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Titled "10,000 Lives", the 8th Gwangju Biennale in 2010 developed as a sprawling investigation of the relationships that bind people to images and images to people. With works by more than 100 artists, realized between 1901 and 2010, as well as several new commissions, the exhibition was configured as a temporary museum in which both artworks and cultural artifacts are brought together to compose an idiosyncratic catalogue of figures and icons, faces and masks, idols and dolls.
Encompassing a diverse range of media, with a particular emphasis on portraiture, the exhibition engaged our obsession with images, and our need to create substitutes, effigies, avatars and stands-in for ourselves and our loved ones. The exhibition title was drawn from Maninbo (10,000 Lives), a thirty-volume epic poem conceived by Korean author Ko Un while imprisoned in 1980 for his participation in the South Korean democratic movement. Held in solitary confinement, as a means to preserve his sanity, Ko envisioned a poem which described every single person he had met throughout his life, including historical figures and fictional characters encountered in literature. Upon his release he began writing the 3,800 poems that compose Maninbo (10,000 Lives), a magnum opus that reads as a personal encyclopedia of humanity.
Unfolding as a family album, the 8th Gwangju Biennale looked at images as sites of affection and means of survival. The exhibition also examined how images are fabricated, circulated, stolen and exchanged, interrogating their power, while trying to capture their many lives.
Participating artists included: Pawel Althamer, Carl Andre, Art Orienté Objet (Laval-Jeantet & Mangin), Anna Artaker, Tauba Auerbach, Morton Bartlett, Thomas Bayrle, Hans Bellmer, E.J. Bellocq, Nayland Blake, Jonathan Borofsky, Irina Botea, Kerstin Brätsch, Glenn Brown, James Lee Byars, Duncan Campbell, James Castle, Maurizio Cattelan, Jacques Charlier, Hyejeong Cho, Byungsoo Choi, Kwang-Ho Choi, Anne Collier, Roberto Cuoghi, Keren Cytter, John de Andrea, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Andre de Dienes, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Mike Disfarmer, Harold Edgerton, Walker Evans, Eye Glass Shop, Harun Farocki, Jean Fautrier, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Fischli and Weiss, Lee Friedlander, Katharina Fritsch, Aurélien Froment, Paul Fusco, Cyprien Gaillard, Rupprecht Geiger, Franz Gertsch, Hermann Glöckner, Jean-Luc Godard, Gu Dexin, Guo Fengyi, João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva, Yang-ah Ham, Duane Hanson, Ydessa Hendeles, Thomas Hirschhorn, Tom Holert, Arnould Holleman, Carsten Höller, Roni Horn, Tehching Hsieh, Huang Yong Ping, Heungsoon Im, Sanja Ivekovic, Jikken Kobo/Experimental Workshop (Shozo Kitadai, Kiyoji Otsuji, Katsuhiro Yamaguchi), Yasmin Kabir, Kan Xuan, Bongkyu Kang, Jacob Kassay, Leandro Katz, Mike Kelley, Edward and Nancy Reddin Kienholz, Hanyong Kim, Sanggil Kim, Konrad Klapheck, Alice Kok, Kodku Dolls from the collection of Ock Rang Kim, Jeff Koons, Tetsumi Kudo, Emma Kunz, Maria Lassnig, Mark Leckey, Jung Lee, Lee Seung-taek, Sherrie Levine, Namjin Lim, Herbert List, Liu Wei, Liu Zheng, Paul McCarthy, Gustav Metzger, John Miller, Rabih Mroué, Matt Mullican, Namhan Photo Studio, Bruce Nauman, Yoon Oh, Shinro Ohtake, Henrik Olesen, Overplus Project (Sun-ho Kang, Yong-jin Kim, Sung-wan Park, Da-un Jung), Taekyu Park, Eliot Porter, Seth Price, Thom Puckey, Bridget Riley, Peter Roehr, Dieter Roth, Ataru Sato, Karl Schenker, Jean-Frédéric Schnyder, Tino Sehgal, Paul Sharits, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Hito Steyerl, Sturtevant, Paul Thek, Ryan Trecartin, Tuol Sleng Prison Photographs, Useful Photography, Franco Vaccari, Stan VanDerBeek, Danh Vo, Andy Warhol, Andro Wekua, Christopher Williams, Ming Wong, Wu Wenguang, Katsuhiro Yamaguchi, Haegue Yang, Ye Jinglu (photo album discovered by Tong Bingxue), Sergey Zarva, Zhang Enli, Zhao Shutong, Wang Guanyi and the Rent Collection Courtyard Collective, Zhou Xiahou, Jakub Ziolkowski, Artur Zmijewski.
8th Gwangju Biennale
3 September - 7 November 2010