May 30, 2008 - Gwangju Biennale - Position Papers
May 30, 2008

Position Papers

Artistic Director: Okwui Enwezor
Co-Curators: Hyunjin Kim, Ranjit Hoskote
Position Papers Curators: Patrick D. Flores, Jang Un Kim, Abdellah Karroum, Sung-Hyen Park, Claire Tancons
Duration: September 5 – November 9, 2008
Opening: September 5, 2008

Position Papers
Gwangju Biennale Foundation is pleased to announce the five exhibition projects of Position Papers as one of the three core components of Annual Report: A Year in Exhibitions for the 7th Gwangju Biennale. Position Papers derives from a network of curatorial discourses and theoretical frameworks whose common and shared horizon is to interrogate the fate of the contemporary in the current global moment and to extend the given curatorial model and exhibiting premise governing the displays of contemporary art.

Bokdukbang Project
Curated by Sung-Hyen Park

Bokdukbang is an old-fashioned Korean term that is now replaced by the professional term real estate agency. Bokdukbang metaphorically stands for a room (bang) filled with fortune (bok) and virtue (duk). Often run by the most knowledgeable person in the town, Bokdukbang once functioned as a place for sharing information and advice. It served as a mediatory open space based on ‘human relations’, an atmosphere often vividly experienced in a traditional Korean market. Located in the Daein traditional market in Gwangju, for the 7th Gwangju Biennale, Bokdukbang will represent not only a place where anyone may interact with others, to share one’s interest or concerns about people or events while receiving, in return, necessary information or commentary, it will also be reimagined as an active site of production beginning with artist workshops and events that will extend from mid June to the end of November.

Participating Artists
Ho-yoon Shin (Korea, Lives in Gwangju)
Hu-ju Gu (Korea, Lives in Busan)
Kiyoung Peik (Korea, Lives in Ansan)
Mun-ho Ma (Korea, Lives in Naju)
Munjong Park (Korea, Lives in Damyang)

Curated by Claire Tancons

Like the 7th Gwangju Biennale itself, Spring is not a theme, but a concept that recalls the emancipatory energy of the South Korean Spring in May 1980. However, the references of Spring go well beyond Gwangju, and evoke other popular uprisings from the Canboulay Riots of 1881 in Port of Spain to May 1968 in Paris, as well as encompassing the history of Carnival street processions, especially as found in Brazil and the Caribbean, New Orleans, and Cape Town. Given its format as a street procession, and its location, Gwangju, the attention of the invited artists will be drawn to the May 1980 street uprisings in Gwangju. A principal interest of Spring is to refuse the constricted space of the exhibition gallery, but readapt the exhibition format into a space of active social participation. In this way the processional format is the arena through which this project seeks to experiment with new modes of conducting an exhibition. Spring calls to mind the idea of sudden motion and constant tension, both of which are at the core of popular street manifestations, from carnivals to demonstrations. Beginning this August artists in Spring will assemble in Gwangju for a month of continuous interaction and production with local participants, building the models and displays, that will culminate in an eight hour procession through the streets of the city around the Former Provincial Office (the starting point of the Gwangju May 1980 protests). The procession will begin during the day and end at night with a fiery conflagration to signal the end of the event. The procession will be accompanied by music by DJ GAZAEBAL and filmed by Caecilia Tripp. Both the real time film and the music score will be edited and remixed, and will be the sole reminder of the procession and only element presented in one of the
exhibition spaces.

