Bergen Assembly is the name of the planned triennial in Bergen in 2013 and originates from a well-considered proposal that was presented in 2007 by Bergen Municipality, in conjunction with the city's ambition to establish an international biennial of contemporary art.
The proposal for a biennial in Bergen was thoroughly discussed during the international and research-oriented Bergen Biennial Conference (2009) organized by Bergen Kunsthall. The question “To biennial or not to biennial?” the conference title and the main topic, was thoroughly covered by experts and researchers from both academia and the arts. The conference was followed by the publication The Biennial Reader (Hatje Cantz / Bergen Kunsthall 2010), which is the most comprehensive and much-anticipated collection of articles about biennials published to date.
From biennial to triennial
Following the conference and the publication, it was decided to make the planned biennial into a triennial. This was done to allow time for artistic research and in-depth studies. Bergen Assembly – An Initiative for Art and Research – itself is the outcome of such a long process of reflection and deliberation; a “perennial” model suggested by an advisory board consisting of participants from the Bergen Biennial Conference 2009.
Instead of looking for curatorial practice in the conventional sense of the term, the advisory board has invited two conveners to establish an assembly of artists, cultural producers and other intellectuals to read the emerging histories around us through asymptomatic or prognostic approach; to address possible futures rather than summarize the present.