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Biennials may seem like a dime a dozen these days, with what seems like a new one starting up somewhere on the globe every week, though there are a few that have stood the test of time. Opening its 12th edition next month, the Gwangju Biennale in South Korea was founded in 1995, and is the oldest contemporary art biennial in Asia. And while each edition has its own theme — such as Unmapping the Earth (1997) or 10,000 Lives (2010) — there is always a section of works focused on the civil uprising and subsequent repression of the Gwangju Democratization Movement in 1980.
This year’s biennial brings together 153 artists from 41 countries under the timely theme of “Imagined Borders.” Under this umbrella, seven independently curated sections will explore related issues such as migration or technology. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s own Christine Y. Kim and Rita Gonzalez are co-curators of one of these sections focused on “the politics of participation, persuasion and power,” which looks at issues of access, empowerment, and disenfranchisement in our post-internet world. They have selected 16 artists including Lara Baladi (Lebanon), Shu Lea Cheang (Taiwan), Simon Denny (New Zealand), Sunwoo Hoon (South Korea), Stanya, Kahn (USA), Mark Lotfy (Egypt), Martine Syms (USA), and others. For those unable to attend, or those who simply want an early look, Kim and Gonzalez will be holding a preview to discuss the biennial at LACMA’s Brown Auditorium next Tuesday, August 21. The event is organized by GYOPO, a Los Angeles-based coalition of Korean-American artists, writers, and curators, who put together public programming around issues concerning art, culture, community, and social justice.
When: Tuesday, August 21, 7:30pm ($10 suggested donation to GYOPO)
Where: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Brown Auditorium (5905 Wilshire Boulevard., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles)