Invited by Adrian Bojenoiu, co-founder of the Romanian contemporary art centre Club EpectroPutere and of the Mobile Biennale, Pauline Autet, Madeleine Filippi and Constance Meffre are the co-curators of its next edition in 2020.

Now in its fourth edition, the Mobile Biennale is a project initiated by the art centre in 2012 with the aim of expanding and analyzing the relational context of contemporary art and culture. The project focuses on the interaction of participants in relation to otherness and to the configuration and content of a territorially, culturally, socially, politically and economically determined space.

Taking part in the Mobile Biennale is considered as an explicit artistic production. This unique project is not confined to a national or local space but may be carried out anywhere on the globe, in any type of space and time. It does not solely address visual artists but also people from other fields of activity, according to a curatorial proposition specifically conceived for each edition.

In anticipation of the Mobile Biennale 2020 and in the context of the Istanbul Biennale 2019 axed on the theme of the anthropocene, we have organised “Informal Meetings #Istanbul” on 14 September 2019 in Istanbul. This morning of encounters on the theme: Curators in mobility: cultural, social and political positioning and responsibility of curating trans-national projects, included the participation of Ali Akay – curator and professor of sociology at Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul; Adrian Bojenoiu – founder of Mobile Biennale and Director of ElectroPutere Club in Craiova; Suela Cennet – Director of the Pill Gallery in Istanbul; Kathleen Ritter – curator and artist from Canada and France; Bige Örer – Director of Istanbul Biennial; and Asli Seven, curator from Turkey. This public event was realized by the Mobile Biennale & C-E-A | French Curators Association and hosted by The Pill Gallery, with the support of Club Electroputere, D.D.A Contemporary Art | Diffusing Digital Art, South Region (France) and the Institut Français de Paris.

Art, nature & ecology in the black sea

The 2020 edition of the Mobile Biennial will last 7 days in September 2020. It will bring artists, curators, philosophers, sociologists, historians and critics to think on environmental issues around the Black Sea. Fostering a reflection on ecology at different scales, a group of about twenty multidisciplinary participants will navigate its shores together, from the Danube Delta to the Bosphorus Strait.

The program will include a range of public and private events: meetings with local actors, moments of reflection and intervention, mixing different audiences. The group will be encouraged to share ideas, look and listen, and to think of this moment as a spontaneous time of research that can lead to future production, material or theoretical.

This journey through Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey enables us to tackle ecology with a critical approach. By its dematerialised nature, the Mobile Biennale pays particular attention to relationships and their complexity. The 2020 edition focuses on what Félix Guattari calls mental ecology in the wider concept of ecosophy. It points to our attentive relations with the other and with our environment. Hence, this Mobile Biennale is an experimental, relational journey; a moment of sharing and communal living; a space of resistance to a world that puts itself in danger; a space of emancipation through analysis of the world that surrounds us. Working in a non-hierarchical, plural and transversal manner and developing local and international networks.

We will interrogate the essential role of creation and culture in increasing awareness and implementing concrete solutions to the environmental issues of a territory, while also being conscious that the very framework of a biennial is by default polluting.

The Mobile Biennale 2020 focuses on the third largest sea in Europe after the Mediterranean and the Baltic: the Black Sea.

The Black Sea, on the edge of the European Union with Bulgaria and Romania, at the gates of Asia with Turkey and Georgia, as well as Russia and Ukraine, has often been, during the centuries, the stage of territorial conflicts. A key region of energy transit today because of its geographical position, it is more than ever the subject of strategic and economic rivalries, and threatened by a risk of ecological disaster that weighs on its future.

Faced with this global emergency, collective research and action is necessary to activate changes in society and to reconnect nature with culture. The Mobile Biennale 2020 is dedicated to a collaborative approach, working in synergy with the many local and international initiatives that strongly advocate for the role of arts and culture and address ecological concerns from a critical perspective.