Ute Meta Bauer
World Biennial Forum No1, Gwangju, October 2012
Gwangju Biennale Foundation
Hatje Cantz Verlag
55th Venice Biennale
May 30, 2013, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal, Crozzola Hall
The thriving of art biennials over the past three decades across the globe—and most notably in Asia—provokes a shift away from the traditional centers of contemporary art. The rise of biennials signifies a new cultural phenomenon that changes the way we understand the relationship between artistic creation, institutions, localities, and social relations. Through biennials, contemporary art from all over the world is presented to a traveling group of art professionals, but more importantly to a wide audience of an unprecedented scale. Initiated by the Biennial Foundation and hosted by the Gwangju Biennale Foundation in South Korea, the inaugural World Biennial Forum investigated this multiplicity of new centers and gravities along with the heterogeneous practices in art biennials today.
Edited by Ute Meta Bauer and Hou Hanru, co-directors of the World Biennial Forum Nº 1—Shifting Gravity, this publication collects the presentations and discussions developed during the forum.
Cover Image: Choi Jeong Hwa, Welcome! (2013). Installation at the Kimdaejung Convention Center, designed for World Biennial Forum Nº 1
Biennial case studies with a focus on Asia examine innovative and contextually relevant models of biennials in the Asia Pacific region through contributions by: Tarek Abou El Fetouh, Hoor Al Qasimi, Shahidul Alam, Elke aus dem Moore, Ute Meta Bauer, Beck Jee-Sook, René Block, Fang-Wei Chang, Raphael Chikukwa, Joseph Grima, Ranjit Hoskote, Hou Hanru, JEON Joonho, Evelyne Jouanno, Kim Hong-Hee, Riyas Komu, Lian Ladia, Marie Le Sourd, Yongwoo Lee, Chantal Mouffe, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Bige Örer, Eriko Osaka, Ou Ning, Hyungmin Pai, Nikos Papastergiadis, Mauro Petroni, MOON Kyungwon, Alisa Prudnikova, Marc Schmitz, Alya Sebti, Basak Senova, Alia Swastika, Ritsuko Taho, Arlette Quynh-Anh Tran, Wato Tsereteli, Caroline Turner, Marieke van Hal, Wang Huangsheng, Wang Hui, Jonathan Watkins, Jinsang Yoo, Ursula Zeller, Zhang Qing, Zheng Yan.
Participating biennials: Anyang Public Art Project, Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Biennale of Sydney, Chobi Mela, Emergency Biennale, Guangzhou Triennial, Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju Design Biennale, Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture, Istanbul Biennial, Biennale Jogja, KOBE Biennale, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Land Art Mongolia LAM 360˚, Media City Seoul, Meeting Points, Shanghai Biennale, Sharjah Biennial, Taipei Biennial, Tbilisi Triennial, Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, Yokohama Triennial.
Keynotes by eminent intellectuals Wang Hui, Nikos Papastergiadis, and Chantal Mouffe on democracy, aesthetic representation, and cosmopolitanism help us conceive of biennials as an alternative space of political imagination.
René Block, as the guest of honor, looks back to the history of biennials, while Hans Ulrich Obrist’s interview with South Korean artists JEON Joonho and MOON Kyungwon investigates contemporary art’s relationship with other disciplines.
A questionnaire addressing the role and function as well as the challenges and potentials of biennials further echoes the multiple voices of the contributors and participants of the World Biennial Forum Nº 1.
In addition, a research report on the financial infrastructure of eight contemporary art biennials, compiled by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), provides an insight into the fiscal reality of international “biennial making”. Participating biennials: Berlin Biennale, Bienal de São Paulo, Biennale of Sydney, Gwangju Biennale, Istanbul Biennial, Liverpool Biennial, Lyon Biennale, Manifesta.
Special thanks to Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art for dedicating an entire issue on World Biennial Forum Nº 1. Yishu 56 can be ordered at: http://yishu-online.com
This book has been published by the Gwangju Biennale Foundation / Hatje Cantz Verlag in collaboration with the Biennial Foundation and ifa – Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen. It is supported by the Gwangju Metropolitan City Government, the Prince Claus Fund, and 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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