La Biennale de Montréal Appoints Philippe Pirotte as Curator

Philippe Pirotte: La Biennale de Montréal 2016 Curator. Image courtesy of BNLMTL 2016

Philippe Pirotte: La Biennale de Montréal 2016 Curator. Image courtesy of BNLMTL 2016


Philippe Pirotte’s appointment expected to bring fresh ideas and projects to La Biennale de Montréal’s growing public

CANADA –  La Biennale de Montréal has announced the appointment of Philippe Pirotte, Director of the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste Städelschule and of Portikus in Frankfurt am Main, as Curator of its 2016 edition.  Mr. Pirotte was selected after a rigorous international search for the curator that will bring a breath of fresh of air to the La Biennale de Montréal. The 2016 edition of La Biennale de Montréal will be held from October 19, 2016 to 15 January 15,  2017.

As part of his responsibility, Mr. Pirotte will develop a distinctive program of exhibitions, publications and events across multiple venues for BNLMTL 2016. BNLMTL 2016 is presented by La Biennale de Montréal and co-produced with the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC).

Speaking about the appointment of  Mr. Pirotte, Sylvie Fortin, Executive and Artistic Director of La Biennale de Montréal notes that everyone, including the entire Biennale team, colleagues at the MAC and partner institutions are energized by the appointment of Philippe Pirotte. He described him thus: ‘Mr. Pirotte is an uncompromising curator, a superb exhibition-maker and a gifted writer who has already produced a number of memorable projects. We are pleased to provide him with this challenge and with a significant platform for experimentation.’

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Mr. Pirotte’s  outstanding curatorial ability is expected to make a great impact on the direction of La Biennale de Montréal 2016.   His constant presence in Montréal and his research across Canada to develop BNLMTL 2016 will evidently impact many communities.  Besides presenting works by Canadian artists,  it is expected that the inclusion of international artists will introduce new art trends to the Biennale’s growing public.

Philippe Pirotte is also excited about the appointment and the opportunity to develop both innovative and engaging projects. ‘I’m thrilled with the opportunity to develop an ambitious international project that engages with Montréal’s complexity,’ Mr.  Pirotte said.

Born 1972 in Belgium, Philippe Pirotte is an art historian, curator, and critic. He is the Director of the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste Städelschule and of Portikus, leading centers for contemporary art in Germany and beyond. Pirotte was one of the co-founders of the contemporary art center Objectif Exhibitions in Antwerp, Belgium. As the Director of the internationally-renowned Kunsthalle Bern in Switzerland from 2005 to 2011,  Mr. Pirotte organized solo exhibitions by artists such as Anne­Mie Van Kerckhoven, Owen Land, Oscar Tuazon, Jutta Koether, Allan Kaprow, and Corey McCorkle. He has also had many other important positions in top institutions.

Although the La Biennale de Montréal is still months away, Mr. Pirotte is already busy at work.  He notes:

At the moment, I am imagining the exhibition as a space that informs us about ourselves—uninvited. Simultaneously playful and fatalistic, it is a space where things can go awry. In that sense, the exhibition does not provide relief because its objects do not necessarily reveal themselves as truths.”

Later this year,  the organizers of  La Biennale de Montréal 2016 will announce the theme or approach for the art event.  The team of advisors selected by Pirotte to support the development of the project will also be announced.  In May 2016, the list of participating artists and information about key projects will be released.

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