We are pleased to announce Parsa Sanjana Sajid’s contribution to MARCH 01, “Dhaka Art Summit: Cultural Capital and the Long Tail of Colonial Time,” has been included in Perennial Biennial’s newest publication Local Perspectives on a Global Format, edited by Max Bach and Ingrid Haug Erstad, director of Bergen Assembly.
Responding to the need to reflect on the mechanisms of the art biennial, Local Perspectives on a Global Format collects six local responses to biennials (and one triennial) in Shanghai, Ljubljana, São Paulo, Aichi, Dhaka, and Glasgow, and how they relate to the intentions, both stated and implicit, of their organizers. First published outside the international art press, these texts address the realities of an art exhibition that is caught between a tendency to universalize and a local, regional, or national desire for representation and participation. By revisiting these texts—and making some accessible in English for the first time—Perennial Biennial aims to highlight the local urgencies, responses, and discussions around biennials, and how they diverge from the international biennial discourse.
Parsa Sanjana Sajid’s essay “Dhaka Art Summit: Cultural Capital and the Long Tail of Colonial Time,” first published in March 2020 in the inaugural print edition of MARCH, considers recent installments of DAS through its relationship to global capitalism and the cultural and political history of Bangladesh. Sajid dissects how colonial narratives are reproduced and reified at DAS, despite its self-proclaimed “noncommercial” formats and the political aims of its artistic engagements. As Sajid explains, DAS is not unaware of these dynamics, and attempts to sidestep such realities by framing itself as a “platform” rather than a biennial, in the process invoking “an inadvertent parallel to the practices of platform capitalism.” Here, both hardware (material works) and software (cultural knowledge) are presented as a destination playground where even the choice of security detail may define an event as protective or threatening.
Read the full essay in Local Perspectives on a Global Format.