What happens when first world art rubs up against third world art? Does it bleed? The second edition of the Ghetto Biennale tests out this hypothesis. An event initiated – by the sculptors of the Grand Rue and London-based photographer and curator Leah Gordon – in 2009 was again held in a downtown neighbourhood of Port-au-Prince in November and December 2011. The second edition of this unique and dynamic answer to the blockbuster biennial format is once again a collaborative effort curated by Leah Gordon along with artist and founder Andre Eugene, artist Celeur Jean Herard, and assistant curators Marg Duston and David Frohnapfel.
Well-established biennials all over the world promise utopian possibilities of surpassing the inequalities of international economic and political relations. Yet these huge events seem to remain structurally centered around presenting art as a luxury commodity and continue to be as far away as ever from providing a platform for social change globally. The Ghetto Biennale counters this inherent flaw in events organized by the elite of the arts sector worldwide – relocating the biennial franchise to the Grand Rue neighbourhood of Port-au-Prince, embedding it in the life of the local community where the context of this biennial event can reframe the functions and possibilities of art practice.
More information about this exciting new landmark event on the art world’s global biennial map can be found online at the 2nd Ghetto Biennale’s Official Site.
Reviews and information about participants involved in the 2011 edition can be found by clicking on the links below: