[artinfo] Open call for 25th Gabrovo Biennial

art-agenda art-agenda at mailer.e-flux.com
Fri Jan 7 13:14:36 CET 2022

"Economy of Means"
25th Gabrovo Biennial

Museum of Humor and Satire, 
			Gabrovo / Bulgaria
May 20-September 30, 2022

deadline: January 17

The world has been running on steroids. Nature is privatized and 
cheapened. Our voracious extraction and consumption of resources have 
created an ecological debt gone default. Acceleration and gigantism 
have shaped a metabolic cycle between capital and nature, North and 
South, rich and poor, clean and polluted, with greed and hypertrophy 
on one end and exhaustion on the other. There is a global freak show 
going on, a spectacle of disproportion and deformation reminiscent of 
those 19th century displays of deformed humans and animals. Only this 
time it happens on a planetary scale and we're all in it. At times, 
it seems as if  the vicious comedy of the freak show might be the 
appropriate response  to our present-day monstrosity.

Can the planetary imaginary be refueled with humor, satire and 
conviviality? Be it to figure out how to go through collapse as 
humanly as possible, or to reconsider how much is enough and what 
constitutes good living. "Economy of Means" as a biennial theme 
stands for a shift towards caring and maintenance instead of show 
business; for looking into society, but also looking at art, its 
modes of production and means of expression, where brief, economical 
and simple are part of the punchline delivery.

Climate anxiety was nominated as one of top ten words of 2021. Is the 
glass half-full or half-empty? Artist Agnes Denes once said that 
creativity is hope. At a moment of global dysphoria, gestures and 
efforts that point towards the humanization of the world might be 
what helps us get out of bed day after day (a simple pandemic 
takeaway.) Once awake, the possible actions and responses are endless.

The pandemic put the care paradigm on the agenda. It also made 
visible the link between social inequalities and wealth concentration 
and reiterated that addressing security, economy, ecology is futile 
without the prefix socio-. "Social or ecological" is not an antinomy 
and social issues should not make an excuse for economic reactivation 
based on more of the same.

Solidarity between humans is not enough. What is needed is solidarity 
between humans and non-humans. And it might be just about time to 
figure out if plants laugh and what jokes clouds tell.

The 25th Gabrovo Biennial of Humor and Satire in Art expects your 
(within means) by January 17, midnight CET.

The Biennial consists of two juried shows-one for cartoons and one 
for contemporary art-and a third exhibition curated by the artist 
Olav Westphalen, titled Sensitivity Training. It will open on May 20, 
2022 at the Museum of Humor and Satire in Gabrovo. The exhibitions 
continue until September 30, 2022.

The Biennial is organized by the Museum of Humor and Satire with the 
support of the Municipality of Gabrovo and the Bulgarian Ministry of 

Prizes for contemporary art
Golden Aesop Grand Prix in section contemporary art:  5,000 euro
Prize of the town of Gabrovo awarded to a promising young artist: 2,500 euro
Jury members: Diana Campbell Betancourt, Luca Lo Pinto, Yung Ma.

Prizes for cartoons
Golden Aesop Grand Prix in section cartoons: 2,500 euro
Prize for cartoon: 1,500 euro
Jury members: Alla Georgieva, Anne Derenne, Antonio Antunes, Niels Bo 
Bojesen, Rayma Suprani.

The prize winning works remain in the collection of the Museum of 
Humour and Satire.

Estimated time needed to fill in the application form (after short 
description and images are prepared): five minutes.

When preparing your application, keep in mind that the jury will 
judge your work by: artistic merit, engagement with the biennial 
theme "Economy of Means," and humor.

All three criteria are essential.

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