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T+L Reports: Europe's Baby Biennial

You're not alone if you're suffering from "biennialitis," difficulty distinguishing one massive international art event from another. In a bid to stand out—and to evolve the Spanish city of Valencia into a capital of cool—the 2003 Bienal de Valencia (June 8-September 30; www.bienaldevalencia.com) is taking "The Ideal City" as its theme, focusing on the energy of its own streets. Valencia's buildings, plazas, and solares (vacant lots) will double as exhibition spaces for work by visionaries such as Dennis Oppenheim and Wim Wenders. A former convent has been transformed into the Department Store of Proper Behavior, an installation where viewers can "shop" for new objects and ideas. Photographer Sebastião Salgado has set up temporary street-corner portrait studios and turned a local museum inside out by mounting photographs of Valencians on its exterior. Expect a strong dose of youthful panache at this biennial: two-thirds of the visitors to the first one, in 2001, were under 26.
—Julie Caniglia

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