Gwangju Folly II

The Gwangju Biennale Foundation, Gwangju, South Korea
10 Nov 2013 - 11 Nov 2013

The Gwangju Biennale Foundation is announcing the opening of the Gwangju Folly II. The opening will take place on November 10 and 11 and will coincide with an international conference and the launch of the new publication Folly with contributions by renown academics, writers, and artists grappling with both the history and contemporary relevance of the folly that informs strategic interventions in public space.

Gwangju Folly II artistic director Nikolaus Hirsch and curators Philipp Misselwitz and Eui Young Chun have developed a curatorial approach within the ambiguities of a folly as a critical tool of inquiry to address the condition of public space.

The eight follies present a “detour into delirium” throughout the city of Gwangju, and at times they are even moving targets (on the metro or a mobile hotel), galvanizing the space between the everyday and the utopian, examining the present-day constitution of public space as a political arena.

The  follies are: David Adjaye Taiye SelasiGwangju River Reading Room, Ai Weiwei: Cubic Meter Food Cart, Seok-hong Go & Mihee Kim: Memory Box, Rem Koolhaas & Ingo Niermann: Vote, Raqs Media Collective: Autodidact’s Transport, Do Ho Suh & Suh Architects: In-between Hotel, Superflex: Power Toilets / UNESCO, Eyal Weizman with Samaneh Moafi: Roundabout Revolution

Architect David Adjaye and writer Taiye Selasi have developed a folly called the Gwangju River Reading Room. It is positioned on the embankment of the Gwangju River, connecting the street level above with the grassy flood planes used as a seasonal park. The structure draws inspiration from traditional Korean pavilions and houses a “human rights” library of 200 books from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ?s Half of a Yellow Sun to Emile Zola’s Germinal. 

The opening of the physical interventions coincides with an international conference with contributions by distinguished academics, writers, and artists in a critical collision of perspectives on the meaning of the folly. Speakers include  Felicity D. Scott, Hamid Dabashi, Joseph Grima, Sunjung Kim, Minsuk Cho, David Adjaye, Rem Koolhaas, Ingo Niermann, Raqs Media Collective, Taiye Selasi, Do Ho Suh, Superflex, and Eyal Weizman.

The Gwangju Folly II will be accompanied by a publication that takes the form of a fragmented glossary of associative thoughts and  images, alongside more shrewd scholarly investigations, co-edited by assistant curator April Lamm, situating the eight new follies within a broader cultural discourse. It includes an especially commissioned photo insert by Bas Princen and contributions by Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Barry Bergdoll, Caruso St John and Thomas Demand, Joan Didion, Hu Fang, Hans Hollein, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Kyong Park, Felicity D. Scott, Stephen Squibb, Philip Ursprung, among many others


Opening and conference: 10–11 November 2013

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


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