Set to open June 4th, the 9th Berlin Biennale is curated by the New York based collective DIS. As well as facilitating projects for the internet, the collective explores the tension between popular culture and institutional critique. In 2014 the collective took over New York’s Red Bull Studios for DISown, a well-received pop-up shop that served up different artist’s versions of everyday products and elements drawn from consumerism. They are also the editors of DIS Magazine, a virtual platform examining art, fashion, music, and culture. The collective is comprised of Lauren Boyle, Solomon Chase, David Toro, and Marco Roso. 

Presented by DIS Magazine “DISown – Not For Everyone”. Video: Courtesy of DIS

The Berlin Biennale is now one of Germany’s most important events in contemporary art. The 9th edition, according to the official Berlin Biennale blog, will be overturning established art world boundaries and hierarchies. And claim that the Biennale “may or may not include Contemporary Art” despite having already released an impressive list of participating contemporary artists that includes Jon Rafman, Adrian Piper, Josephine Pryde, and Hito Steyerl.  

The proceeding eight editions of the Biennale have been marked by their controversial exhibition formats and broad curatorial agendas. As tradition dictates the main location of the Biennale will be at Kunst-Werke (KW), the institution organizing the Biennale. The other venues chosen by the curators are symbolic of the alterations undergone by the German capital over the past few years, The Akademie der Künste, the European School of Management and Technology, the Feuerle Collections, and a boat touring the river Spree.

Lauren Boyle speaking at a press conference before the Berlin Biennale described the curatorial framework as being “guided by a rounded receptivity to the present”. She goes on to state: “We feel consumed by individualism staged in the face of the utter powerlessness of the individual in the age of the Anthropocene and Big Data.” Apparently, their proposition is simple, “Instead of pulling talks on anxiety, let's make people anxious; rather than symposia on privacy, let's jeopardize it; instead of talking about capitalism, let's distort it.”

The 9th Berlin Biennale will run from the 4th June through to the 18th September 2016.