural connections since they represent a worldwide concern and could not be ignored.

Cartagena de Indias, a Colonial city founded in 1533, is located in the center of the northeastern Caribbean coast of Colombia. Surrounded by the Caribbean Sea, Cartagena has had a unique and interesting confluence of influences over its 500 year history that include pre-Columbian native Aboriginal, Spanish, African and Arab cultures. A city rich in multicultural folklore, it is often considered one of the most beautiful cities in the Caribbean.

In conjunction with the Biennial, there will be a solid academic program of forums and discussions as well as performances and concerts.


One of the goals of the International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Cartagena de Indias is to offer educational tools that bring spectators closer to contemporary art, thus allowing them to enjoy the Biennial. To this end, we have implemented a training program to include workshops and lectures in educational institutions and cultural centers around the city. During the Biennial, we will also have a series of lectures and discussions with invited artists. Visitors can find more information on this site as we approach the start of the Biennial.


The District Secretary of Education will assist in the selection of each educational institution that will participate in this first stage. The workshops are under the leadership of artist and project manager Rafael Ortiz, who will work with a team of educators comprised by Ernesto Recuero, Nelson Fory, Roberto Carlos Pérez, and Sandra De la Cruz. This mechanism seeks to make the Biennial an educational source for learning and developing creative processes in youth education and teaching communities.


Following the workshops hosted by educational institutions, the Biennial will offer a group of students and teachers with an artistic interest a chance to participate in a second stage of training that will involve individual and collective proposals.


A series of lectures by invited artists will be offered, looking to widen knowledge and motivate the public who are interested in art and its different manifestations.



BERTA SICHEL, Artistic Director

An independent curator working internationally, Berta Sichel's experience with Biennials started in Brazil at the São Paulo International Biennial, and later with Aperto-93 at the Venice Biennial. Ms. Sichel consulted with an international group of curators to select the participating artists and projects.

From 2000 to 2011, Sichel was the Director of the Department of Film and Video at the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid, where she presented the work of a wide range of international and local artists and produced more than 20 performances and concerts. Between 2005 and 2006, she selected the works for the Museum's historical video collection and curated 'First Generation: Art and Moving Image: 1963-86,' exhibiting the Museum's new collection comprised of approximately 80 works. The exhibition was named by Spanish art critics as one of the three best exhibitions of the year in Spain.

Born in Brazil, Sichel moved to New York in 1979 and graduated from New York University with a Masters in Media Ecology, and a PhD in Communications. During her time in New York, she worked as an independent curator, an art correspondent for European publications, and a teacher for the Media Studies Program at the New School for SocialResearch. Her articles and scholarly texts in books and art catalogues have been published in many countries. Among other prizes and awards, she was a recipient of the 1998 Guggenheim Fellowship in Humanities/Fine Art Research, and in 2010 she was recognized by Spain's Association of Women in the Arts as the best female curator, with a special mention for her support of women artists.


Natalia Bonilla has a degree in Fine Arts from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, a Masters in Cultural Project Management from the Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris III, and a specialization in Fundraising from the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University.


Barbara Krulik is a consultant serving inter- and multidisciplinary artists and companies in production, management and distribution of their work. She specializes in performance and site specific art having gained experience as Managing Director of Dansmakers Amsterdam, a production house and workplace for research and development of contemporary experimental dance by emerging choreographers, and as Managing Director of theater collective Aardlek, which specializes in street arts and site specific theater starting from the realities of public space. Her interest is non text performance art, which is visual theater inspired by daily routines in unique locations. From 2006 to 2009, she was Manager and Producer at Warner & Consorten, a theater group creating unexpected performances for unusual places. Prior to her move to Amsterdam, Krulik has served as Director of the New York Academy of Art, Associate Director of Forum Gallery New York, and Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs of the National Academy of Art in New York.


Bisi Silva is an independent curator and the Founder/Director of Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos. In 2006, she was a curator for the Dakar Biennale in Senegal, and in 2010 she joined Independent Curators International (ICI) as New York's inaugural touring curator. Since 2011 she has been the curatorial advisor for Tiwani Contemporary, London.

Silva has participated in several international conferences and symposia, and written essays for many publications including international art magazines and journals. She is on the editorial board of Art South Africa N. Paradoxa, an international feminist art journal. She is a member of the Berlin Biennale 8 selection committee (2014) and a member of the international jury for the 55th Venice Biennale (2013). She has been the recipient of several prestigious international fellowships and residencies.


Paul Willemsen is a Belgian-based curator and writer. He graduated as a film director from the RITS School for Audiovisual and Performing Arts in Brussels. Initially starting out for Belgian television as a documentary maker on contemporary visual art and cinema, he soon switched to writing and curating. From 1996 to 2012 he was artistic director of Argos, a Brussels based centre for art and media, where he curated highly acclaimed group shows and organized various lectures, events and screening series. Before joining Argos, Willemsen worked for different institutions in Belgium and Holland, among others, as editor-in-chief of the visual culture journal AS (Antwerp) and professor at the Sint-Lukas Brussels University College of Art and Design. He frequently lectures - most recently on the work of Joëlle Tuerlinckx - and since the late 80s, has published over two hundred articles in various Belgian and European art periodicals, as well as edited or co-edited more than twenty publications.


