May 7, 2016 - Random Institute - All the Lights We Cannot See
May 7, 2016

Random Institute

Courtesy of Random Institute.

All the Lights We Cannot See
April 9–12, 2016

Yanggakdo International
North Korea

Though Pyongyang is the capital city and heart of North Korea, to the outside world it is the epicenter of the unknown. Surprisingly then, nine international artists were recently invited by Switzerland's Random Institute to exhibit in Pyongyang.

The resulting group exhibition was organized around the theme of silence, a concept that resonated with the isolated nature of the show’s host country. Additionally, the immediate inaccessibility of this exhibition reflects the widespread, present-day condition of “consuming” art remotely, often online and via secondary media.

In keeping with the theme of silence, only one significant trace of documentation (other than select installation views) was allowed to publicly surface: an enigmatic mention on each of the nine artists’ CVs. This unusual addition to the artists’ resumes points to another concerning phenomenon of our time, that being the increasingly CV-driven art world.

Furthering the theme, while also feeding global curiosity about the hermit kingdom, the artists’ only response to requests to elaborate on their exhibition and experience are and will remain simply:

“I’m not supposed to talk about it.”

The exhibition, which went virtually unnoticed by the general public, was held April 9 to 12, 2016 on the 23rd floor of the Yanggakdo International Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea. It was conceived of by Random Institute and curated by Anna Hugo and Sandino Scheidegger.

Publication: A manipulated and reproduced issue of the state-owned and hard to get Pyongyang Times serves as the official exhibition catalogue. The special edition is strictly limited to 100 unique numbered copies and will be launched during Art Basel week at the I Never Read Art Book Fair in Basel. Get your copy from Mark Pezinger Verlag before they are gone.

Participating artists: Simon Mullan (UK/Germany), Thomas Mailaender (France), Alfredo Aceto (Switzerland), Clifford E. Bruckmann (Switzerland), Ragnheidur Karadottir (Iceland), Juan Betancurth (Colombia), Florence Jung (Switzerland), Achraf Touloub (France), and Alison Kuo (US).

Random Institute is an extension of what a contemporary art institution can be, that is to say, truly unbothered by rules and bureaucracy. Founded in 2008 by a lawyer and a carpenter, Random Institute provides a testing ground for new exhibition formats and is known for offering a "deliberately unpretentious confrontation with the artists of our time." Exhibitions have therefore featured new views on works by artists such as Richard Long, James Lee Byars, Cory Arcangel, Zilvinas Kempinas, Guido van der Werve, Bethan Huws, Carey Young, and Federico Herrero, as well as many emerging artists.

Its newsletter, which presents new paths in the curatorial field, is subscribed to by more than 14,000 people in the arts. The journey begins here

Random Institute
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