10000 LIVES

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10,000 Lives, the 8th Gwangju Biennale presents a sprawling investigation of the relationships that bind people to images and images to people. With works by 134 artists—realized between 1901 and 2010, as well as several new commissions—the exhibition brings together artworks and cultural artifacts to examine our obsession with images. Today we suffer from an acute form of iconophilia, a pathological fascination with images. Billions of images are produced and consumed every day: more than 500,000 images per second are uploaded to a single website; Americans alone take an average of 550 snap shots per second; by the age of forty, a person will have watched an average of 50,000 hours of television. We live in a world suffocated by images, and yet we still seek comfort in them: we congregate around images, adore them and crave them. We consume images and destroy them, carrying out wars in their name. The exhibition title is borrowed from Maninbo (Ten Thousand Lives), the 30 volume epic poem by Korean author Ko Un. Conceived while Ko was in prison for his participation in the 1980 South Korean democratic movement, Maninbo is composed of over 4,000 poems—portraits in words describing every person Ko Un has ever met, including figures from history and literature. As with Maninbo, the exhibition unfolds as a gallery of portraits or as a family album. Encompassing a diverse range of media, 10,000 Lives presents a series of case studies that explore our love for images and our need to create substitutes, effigies, and stands-in for ourselves and our loved ones. 10,000 Lives tells the story of people through the images they create and the images they leave behind, but it also follows the lives of images themselves, tracing their endless metamorphoses, from funerary statuary to commercial propaganda, from religious icon to scientific tool, from a mirror of ourselves to a projection of our desires. Along with the work of contemporary artists, the exhibition includes historical works, found photographs, and cultural artifacts that exemplify the multifaceted existence of images, placing them within a wider cultural context and, at times, blurring the line between


documents, relics, and art works. It is a biennial conceived as a temporary museum—opening outwards to embrace history, the exhibition cultivates the exercise of memory, wandering through more than one hundred years of history. In the BIENNALE HALL, five separate galleries branch off to reflect themes recurring throughout the exhibition. The exhibition begins in GALLERY 1, presenting works that deal with photographic representation, posing, and the construction of the self through images. From Mike Disfarmer’s penny-portraits to Sanggil Kim’s records of online communities, and Heungsoon Im’s videos, in 10,000 Lives, people line up in front of the camera, ranked like tin soldiers or pinned down like a gorgeous collection of butterflies. Celebrities and illustrious nobodies appear in the photographs of Andre de Dienes, Hanyong Kim, and Namhan Photo Studio, while Peter Fischli & David Weiss align thousands of snap-shots on a light table twentyseven meters long, presenting reality in all its sublime banality. In the paintings and drawings of Franz Gertsch, Maria Lassnig, and Jakub Ziółkowski, faces and psychologies are dramatically revealed. Filmmaker Wu Wenguang distributed video cameras to rural Chinese workers and asked them to film their towns: the hundreds of hours recorded by the farmers capture everyday life at the margins of the Chinese empire, composing a choral encyclopedia. Swarming with pictures, the exhibition becomes an image-making machine: Franco Vaccari invites visitors to pose and photograph themselves using a photo booth in the exhibition galleries. By manipulating historical photographs, and with the collaboration of an army of volunteers, Sanja Iveković creates a living memorial to the participants of the May 18 Gwangju Uprising of 1980. In a world gorged on images, recycling, appropriation, and repetition have become survival strategies that can assume a therapeutic function. Anne Collier, Aurélien Froment, and Peter Roehr appropriate and rearrange existing images. Sherrie Levine and Sturtevant question ownership and copyright by replicating works by other artists. GALLERY 2 explores the mechanics of vision through optical illusions and para-scientific imaginaries. Analyzing how visual experiences are inscribed in our eyes and bodies, artists like Tauba Auerbach, Thomas Bayrle, Bridget Riley, Paul Sharits, Stan VanDerBeek, and Haegue Yang, raise questions about how images are constructed

