Biennialization and its Discontents

Jeannine Tang

I wrote this piece in 2009, upon an invitation to participate in a workshop series on fairs and festivals at the Copenhagen Business School. The workshop papers were subsequently edited into an anthology published by Cambridge University Press in 2011. Initially I was intrigued as to why a business school would be interested in my work, but ultimately I think our conjunction was marked by a series of misrecognitions. I have no issues with the press, and the event was run with elegance and an earnest attempt at collegiality. That said, the editorial approach and workshop structure, as conceived by the CBS organizers, frequently felt incompatible with my own interests and politics. I continue to have mixed feelings about this essay, and often omit it from my CV. What follows are two excerpts—from the introduction and the conclusion—with my comments.

Jeannine Tang is an art historian who teaches at CCS Bard, and a PhD candidate at the Courtauld Institute of Art.