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Curatorial Team

Biographies, 11th Gwangju Biennale 2016

Curator

Binna Choi

Binna Choi is director of Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory in Utrecht, the Netherlands since 2008 where she takes up art and art institutional practice as a way to build a (micro) society in movement, in tandem with social movements. In this context, she conceived and co-developed with the team and numerous others a long-term project like Grand Domestic Revolution (2009-2013) and a three-year programme as a trajectory of inquiry and practice (2013-2015) entitled Composing the Commons, which include the research exhibition New Habits (2014) and compositional exhibition We Are the Time Machines: Time and Tools for Commoning (2015/2016); has been part of the faculty of the Dutch Art Institute /Masters of Fine Arts Programme in Arnhem; and working for and with a trans-local network Arts Collaboratory since 2013 as well as Cluster since 2012. Her work at Casco also include a close collaboration with many of the GB11 participating artists such as Crater Invertrido, Ruth Buchanan, Metahaven, Adelita Husni-Bey, Fernando Garica-Dory, Christian Nyampeta, Natascha Sadr Haghighan, and The Otolith Group.

Her curatorial projects also involve the collaboration with other peers and in other public and institutional contexts. These include s three day seminar Cultivate or Revolutionize?: Life Between Apartment and Farmland at Times Museum, Guangzhou (2014, with Nikita Choi), summer school and exhibition Group Affinity at Kunstverein Munich (2011, with Bart van der Heide) and) and a research project Practice International with Grant Watson, Lise Rosendahl and Andrea Philips on the notion of practice and internationalism (2013-2016). As part of her practice, she also engages with writing, editing, publishing, and contributing to symposiums and other discursive platforms with lectures, discussion and workshops.

Assistant Curators

Azar Mahmoudian

Azar Mahmoudian is a curator and educator based in Tehran. She is part of a collective that co-ran kaf, an independent space focusing on discursive and educational programs on art and theory in Tehran (2010-2015).

Azar is also a lecturer at Tehran Art University. Her research develops from her ongoing engagement with display structures and modes of the political imaginary regarding exhibiting formats, and more recently, the recycling of representational tropes in modern and contemporary art history in the Iran. This has been present through her archival research on the "first exhibition of fine art" at the Soviet House of Culture (Tehran, 1946), the "5th (Regional) Tehran Biennial" (Tehran, 1966), and a long-term project, undertaken from 2009–2011, mapping the sudden rise of survey exhibitions of Iranian art held outside Iran in the 2000s, investigating their aftermath in artistic productions and the infrastructural shifts in the country’s art scene. She has curated projects in various institutions including South Asian Visual Art Center and Blackwood Gallery, both in Toronto; School of Oriental and African Studies, London; CAB Brussels, and Cultuurcentrum, Bruges.

Azar holds an MA in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths, University of London, where she was awarded the Chevening Scholarship in 2008.

Margarida Mendes

Margarida Mendes is a writer, curator, and educator. In 2009 she founded the project space The Barber Shop in Lisbon, where she hosts a programme of seminars and residencies dedicated to artistic and philosophical research. Exploring the overlap between cybernetics, philosophy, sciences, and experimental film, her personal research investigates the dynamic transformations of materialism and their impact on societal structures and cultural production. She is interested in exploring alternative modes of education and political resilience through her collaborative practice, programming and activism. Margarida Mendes has curated projects in various institutions, among them Flat Time House, London; KIM? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga; Berardo Museum, Lisbon; Spike Island Centre of Contemporary Art & Design, Bristol; 98 Weeks, Beirut; and Serralves Museum, Porto.

Margarida holds an MA in Aural and Visual Culture from Goldsmiths College of London, and in 2013 she was part of the Synapse Curatorial Research Group included in the Anthropocene Project at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, with writing in the volume Textures of the Anthropocene: Grain Vapor Ray, published by MIT Press (2004)

 

Michelle Wong

Michelle Wong is a Researcher at Asia Art Archive. Based in Hong Kong, she leads the Archive’s research projects in the city, including the Hong Kong Art History Research Project, organized in collaboration with the Hong Kong Museum of Art: a long-term endeavor started in 2013 to create a publicly available resource platform to support art historical research on recent art in Hong Kong. Her other projects include the Ha Bik Chuen Archive Pilot Project, which maps out exhibition documentation from 1960-2000 taken by late Hong Kong artist Ha Bik Chuen (1925–2009), alongside other materials that were previously unavailable to the public. This was accompanied by the exhibition "Excessive Enthusiasm: Ha Bik Chuen and the Archive as Practice." The Hong Kong Art History Research Project and Ha Bik Chuen Archive Project form a key part of an undergraduate course Asia Art Archive has developed in collaboration with the Fine Arts Department of the University of Hong Kong.

Wong is part of "Ambitious Alignments: New Histories of Southeast Asian Art," a research program funded through the Getty Foundation’s Connecting Art Histories initiative, developed by The Power Institute Foundation for Art & Visual Culture at the University of Sydney in cooperation with regional partners, National Gallery Singapore and The Institute of Technology, Bandung.

Local curatorial associate

Mite-Ugro

Established in 2009, Mite-Ugro is collective supported by the voluntary participation of Gwangju's visual artists and curators. In addition to its permanent personnel, a management committee comprising outside artists is brought on each year by Mite-Ugro to work on annual projects. Each year, this comimitee supports young artists and carries out an exchange with alternative spaces in Asia, such as those in Thailand, Japan, and Indonesia through its Artist-in-Residency program and international exchange exhibition. Mite-Ugro also organizes artist & curators talk, film screenings, and education programs for prospectisve promoters and artists. Furthermore, it publishes the cultural art review POST with Space Heem in Busan, and runs a open call for critical reviews with the goal of supporting the local production of criticism. Mite-Ugro has facilities such as an underground exhibition space, a community café on the ground floor, artist studios, and a guest house.

 

(Press information. Drawing: Bernd Krauss, Courtesy of the artist)

11th Gwangju Biennale

2 September - 6 November 2016
Gwangju, Republic of Korea

Title:
The Eighth Climate (What Does Art Do?)

Artistic director: Maria Lind

Curator: Binna Choi

Assistant curators:
Azar Mahmoudian
Margarida Mendes
Michelle Wong

Local curatorial associate: Mite-Ugro

 

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