Gwangju Biennale 2016
The Eighth Climate (What Does Art Do?)

Dates: 2 September – 6 November 2016

At the press conference in Gwangju, Maria Lind, the Artistic Director of the Gwangju Biennale 2016 unveiled the theme and the list of artists participating in the upcoming exhibition.

Central question of the show “what does art do?” attempts to assess the agency of art and artworks today, and art’s relationship to the future. Other questions raised by Lind include: the role of institutional infrastructure and mediation of art.

According to Lind, the “eighth climate” refers to a state that an individual might reach using their imagination. The curator borrows this notion from a French philosopher Henri Corbin, but its origins can be traced back to 12th century Persian mystic and philosopher Sohravardi. With the looming environmental disaster, for many, the “eighth climate” will resonate with global warming. However, Lind is particularly interested in how the eighth climate can help us to imagine the future, outside of the prevailing rationalism.

Lind’s methodology for exploring what art does, comprises of: Monthly Gatherings, the Infra-School, an international network of Biennale Fellows, an international conference and publications accompanying the show.

Monthly Gatherings is a series of informal gatherings in Gwangju, focusing on art and this city. A collaboration with art collective Mite-Ugro, and with participants such as local artists, students and residents as well as GB11 artists.

The Infra-School will connect the Biennale with the existing formal and informal educational establishments in Gwangju and beyond. Infra-School consists of lectures, presentations, group discussions and seminars by Gwangju Biennale artists and curators as well as jointly organized conferences. Among associates are: Chosun University, Hongik University, RAT School of ART, The New Centre, Seoul National University – Asia Centre, and the Inter-Asia School.

The Gwangju Biennale Fellows is a network of over one hundred art organisations across the world, particularly those of smaller-scale. Biennale Fellows will be gathered in Gwangju during a two-day forum, to share experiences and discuss the future of their work.

Curatorial team: Maria Lind – Artistic Director; Binna Choi – Curator; Azar Mahmoudian, Margarida Mendes and Michelle Wong – Assistant Curators; Mite-Ugro – Curatorial Associate.

Participating artists: Ahmet Ögüt, Amalia Pica, Ane Hjort Guttu, Apolonija Šušteršič with Dari Bae, Bik van der Pol, Bernd Krauss, Bona Park, Céline Condorelli, Claire Barclay, Dora García, Fernando García-Dory, Gunilla Klingberg, Hu Yun, Jewyo Rhii with Jihyun Jung, Joungmin Yi, Julia Sarisetiati, Metahaven, Michael Beutler, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Siren Eun Young Jung, Søren Andreasen, Tommy Støckel, Tyler Coburn.