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Biennials & festivals

Biennale bonanza: artist line-ups revealed for Riga, Berlin and São Paulo shows

Curtain also lifts on Manifesta 12 and the 2019 Sharjah Biennial

Detail of the research platform ASI's (The Agency of Singular Investigations) multimedia installation The Flower Power Archive (2018) Courtesy of the artists

Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art: Everything was Forever, Until It Was No More

Nine venues including the Zuzeum art centre

2 June-28 October

The chief curator of the inaugural Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (Riboca) biennial, Katerina Gregos, has brought together 104 artists, including ten collectives. New commissions include an ultra-patriotic British installation entitled Open for Business by the UK artist Michael Landy. His stall, modelled on traditional Soviet kiosks, will showcase British memorabilia such as miniature corgis. Landy says that “in light of Brexit, I thought I’d trade all things ‘British’, since we need some new trading partners”. Mark Dion and Sissel Tolaas will reveal other new pieces; Tolaas, described as an “olfactory artist”, will show an installation based on the scents of the Baltic sea in the Modernist Soviet Dubulti train station in Jurmala, Riga’s seaside resort. Artists featured from the Baltic region include the Estonian artists Jevgeni Zolotko and Sandra Kosorotova.

Baltic Triennial 13: Give up the Ghost

Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania: 11 May–12 August; CCA Estonia, Tallinn Art Hall: 29 June–2 September; Kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, Latvia: 21 September-18 November

Another Baltic art extravaganza, the Baltic Triennial 13 unfolds across Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, organised by the chief curator Vincent Honoré. “Each of the chapters is informed by a shared concern: what does it mean to belong at a time of fractured identities?” a statement says. Pierre Huyghe, Derek Jarman and Hannah Black form part of the line-up alongside Michael Dean, Laure Prouvost and Caroline Achaintre. The artist duo Neringa Cerniauskaite and Ugnius Gelguda (known as Pakui Hardware) explore the “body in relation to technological innovation”; the Croatian artist Dora Budor incorporates movie props in her works, recontextualising these fake objects. Max Hooper Schneider, Rachel Rose, Merike Estna and Benoît Maire will also take part in this ambitious cross-state exhibition.

10th Berlin Biennale: We Don’t Need Another Hero

Four venues including KW Institute for Contemporary Art

9 June-9 September

The curators of the tenth edition of the Berlin Biennale, led by the independent South African curator Gabi Ngcobo, go back to the 1980s. “By referencing Tina Turner’s song from 1985, We Don’t Need Another Hero, we draw from a moment directly preceding major geopolitical shifts that brought about regime changes and new historical figures,” a project statement says. Participating artists include Natasha A. Kelly, Okwui Okpokwasili, Oscar Murillo, Özlem Altın, Patricia Belli, Portia Zvavahera, Sam Samiee, and Sara Haq. Luke Willis Thompson, a 2018 Turner Prize nominee, is also included alongside last year’s Turner prize winner, Lubaina Himid. Agnieszka Brzeżańska, Ana Mendieta, and Basir Mahmood also feature.

33rd Bienal de São Paulo: Affective Affinities

Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavilion, Ibirapuera Park

7 September-9 December

The world’s second oldest biennial, the Bienal de São Paulo comprises several different strands for its 33rd edition. Seven group shows curated by selected artists will be exhibited alongside 12 individual projects selected by the chief curator Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro. Alejandro Cesarco is among the seven artist-curators; his exhibition will include works by Elaine Sturtevant, Louise Lawler, and Cameron Rowland. “For her exhibition Stargazer II, [the Swedish artist] Mamma Andersson selected a group of artists that have inspired and fuelled her own production as a painter,” a project statement says. These include the Outsider artist Henry Darger and the Stockholm-born film-maker Gunvor Nelson. Other artist-curators include Sofia Borges, Waltercio Caldas and Wura-Natasha Ogunji.

Palermo's botanical garden was a “key inspiration” for the curatorial vision of Manifesta 12 Courtesy of OMA

Manifesta 12: the Planetary Garden, Cultivating Co-Existence

More than 15 venues in Palermo including Teatro Garibaldi

16 June-4 November

The twelfth edition of the nomadic biennial Manifesta focuses on Palermo as a melting pot, welcoming waves of immigrants over the centuries. The first ten participants have been confirmed, including the London-based collective Cooking Sections, which will show a project exploring agricultural irrigation systems across various venues. The Nigerian artist Jelili Atiku plans to lead a procession through the streets of Palermo on 15 June, and Khalil Rabah will create his own market, comprising a wealth of ephemera, at the city’s botanical garden. The Italian artist Marinella Senatore is due to lead a collective dance movement in the city’s historic centre on 16 June; the Brazilian artist Maria Thereza Alves will unveil an installation at Palazzo Butera based on Sicily’s floral ecosystems.

Sharjah Biennial: Leaving the Echo Chamber

Sharjah Art Foundation, United Arab Emirates

March 2019

The three curators behind the next edition of the Sharjah Biennial, due to take place spring 2019, have revealed their initial artist selections. Zoe Butt, the artistic director of the Factory Contemporary Arts Centre, Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, will present works by Khadim Ali, Meiro Koizumi and Ho Tzu Nyen, among others; Omar Kholeif, the senior curator and director of global initiatives at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, will show works by Jon Rafman, Lubaina Himid and Akram Zaatari; the independent curator Claire Tancons will include works by Wu Tsang and Eisa Jocson. Each curator will present separate exhibitions under the overarching title of Leaving the Echo Chamber. The 14th edition will explore “the possibilities and purpose of producing art when history is increasingly fictionalised”, the organisers say.