Monday, August 9, 2010

the 2nd Gwangju Biennale International Curator Course Day1

YES, as you can imagine the first day of the course finished quite late with a welcoming reception. Now it is almost 11pm, but I would rather write something today before I forget too much about what I have experienced on the first day.
     What a sunny day! This is one of the main halls for Gwangju Biennale. And we had to go in this building for our course. I guess we will stay in this building the most time for the whole course except the time we visit other places or working on the biennale installation in other buildings.
     We, yes, there are we total 22 young curators; Cole Akers(USA), Emma Braso(Spain), Viviana Checchia(Italy), Clarissa Chikiamco(Phlippines), Valerio Del Baglivo(Italy), Leanne Dmyterko(Canada), Tania Doropoulos(Australia), Gabriela Galati(Argentina), Jeanne Gerrity(USA), Sumesh Sharma(India), Rita Kalman(Austria), Mellisa Kavenagh(Australia), Jesi Khadivi(USA), Heaji Kim(Korea), Nancy Meyer(USA), Kathleen Reinhardt(Germany), Mary Hyunhee Song(Korea), Aria Spinelli(Italy), Leah Turner(Canada), Xiaoyu Weng(China), Arzu Yayintas(Turkey), Olga Zhitlina(Russia).
     Of course, there were Yongwoo Lee(Chair Person of Gwangju Biennale), Dan Cameron(Visiting Professor for the course), Sookang Park(course coordinator), and all the staff from the exhibition team, PR team, etc, for opening of the first day of the course, however, We 22 young curators are the ones I want to talk about a lot here at Mary Art Project.
     Do you remember very first time when I started writing here I said I never wanted to be called as a curator or did not mean to be a curator? And I always tried to share how to become a curator kind of 'know-how' stories?
     I think writing about what we do everyday here at the international curator course in Gwangju can be very useful for those who want to be a curator or who are already praciticing curatorship, because I can share all these experience not just with 22 curators with me now here, but also with all of you who are reading this.
    
     After our self-introduction which took about two hours, (I am thinking about writing each curator, but not now, time to sleep soon for tomorrow, but I will write about each one soon because I think it is super interesting and helpful to understand different kinds of curatorship in different methods and diversity of curatorial aspects),we had four curators presenting what they have done before and what they would like to do in the future.
     The first presentation was by Valerio Del Baglivo(Curator, Carlos Basualdo assistant at IUVA University, Venice, Italy). He talked about his previous work which is, in some way, related to my previous Sunday Lunch. He said INCUBATE(Chicago) 'invented' Sunday Soup, which I thought quite interesting to think that way because a lot of cases of my previous experience of cooking with artists at an residency program.
     His future project sounds very interesting as well, because of the very attractive title and the concept of being absent and being present. Perhaps, because of On Kawara, one of the artists he suggested, I strongly recommend to contact some local post office. Post office can be very interesting space in terms of communication but also to think about our own presence and absence, a post office building can be a fantastic choice for his proposal, I believe.
     The second presentation was about Tania Doropoulos' curatorial works. Upon her previous work, we talked about how to communicate with a gallery owner when we think it might be a problem to talk about an exhibition in advance in terms of some installation which might cause a problem. Also Tania said that she would like to keep any chance which can give to an artist to change some detail very at the end of the installation process right before the opening of an exhibition. And this has been very interesting to me, because this is what I usually give flexibility as well to an artist who work with me. Wouldn't it be too planned if we just do what we are supposed to do? I love unexpected events of everyday. Otherwise, it would not be this fun to live my life.
     Tania also talked about her future work which she is interested in. I totally recommend those images I saw at the Geography department building at UCC in Cork, Ireland, because if producing colors on paper or images with distorted images to say something can be an artwork, these images from remote sensing projects can be defined as art. I think this will lead the question of 'what is art?' which can be quite boring, but refreshed with a totally new point of view because of the persuasive images you can't distinguish to say this is art or not.
     A previous work of Gabriela Galati's,  is one of the examples which I would love to try in the future, because I like connecting art history background with contemporary art. Her new work is also very connected between existing method of curatorial work and the futurisitc method for it. Check this website net-museum.info for her future work. She is planning a virtual exhibition as well as physical exhibition somewhere on the earth. Since we have faced to the question of 'do we really need a space as a curator?', she couldn't be more than right about this choice of making net-museum project. Olga suggested that Gabriela could take advantage out of the virtual exhibition like paper architecture people, but Gabriela's idea on net-museum is not only about online exhibition but also she tries to connect with the physical representation as well.
     Aria Spinelli's presentation led us to the long conversation on Iran, since she talked about her exhibition in Italy with Iranian artists; Barbad Golshiri, Shirin Sabahi, Tara Kaboli, Fariba Ferdosi, Azin Feizabadi, Neda Razavipour, Rahim Milani, Amirhossein Shahnazi. Perhaps, talking about Iranian artists is for me not so far from what I usually do everyday with Roxana Manouchehri, however, this exhibition had another point of view towards the world than what I usually try to say through Roxana's work about cultural similarities or the connection between time and space in two different cultures. And this conversation about Iran continued long and we had to stop at some stage to move on to the next schedule.
     The opening reception for the course has been held in another town Sapyung, Hwasoon.
     Including brief greetings from Massimilliano Gioni, we all started enjoying the Korean dinner with Korean traditional performance.
     The rice wine(Dongdongju or Makguli) was presented in a beautiful way with a wooden scoop. And this reminded me of Arumjigi. And the performance reminded me of the time I worked for EduKoArt's traditional Korean performance for non-Korean people. Of course, the Korean traditional performance we saw needed a lot of explanaions like the one professor Joonsik Choi comments every detail of the performance, however, we did not have that much time to enjoy properly, but tasted all with fast forward speed.

     For example, this intangible asset performer is quite difficult to understand what he is doing here. He sang only one part of Byuljubujeon, which can be translated as 'Rabbit's Escape', perhaps. The whole repertoire may be more than 4 hours to finish, perhaps with some intermission it can be 8 hour long opera by one person. That is why you need the audience say 'Erlssigu' or 'Jota' to cheer up this singer to sing better even in long hours of singing. Oh, well, I know I can keep going on about Korean traditional art since I studied all these. Perhaps, I should get ready for tomorrow, the second day of the course. And I will make some presentation as well about my projects, too.
     I am glad that I chose to be here in Gwangju for the course, and hopefully at the end of the course I can talk with the strong Gwangju accent, which will be a fantastic project for the sound art exhibition!

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