Curator of the Biennale 2022: Iris Sikking

© Foundation for Visual Arts

The Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie 2022 will be curated by Iris Sikking from the Netherlands. This was announced on September 9, 2020, by the board of the Biennale upon consultation in a meeting with the directors and managers of the partnering exhibition houses of the Biennale. The 3rd Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie will take place from 19 March through 22 May, 2022, in various exhibition venues in Mannheim, Ludwigshafen and Heidelberg.

At the intersection of art, photojournalism and documentary photography
Iris Sikking (*1968 in Amsterdam) lives and works as an independent curator in Amsterdam. She is a trained photography historian and film editor. Through the mid-1980s, she also worked as a DJ in Delft. As a curator, author and mentor, her focus has been on artistic positions at the intersection of art, photojournalism and documentary photography. Innovative strategies of storytelling paired with her eclectic use of media and presentation methods are the hallmarks of her curatorial work. For more than 15 years, she has realized international projects in close cooperation with artists, conceived thematic exhibitions and published photo books as well as online projects.

Curator, author and mentor
In 2018, she was chief curator of the Krakow Photomonth Festival. With the goal of establishing the basis for initiating a broader discourse about photography in the 21st century, she was editor of the photo book Why Exhibit? Positions in Exhibiting Photographies (published by Fw:books, Amsterdam) that same year. As an exhibition consultant, she is responsible in 2020 for the presentation of the research project Facing Srebrenica and the Future of Memory in Europe at Framer Framed, Amsterdam.
In 2021, she will realize an exhibition based on the archive of Dutch wartime photographer Chas Gerretsen for the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam and Tree and Soil in Fotomuseum Den Haag, a long-term project by Robert Knoth and Antoinette de Jong. Alongside her curatorial projects, she also conducts portfolio reviews, is a member of a number of competition juries and serves on the advisory board of the renowned Mondriaan Fund. She is also a tutor for the BA Photography, Film & The Digital course at the School of Art and Design, St. Joost in Breda.

Iris Sikking: “From DJing to film editing or curating photography exhibitions – from putting people in motion to storytelling and designing entire spaces and establishing connections between individual works of art: For the Biennale, I would like to bring together the best of these three worlds. I can hardly wait to design a Biennale together with international artists and local partners which examines relevant topics with an entirely new approach. I will be guided in this endeavor by my long-standing interest in documentary work. And I look forward to our joint project with great joy!”

Sabine Schirra, Chairwoman of the Biennale: “We are delighted that Iris Sikking is curating the Biennale 2022. She looks back on extensive project and, above all, festival experience and has a tried-and-tested track record as a team player. We are certain that she will conceive a Biennale which will react to local conditions while shining a broader spotlight on world events and addressing the important social issues of our times – which are more relevant today than ever before.”