The Major Biennales Going Ahead in 2020

23 July 2020

Kawita Vatanajyankur, Shuttle (2018). Video. Courtesy Bangkok Art Biennale.

Written by am Gaskin and published originally by Ocula Magazine, London, July 8, 2020.

Restrictions on travel and mass gatherings caused by COVID-19 have seen many of the year's most anticipated biennales postponed until 2021 or cancelled altogether.

Events such as Glasgow International compensated by expanding their online content, while others have decided to go ahead with in-person exhibitions in 2020. Among them are the Berlin Biennale, Limerick's Eva International, Manifesta in Marseilles, and the Bangkok Art Biennale.

'The biennale world was once crowded,' said Professor. Dr Apinan Poshyananda, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Bangkok Art Biennale. 'Now heavily retrenched, we present this show within a different context, and will be one of the few this year.'

The Bangkok Art Biennale's theme is Escape Routes. Of the 82 artists taking part, 56 have been announced, including Anish Kapoor, Marina Abramović, Bill Viola, Andres Serrano, Yoko Ono, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Dinh Q. Lê, and Pen-Ek Ratanaruang.

The artist list for the 11th Berlin Biennale, curated by María Berríos, Renata Cervetto, Lisette Lagnado, and Agustín Pérez Rubio, was also announced this week. Participants include Cecilia Vicuña, Käthe Kollwitz, Mariela Scafati, Pacita Abad, Noor Abuarafeh, and Léo Corrêa.

Poshyananda, for one, believes the biennales that are taking place this year can provide solace and optimism during a dark and difficult time.

'By experiencing art in the new era of pandemic and protests, art is a form of sympathy, release and hope,' he said.

New dates for major biennales originally scheduled to take place during 2020 are listed below in alphabetical order. This list will be updated as new information becomes available.

Updated 2020 Biennale Dates

ArtPrize (Grand Rapids, USA)
Scheduled: 16 September to 4 October, 2020
Now: Cancelled

Bangkok Art Biennale (Thailand)
Scheduled: 10 October, 2020 to 21 February, 2021
Now: 29 October 2020 to 31 January, 2021

Berlin Biennale (Germany)
Scheduled: 13 June to 13 September, 2020
Now: 1 September to 5 November, 2020

Casablanca International Biennale (Morrocco)
Scheduled: 24 September to 1 November, 2020
Now: 24 May to 1 August, 2021

Eva International (Limerick, Ireland)
Scheduled: 3 July to 11 October 11 2020
Now: 4 September to 15 November, 2020

Folkestone Triennial (UK)
Scheduled: 5 September to 8 November, 2020
Now: from September, 2021

Glasgow International (Scotland)
Scheduled: 24 April to 10 May, 2020.
Now: 2021 (dates TBC)

Gwangju Biennale (Korea)
Scheduled: 4 September-29 November, 2020
Now: 26 February to 9 May 2021

Helsinki Biennial (Finland)
Scheduled: 12 June to 27 September, 2020
Now: 12 June to 26 September, 2021

Kochi-Muziris Biennale (India)
Scheduled: 12 December, 2020 to 10 April, 2021
Now: As scheduled.

Liverpool Biennial (UK)
Scheduled: 11 July to 25 October, 2020
Now: Postponed till 2021 (dates TBC)

Manifesta (Marseilles, France)
Scheduled: 7 June to 11 November 11, 2020
Now: 28 August to 29 November, 2020

Prospect New Orleans (USA)
Scheduled: 24 October, 2020 to 24 January, 2021
Now: October 23, 2021 to January 23, 2022.

Riga Biennial (Latvia)
Scheduled: 16 May to 11 October, 2020
Now: 20 August to 13 September, 2020

Bienal de São Paulo (Brazil)
Scheduled: 5 September to 6 December, 2020
Now: 4 September to 5 December, 2021

Shanghai Biennale (China)
Scheduled: 13 November to 28 March, 2021
Now: As scheduled

Sonsbeek (Netherlands)
Scheduled: 5 June to 19 September, 2020
Now: 2021, dates TBC

Biennale of Sydney (Australia)
Scheduled: 14 March to 8 June, 2020
Now: June to September, 2020

Taipei Biennial (Taiwan)
Scheduled: 24 October, 2020 to 28 February, 2021
Now: 21 November, 2020 to March 14, 2021

Yokohama Triennale (Japan)
Scheduled: 3 July to 11 October, 2020
Now: 17 July to 17 October, 2020 —[O]