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In order to explore global biennials of contemporary art, this study provides a geospatial analysis of eleven global biennials to examine where artists are drawn from in these international exhibitions. The project aims to cut across a broad scope of biennials held in multiple regions to examine how artists are circulating in the contemporary world, where they are showing and, most importantly, how biennials are defining international contemporary art in the era of globalization. By mapping a series of biennials held around the globe over several iterations in the 2010s, this study provides unprecedented evidence of the geography of biennial selection among major exhibitions, how this has changed over time and whether patterns emerge for participation in global art world events. More than half of these biennials are held in countries that are in the Global South; this means that most of these locations are emerging art centers responding to new economic patterns under globalization. The use of maps to show the geographic distribution of biennial participants will point to various, competing models of the geography of global contemporary art and will allow reflection upon how new biennials are changing the geospatial dynamics of international art exhibitions today.


Originally published in GeoJournal (2021) by Springer Nature


Available for download on Friday, April 22, 2022