The biennial as format and phenomenon was declared dead or obsolete time and again, it was discarded as commercial, promotional, touristic, capitalistic, wasteful, white supremacist and what not. In the end, that is not the issue. The issue is the tension between expectations and pretension, between agency and result. In Volume 54 we look at what biennials promise and what we actually get; we look at who is pulling the strings and for whom they are made. But first and foremost we check what a biennial can do.
Next to the biennials in general with a focus on architecture and design biennials we are zooming in on the Shenzhen Biennale. In UABB 01-07 supplement we look back at seven biennials, their goals and how they transformed the city.