November 12, 2014 - Gwangju Biennale - Closing of Burning Down the House
November 12, 2014

Closing of Burning Down the House

Carsten Höller, Seven Sliding Doors, 2014. Mirrored glass coors, aluminum-coated steel construction, motion sensors, electric
motors, door mechanics. Dimensions variable. Photo: Stefan Altenburger. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Generously sponsored
by PKM Gallery.

10th Gwangju Biennale: Burning Down the House 
September 5–November 9, 2014

Gwangju Biennale Foundation
111 Biennale-ro, Buk-gu
Republic of Korea, 500-845

T +82 (0) 62 608 4114
F +82 (0) 62 608 4219

The 10th Gwangju Biennale: Burning Down the House closed its doors Sunday, ending its 66-day run with a total of 200,000 visitors. This year’s edition brought together 103 artists and artist groups from 83 countries, featuring more than 413 artworks between them.

“We reached the end of the 10th Gwangju Biennale alongside the support of all our visitors over the last two months,” said the foundation’s interim president Chung Dong Chea. “On this 20th anniversary, we have reaffirmed the identity of the Gwangju Biennale and our place within the international art world.”

Led by Artistic Director Jessica Morgan, who will be heading the Dia Art Foundation from January 2015, the Biennale tackled themes of destruction, renewal, and rebirth within the title Burning Down the House. She was supported by a team comprised of Associate Curators Emiliano Valdés and Fatos Ustek, Associate Curator for Performance Enna Bae, and Assistant Curator Teresa Kittler.

Ingo Arend wrote in Kunstforum International, “The Gwangju Biennale serves as neither a tourist spectacle for field marketing nor a catalyst for urban gentrification. Within the increasing density of international biennials, Gwangju remains fortunate. As the Biennale was formed from a democratic movement, a socio-political responsibility—not an industrial cultural mission—was engraved into its DNA.”

Jason Farago, writing for The Guardian, highlighted the use of figurative painting in this year’s Biennale, in addition to its multilayered intensity. He said, “…As those bones on the Gwangju Biennale parvis attest, this is not a show that takes itself lightly. Morgan’s symbol of the burning house—of one’s own burning house, a house we ourselves set on fire—has the great virtue of collapsing the boundary between personal and political struggles, and insists that through a simultaneously angry and joyful obliteration we can reconstitute the places where we live.”

Kevin McGarry for art-agenda focused on Minouk Lim’s Navigation ID, an installation and performance piece held during the opening days of the Biennale. He said, “The intensity was so great that it conjured the uncanny sensation of witnessing reality TV in the making, a convergence of actual lives and emotions with the rigidity and pretense of a script. Lim’s piece is an unwieldy blend of artistic gesture and civically engineered ceremony, which, come to think of it, is one version of what a biennial itself might be. Not one that subverts the status quo the way some of its best works do, but one that is genuinely attentive to where it is.”

The Gwangju Biennale Foundation wishes to thank all the curators and participating artists; the collectors and institutions who loaned works; and the writers, photographers and installation technicians who helped make this edition a success.

Media contact:
Public Relations Department / Jieun Hyun
T +82 (0) 62 608 4228 / F +82 (0) 62 608 4229 / jieun.hyun [​at​]

Gwangju Biennale
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