The Spectacle of the Everyday
10th Lyon Biennale, 2009
Biennale de Lyon
16 September 2009 – 3 January 2010
Curator: Hou Hanru
The Biennale de Lyon will be led by Hou Hanru, Curator, and Thierry Raspail, Artistic Director. This 10th edition, entitled The Spectacle of the Everyday will run from 16 September 2009 to 3 January 2010.
Everyday life as art was born in the ’50s with John Cage’s Silence; between East Coast and West Coast with George Brecht and Allan Kaprow; with Anna Halprin, Richard Rauschenberg and the Judson Dance Theater; with Terry Riley and La Monte Young too, and George Maciunas. That was long ago.
In the Western world, spectacle was born with the Greeks and tragedy. The Renaissance turned it into perspective; and the Situationists, into an ideology. That was long ago.
Spectacle and Everyday have set the tempo for civilisation since time immemorial, but today they have become underpinnings of a globalised artistic practice involving exchange, comparison, reciprocal contradiction and reversal of signifiers.
The dazzling success of art biennales in the ’90s, and the way they have swept the planet, have paradoxically helped to flatten particularisms – Edouard Glissant’s isthmuses and archipelagos – and to erode the processes of filiation and transmission. Today, putting aside the mercantile dealings, the aesthetic issues, the syndromes of universality and relativism, problems of centre and periphery, conflicts between cultural eras, and power struggles of every kind and gender, the everyday (“art and life”) remains a central question. Spectacle is its economic extension, its finery, its bête noire – and, in a sense, its embodiment.
And so, in today’s life, what time and narrative, in Paul Ricoeur’s sense, are we to construct, if not those of the spectacle of the everyday?
This is the title of the 10th Biennale de Lyon.