11th Biennale(2016)

Participating Countries
: 10
: 10
관련 이미지

The 11th edition of Gwangju Biennale poses a profound question: “What is the essence of art in this age?“

Curated by the curatorial team consisting of the artistic director Maria Lind, curator Binna Choi, and assistant curators Azar Mahmoudian, Margarida Mendes and Michelle Wong, the 2016 Gwangju Biennale will direct its attention to artworks and projects while addressing the agency of art in terms of the question, “What does art do?” This year’s exhibit will place art center-stage with an emphasis on its projective and imaginative capacities, its connection with the future in midst of daily life and struggles for survival in the present, and how it lands in different contexts throughout society.


In collaboration with Mite Ugro, the local curatorial associate, GB11 organizes the monthly gatherings with various activities, screening, reading group, seminar with the participating artists. This year’s exhibition will maximize community participation and introduce art into the depths of our society. The Gwangju Biennale has been partnering with art galleries around the world known as the "biennale fellows". Through this, Gwangju will be a place to witness the lively, global cultural scene. Ultimately, the objective is for the local public to converge with the international world in order to unlock the infinite potential of art and imagination. With the Gwangju Biennale Exhibition Hall being one of the city's main locale, the Gwangju Biennale will encourage public participation across the city of Gwangju and beyond.


Attention is directed precisely to art works and projects, addressing the agency of art in terms of the question, "what does art do?". A central part of this interest in the performative aspect of art is its projective and imaginative qualities – art’s active relationship to the future.  
Other concerns of this edition of the biennale is the mediation of art, its embeddedness in various contexts and the potential of connecting dots between already existing activities and people near and afar.

The notion of the eighth climate, or “the imaginal”, goes back to the 12thcentury Persian mystic and philosopher Sohravardi, and was elaborated by the 20th century French philosopher Henri Corbin. It is an addition to the seven physical climates of the earth identified by ancient Greek geographers.  

Unlike in the seven earthly climates, the eighth climate is not based on a separation of matter and spirit, history and myth - it is ontologically real and existing, but beyond our ordinary way of perceiving and understanding things. The eighth climate establishes real imaginative knowledge and function, while escaping rationalism as we know it. The eighth climate is also known as mundus imaginalis in Latin (the imaginal world).


By placing art center-stage, with an emphasis on its imaginative capacity, its connection with the future in the midst of daily life and struggles for survival in the present, the curatorial process and resulting structure of GB11 highlights art as a kind of visionary knowledge and practice which can encompass prefiguration, diagnosis and prognosis, allowing for slightly different, be it ambiguous and conflictual, perspectives on how art engages with what lies ahead of us.

Thinking thoroughly about what art does, how it lands in different contexts, and how it sits in society, GB11 does not aim for a single exhibition but place emphasis on process of communication and mediation of art and society


- Curatorial Process

· above and below ground: on struggles over land, natural resources and the faculties of the earth

· the labor point of view: the persistent engagement of artists with changing working conditions and

  their effects on daily life

· between molecules and cosmos: how the minutest and invisible elements have wide-ranging effects at the

  same time as cosmos becomes a stage for action

· new subjectivity: the enlightenment subject is continuously challenged by the pharmaco-pornographic

  paradigm as well as both old and new models of performativity 

· the right to opacity: – how strategies of abstraction can produce artistic and other kinds of

  space to maneouver    

· becoming file: a renewed focus on signification processes in and through images, deeply informed by new technologies 

· defiance: challenging the powers that be

- Structure

· Different floors of the exhibition space will be treated differently, creating various “atmospheres”

· Exhibition space expanded to cultural space and private museums in the local area including but not limited to Asia Culture Center, Uijae Art Museum, Mudeung Museum of Contemporary Art, Woo Jaeghil Art Museum and May 18 Archives



Exhibition Layout  
- Several methodological and thematic strands have developed which will direct spatial dimension of each exhibition floor  

· Gallery 1: Multiple artworks with various features that juxtaposes each other creating a powerful first impression

· Gallery 2: Installation space for video productions,  minimal usage of free-standing wall, utilize superdirective sound system

· Gallery 3: Each art production creating its own zone

· Gallery 4: Compose bright space using minimal and limited artworks

· Gallery 5: Large screen installation of Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz (Berlin based artists)




Exhibition Related Programs

Gwangju Biennale Forum
- Period : 2016. 9. 2 (Fri) ~ 9. 4 (Sun), 3 days
- Theme : To All the Contributing Factors
- Structure : Keynote, Group discussions,  Hiking in the Medeung Mountains & Museum Tour, etc.


Monthly Gathering

- A collaboration between local curatorial associates and that of GB11 artists and curatorial

  team to offer a platform for education, research and exchange infrastructure.
- Structure: Mite-Ugro Art Book Collection, Group Reading, Artists Screening, etc



- Using Gwangju Biennale Infrastructure to establish an educational platform of the domestic

  and international art world
- Infra-School Associates: Chosun University, Gwangju; Hongik University, Seoul; RAT School of ART,

  Seoul; The New Centre, New York and online; Seoul National University – Asia Centre, Seoul; Curating School Seoul, Seoul and the Inter-Asia Biennale Forum

- Structure: lectures, presentations, group discussions, seminars, etc.

Teatime with the Biennale 

- Communication window for the local residents created to raise interest in the Gwangju Biennale and to fulfill  the role of Gwangju Biennale as the social parameter for art
- Meeting point provided for the residents, shop-owners, education practitioners and others in the vicinity of Gwangju Biennale



Local Community Related Programs

Portfolio Review Program
- Project that aims to discover and assist young artists in the Gwangju and Jeonnam Province
- Not a short-lived opportunity to participate in an exhibition but practical support through Curator Lecture, Studio Visitation and more


Special Exhibition
- Liaison with the Gwangju Fine Arts Association for local artists to have the opportunity to participate in the exhibition held at the Asia Culture Center


Collateral Exhibition
- Gallery Exhibition displaying outstanding selected works to stimulate and motivate local galleries