Dak’art and the Production of its Public
This chapter examines Dak’Art’s production of the public within the framework of Joseph Lampel and Alan Meyer’s concept of ‘field-configuring event’. It discusses how information about the Biennale’s public could be collected. In an overall consideration, audience research of mega-events is methodologically a difficult task, due to different locations and a large public that often is reluctant to answer some questions. Dak’Art indeed has realized its uniqueness within the global biennials network. In a ranking of 2014, Artnet News classifies this mega-event as fourteenth among the ‘World’s Top 20 Biennials, Triennials, and miscellenials’. The public is another central aspect in the constitution of an art biennial as ‘field-configuring event’. The Biennale’s survey of 2008 and the orientation survey elaborated by students from the University of Vienna and myself in 2010 demonstrate the success of Dak’Art in attracting artists from Africa and its diaspora, art world professionals and an international audience.