The Tallinn Biennial, which was due to take place for the second time in 2022, will be postponed, similarly to many other art events of its kind around the world. Most of the reasons for postponing the events are related to the pandemic situation and travel restrictions, but the hinterland also lies in the general economic uncertainty – more support from home countries and cities is expected to alleviate this.
“The current situation in the world has affected the economy in different ways, unfortunately the financing of art events is rather negative, so the Tallinn Biennial planned for 2022 will be postponed indefinitely,” explains Andra Orn, the organizer of the biennial. “This decision will undoubtedly disappoint the organizers, the authors and the audience, but at the same time we can welcome the drafts already submitted and hope that in the future they will still be feasible and that the effort of the artists will be paid.”
The goal of the Tallinn Biennial, which took place for the first time in 2020 and grew out of Tallinn Art Week, was and continues to be filling the gap between the Kaunas, Riga and Helsinki biennials both geographically and institutionally. As such, the biennial enriches the local art field with both international creation and attention, broadens the career opportunities of the authors and the horizons of the audience, and speaks on topical issues through the curatorial concept.
No less important is the impact of art festivals on the tourism sector – examples include the Venice Biennale, which was initiated by the mayor at the end of the 19th century with the aim of promoting domestic tourism in Italy and which today has to limit the amount of the foreign tourists. “In addition to the public cultural debate that has taken place, many cities are experiencing an increase in tourism figures,” said Dr. Constanza Ontiveros Valdés (Mexico) in her analysis of the positive impact of the biennials on areas considered to be rather peripheral in the contemporary art scene.
The theme of the Tallinn Biennial – Animistic Cosmologies – remains the same as planned for 2022 and refers to respect for everything alive, a worldview that values the surrounding environment, and an understanding that life forms may not be limited to the species we know. The curatorial theme calls for time to look, listen and feel so that the gates to the alternative realities waiting to be discovered could open. The curator of the biennial is Anne Klontz (Sweden).
Relevant information on the Tallinn Biennial website is updated as the situation clarifies. The Tallinn Biennial is organized by NGO Nordic Baltic Art Center NOBA.