014: What is an Art Biennial? With Tami Katz-Freiman

014: What is an Art Biennial? With Tami Katz-Freiman

Weekly Inspiration

This week’s episode opens with musings about love’s many forms. One of our beloved Cultured Crew members, Noelle, shared a New York Times article with me that delves into how platonic friendships can be some of the deepest connections we experience. The absence of physical intimacy allows these bonds to ascend to heights that many romantic relationships never reach. I’ve been blessed to enjoy a couple of these pure, unconditional and unencumbered friendships.

Have you ever had a connection like this? Let me know in the comments!

Exploring Art Biennials With Tami Katz-Freiman

On Episode 14 of The Cultured Podcast, Tami Katz-Freiman is Michelle’s Sherpa into the world of contemporary art curation. Tami recently curated Gal Weinstein’s site-specific installation Sun Stand Still, which represented Israel at the world-renowned Venice Biennale.

Tami explains that her job as a curator is to translate or mediate between the artist and the viewer. This is no easy job, and one that includes writing, fundraising, public speaking, and many other responsibilities.

Tami also gives us a 101 course on biennials, which are art exhibitions that take place every two years. Started in 1895, La Biennale di Venezia in Italy was the first-ever art biennial. It has been held every two years since, and remains the leading biennial in the world of contemporary art.

Through their conversation, Tami and Michelle explore how art, whether it intends to or not, speaks to the current era’s political circumstances. Tami also clues us into what it was like to represent her native country in front of the world stage.

What starts out as a conversation about installations quickly weaves into a discussion about the three life cycles of art: the creation, the release, and then the life it takes on once it’s consumed by the viewer.

About Tami Katz-Freiman, Contemporary Art Curator, Historian and Critic

Tami Katz-Freiman is an art historian, curator and critic, based in Miami, Florida, where she works as an independent curator of contemporary art. From 2005-2010 she was the Chief Curator of the HMA (Haifa Museum of Art) in Israel.

She started her curatorial practice in 1992 and over the years she has curated numerous group and solo exhibitions in prominent museums in Israel and the US, where she lived and worked also between 1994 and 1999. In the years 2008-2010 she was teaching Feminism and Contemporary Art at the Department of Art History at the Tel Aviv University and curatorial studies at the International Curatorial Program of the Kalisher School of Art and Technology in Tel Aviv.

In addition to essays for catalogues and books published in conjunction with the exhibitions she has curated, Katz-Freiman has written numerous articles, essays, and reviews addressing various issues in contemporary art. In 2012 she curated two major exhibitions: Critical Mass: Contemporary Art from India for the new wing of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and UNNATURAL for the Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach. She is a board member of AIRIE and a member of IKT and AICA/USA, the International Association of Art Critics. Recently she curated Sun Stand Still by Gal Weinstein for the Israeli Pavilion in the 57th International Art Exhibition (2017), La Biennale di Venezia. 

Tami Katz-Freiman’s website

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