AARDLEK, Netherlands

Suzanne Anker, US

Eduardo Abaroa, Mexico

Helena Almeida, Portugal

Charles Atlas, US

Radcliffe Bailey, US

Rosa Barba, Italy

Perry Bard, Canada

Yto Barrada, France/Morocco

Lothar Baumgarten, Germany

Terry Berkowitz, US

Janet Biggs, US

Anna Boghiguian, Egypt

Francois Bucher, Colombia

Trisha Brown, US

Fernando Bryce, Peru

Anna Camner, Sweden

Peter Campus, US

Nuria Carrasco, Spain

Nick Cave, US

Willie Cole, US

Bill Culbert, New Zealand

Elena del Rivero, Spain

William Engelen, Holland

Nezaket Ekici ,Turkey

Richard Garet, Uruguay

Ximena Garrido-Leca, Peru

Raúl Gómez Valverde, Spain

Justine Graham, US

Asta Gröting, Germany

Federico Guzman, Spain

Romuald Hazoumè, Benin

Diango Hernández, Cuba

Kirsten Heshusius, Netherlands

Sheila Hicks, US

Maria Teresa Hincapié, Colombia

Candida Höfer, Germany

Katie Holten, Ireland

Shirazeh Houshiary, Iran

Satch Hoyt, England

Marine Hugonnier, France

Jesper Just, Denmark

Kevin King, US

Clemencia Labin, Venezuela

Dana Levy, Israel

Ligorano/Reese, US

Christiane Löhr, Germany

Inés Lombardi, Brazil

Oswaldo Maciá, Colombia

Lucía Madriz, Costa Rica

Marcellvs L., Brazil

Jenny Marketou, Greece

Billy Martin, US

Julie Mehretu, Ethiopia

Zwelethu Mthethwa, South Africa

Guillermo Mora, Spain

Carlos Motta, Colombia

Beth Moyses, Brazil

Maria Nepomuceno, Brazil

Lorraine O'Grady, US

Emeka Ogboh, Nigeria

Uche Okpa-Iroha, Nigeria

Kristin Oppenheim, US

Trevor Paglen, US

Guillermo Paneque, Spain

Periferia, Cartagena

João Penalva, Portugal

Libia Posada, Colombia

Freya Powell, England

Khalil Rabah, Palestine

Jessica Rankin, Australia

Luis Fernando Ramírez, Colombia

Yoko Ono, Japan

Álvaro Restrepo and El Colegio de

Cuerpo, Colombia

Lotty Rosenfeld, Chile

Steven Roden, US

Ruby Rumié, Colombia

Eduardo Sarabia, US

Carlos Schwartz, Mexico

Teresa Serrano, Mexico

Hassan Sharif, Arab Emirates

Yinka Shonibare, England

Kimsooja, Korea

Philip Taaffe, US

Tallur L.N., India

Alison Elizabeth Taylor, US

Mickalene Thomas, US

Ana Torfs, Belgium

Adán Vallecillo, Honduras

Sergio Vega, Argentina

Anton Vidokle, Russia

Leo Villareal, US

Bill Viola, US

Stephen Vitiello, US

Gijs van Bon, Netherlands

Svetlin Velchev, Bulgaria

Friedemann von Stockhausen,


Pawl Wojtasik, Poland

Ming Wong, Singapore

Betty Woodman, US

Yin Xiuzhen, China

Suda Yoshihiro, Japan

Dolores Zinny and Juan Maidagan,



A special section of the Biennial is devoted to Colombian artists that will include 23 established and 9 chosen artists from the Biennial's open call.

The following curators are jurying this national exhibition:


Miguel Gonzalez is a professor, art critic and curator. He is member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA). He has been Curator at the Museum of Modern Art La Tertulia, Cali since 1985, and a jury member for some of the most important events in visual arts for Colombia, such as the National Exhibitions, the Biennials of the Museum of Modern Art of Bogota and the Rabinovich Exhibition of the Museum of Modern Art of Medellin.


Gabriela Rangel holds an M.A. in curatorial studies from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, an M.A. in media and communications studies from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Caracas, and a B.A. in film studies from the International Film School at San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba. She is currently the Director of Visual Arts and Curator at the Americas Society.


Stephanie Rosenthal joined the Hayward Gallery as Chief Curator in December 2007, having previously worked at the Haus der Kunst in Munich for more than 10 years. She worked as assistant curator and co-curator on highly-praised survey exhibitions including 'Night' (1998) and 'Objects in 20th Century Art' (2000). She has just opened an exhibition on Ana Mendieta at the Hayward Gallery.


Felipe Arturo

Jaime Ávila

Andrés Felipe Castaño,

Colectivo Octavo Plástico:

Roberto Carlos Pérez

Ana Victoria Padilla

Emanuel Julio Pinilla

Nicolás Consuegra

Wilson Díaz

Julián Dupont

Juan Manuel Echavarría

Clemencia Echeverri

Adrián Gaitán

Elías Heim

Leonardo Herrera

Juan David Laserna

Verónica Lehner

Diego Mendoza

Ana Maria Millán

Oscar Murillo

José Olano

Juan Obando

Bernardo Ortiz

Juan Peláez

María Fernanda Plata

Luis Roldan

Miguel Ángel Rojas

Maria Isabel Rueda

Wilger Sotelo

Paola Tafur

Pablo Gomez Uribe

Most hotels in Cartagena have special rates for the Biennial

Email us for a list of travel agents

For more information:

Cartagena BIACI office; centro,calle de las Damas #3-84 tel: (575) 6642844

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