Mechelen Academy, Minderbroedersgang 5, 2800 Mechelen
Opening times: Fri & Sat: 10:00 - 20:00, Sun: 13:00 - 15:00
Cadine Navarro, Hannah Mevis, Mark Pozlep, Sofia Caesar
Contour Biennale is one of the most easily recognizable, large-scale exhibition platforms in Belgium: a unique initiative engaging with local and international artists who focus on the moving image and its wider representation in installations, sound and performance. The 9th edition of Contour will take on a whole new form.
The projects presented during Contour Biennale 9: Coltan as Cotton are inspired by and relate to the city of Mechelen, its inhabitants and, more broadly, Belgium’s recent colonial history. It also poses more general questions about how to position a biennial, whom a biennial addresses and whether we can find sustainable ways to work on a biennial. The curator, Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez, has designed this edition in phases: a continuum of projects in various formats, in contrast to earlier editions when the biennial ran for 10 weeks. Between September 2018 and October 2019, three major public presentations and several other events will shape the Contour Biennale 9: Coltan as Cotton. These phases will be aligned with the lunar cycle, one of our most natural rhythms, which induces a cyclical conception of time. The title is borrowed from the poem The Bear/Coltan as Cotton by the slammer, musician and poet Saul Williams.
Artists will show newly commissioned films, installations and performances that explore entanglements between the decolonization of structures, mind and history in Belgium (in particular Mechelen), and the need for practices of degrowth and solidarity to be intertwined more profoundly with contemporary artistic practices. Many of the works have been made collectively with residents and organisations in and around Mechelen. During the three phases (in January, May and October 2019), there will also be a programme of talks and debates, including roundtable discussions and workshops led by the artists and invited contributors.
Contour Biennale 9: Coltan as Cotton will be held on 11-13 January, 17-19 May and 18-20 October 2019.