Your 2021 Guide To 10 Top Biennales In order of starting date, here's a list of upcoming biennales we're looking forward to in 2021

photo: Ryann Christopher, Super, Sculpture, 2020, Coventry Biennale

BT14 The Endless Frontier
Dates: 4th June – 15th August 2021

BT14, the 14th edition of the Baltic Triennial, is set with the conviction that in a paradoxical time of fragmented integration, addressing the local is, simultaneously, to question the global. Consequently, and for the first time since it was established in 1979, BT14 focuses on the geopolitical territory of Central and Eastern Europe and includes historical as well as contemporary artistic practices. The BT14’s take on the region engages with its composite constitution, highlighting transnational connections. The inclusion of some artists from locations such as the Balkans, the Caucasus or Finland, underlines Central and Eastern Europe’s porous boundaries as well as its belonging to a global and multilayered network of systems.


11th Edition of Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, The Ghost Ship and the Sea Change

Dates: 5th June – 21st November 2021

The eleventh edition of the Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, The Ghost Ship and the Sea Change, coincides with the 400-year anniversary of the founding of the city of Gothenburg. In response to the occasion, this year’s biennial will have an extended format and open in two stages, transforming along the way. The Ghost Ship and the Sea Change relates to the historical layers of the city, asking how different ways of narrating its past might affect its future. Placed at the intersection between the historical and the fictive, the biennial explores the potential of artistic practice as a method of critical historiography and change.


Glasgow International 2021
Dates:  11th –27th June 2021

Glasgow International 2021 has announced details of its ninth edition. Originally scheduled to open in April 2020, the festival will now take on a hybrid format comprising 38 exhibitions in 27 physical venues across the city, as well as a comprehensive online programme of exhibitions, podcasts, films, streamed talks and events. The festival’s theme is “attention”: a topic that has shifted in emphasis over the past year, and the significance of which has, in many respects, become amplified.


MOMENTUM 11, House of Commons

Planned Dates: 12th June 12 – 10th October 2021, Currently postponed

Moss, Norway

The title refers to “commons,” “commonality,” and “commoning,” notions and processes that were elaborated and discussed by thinkers such as Elinor Ostrom. The practitioners and practitioner collectives will present projects at various venues and sites on the island of Jeløya, in the city of Moss and in the Oslo Fjord, Norway. Emancipation, resilience, reparation, and the formation and transmission of alternative narratives all inform the practitioners’ work. Their projects—a significant part of which will be newly-conceived or site-specific—will explore the intricate relations between aesthetic and social issues. They will also reverberate communities’ concerns, like the use of deliberative processes, the defence of ecosystems and the advancement of rights.


Socle du Monde Biennale 2021, Welcome Back My Friends to the Show that Never Ends 

Dates: 12th June – 31st October 2021

Planned originally for last year, the 8th edition of the Socle du Monde Biennale 2021 “Welcome Back My Friends to the Show that Never Ends” is finally opening this summer. The show’s title originally did not refer to a post-pandemic opening of art exhibitions but has since gained another significance. The central focus of this year´s edition is the integration and embedment of the city space. As a result, the three museums, a former high school, a church, parks, public and private buildings are transformed into showplaces for sight specific exhibitions.


The 34th Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts, Iskra Delta
Dates: 18th June – 17th October 2021

In the more than 60 years of its existence, the Ljubljana Biennale that was founded in 1955 in the midst of the Cold War, has tirelessly responded to the ever-changing sociopolitical context while rearticulating its own identity and strategies. From the very beginning, it sought to transcend geopolitical polarities, reflecting Yugoslavia’s determination to choose its own path. The Biennale continues to draw from its history and context, taking a specific local case of technological development and its unrealised potentials as the impetus for its 34th edition. Against a backdrop of social and environmental unrest, deep in the pandemic that has fixed our bodies in place and our eyes on screens, the story of Iskra Delta and the spectres of the “lost futures” that haunt it provide a spark for imagining and constructing possible alternative presents.


58th October Salon, Belgrade Biennale 2021

Dates: 26th June – 22nd August 2021

Founded by the city of Belgrade in 1960, with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, the October Salon | Belgrade Biennale is one of the most important cultural events in the Balkan area. Including 64 artists, the exhibition—called The Dreamers and curated by Italian curators Ilaria Marotta and Andrea Baccin, founding directors of CURA. —explores the space of dream as a metaphorical space of freedom, capable of re-reading categories, rules, and the most common certainties.


Coventry Biennial 2021 HYPER-POSSIBLE 

Dates: 8th October 2021 – 23rd January 2022

Referencing the radical nature of Coventry’s history whilst also signifying a positive way forward out of the pandemic, the Biennial will be titled HYPER-POSSIBLE and is a key visual arts event as part of Coventry UK City of Culture. Coventry Biennial 2021 HYPER-POSSIBLE will see more than 50 artists exhibiting in seven locations across Coventry and Warwickshire, including Coventry Cathedral, Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Leamington Art Gallery & Museum, Rugby Art Gallery & Museum, The Old Grammar School and a new gallery for the city, located above HMV Empire Coventry.


Larnaca Biennale 2021 in Cyprus

Dates: 13th October – 26th of November 2021 

Larnaca Biennale had its first edition in 2018. With more than 18.000 visitors at the main exhibition and more than 4.000 spectators attending the parallel events, Larnaca Biennale is the biggest and most popular international arts event in Cyprus. Larnaca Biennale 2021 has already established the continuation of the 2018 success considering that one month before the end of the international open call for artwork submissions, artists from 35 countries have already applied. In this edition the open call for artists is under the theme “Limitless limits” conceived by Curator Vassilis Vassiliades.


The Fifth New Museum Triennial, Soft Water Hard Stone

Dates: 27th October 27, 2021 – 23rd January 2022

Installed throughout all of the Museum’s galleries, the fifth iteration of the Triennial brings together works across mediums by forty artists and collectives who are living and working in twenty-three countries. The title of the 2021 Triennial, Soft Water Hard Stone, is taken from a Brazilian proverb: Água mole em pedra dura, tanto bate até que fura (Soft water on hard stone hits until it bores a hole). The proverb can be said to have two meanings: that if one persists long enough, the desired effect can eventually be achieved; and that time can destroy even the most perceptibly solid materials. The title speaks to ideas of resilience and perseverance, and the impact that an insistent yet discrete gesture can have in time. 


About The Author


Katarzyna Boch is an English Studies graduate (BA) currently pursuing her master’s degree in Warsaw. Interested in psychology, translation, and Victorian and modernist literature especially from the perspective of feminist studies.

This might interest you