Gwangju Biennale Gwangju Folly II

Throughout history, follies have been used widely in architecture, visual arts, and literature as a provocation, a frivolous diversion or strategic place of madness and satire freed from the constraints of societal norms. Follies have been employed as a critical medium or object, oscillating between aesthetic autonomy and social-political potential and situated in a field between decontextualized status and contextualized condition.

Markus Weisbeck/ Surface, Gwangju Folly II, 2012. Image courtesy of Markus Weisbeck/ Surface

Nikolaus Hirsch (director), Philipp Misselwitz and Eui Young Chun (curators) have developed a curatorial approach for Gwangju Folly II, which uses the ambiguities of a Folly as a tool of inquiry to address the expectations of public space. The transformative potential of public space has been etched into public consciousness ever since the ten-day pro-democracy uprising in May 1980, which took place in the streets and squares of Gwangju. Revisiting some of these historic sites, a series of newly commissioned Follies seek to test the constitution and potential of public space today—in contemporary Gwangju as well as in the global political arena.

Gwangju Folly II will commission new works from the following architects, artists, collectives, and writers:
David Adjaye & Taiye Selasi
Ai Weiwei
Seok Hong Go & Mihee Kim
Rem Koolhaas & Ingo Niermann
Raqs Media Collective
Do-Ho Suh
Eyal Weizman

Graphic Design: Markus Weisbeck / Surface

About the Gwangju Biennale and the Folly Project
Founded in 1995 in memory of the civil uprising and the 1980 Gwangju Democratization Movement, the Gwangju Biennale is one of Asia’s oldest and most prestigious biennials of contemporary art. Under the helm of previous curators—including Yongwoo Lee, Massimiliano Gioni, Okwui Enwezor, Charles Esche, Hou Hanru, Honghee Kim, Kwangsoo Oh, Wankyoung Sung, Youngchul Lee, Kerry Brougher, Sukwon Chang, and Harald Szeemann—the Gwangju Biennale has established itself as a highlight of the international contemporary art biennale circuit. Previously conceived of and presented as an integral part of the 4th Gwangju Design Biennale in 2011 by Artistic Directors Seung H-Sang and Ai Weiwei, the second edition of the Gwangju Folly project will be held as an independent event for the first time with a series of new Follies in the urban space of Gwangju.

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