A conversation with Maria Lind and Margarida Mendes – Artistic Director and Assistant Curator of the 11th Gwangju Biennale 2016

In July 2015 Maria Lind was appointed as the artistic director of the 11th Gwangju Biennale (GB11) which runs from 2 September to 6 November, 2016 in South Korea. Her curatorial team for the Biennale includes Margarida Mendes as assistant curator, along with Binna Choi (curator), Azar Mahmoudian and Michelle Wong (assistant curators), as well as Mite-Ugro (curatorial associate). Under the curatorial team’s direction, the Biennale’s main exhibition poses the question of, ‘What does art do?’. The question is raised in an attempt to query the agency of art today, and its relationship to the future. The Biennale also evokes the ‘Eighth Climate’, a philosophic notion which refers to a state one might reach using imaginative capacities. Described as a ‘constellation of many moving parts happening over one year’, in addition to the main exhibition, the Biennale also includes: ‘Monthly Gatherings’ (informal gatherings taking place in Gwangju and focusing on art and the city); the ongoing ‘Infra-School’ (a program of group discussions and seminars by GB11 artists and curators aimed at fostering a connection between the Biennale and educational institutions); and a ‘Forum’ (at which the Biennale Fellows—art organisations whose work is considered important to the art ecology—artists, and other cultural practitioners [Delete – interested people] are invited to come together to share their work and experiences). In this Ocula Conversation Srinivas Aditya Mopidevi speaks to Maria Lind and Margarida Mendes about the conceptual framework of the exhibition, the Biennale ‘Forum’ and other Biennale projects.

Link to the full conversation on OCULA here