LAUNCH OF THE 1st STRASBOURG BIENNALE | 15.12.2018 – 03.03.2019

TOUCH ME – BEING A CITIZEN IN THE DIGITAL AGE

15 DECEMBER 2018 – 3 MARCH 2019
HÔTEL DES POSTES | RUE WENCKER | 67000 STRASBOURG

For the first time, the historical cityscape of Strasbourg will serve as the backdrop for a major international contemporary art event, to be held in the venerable Hôtel des Postes and other historical venues across the city. Under the theme of Touch Me – Being a Citizen in the Digital Age, the inaugural edition of the Strasbourg Biennale brings together diverse artistic approaches on questions related to an increasingly digitalized world. Eighteen artists of nine different nationalities will present works exploring the nature of human responsibilities in a rapidly changing world as humane and humanistic values are being put to test.

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In an era when humans and objects are more integrated than ever, in a time of digital revolution when the internet is viewed as a place of knowledge and exchange, the relationship between the arts and technology becomes a key issue. What does it mean to be human, when technological developments are becoming more and more invasive? What is the relationship between individual identity and its virtual counterpart? How can we foster freedom and citizenship in cyberspace? Today, questions surrounding our digital being are at the forefront of socio-political debates. The Strasbourg Biennale’s first edition takes the current moment to reflect upon the internet’s status as a contested sphere of knowledge and exchange. Its programmatic approach aims to facilitate a contemporary inquiry into this transformative reality, within the historical cradle of Humanism and the European capital – Strasbourg.

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ARTISTS

Aram Bartholl (DE), Vincent Broquaire (FR), Paolo Cirio (IT), Claude Closky (FR), Constant Dullaart (NL), Mark Farid (UK), Jia (CHN), Philipp Lachenmann (DE), Florian Mehnert (DE), Harding Meyer (DE), Adrien Missika (FR), Alain Della Negra (FR) & Kaori Kinoshita (JP), Trevor Paglen (USA), Evan Roth (USA), Anike Joyce Sadiq (DE), Sarah Ancelle Schönfeld (DE), Louis-Philippe Scoufaras (CAN).

COMMISSIONER

The Strasbourg Biennale emerged from a community-driven initiative and is being curated by Yasmina Khouaidjia, co-founder of Galerie Associative Impact. For almost twenty years, the gallery’s main purpose has been to make contemporary art visible and accessible to the public. Impact was established as a non-profit organization in 2000 by three Strasbourg residents.

VENUES

The main venue of the Strasbourg Biennale is the iconic Hôtel des Postes in the heart of the city’s Neustadt. The UNESCO-protected former postal office was built in 1897 by Berlin architects Edwald von Rechenberg and Ernst Haake under Wilhelm II., accordingly to the reigning notions of avant-garde urbanism and architecture at the time. A testament to the development of telecommunications at the end of the 19th century, the Hôtel des Postes now functions as an emblematic link between historical evolution and the questions of today and tomorrow – the thematic core of the exhibition. The building will open exclusively for the occasion of the Strasbourg Biennale, before the historical site undergoes a major architectural transformation.

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