Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - 11:05

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, on recommendation from the Federal Advisory Committee for International Exhibitions (FACIE), has selected acclaimed Los Angeles-based artist Glenn Kaino (BA '93) to represent the United States of America at the 13th International Cairo Biennale, the premiere international contemporary art exhibition in the Middle East.

Cesar Garcia, currently the Associate Director and Senior Curator at LA>

For over two decades, Glenn Kaino has transformed conventional materials and forms through works that forge dynamic relationships between visual art and other creative disciplines.  Developing his practice in Southern California, Kaino has distinguished himself internationally by mobilizing his diverse experiences in various spheres of cultural production to generate works that while highly accessible to broad audiences, put forth critical reconsiderations of historical narratives and art historical trajectories. Working across a wide range of media including sculpture, installation, video, and performance, Kaino approaches his artistic process as a generative tool for knowledge production, providing one of the most conceptually rigorous and innovative examples of contemporary art production in the United States.

The approach to the organization of the U.S. Pavilion will extend beyond the sole presentation of an exhibition,” commented recently appointed U.S. Commissioner Cesar Garcia. “This project comes at a time of unforeseen social and political transitions in the Middle East. From Tunisia and Libya to Bahrain and Yemen, and from Egypt to Syria, we have witnessed thousands of courageous people take to the streets their grievances, and more importantly, their hopes and aspirations for a more promising and renewed way of being. Deeply conscious of the region’s complex history and the challenging days ahead, it will be our goal to present a responsive platform that directly engages both the opportunities and the challenges of this context,” Garcia states.

While full details of the exhibition and accompanying initiatives will be unveiled in the next few weeks, Garcia and Kaino share that there will be a series of international intellectual and artistic collaborations staged throughout the year, preceding the debut of Kaino’s newly commissioned large-scale sculptural installation in Cairo. These various events and programs will collectively function as a discursive foundation that informs and contextualizes the presentation of the US Pavilion. "I have had the opportunity throughout my career to bring disparate fields of creative production together and this project will continue that exploration as a critical reflection on the role of art and artists in this time of great change," Kaino states.

The presentation of the U.S. Pavilion will be accompanied by a full color illustrated publication edited by Garcia that will include newly commissioned essays by a host of international scholars and curators.

The 13th International Cairo Biennale is slated for December 2012- February 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. The U.S. Pavilion is organized by LA> and is presented by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, which supports and manages the official U.S. participation at selected international exhibitions.

About Glenn Kaino
Glenn Kaino (American b. 1972) received his BFA from the University of California, Irvine, in 1993 and his MFA from the University of California, San Diego, in 1996. His work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, including Glenn Kaino: Safe|Vanish, LA>Honor Among Thieves, Performa09, in collaboration with Creative Time, New York (2010); Transformer: The Work of Glenn Kaino, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh (2008); The Burning Boards, The Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, New York (2007); Laws Were Made For Rogues, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, California (2006); and Bounce: Glenn Kaino and Mark Bradford, Gallery at REDCAT, Los Angeles (2004) amongst others. Kaino’s work has also been included in group exhibitions at institutions around the world, including Selections from the Hammer Contemporary Collection, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2011); Role Model— Role Playing, Museum der Moderne Mochsberg, Salzburg, Germany (2011); The Artists’ Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2010); Disorderly Conduct: Recent Art in Tumultuous Times, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California (2008); Blackbelt, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2004); and One Planet under a Groove, Bronx Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2001) amongst others.  In 2004, his work was included in the California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art and the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art. His work is represented in various public collections including The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles; The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; The Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; and The Studio Museum of Harlem. In addition to his studio practice, Kaino has been involved in various projects that established experimental platforms for the production and dissemination of contemporary art. In 1997, Kaino cofounded Deep River, an artist-run gallery in Los Angeles that was active through 2002, staging solo shows with some of Los Angeles’s most important emerging artists. Most recently, he cofounded The Mistake Room, an itinerant platform for exhibitions, publications, and situation-specific artist projects. Kaino currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

About U.S. Commissioner Cesar Garcia
Cesar Garcia is a curator, writer, and contemporary art theorist currently living and working in Los Angeles, CA. Since 2007 he has worked at LA>Mark di Suvero: Artists' Tower of Protest, Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival, Los Angeles, CA (2012); Slangfest: Mario Ybarra Jr., Karla Diaz, and Slanguage Studio, Long Beach Arts Council, Long Beach, CA (2011); Marcos Ramirez ERRE: A Reconstruction of Events, Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City (2011); Marcos Ramirez ERRE: How Many Revolutions?, LA>Joel Kyack: Superclogger, LA>Vestigial Constructs: Javier Ramirez Limon, Sebastian Mariscal, Luis Sanchez Ramirez, Subvision Festival of International Contemporary Art, Hamburg, Germany (2009) amongst others. Currently, Garcia is one of the curators of Made in L.A., the first Los Angeles Biennial, slated for June-September 2012 at the Hammer Museum, LA>

About the Cairo Biennale
Since its inception in 1984, the Cairo Biennale has been considered one of the most important cultural events in the MENA region (Middle East and Northern Africa). Conceived and initially designed to explore contemporary art in the Arab world, the concepts of the successive artistic directors expanded the interest to the global international arena. The Cairo Biennale is produced by the Fine Arts Sector of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture and the exhibition is spread over the entirety of all public spaces managed by the sector.

About the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) promotes international mutual understanding through a wide range of academic, cultural, professional, and sports exchange programs.  ECA exchanges engage youth, students, educators, artists, athletes, and emerging leaders in many fields in the United States and in more than 160 countries. Alumni of ECA exchanges comprise over one million people around the world, including more than 40 Nobel Laureates and more than 300 current or former heads of state and government.  For more information, visit
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Jennifer Gross
Evolutionary Media Group