Proto-Call: »Modelle für die beste aller möglichen Biennalen«

WOF World Ornamental Forum, May 4-8, 2016, Kirchner Museum Davos »Modelle für die beste aller möglichen Biennalen«

WOF_Thorsten Sadowsky_Proto-Call 2016

Swindon (GB), Magic Roundabout


The 2016 WOF will be devoted to constructing a model art biennial.

In 2017 an international art biennial is to be launched in Davos: the 2017 Kirchner Biennale Davos. To this end you are invited to help develop a model biennial that takes into account all aspects of such an event. Things to consider include a concept and theme, financing, logistics, marketing, architecture, exhibition venues and cooperation partners, selecting artists and curators etc.

For this construction of a possible biennial world various roles are to be assigned that you can apply for:

Exhibition designer Exhibition technician Architect
Biennial blogger Bookshop operator Gallerist

Café operator
Art critic
Art facilitator
Press officer
Web designer
And additional roles waiting to be defined…

The project sees itself as a contribution to “design science” which is mainly concerned with designs and testing models, prototypes etc. What is important, though, is that it is not so much about innovative artefacts and corresponding applications as about designs of “possible worlds.”

At the same time it is up to each of the applicants to choose their positions. They can work alongside Voltaire and his optimistic hero, Candide, on the vision of an ideal world designed to meet the requirement of being “the best of all possible worlds,” or they can follow the example of the English scholar Robert Burton and fully surrender to melancholy, failure, and the great No-Purpose. For sometimes the one who fails is indeed the smarter one who is above the illusionism of the reality- capable and the hubris of the winners and doers.

Where all of this is heading is thus completely open and depends on the ideas and inspiration of the participants. Left or right turns are possible at any time and the so-called “magic roundabout,” a supreme challenge for traffic planners and participants, is therefore the appropriate symbol for this challenge. This roundabout can be passed in both directions; in an inner ring traffic moves anti- clockwise – the continental way, so to speak – while in the outer ring traffic always moves with the times. Access to and exits from this roundabout are regulated by additional small roundabouts. For inexperienced participants it can be easy to lose track…

WOF 2016: 4 – 8 May 2016, Kirchner Museum Davos Application length limit: 6000 characters and spaces Deadline: 1 August 2015

1 thought on “Proto-Call: »Modelle für die beste aller möglichen Biennalen«

  1. AvatarRonny Hardliz

    As an artist with an architecture background I would naturally apply as either an artist or as an architect. In this way I could most efficiently bring in my knowledge and expertise and help make the model-building, or should I say planning, of such a “best of all possible” biennales.
    However, more than under the auspices of Gottfried Leibniz, the World Ornamental Forum seems to be winged by Voltaire (who is mentioned in the call): “the best of all possible worlds” is not one to come inevitably, it exists here and now as the one we make. “Il faut cultiver le jardin”, this is Voltaire’s painful and at the same time joyous punch to Leibniz (in the very last sentence): everything matters and it is ours to make our culture. What is perceived as inevitability is an illusionary retrospection, nothing more: it has not existed at the contingent moment of emergent reality. Then, when it all happened, it was absolutely open to all possible worlds and every move is a determinant making it what it is.
    Hence, the WOF 2016 is not a model for the Kirchner Biennale 2017, no, the WOF 2016 always already IS the Kirchner Biennale 2017.
    As what should I apply then? Should I play the role of what I am, as artist? Should I play myself? Or should I take any role whatsoever and make it matter in some sense? And why should I do that if the WOF is not actually something comparable to a think tank for the Biennale (to be found at WEF) but rather the Biennale itself in the form of a World Ornamental Forum?
    So I’d definitely tend to the side of Robert Burton (and probably also play that role: Robert Burton). There’s nothing to do, nothing to save, but gawking at the frenetic (and frantic) gestures of all these actors driving towards a better world. I am not a man of acting, I am a man of performing. And the only possible role left to perform (and not to act) seems to be: the visitor!

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