2nd Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art

April 20 – June 20, 2001

curated by Saskia Bos


While the 1st Berlin Biennale concentrated on the local art scene of Berlin, for the 2nd Berlin Biennale curator Saskia Bos brought international artists to the city. Bos developed an exhibition concerned with the immediate participation of the public. Driven by the notions connectedness, contribution and commitment, the event aimed at a critique of the commercial and profit-oriented art world by moving away from artistic narcissism and elitist approaches opting instead for a dialogue with the public.


The artistic contributions selected by Bos aimed at a response to institutional critique based on positive approaches and forward-looking tendencies. Concerned with the content of art and ways to engage the public, her critique focused on the type of art institutions that desire sensationalism and artistic self-indulgence. Bos chose 50 (including very young) international artists from more than 30 countries who viewed art as a communal experience based on mutual forms of exchange. She focused on installations, film and video works that either engaged with the public or called for other types of interaction.


Like the 1st Berlin Biennale, the second installment was presented in the galleries of KW Institute for Contemporary Art and in the spaces of the former Postfuhramt. This time the exhibition was moreover extended to the S-Bahn arches under Jannowitzbrücke and the Allianz building–the so-called Treptowers.

The Curator of the 2nd Berlin Biennale

Saskia Bos



curational deputy

Waling Boers



Graphic design

Irma Boom



Saskia Bos, curator of the 2nd Berlin Biennale. Photographer unknown

Saskia Bos interviewed by Annie Fletcher, catalogue of the 2nd Berlin Biennale

I think this focusing on relationality, on concern and connectedness, which you feel with many artists in this show, was a way of establishing a countour for the art of today. And establishing that contour was necessary to avoid on the one hand the [...]More >

3rd Berlin Biennale
1st Berlin Biennale