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Gwangju Biennale 2024

15ª Bienal de Gwangju

7 septiembre - 1 diciembre 2024
(Visita previa: 5 y 6 septiembre)

Gwangju, República de Corea

Título: PANSORI - a soundscape of the 21st century

Director artístico: Nicolas Bourriaud

Equipo curatorial
Barbara Lagié, Kuralay Abdukhalikova, Sophia Park, Jade Barget, Euna Lee

73 artistas - vea la lista

Sedes: Sala de Exposiciones de la Bienal de Gwangju, y diversos lugares con proyectos de la ciudad, y el Pabellón de la Bienal de Gwangju.

Organizador, contactos

PANSORI - a soundscape of the 21st century

Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the Gwangju Biennale, the 15th Gwangju Biennale titled PANSORI - a soundscape of the 21st century, gathers 73 artists from 30 countries to attempt to map the complexity of the contemporary world.

Disputed borders, anti-migration walls, confinement, social distancing, segregation policies... These seemingly dissimilar topics share a common point, which is space, and its political organization. The main effect of climate change is the emergence of a new topology, a new world map in which carbon dioxide and urban life, desertification and migration, deforestation and social struggles, destruction of animal habitats and vegetal invasions, have all become brutally interconnected. PANSORI - a soundscape of the 21st century is an operatic exhibition about the space we live in, from housing to human settlement on the planet.

But a landscape is also a soundscape, and this exhibition is constructed as a narrative, which connects musical and visual forms. Pansori, which appeared in the 17th century in Korea, is a musical genre anchored in its native territory, a symbol of the relationships between sound and space. In Korean, pansori literally means "the noise from the public place", which could also now be translated as "the voice of the subalterns". The 15th Gwangju Biennale intends to recreate the original spirit of pansori, inviting artists who explore contemporary space through their dialogue with surrounding living forms.

Park Yang-woo, Presidente de la Fundación Bienal de Gwangju, y Nicolas Bourriaud, Director artístico, durante la conferencia de prensa.
© Foto: Cortesía Bienal de Gwangju Foundation

Art is also a specific place, which allows us to re-think the space shared between humans, machines, animals, spirits, and organic life — our relational space. Space is also a crossroads that connects all emancipatory struggles, from feminism to decolonization and LGBTQ+ rights, as the division of space is always geopolitical.

The artists in this exhibition address spatial issues either by representing contemporary landscapes and the urban condition, saturated with human presence, or the effects of industrialization upon natural ecosystems. Some open up our space by entering into dialogue with machines, animals, spirits, bacteria, and other life forms, or examining the molecular composition of the world. Still others work at a cosmic scale, inventing a contemporary shamanism. From extremely dense to desertified areas, PANSORI - a soundscape of the 21st century presents itself as an opera you can walk into.

Gwangju Biennale Exhibition Hall

Three sound patterns function as spatial metaphors in the exhibition: a Feedback Effect (also called the Larsen effect), generated by the lack of space between two emitters. Polyphony, which is the intertwining of sounds coming from diverse sources. And the Primordial Sound (“Ôm” in the Hindu tradition, or the residual sound of the original Big Bang, according to contemporary science). Even if a significant number of artists in the show work directly with sound, those patterns are mainly used here to define a certain type of space.

The first part of the exhibition begins at the Gwangju Biennale Exhibition Hall. In the leading segment (Gallery 1 and Gallery 2), the feedback effect offers a sonic image for a saturated space, a planet which has become an echo chamber where everything is contiguous, contagious, and immediate. In a world saturated with human activities, both interhuman and interspecies relations become more intense. The following segment (Gallery 3) gathers artists who are addressing a multi-focused and multi-layered universe. In the final segment (Gallery 4 and Gallery 5), artists explore the non-human world and ‘two immensities’: the cosmos and the molecular realm in which glyphosate, carbon dioxide, tear gas, endocrine disruptors, droplets and viruses have become true agents of history.

The second part of the exhibition will be presented in the historical neighborhood of Yangnim dong, focusing on sound projects and collaborative works.

Rich lineup of events

Directed by Nicolas Bourriaud, the 15th Gwangju Biennale will feature a dynamic program that encompasses an exhibition, an opening opera, which features a song written in collaboration between Han Kang and the Seoul band WeMu, and a symposium bringing together artists and philosophers.

Introductory video essay

“Learning from Pansori,” an introductory video essay directed by Nicolas Bourriaud which unveils core concepts of the 15th Gwangju Biennale, will be featured at Madang: Where We Become Us. This special archival exhibition commemorating the Gwangju Biennale’s 30th anniversary is presented as official collateral exhibition of the 60th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, from 20 April - 24 November 2024. The video essay will also be accessible online.

The City Projects

Echoing to the Gwangju Biennale Exhibition Hall, art projects will also be implemented in diverse locations (institutions, cafés, public spaces, parks, alternative art spaces, shops, and others) in Gwangju. For the duration of the Biennale, the city will be orchestrated with madangs, "individual songs" of pansori, as musical or sonic projects that mix sound and visual elements.

Above all, the Biennale urges us to remember that art is a unique space—mental, social, and symbolic—that encompasses all others. It is a place where reality gets recomposed and questioned, where social life and space-time can be reinvented.

Gwangju Museum of Art, hosting the 14th Gwangju Biennale Netherlands Pavilion (2023). Photo: Gwangju Biennale Foundation

Gwangju Biennale Pavilion

Marking the 30th anniversary of the Gwangju Biennale's inception, a significant milestone celebrating three decades of artistic excellence and cultural exchange, the 15th edition of the Gwangju Biennale will feature the largest-ever Gwangju Biennale Pavilion. It will present a diverse array of artworks from around the world, facilitated by premier cultural institutions, expecting participation from approximately thirty countries. The Gwangju Biennale Pavilion is set to unfold in various city locations, including Yanglim-dong and Dongmyeong-dong.

Park Yang-woo, President of the Gwangju Biennale Foundation, stated, "The Gwangju Biennale Pavilion, first launched in 2018, quickly established itself as a platform for cultural exchange, showcasing artists and artworks from leading international cultural institutions. We believe it will significantly contribute to establishing Gwangju in the center of the art world." Furthermore, he expressed, "Celebrating our 30th anniversary, we look forward to providing valuable opportunities for local residents and visitors to engage in diverse cultural expressions and artistic dialogues based in Gwangju and from around the world."

Organizador, contacto:

The Gwangju Biennale Foundation
111 Biennale-ro, Buk-gu
Gwangju, 500-845
Republic of Korea
Website / Email

Presidente: Park Yang-woo

15ª Bienal de Gwangju, sitio web oficial

Redes de la Bienal de Gwangju:
Facebook | Instagram | Youtube

Contacto de prensa:
Elisa Lee - elisa.lee(at)gwangjubiennale.org

De informaciones de prensa. Trad. del inglés: Universes in Universe.
© Fotos: Cortesía de la Bienal de Gwangju

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