La Biennale de Dakar comme projet de coopération et de développement

Pensa, Iolanda (2011) La Biennale de Dakar comme projet de coopération et de développement. PhD thesis, EHESS École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in collaboration with Politecnico di Milano.

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Abstract

This study observes the international art system from Dak’Art, the Senegalese contemporary African art biennale; in particular it explores the relationship between visual arts, spatial dynamics, cultural policies and the market; it is based on the keywords cooperation, development, territory and representation. The research analyses the international phenomena of biennial exhibitions, the ones in Africa, the history of the Dakar biennale, contemporary art and its landscape, contemporary African art historiography, the network of Dak’Art and the way contemporary productions are structured as “projects”. It appears clearly that culture is more and more often structured as “projects”; contemporary African art is a brand for the import-export of cultural goods; the network is the central resource of a cultural event and the wider and the more fragmented this network is, the more difficult it is to satisfy it; the geography of cultural events is defined by its international links; cultural events generate landscapes, a combination and interrelation of natural and human factors. The contemporary art system observed from the biennial art exhibition of Dakar appears strongly influenced by the funding organizations, and closely related to cultural policies and to the market, even though it doesn’t necessarily imply the selling of artworks within a gallery.

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