The 1st World Biennial Forum in Gwangju

The 1st World Biennial Forum in Gwangju

Biennial Foundation

Biennial Map, by Biennial Foundation.
August 1, 2012
The 1st World Biennial Forum in Gwangju

27–31 October 2012

Gwangju Biennale Foundation
South Korea

Initiated by:
Biennial Foundation

Organized by:
Gwangju Biennale Foundation
Biennial Foundation
ifa Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen

The 1st World Biennial Forum is an international convention, the first of its kind for biennale organizers and related professionals, that will take place in Gwangju, South Korea coinciding with the 9th Gwangju Biennale. The 1st World Biennial Forum serves as a forum for exchange, providing an opportunity for critical reflection upon the fact that over 150 biennials for art and related disciplines are currently being organized all over the world: a world with many cultural centers that are characterized by rapidly changing socio-economic and political situations.

This reality creates new challenges in the field of producing and curating contemporary art while it has affected various societies across the globe. The 1st World Biennial Forum will dedicate special attention to Asia as its context and as a continent.

The 1st World Biennial Forum is aimed for all those who are involved with them: curating, organizing, and supporting international biennials. Conceived as an informal meeting point, the 1st World Biennial Forum will present talks by well-known speakers from a wide range of backgrounds and fields, and also offer workshops and smaller specialized sessions in order to address day-to-day matters that concern those who engage with biennials on a professional level, including those who represent and fund them.

The World Biennial Forum is an initiative of Biennial Foundation, a non-profit organization facilitating links between organizations and practitioners operating within the international biennial community by providing an open platform for exchange, collaboration, and research.

The premiere of the World Biennial Forum is organized by Biennial Foundation, IFA, and Gwangju Biennale Foundation. The hosting of the first edition of the WBF reflects Gwangju Biennale Foundation’s ongoing pro-active, innovative, and discourse-stimulating role. Gwangju Biennale Foundation was founded in 1995 in memory of the 1980 civil uprising and the Gwangju Democratization Movement. The Gwangju Biennale is Asia’s oldest and most prestigious biennial of contemporary art.

The 1st World Biennial Forum offers opportunity to visit three Korean biennials: ROUNDTABLE: 9th Gwangju Biennale (7 September–11 November); GARDEN OF LEARNING: Busan Biennale 2012 (22 September–24 November); and SPELL ON YOU: 7th Mediacity Seoul (11 September–4 November).

Co-Directors Ute Meta Bauer and Hou Hanru will jointly provide a set of topics, serving as a point of departure for the discussions.

Ute Meta Bauer is the Dean of Fine Art at the Royal College of Art. She served as the Director of the Visual Arts Program and as Founding Director of the Program in Art, Culture and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Bauer was co-curator of documenta 11, artistic director of the 3rd Berlin Biennale (2004), and was the Founding Director of the Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA).

Hou Hanru is an art critic and curator. He worked at San Francisco Art Institute as Director of Exhibitions and Public Program and Chair of Exhibition and Museum Studies (2006–2012). He has curated numerous exhibitions including the Biennials of Johannesburg, Shanghai, Gwangju, Guangzhou, Tirana, Venice (French Pavilion, 1999, Chinese Pavilion, 2007), Istanbul, and Lyon. Hou is currently curating the 5th Auckland Triennial.

Preliminary schedule
Saturday 27 October: Holiday Inn.
Registration participants, welcoming reception.

Sunday 28 October: Kim Dae-Jung Convention Center.
Keynote presentations, panel discussions.
Tour of ROUNDTABLE: the 9th Gwangju Biennale

Monday 29 October: Kim Dae-Jung Convention Center.
Workshops, specialized sessions.

Tuesday 30 October: Biennial Representatives Meeting.
Depart for Seoul from Gwangju.
Last session at the Seoul Museum of Art.

Wednesday 31 October: Tour of cultural sites in Seoul (optional).

A limited number of travel grants for biennial professionals from emerging and developing countries are available, supported by the Prince Claus Fund. For criteria and to apply:
For more information:

Gwangju Biennale Foundation

Gwangju Biennale Foundation
Harian Cho: [email protected]

Biennial Foundation
Olga Hatzidaki: [email protected]

Supported by the Gwangju Metropolitan City Government and by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and Arts Network Asia (ANA) as part of the programme Creative Encounters: Cultural Partnerships between Asia and Europe.

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August 1, 2012

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