Contour takes place every two years, and runs for two months, from August to October. From its inception in 2003, the Biennial has presented itself as ‘the first comprehensive exhibition in Flanders entirely dedicated to art made in moving image.
The key artistic objectives of the first biennial still apply today: a) the connection between past and present, b) the focus on the moving image as an important, cutting-edge visual art form, c) the importance of excellent standards of presentation and installation, and d) the focus on recent works and new productions, commissioned by Contour. Finally, the presentation of a well-balanced programme of both Belgian and international prominent artists as well as upcoming, emerging talent.
The formula of the walking-tour through the inner city with film, video, and installations in different locations was an immediate success. Through the past three editions, Contour has built up a reputation for high artistic content, demonstrated its pioneering spirit, commitment to supporting artists and capacity for top-rate installations, and pointed to its future significance and continuing importance. The moving image is a potent, dynamic art form and Mechelen is a historical city rich in culture, with an abundance of exceptional locations.
Nevertheless, the artistic content of every single edition remains of primary importance. For this reason, a different curator is invited each time to develop a vision on the biennial. An architect or architectural office and a graphic designer are brought in to assist with the elaboration of the installation and visual presentation of the exhibition.
Contour is part of a European network of organisations and festivals that focus on artists working with the moving image. Today it has partners in Milan, Osnabrück, Linz, Clermont-Ferrand, and Wroclaw, thus widening its range of activities and allowing for artists’ works to be presented in different cities throughout Europe.
2009 — CURATOR: KATERINA GREGOS (GRC)
THE BULLETIN — 2009 — SARAH MCFADDEN
… Mechelen’s biennial of moving image offered more engaging food for thought than any other exhibition I saw in Belgium this year…
LA LIBRE BELGIQUE — 2009 — GUY DUPLAT
… the sequence of beautiful and tantalising discoveries leads us far away from the nonsense of Fukuyama’s The End of History. History moves us, time and again …