artists & participants
MEDIATIONS BIENNALE POZNAN 2008
Biennale für zeitgenössische Kunst in Poznan
Direktor: Tomasz Wendland
Kuratoren: Lorand Hegyi, Yu Yeon Kim, Gu Zhenqing
After the great resonance on his multimedia exhibition project ASIA-EUROPE MEDIATIONS 2007 and the Inner Spaces festivals since 1993, Tomasz Wendland takes the challenge to establish the largest Biennale for contemporary art in Central Europe.
Poland’s special location on the borderland of European and Asian influences with its mutual social, historical, ethnic, religious, cultural and aesthetic impact allows a unique cultural perspective to open a dialogue based on the experience and exploration of the culture and art of Central Europe. Under the title of MEDIATIONS the curators Lorand Hegyi, Yu Yeon Kim and Gu Zhenqing will present independent statements of current positions of international contemporary art about the urging questions of our times.
MEDIATIONS - Tomasz Wendland, Biennale director: The axis of the Mediations Biennale is determined by a dialogue of two exhibitions. The first, Corporeal/Technoreal, refers to the human in the contemporary, globalizing world. Still an element of nature, the human becomes an organism subjugated by new technologies, an instrument and part of a system that crosses borders of countries and continents. Living simultaneously in New York and Seoul, Yu Yeon Kim watches the world from this broad perspective. Under the umbrella of global reflection, the exhibition Voyage Sentimental sinks into the European, particularly Central European microcosm, which is defined in diverse ways and from different perspectives: the Polish Commonwealth “from sea to sea”, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Yalta division, or the present-day Europe adjusting to the global market rules of diverse values. Searching for one’s identity is no longer related solely to the description of one’s geographical location, language group, ethnic affiliation, religion or social class. Officially, more then 800 satellites (of which half are American) flying above the Earth form yet another, eighth continent, which is present in our daily reality to a larger degree than the others. It helps our thoughts flow across to other hemispheres, but at the same time turns us into objects which undergo permanent surveillance. Jill Bennett (New South Wales’ College of Fine Arts) uses the term “migration aesthetics” to suggest existence of a language common to artists who are in permanent motion, who anticipate and create art; it has its roots everywhere, but, at the same time, does not represent any particular culture.
This is nothing new in this part of Europe. The Austrian novelist Robert Musil predicts the attitude of the 21st century European by naming him/her a man without properties, T.S. Eliot calls him a hollow man, inhabitant of the Waste Land. But is this really a concern addressed only to the European? Gu Zhenqing's exhibition is a special event solely presenting current Chinese art. At each edition of the biennale, special attention will be paid to one particular event, issue, or culture, which at the time exerts profound influence upon events and changes in the world. Without a doubt, over the last few years, and especially in the year 2008, we have been witness to a surprising rate of China’s development; it has also made us realize the economical and sozial interdependence on the global level. The exhibition will not only be an opportunity to view Chinese culture through the curator’s critical standpoint, but, what is more interesting, to do a revision of our own current history as reflected in the Asian mirror.
Tomasz Wendland is the originator of the Biennale concept, director of Inner Spaces Gallery, founder of Inner Spaces festival, artist and curator of exhibitions in China, Japan, South Korea, several European countries and the USA /New York.
VOYAGE SENTIMENTAL – curated by Lóránd Hegyi For the Pozna? Biennale Lóránd Hegyi examines the question of Central Europe’s identity as well as their significance in the contemporary world. Voyage sentimental delineated seven terms of reference: Melancholie und Sehnsucht | Time and Silence | Private stories – Public conflicts | Urban rumours | Micro-realism | Manias and Obsessions | Gardens and Islands, in which all major narrations and ideologies are replaced by artists’ individual micro-narrations. Within the presentation there are artist like Marina Abramovic, Jan Fabre, William Kentridge, Roman Opa?ka, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Giuseppe Pennone and Günther Uecker. Lóránd Hegyi is an expert in modern and contemporary art of Central and Eastern Europe, a recognised critic and curator, director of Musée d'Art Moderne in Saint-Étienne since 2003. Lóránd Hegyi was co-curator of the Venice Biennial in 1993; artistic director of the Sculpture Triennial Stuttgart in 1995; and curator of the Valencia Biennial 2003. His latest exhibition Micro Narratives at Musée d'Art Moderne in Saint-Étienne featured works by 80 artists, mainly from the Balkan and Mediterranean regions.
CORPOREAL/TECHNOREAL – curated by Yu Yeon Kim This exhibition will examine artists’ use of digital, monitoring and communication technologies as a translation of body-related form. It will consider the tensions of human existence within highly technologized societies, and the influence of political and social turmoil combined with technological vehicles upon transformation of cultural identity”. Yu Yeon Kim is an independent curator based in New York and Seoul and founder of DMZ_Korea International Art Project. She was curator and commissioner of numerous international exhibitions of contemporary art including Liverpool Biennial 2004; 3rd Gwangju Biennale 2000; Five Continents and One City, Mexico City, 1998; Johannesburg Biennale, 1997-98; curator of Translated Acts at Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin 2001 and the Queens Museum of Art in New York 2002.
IDENTITY AND TOLERANCE – curated by Gu Zhenqing The exhibition is a critical account of the contemporary, commercially successful Chinese art. It asks the question about the art’s condition and importance as ”it has reached a point, in which it desperately needs reconstruction. It looks for own acceptance and expression”. Gu Zhenqing lives and works in Beijing and Shanghai. In 2003 - 2005 he was Principal Curator of Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art; 2006 - 2007Principal Curator and Managing Director of Zhu Qizhan Art Museum. Since 2007 he has been editor-in-chief of Visual Production magazine. In 2004 he was Director and 2008 member of the jury of the CCAA Chinese Contemporary Art Award. MEDIATIONS BIENNALE takes place at the National Museum Pozna?, ZAMEK Culture Centre, Arsena? Municipal Gallery and U Jezuitów Gallery accompanied by a Month of Mediation throughout October in Pozna? at galleries and public spaces with exhibitions and art events to constitute a platform for discourse and dialogue.
Collaboration: S?awomir Sobczak, freelance curator, Prof. at Academy of Fine Arts in Pozna?, Harro Schmidt, Director Kunsthalle Faust, Hannover Organization: ZAMEK Culture Centre, Kontekst Sztuki Association