Redas Dirzys, artist (Lithuania)


Make Biennial Yourself - Manifesto

(Highly recommended to self-referential artists)

1. First you have to do is to overcome your own ego and to realize that Biennial is to be organized to show somebody else’s but not yours artworks and also to realize that there are some more artists in the world.
2. The format of the Biennial and priorities should be arranged in order you would like to participate in it yourself.
3. The topic of the Biennial should be based on the real problems you’ve faced in the last few biennials you’ve participated in.
4. Choose the site never used for such kind of events and not inhabited by your family and /or you parents.
5. Collect and spread around the funny and absurd stories about the site.
6. Carefully choose the target people to be hit during the event and the main PR campaign to be organized for.
7. Invite the people you would like to work with. Use all personal contacts you ever had.
8. Never invite the stars only because of their status. That never will work for you even if you’ll get more funds because of their names – all the profit will be finally absorbed by the forces standing behind them.
9. Never trust to advises of the institutions – only one form of compromise is acceptable – to use their money which should be twice or much bigger then to cover the presentation of their promotional part. And to arrange the counter part to it.
10. Try to avoid presentation of their theoretic discourse in whatever form: lectures, texts; or at least neutralize it by your own commentaries.
11. Remember, you are working for them and you’re the one to receive thanks from them. Don’t worry about their discomfort – they’ll never pay you enough to demand you to listen at their reproaches.
12. If you tend to receive municipal recourses you should promise spectacle to them.
13. If you tend to receive money from the State – promise press coverage and especially international one.
14. If you want to receive international funds - you should hide yourself under the institution and to prove its loyalty.
15. In all these three cases would be very helpful your lobbyist abilities.
16. If you have some more ideas to persecute with the topic of the biennial – that will work to gather the artists around. That does will be perfect if that ones would contradict to the previous three.
17. You should trust the artists invited and to let them do things they’re planning to do and they’ll do their best. Never point to the work, but discuss the strategy.
18. The catalogue of the Biennial points to those who hold the power – either you adoring them or criticizing.
19. The catalogue is the necessary point to attend the history for the biennial. Remember, people mostly remember the opening parties and catalogues.
20. The catalogue is the first step to the next Biennial.
21. Try to be sincere as only you’ll be able. And try to avoid really professional texts in the catalogue.
22. If there is nothing remaining to say – better remain silent. But that doesn’t means that there is no need to arrange one more Biennial in two years. At least there is a good opportunity to oppose to those who chattering too much.

[Redas Diržys, 2005, Alytus]