Lee Jinmyung , art director of art:gwangju:13
'For Play, Exorcism and Elegant Crossing Over'
art:gwangju:13 is in its fourth year. art:gwangju:13 has intended to provide opportunity to regional art markets and rising artists in response to generalized globality of Gwangju Biennale and to show audience the novelty.
What art:gwangju:13 focuses on is the many problems the city Gwangju has. Its history and humanities have become the object of admiration, which is still amplifying.Although the city of light, Gwangju, has played the role of democratic locomotive and has a romantic nickname of Yehyang (an artistic region), it lags far behind other cities in economic principle of art market. Everyone knows that there is lack of companies and industrial facilities in the periphery of Gwangju. Therefore, local government has been grappling with the problem to keep it going a good while and determined to continue.
It has deliberated over a way to continue art:gwangju:13 and its future as follows: Korea has been wholly taken up the major art markets to Hong Kong Art Fair in Art Fair events. Hong Kong Art Fair is the event suitable for high cost, highly efficient investment and monopoly by the high-rank according to neoliberalism. There is not a better way to beat this event. Thus, art:gwangju:13 created an alternative view. First, we invite Asian experimental intermediate spaces preferentially. It is to become an event of considering artistic potential more important than the commercial efficiency breaking away from neoliberalism. These experimental intermediate spaces are the organizations which have developed 90s’ concept of alternative space. Second, we give special treatment to domestic rising galleries. These organizations are the coalition system composed of junior artists with experimental nature and creative enthusiasm. Third, we will focus on the Southeast Asian art to highlight Gwangju as the symbol of Asian democracy and humanities. The North African democratization fever called as Maghrib is spreading throughout the world in a metaphor of Jasmine revolution.This fragrance, however, could spread on the basis of Gwangju spirit. How should we operate 21c of reconciliation throwing away 19c of cruelty? We establish how we should produce the artistic discussion as the fundamental raison d’tre of this event. Thus, we form special exhibition for the representative artists of the Southeast Asia, for we believe the Southeast Asia is the place conceiving possibility to be born again to reconcile mankind. Fourth, we will throw a question about 3 Northeast Asian countries’ situation.These countries possess more than half of global capital.They can not reconcile and harmonize, but reproduce the nightmare of enmity and neonationalism instead.As T.S. Eliot said “poem is exorcism of the demons”, we want to apply this belief to the witnessed reality. Thus we propose special exhibition of the Northeast Asian artists as another alternative. Although art is not free from the political and economic frame, the one of young days inspires oneself a progressive spirit rather than sub-structure frame. Curators such as Fumihiko Sumitomo, Zhao Li and Suh Jinsuk helped to compose artists for this young energy of triangle, Korea, China and Japan. Finally, we organize archive special exhibition of Asia Archive Network. This is a special exhibition Asian representative archive agencies participate, which will expose Asia’s past, present and future alternative with accumulated art materials, and it will keep chime with humanities and harmonious gesture of Gwangju.
The subject of 2011 Gwanju Biennale was Illumi+Nation, which means understanding the completion of modern culture’s continuing enlightenment as still the light of reason and rational nation. I comprehend this subject with “White Shadow”of a poet Kim Jiha. White shadow means the light of mental aberration and madness. The basis of rationalism through enlightenment has made economic polarization, almighty science, fetishism and individualism deepen. Madness and mental aberration, however, materialize only through warmth of human touch and making whole relationship between communities. It symbolizes the belief in the personal warm exchange. How will it be possible? How can it materialize the impossible possibility failed to be completed by the light of reason? It is possible through art. What kind of art is it? It is not the art as an ontologistic ornament of business and capital, but the art as the will possibility floating on the individual consciousness. The art of experiment, innocence and enthusiasm is it. Hans-Georg Gadamer understands the ontological grasp of art root as “play”. He says, “There is not a destination of play. Therefore, play is always created by repetition repeated by endless loop.” Art is an extension of the never-ending play and the everlasting progress to subvert the past rule and its following and to release new creative energy. Its appearance is quite similar to the history of Gwangju and the people of Gwangju.