Art & Design
All the Highlights of the 2016 Berlin Biennale
This weekend, the 9th Berlin Biennale opened in Europe's favorite expat capital, curated by the unabashedly American, thoroughly post-boundaries collective DIS, consisting of Lauren Boyle, Solomon Chase, Marco Roso, and David Toro. Spanning five venues across the city, including the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Mitte, which has presided over the biennial since its founding in 1996, this year’s edition is provocatively titled "The Present in Drag." “Drag is not just a man in female clothes or vice versa,” Boyle said. “We are using the term in a broader sense—as a shapeshifting representation of self and of environment.” Toro added, “Drag on the one hand implies disguise and deception, and on the other, true self-expression. In a sense, we feel that the present is currently in Drag, where even transparency is a type of mask.” Roso explained that in all the satellite venues—an art school, a business management school, a bunker-turned-private art collection, and a retooled river boat like the ones so popular with summer tourists—"there’s a dichotomy between the micro and macro, the personal and the public." “As the title suggests,” said Chase, “instead of unmasking the present as though it contains something we have to ‘discover’, we want to look at its many faces and incarnations.” Here are eight highlights from an expectations-shattering show.