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Nicolas Bourriaud will direct the 15th Gwangju Biennale

by godlove4241
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The Gwangju Biennale Foundation has tapped renowned French scholar, curator and critic Nicolas Bourriaud to serve as artistic director of the Fifteenth Gwangju Biennale, which is scheduled to open in September 2024. ArtReview reports that he will mount an exhibition examining the role of art in helping humanity recover from the social fragmentation brought on by the pandemic.

Bourriaud founded the international curatorial cooperative Radicants last year and organized its inaugural exhibition, “Planet B: Climate Change and the New Sublime”, at the Palazzo Bollani in Venice. He is best known as the co-founder of the iconic Palais de Tokyo in Paris, which he created with Jérôme Sans in 1999. Bourriaud was co-director of the non-collecting contemporary art institution until 2006, before to become Gulbenkian curator for contemporary art at Tate Britain in London. . Leaving this post shortly after, in 2010, he took over the management of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He was controversial fired of the post in 2015 by Frances then Minister of Culture, Fleur Pellerin, after the two clashed over the direction of the school, with Bourriaud claiming that politics had played a role in his dismissal. That same year, he founded Montpellier Contemporain. He led the French institution until 2021, when he was ousted by the city’s board of trustees, who were reportedly unhappy with the museum’s avant-garde programming and wanted the institution to take a more populist direction. Bourriaud is a seasoned curator of biennials, having organized, among others, the 2019 edition of the Istanbul Biennial, the 2014 Taipei Biennial and the 2009 Tate Biennial. Among his published works are Inclusions: Capitalocene Aesthetics (2020), The radicanyou (2009), Post production (2002), and Relational aesthetics (1998).

Note, the Biennial announcement today that he was ending his Park Seo-bo award after just two years, according to ArtNews. The $100,000 prize, named after the famous South Korean artist and funded by his GIZI foundation, has only been awarded once, to sculptor Oum Jeongsoon. The cancellation follows criticism that the award did not reflect the political nature of the biennale, which, according to its website, was “founded in 1995 in memory of the spirits of civil uprising of the 1980 crackdown on the movement of democratization of Gwangju”. Park, a member of the minimalist Dansaekhwa movement of the 1960s, created largely formalist work. Those calling for the award to be rescinded denounced him for creating “art for art’s sake.”


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