press release

6. International SITE Santa Fe Biennial
Still Points of the Turning World
Kurator: Klaus Ottmann

mit Miroslaw Balka, Jennifer Bartlett, Patty Chang, Stephen Dean, Peter Doig, Robert Grosvenor, Cristina Iglesias, Wolfgang Laib, Jonathan Meese, Wangechi Mutu, Carsten Nicolai, Catherine Opie, THORNS LTD (Snorre Ruch, Finn Olav Holthe, Jon Wesseltoft) ...

Intensity, experimentation, and visceral presence are the hallmarks of the thirteen significant one-person installations that constitute SITE Santa Fe’s Sixth International Biennial. Curator Klaus Ottmann’s exhibition, entitled Still Points of the Turning World both concentrates and amplifies these singular works, empowering them to speak for themselves without the common filter of a prescriptive curatorial theme. As Ottmann explains, “I want this Biennial to be about the artists, not about the curator.” The exhibition’s manifest commitment to direct experience is designed to elicit a unique personal response from each viewer.

Although one of the intentions of this Biennial is to put the visitor “in the realm of the senses,” the senses aren’t meant to be overwhelmed. Ottmann has envisioned a bold concept for this timely, groundbreaking biennial. Eager to steer away from the now ubiquitous mega-biennials, he has dramatically reduced the quantity of artists to 13 and the exhibition to approximately 40 works. Most of the artists will have separate rooms, designed to encourage as well as seduce their audiences with a purer, unmediated experience. Furthermore, Ottmann’s exhibition reaffirms the ephemeral power of performance art—several of the artists in the show will create performances as part of their work— which, at its very essence, demands a direct engagement between the artist and the viewer. In this manner, the exhibition also intuitively nods at visual art performance’s timely resurgence in the current market-driven artworld.

Klaus Ottmann, an independent curator and scholar based in New York, is the author of numerous articles, essays, and books on art and philosophy, including The Genius Decision: The Extraordinary and the Postmodern Condition, James Lee Byars: Life, Love, and Death, and The Essential Mark Rothko. He is currently working on a book on the philosophy of the French painter Yves Klein.