and circulated. The experimental films of Jikken Kobo and Katsuhiro Yamaguchi take the machine of vision apart: the act of seeing becomes an adventure for the eyes, while in Artur Żmijewski’s new video, blind people paint the world as they see it. In other cases, images annex new territories to the domain of the visible. Harold Edgerton’s stroboscopic shots and Eliot Porter’s naturalistic views are examples of scientific photography that have radically reinvented the way we see things, mapping new physical and aesthetic dimensions. Exploring the technology of vision, many works in the exhibition examine the ties—at times loving, at times violent—between cameras and subjects. In Christopher Williams’s photographs, the apparatus of vision is literally taken apart: lenses are cut open, cameras inspected from each and every angle, to reveal the mechanics whereby images are constructed. In the works of Harun Farocki, João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva, Carsten Höller, and Mark Leckey, one detects a concern with the act of seeing, so much so that it has to be carefully analysed. The reception and consumption of images represent a crucial preoccupation for artists and image makers today. Hans-Peter Feldmann, Shinro Ohtake, Seth Price, and many others, accumulate, collect, and organize found images and fragments of visual culture. As the line separating the production of images from their consumption grows thinner, these artists look at how images are fabricated and distributed through media. GALLERY 3 brings together works that deal with the representation of heroes and martyrs, exploring the ways images are used to create myths, preserve the memory of victims, or bear witness to war and oppression. A key work in the visual lexicon of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the Rent Collection Courtyard is a display of over 100 sculptures made to educate the Chinese population about the abuses of the feudal system. Created between 1965 and 1978 by students, artists, and faculty of the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, the tableau illustrates the conflation of art, politics and collective beliefs—the power of images to educate and stir revolutions. It is presented in its entirety in the Biennale, and for the first time ever in an Asian country outside China.



In their video biographies, Duncan Campbell, Leandro Katz, Liu Wei, Rabih Mroué, and Hito Steyerl describe the moment in which a private figure becomes a public image, a simplified but instantly recognizable icon. The paintings of Jean Fautrier, the Intifada posters collected by the magazine Useful Photography, and sculptures by Katharina Fritsch and Thomas Hirschhorn analyze the iconography of martyrdom. The funerary portrait of a young demonstrator, painted by Byungsoo Choi, was once a focal point for throngs of mourners and now stands as proof of the power of images to bring people together. Some of the most complex images in this exhibition are the portraits taken at Tuol Sleng, Security Prison 21 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, which preserve the memory of thousands of victims murdered by the Pol Pot regime between 1975 and 1979. These photographs are some of the most touching and ethically complex images in recent history: the regime photographed each prisoner, knowing they would be sentenced to death—the portraits now stand as the only survivors. Can images save us? The idea that images have healing powers is present in the work of Swiss clairvoyant Emma Kunz and Chinese healer Guo Fengyi, who infused an almost desperate faith in images. With their medicine drawings and therapeutic abstractions, they created pictures that they hoped could save the world. GALLERY 4 looks at religious figures and idols, fetishes and dolls. The centerpiece is Partners (The Teddy Bear Project), a vast archive of over 3000 photographs of people holding teddy bears, compiled by the curator and collector Ydessa Hendeles. Her installation reveals the viral power of images, their ability to propagate themselves, build up mass and draw a following: images are choral phenomena with an epidemic power. The Teddy Bear Project is thus also the history of a craze: through thousands of images, Hendeles captures the expansion and consolidation of a trend, an irrepressible desire to be just like everyone else. The funerary Kokdu collected by Ock Rang Kim were used in burial rituals to accompany the living and the dead. In both cases, images are presented as children of nostalgia—we cling to them to ward off loneliness. Sometimes the love we invest in images proves to be too much. The love of images often conceals a deep fear of them. Gestures of violence and iconoclasm appear in the defaced photographs by E.J. Bellocq from the early twentieth century and in Huang Yong Ping’s fractured Buddha. Cyprien Galliard’s new video looks at Egyptian statuary and

its demise. In YangAh Ham’s video, actors adore an effigy made of chocolate, while Harun Farocki documents processions and pilgrimages to sacred statues. Gallery 4 is also populated by life size polychrome sculptural works by John De Andrea, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Duane Hanson, Jeff Koons, Bruce Nauman, Oh Yoon, and others. Part-replicant, part-idol, these hyper-realistic figures are brought together in a Wunderkammer that resembles a mad scientist’s laboratory, a forge in which to put together a new golem. Inspired by Mike Kelley’s nowlegendary 1993 exhibition titled The Uncanny, this section brings together contemporary artworks, polychrome religious sculptures, mannequins and dolls, medical instruments and stuffed animals. This is an unauthorized, partial reconstruction and unannounced tribute to Kelley’s extraordinary show, recreated from the few publicly available photographs of the 1993 installation. Changes, variations, and elements of creative reinterpretation were introduced, stretching the borders of the original exhibition to include new artworks, as well as artists and cultural objects from Asia. GALLERY 5 strikes an irreverent tone, presenting idiosyncratic perspectives on the structures of cinema and television. Taekyu Park is the only remaining movie poster painter in Gwangju. His large handpainted standups of seminal films tell the history of Korean cinema. A video installation by Zhou Xiaohu depicts a corporate office turned upside down, in which workers are suspended from the ceiling in an absurd situation that comically conflates contemporary capitalism with inverted social values. THE GWANGJU FOLK MUSEUM brings together works that address the interaction of images and memory. Henrik Olesen charts a hidden history of artists and artworks while Andro Wekua reconstructs, entirely from memory, a personal record of his native town. Kwangho Choi photographs his family’s happy memories but also records the end of life, the deaths of elderly family members and the rites and rituals that attend the grieving process. Alice Kok’s video messages reunite families long-separated by international borders, vividly recording the power of images to make the absent present. THE GWANGJU MUSEUM OF ART focuses on self-portraiture and images as projections of the self. Presenting disparate approaches to autobiography, the self-generating surveillance machines of Dieter Roth and Tehching Hseih demonstrate our irrepressible desire



