Voices Rise in Streets: The Song of Public Spaces Unveiled at Biennale für Freiburg from June 16 to July 30, 2023.
In an era where voices, both individual and collective, are rising in the streets, a unique song resonates. This song, a metaphorical instrument, interrupts the usual course of events, echoing the will for self-determination and releasing a powerful energy. Unforeseen encounters amplify the potential of public spaces, triggering confrontations and spontaneously fostering cohesion.
The street, both a stage and a witness to our present, is a constant site of divided attention and conflicting interests. It provides a platform for understanding tipping points and upheavals, speculating on past and future aspirations, declarations of conflict, and compromises. Despite insurmountable differences, solidarity persists.
The physical attributes of a street – its location, course, and shape – immediately reveal geopolitical, economic, and social conditions. A street can either draw borders or create connections. It is a strategic tool for mapping territory and power, making the will of higher authorities manifest. Normative forces materialize in the infrastructure and become entrenched in learned and codified behaviors that are enforced to maintain the social order.
However, as soon as the song sounds, it becomes the counter melody to a normative setting. It surges into the street, demands attention, and will be heard. It moves us and sweeps us along. Finding your voice means finding the song—formulating an intention and breaking new ground.
The second edition of the Biennale für Freiburg, titled “Das Lied der Straße” or “The Song of the Street,” explores the street as a political realm and a place of lived publicness. The Biennale, curated by Paula Kommoss, takes place across twelve locations in Freiburg. The program began in February with a PROLOGUE featuring film screenings, street talks, and performative interventions, devoted to specific locations as well as stories surrounding the street. Artists, researchers, and practitioners from different fields were invited to share their perspectives on the street and examine the circumstances of specific urban contexts. The events opened a space to reflect on the potentials of social movements and to sharpen the focus on the historical and contemporary layers of meaning, (in)visibility, and (in)accessibility of public space.
Ayo Akingbade, Samar Al Summary, Halil Altındere, Danielle Arbid, James Gregory Atkinson, Maximiliane Baumgartner, Dara Birnbaum, Cudelice Brazelton IV, Eva Eisenlohr, Alia Farid, Maryam Ghasemi, Rebecca Grundmann, Deborah Joyce Holman, Kirti Ingerfurth, Anas Kahal, Amal Kenawy, Klein, Nikifor Krynicki, lo.me (Loren Tschannen and Mélissa Biondo), Hemansingh Lutchmun, Medienwerkstatt Freiburg, Shaun Motsi, Henrike Naumann, Vera Palme, Phung-Tien Phan, R.E.P. (Ksenia Hnylytska, Nikita Kadan, Zhanna Kadyrova, Lesia Khomenko, Volodymyr Kuznetsov, and Lada Nakonechna), Lotty Rosenfeld, Finnegan Shannon, somebody*ies (Anna Byskov, Christina Krys Huber, Hannah Kindler, Stella Meris, and Nika Timashkova), Hito Steyerl, Maria Toumazou, Matt Welch, Yong Xiang Li & François Pisapia.
Biennale für Freiburg
79098 Freiburg im Breisgau