From the Global to the Local (and Back): Curatorial Strategies in Biennials and Small Visual Arts Organisations

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One of the most significant roles of contemporary art in a globalised world has come to be to mediate between the local and the global, what has come to be discussed under the heading of the glocal. The glocal has been mainly explored through the lens of large-scale curatorial models, such as biennials. However, excessive focus on large-scale transitory events threatens to overlook the potentially fruitful contribution that small-scale projects can make to our understanding of this phenomenon. The same interplay between the local and the global that provided the conditions for the emergence of exemplarily large-scale events led to the emergence of what I call SVAOs (Small Visual Arts Organisations). In this article, I argue that the emergence and proliferation of these spaces worldwide during the 1990s has the potential to challenge existing conceptions of exhibition-making and the mediation between the local and the global in contemporary art.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-194
JournalThird Text
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2019


  • glocal
  • Small Visual Arts Organisations
  • SVAOs
  • ruangrupa
  • The Showroom
  • Askhal Alwan
  • TEOR/éTica
  • Istanbul Biennial
  • Arts Collaboratory

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