press release

venue: Monasterio de la Cartuja de Santa María de las Cuevas, Avda. de Américo Vespucio, 2. Isla de la Cartuja, 41071 - Sevilla

Next autumn, from October 1st to December 5th, the 1st Edition of the Seville International Biennial of Contemporary Art (BIACS) will be held at the Monasterio de la Cartuja de Santa María de las Cuevas. Under the title "La alegría de mis sueños" (The joy of my dreams), taken out from the lyrics by the native "cantaor" from Cádiz Camarón de la Isla, the director of the Exhibition, the prestigious Swiss curator Prof. Harald Szeeman, will offer a wide exhibition emerging from the liveliest and current artistic creation. More than 60 artists from all over the world will show in the Cartuja spaces installations, photography, sculptures, paintings, performances and net art turning the city into the epicentre of the contemporary creation and into an unavoidable appointment of the international artistic agenda.

BIACS is promoted and supported by a private organization, the International Biennial Foundation of Contemporary Art of Seville, that will lead the project in the present and coming editions. From the beginning the BIACS Foundation has involved local, provincial and autonomic public institutions, which have welcomed the development of the Biennial enthusiastically, participating by means of economic contributions and support to the promotion campaigns of the event. Furthermore, Andalusian and Spanish businessmen, professionals and the Sevillian society, as a whole, continuously provide their collaboration to the project. Thus, it is expected to be not just a first class artistic event, but also, and as a primary goal, an event that will arise awareness and concern for a greater openness towards contemporary art to impel the city to recover its historical role in the international art world.

Harald Szeemann, responsible for the Documenta of Kassel in the seventies and director of the Visual Arts Exhibition of the Biennale di Venezia in 1999 and 2001, knows very well the Monasterio de La Cartuja considering it as one of the best spaces in the world to organize a Biennial. His artistic project is conceived to exploit the unique nature of The Monastery and the city of Seville: "My criteria is poetry in the space, hoping that viewers feel the Biennial as an adventure for the spirit and the heart. Every exhibition is a challenge to find the right answer to nowadays sought for artistic creativity. It is not a question of showing what is best at the moment, but to discover what will be the path, in the nearest future, for this unpredictable affair which is the arts".

For this first edition, Szeemann will present young artists of a critical and even subversive spirit. In this respect, special mentions to Eastern Europe artists of great "creative strength", artists like Erzen Shkololli and Xhafa (Kosovo), Maja Bajevic (Bosnia), Mark Verlan (Moldavia), Biljana Djurdjevic (Serbia); Olaf Nicolai, Neo Rauch and Tobias Rehberger from Germany. Young talented such as Sthephen Dean (France), Euan MacDonald (England), Andreas Savva (Cyprus), Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba and Chiharu Chiota (Japan); Xiaohu Zhou (China); Shazia Sikander (Pakistan); Gülsün Karamustafa, Sener Özmen & Erka Özgen (Turkey). Established artists as Georg Herold and Ulrich Rückriem (Germany); Richard Serra and Lucinda Devlin (USA), Sarenco (Italy), Lars Nilsson (Sweden), etc. Spanish art will be present

in this Biennial through names such as Pilar Albarracín, Virgilio Viétez, Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Santiago Sierra, Cristina Garía Rodero, Rogelio López Cuenca and Justo Gallego among others. The BIACS would like to highlight the steel sculpture by Richard Serra "The Union of the Torus and the Sphere"; the skating rink by Michael Majerus "If you are dead, so it is" and "the derailment" by Juan Muñoz.

Some of the artists who will produce in situ like Maurizio Cattelan (Italia), Olaf Nicolai (Alemania), João Pedro Vale (Portugal), Fernando Sánchez Castillo (España), Chiharu Shiota (Japón), Pedro Cabrita Reis (Portugal), Ulrich Rückriem (Alemania) and Sislej Xhafa (Kosovo) have already came to Seville to choose the spaces for their works between the wonderful scenaries of the Monasterio de la Cartuja. Works that are specially conceived for the Biennial, open air installations in the gardens and lakes of this unique environment.

The BIACS will also include "the Cultural Biennial", a wide programme designed by The Artistic Committee integrated by Yuko Hasewaga, director of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa (Japan); Alanna Heiss, director of PS 1 Contemporary Art Center of MOMA in New York; John Peter Nilsson, critic and curator, former editor of NU: The Nordic Art Review/NU-E; Jérôme Sans, director of Palais de Tokyo in Paris; José Miguel G. Cortés, artistic director of the Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno; José Lebrero director of Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo; and Juan Carlos Marset, councillor of Cultural Institutions in Seville’s Town Hall.

Under the banner "Hospitality and Tollerance", it will offer a great cultural variety in the following areas: cinema; scenic arts; music; literature and architecture. A programme that have counted on specialists from the international agenda, thus, for the architecture symposium have already confirmed attendance Zaha Hadid, Peter Eisenman, Jaque Herzog, Jean Nouvel, Richard Rogers, Álvaro Siza Vieira, Rafael Moneo and the Sevillians Rafael Ortiz y Antonio Cruz.

Seville, July 2004