to strike a pose, to stand in the footlights of the image, exposing ourselves to the gaze of our fellow creatures. In the works of Roni Horn, Cindy Sherman, and Ryan Trecartin, a new sense of collectivity is introduced, which corresponds to a completely renovated perception of the self. The characters that populate this exhibition seem both multiplied and consumed in a flood of images, portraits, and masks. It is a gallery of faces whose proliferation runs parallel to a process of attrition and disappearance: self-portraits from which the self seems to have been erased by a process of repetition. Seungtaek Lee’s monumental, double self-portrait suggests a divided self, either that of the artist or of his nation. Familial relationships are described and reconfigured in the works of Roberto Cuoghi and Andy Warhol, while Morton Bartlett, who worked outside the traditional confines of the art world, created private universes in which fetish-like dolls were his closest friends. Throughout the exhibition, artworks, cultural artifacts, vernacular images, and everyday objects are displayed side by side. This cabinet of curiosities clearly manifests the obsession that has fueled our figurative impulse for centuries, the desire to create images in our own likeness. After all, the history of art—and the history of images—could most simply be described as a history of people looking at people, of eyes staring at bodies.















Massimiliano Gioni Artistic Director, Gwangju Biennale 2010









(b. 1974 Gyeongsan, South Korea) Sanggil

Kim’s deadpan staged tableaux and cool, dispassionate architectural views share a common thematic interest in the character of twenty-first century urban life, particularly in Seoul. Through both their formal rigor and lack of visible human presence, Kim’s ongoing series of architectural photographs documenting the upheavals in Asia’s endlessly protean metropolises suggest a landscape constructed by a dispassionate alien hand. Similarly, the early staged photographs from Kim’s Motion Picture series speak to the effects of this alienating urban environment on those who inhabit it, exuding a palpable sense of boredom and anomie. In his most recent series, Offline Communities, Kim has brought together individuals who share their passions for esoteric areas of interest (The Sound of Music, Star Wars, Burberry plaid) in dedicated forums on the Internet, and had them sit for a group portrait in the real world. Often, the occasion of Kim’s portrait is the first time that these individuals have met face-to-face, despite having formed closeknit online communities over a period of months or even years. As such, Kim’s project is both an attempt to visualize otherwise wholly virtual communities, and to fashion the creation of an image into an occasion for the alleviation of the alienation that haunts his earlier work. CW

Over the course of his career, Bruce Nauman has executed work in a wide variety of media. Often playful, ironic, or even flippant, these stances cleverly belie Nauman’s serious engagement with issues surrounding how the body occupies and moves through space, the complex contingencies of language, and the traditionally understood roles of the artist. To this end, Nauman has filmed himself executing dance-like, self-imposed directives in his empty studio, Dance or Exercise on the Perimeter of a Square, (1967-1968), created a spiraling neon sign that declares, with ambiguous seriousness The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths (1967), or ambiguous sculptural works that address the human form, as in 10 Heads Circle/Up and Down (1990).
(b. 1941 Fort Wayne, U.S.A.)

