Festivals of 2021: What to Expect
By HG Masters
The pandemic sent every biennial into crisis, whether with scheduling, funding, participant travel, logistics, or public health guidelines. At the same time, every biennial seems to be increasingly focused on the many crises of our world, from the environmental to the civilizational. The 13th Gwangju Biennale, for instance, postponed from 2020, foreshadowed this with artistic directors Defne Ayas and Natasha Ginwala’s interests in collapsing hierarchies of knowledge and belief. Then, in Shanghai, Venice, Seoul, Taichung, as well as Oceania and Papua by way of Yogyakarta, mega-exhibitions tackled forms of environmental degradation alongside serious cultural rifts.