Participating Artists
Mario Benjamin (Haiti, Lives in Port-au-Prince)
Marlon Griffith (Trinidad and Tobago, Lives in Port of Spain)
Jarbas Lopes (Brazil, Lives in Rio de Janeiro)
MAP Office (Laurent Gutierrez and Valérie Portefaix) (France, Live in Hong Kong)
Karyn Olivier (Trinidad and Tobago/USA, Lives in New York)

Jin Won Lee (aka GAZAEBAL) (Korea, Lives in Seoul) Musician/DJ
Caecilia Trip (Germany, Lives in Paris ) Filmmaker

Turns in Tropics: Artist-Curator
Curated by Patrick D. Flores

Turns in Tropics: Artist-Curator focuses on exploring the turns in the practice of art and curation through four germinal figures in Southeast Asian modernity who at once settled within the discourse of the avant-garde and wavered at the threshold of a curatorial practice. The four figures represent artists, who in the late sixties and eighties turned toward curating in order to grapple with the vexations of the inter/national and to provoke reconsiderations of the artist as intellectual, while doing away with the binary separation of spaces of artistic and curatorial practice. Such a transition may also suggest a shift from the modern to the contemporary. This project collects layers of intervention in the production of art, the emergence of curation, and the current reflection on this braided relationship within a curated exhibition of art/curation of artists-curators. The concept is largely shaped by ongoing research on the history of curation in Indonesia and Thailand and tries to demonstrate a series of turns in tropics, the latter indexing locale, dynamic, and agency.

Participating Artists
Raymundo Albano (Philippines, 1947-1985)
Redza Piyadasa (Malaysia, 1939-2007)
Apinan Poshyananda (Thailand, Lives in Bangkok)
Jim Supangkat (Indonesia, Lives in Bandung)

On Jouissance for those without places to return
Curated by Jang Un Kim

The central premise of this project begins with narratives drawn from episodes encapsulated in three distinctively cultural positions, namely Derek Jarman’s film Blue (1993), Vittorio de Sica’s Miracle in Milan (1951), and The Consecutive Murder Incidents at Boseong (2007), by The Old Fisherman. Each of these narratives are combined as a means to draw the artists and curator into conversation and through their interaction to reflect on the agency of given practices. The purpose is to invite the artists not only to reflect on the mode of the conversations which will be archived and reproduced in the exhibition, but to share their positions across contemporary sociopolitical, cultural, and economic situations, and as such to reflect and re-imagine the world and their practice. What will emerge in the end is envisioned to be provisional but rich, variegated yet collective. In this way these episodes will function as global allegories, prompting a wide range of artistic responses.

Participating Artists
Larnet (In Ae Lim & Eun Young Hong) (Korea, Live in Busan)
Christelle Lheureux (France, Lives in Paris)
Mandla Reuter (Germany, Lives in Berlin)
Seulgi Lee (Korea, Lives in Paris)
Seung wook Koh (Korea, Lives in Seoul)

Expedition7 (Patries relatives)
Curated by Abdellah Karroum

Expedition 7 (Patries Relatives) is a response to the 7th Gwangju Biennial and therefore a starting point for curatorial dialogue. Accordingly, the premise of Expedition 7 (Patries Relatives) is characterized by its tectonic logic of separation and expedition, an attention to the human trace on the earth itself, and an ambiguous presence manifested in forms such as imprints, monuments, pedestals, imagined borders, and deterritorialized atmospheres. Through their individual projects, the artists featured in Expedition 7 (Patries Relatives) address the fundamental concerns of contemporary human life, specifically as they relate to the political, cultural, environmental, social, linguistic, geographic, and ethical position of the artists. The five artists were chosen considering not their individual nationalities but the impact of their work on the “global” art scene inasmuch as their current contexts of practice are extraterritorial, that is located outside the places the artists were born.

Participating Artists
Adel Abdessemed (Algeria, Lives in Paris)
Francis Alÿs (Belgium, Lives in Mexico City)
Seamus Farrell (Ireland, Lives in Paris and Cadiz, Spain)
Vincent Feria (Françoise Vincent & Eloy Feria) (France & Venezuela, Live in Caracas)
Sislej Xhafa (Kosovo, Lives in New York)

For further information please contact:

The Gwangju Biennale Foundation
Jin-Kyung Jeong
Biennale 2-gil Buk-gu Gwangju, South Korea
Tel +82 62 608 4264 / Fax +82 62 608 4269

Gwangju Biennale
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