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The 15th Gwangju Biennale “Pansori, a soundscape of the 21st century” Unveils Participating Artists

The 15th Gwangju Biennale “Pansori, a soundscape of the 21st century” Poster Image ©Gwangju Biennale

Gwangju Biennale announced the artists participating in the 15th Gwangju Biennale “Pansori, a soundscape of the 21st century,” which will be held on September 7.

The 15th Gwangju Biennale “Pansori, a soundscape of the 21st century” is an opera-like exhibition about the spaces we live in, from our personal residences to the planet Earth where we are rooted. As landscape is also sound, the exhibition is composed of a narrative that connects musical and visual forms together.

The 15th Gwangju Biennale will feature 73 artists from 30 countries, depicting the complexities of contemporary life. This time, the exhibition aims to recreate the spirit of pansori by inviting artists who are in touch with the invisible and ubiquitous life around us and who creatively explore contemporary space. Some of the artists in this exhibition address issues of space by recreating contemporary terrain and urban conditions filled with human traces, or the impact of industrialization on natural ecosystems. Some artists open up our space by entering into dialogues with machines, animals, spirits, bacteria, and other forms of life, or by observing the molecules that make up our world. Others develop their work on a cosmic scale, inventing modern shamanism. From highly densely populated points to desolate areas like the desert, “Pansori, a soundscape of the 21st century” is conceived as an opera that we can step inside.

The list of participating artists is as follows: Saâdane Afif, Haseeb Ahmed, Deniz Aktaş , Noel W. Anderson, Andrius Arutiunian, Kevin Beasley, Wendimagegn Belete, Bianca Bondi, Dora Budor, Peter Buggenhout, Angela Bulloch, Alex Cerveny, Cheng Xinhao, Choi Haneyl, Gaëlle Choisne, Anna Conway, Binta Diaw, John Dowell, Hayden Dunham, Liam Gillick, Loris Gréaud, Matthias Groebel, Matthew Angelo Harrison, Marguerite Humeau, Agata Ingarden, Hye Joo Jun, Jun Hyoung San, Kim Hyeong Suk, Kim Jayi, YoungEun Kim, Dominique Knowles, Agnieszka Kurant, Hyewon Kwon, Netta Laufer, Brianna Leatherbury, Yein Lee, Oswaldo Maciá, Mira Mann, Cinthia Marcelle, Vladislav Markov, Beaux Mendes, Myriam Mihindou, Na Mira, Saadia Mirza, David Noonan, Katja Novitskova, Josèfa Ntjam, Emeka Ogboh, Frida Orupabo, Lydia Ourahmane, Mimi Park, Philippe Parreno, Amol K. Patil, Harrison Pearce, Lucy Raven, Tabita Rezaire, Marina Rheingantz, Marina Rosenfeld, Max Hooper Schneider, Franck Scurti, Soomin Shon, Jura Shust, Marianna Simnett, Sofya Skidan, Anastasia Sosunova, Jakob K. Steensen, Sung Tieu, Julian Abraham “Togar”, Unmake Lab, Yuyan Wang, Ambera Wellmann, Kandis Williams, and Phillip Zach.

Nicolas Bourriaud, artistic director of the 15th Gwangju Biennale ©Gwangju Biennale

Under the artistic direction of Nicolas Bourriaud, the 15th Gwangju Biennale, which runs from September 7 to December 1, will feature a variety of programs that span the exhibition. The opening ceremony on September 6 will include an opera featuring songs written in collaboration between the Korean writer Han Kang and Seoul-based band WeMu. In conjunction with the opening, an academic symposium will be held on both days at the National Asian Culture Center. It will invite theorists and creative practitioners from around the world to explore the issues of the Anthropocene through various layers, including space, sound, and science and technology, and to shape the discourse.

The opening ceremony of the Gwangju Biennale’s 30th anniversary exhibition “Madang: Where We Become Us,” selected as a parallel exhibition to this year’s Venice Biennale, will feature the premiere of “Learning from Pansori,” a video essay that encapsulates the themes and characteristic narratives of this year’s Gwangju Biennale program. The video, which will be made available online after the premiere, is based on a screenplay written by Nicolas Bourriaud and includes stills from some of the works, acting as a kind of trailer.

Nicolas Bourriaud said, “The artists participating in the 15th Gwangju Biennale include emerging artists who have been working on the environment, ecology, and more,” and “Visitors will experience the 15th Gwangju Biennale as an opera and a movie, and will be able to contemplate sustainable space and the future in this exhibition environment.”

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