Poke in the Eye/Nose/Ear 3/8/94 Edit (1984) harkens back to an earlier series of super slow motion videos Nauman made using an industrial, 4000 frame-per-second camera in the late 1960s, in which he manipulated his body in simple ways that were theatrically exaggerated by the extreme slowness of the film’s playback. As the title suggests, in this film Nauman pokes himself in the eye, nose, and ear with his own finger. The actions would seem almost childish, as if Nauman were exploring a body with which he is unfamiliar, but the slow playback lends an air of foreboding deliberateness and violence, as Nauman repeatedly pokes himself in the eye, implying an attempt to stop the flow of images—destroying the senses and inducing a state of blindness. CW

off-line_alaska malamute internet community, 2005 C-print, 180 x 220 cm Poke in the Eye/Nose/Ear 3/8/94 Edit, 1994 Video, 52:00



SANJA IVEKOVIĆ   Sanja Iveković’s work examines and critiques the structuring forces of visual culture and mass media, particularity as they relate to the representation of gender and politics. Much of her work is composed of appropriated materials that Iveković repurposes and recontextualizes in order to expose their ideological functions. Iveković is known for her performance work and her engagement with the form of the public monument. In The Rohrbach Living Memorial (2005) she created a temporary, performative monument to the Roma victims of the Holocaust, for whom no permanent monument has yet been erected. Based on a photograph of a group of Roma taken as they were waiting to be transported to a concentration camp, Iveković restaged this tableau by asking the residents of the Austrian city of Rohrbach to perform the “living memorial” by reenacting the scene from the early morning hours until noon. For the Biennale, Iveković has developed a new version of her living memorial to commemorate the victims of the Gwangju People’s Uprising of May 18, 1980. On the Barricades is a memorial enacted by volunteers who stand in place of statues representing the victims, humming a song that was a marching anthem during the uprisings. Nearby, a slideshow of 545 photographic portraits collected from family members of the victims will be presented on 10 monitors. Iveković has performed a small violation of the iconography of portraiture, closing the sitters’ eyes to signal that the victims have found their final rest. CW
(b. 1949 Zagreb, Croatia)


Born to a family of German immigrants in rural Arkansas in the early 1880s, Mike Disfarmer took pains to distance himself from his roots. Though his given name was Michael Meyers, a surname that means “dairy farmer,” he changed it to Disfarmer in 1939 in an attempt to set himself apart from his farming family. Sometime in the 1930s, Disfarmer taught himself photography and set up a studio in the back of his mother’s house in the small rural town of Heber Springs, Arkansas where he set to work perfecting his technique. Disfarmer later established a portrait studio on the town’s Main Street, where he worked as a full-time “penny portrait” photographer, using a cumbersome and antiquated glass plate camera.
(b. 1884; d. 1959 Heber Springs, U.S.A.)

Disfarmer’s portrait studio soon became the town’s central attraction. From the mid-1930s until the late 1940s, Disfarmer documented large swaths of the town’s population, creating images that occupy a strange middle ground between the starkly typological and the empathetic. Almost four thousand glass plate negatives were rescued from Disfarmer’s studio after his death in 1959, but none saw the light of day until 1973, when they were brought to the attention of Julia Scully, an editor at Modern Photography magazine. In 1979, Scully published a book of Disfarmer’s work, and his pictures were immediately recognized as a remarkable addition to the history of photographic portraiture. Taken as a whole, Disfarmer’s portraits convey a sense of community while celebrating the subjects’ individuality—they are a kind of family album that forms a unique record of a time and place that would have otherwise been overlooked. CW

On the Barricades, 2010 Digital photographs/performance

Untitled, ca. 1940-1945 Gelatin silver prints, 14 x 9 cm





Anne Collier’s studio photographs engage directly with processes of image making and photographic seeing. Often rephotographing images from books or record covers, Collier draws attention to the artifice of the image, particularly as it relates to its physical support and to her appropriative strategies. Developing Tray #2 (2009) presents a photographic print of Collier’s own eye as it sits in a photographic developing tray. This self-reflexive image creates a conceptual feedback loop that is characteristic of Collier’s work: we are looking at an image that is about looking, which could have been made using the same darkroom equipment it depicts.
(b. 1970 Los Angeles, U.S.A.)

(b. 1964 Haarlem, Holland) As

In the slide installation Woman With A Camera (35 mm) (2009), Collier inflects her visual investigations with fraught psychological content, engaging not only with the mechanics of vision and representation, but also their operations in the world. Taken from a scene in the 1978 film The Eyes of Laura Mars, the individual slides present a tightly framed shot of the actress Faye Dunaway as she peers through the viewfinder of a camera, her eyes widening in surprise and horror at what she sees. Addressing the act of seeing, the potential violence implicit in the gaze, and the possible power of representation to spill over into reality, Woman With A Camera, like much of Collier’s work, is concerned more with the processes and power relations inherent in image making than with the choice of photographic subject. CW

an artist and writer, Arnoud Holleman’s extraordinarily diverse output is connected by a strong thematic concern with the life and significance of images. Often this concern is manifested through acts of appropriation that transform an image’s meaning through a shift in context, or a removal of contextual elements. This concern with the lives of images has also led him to create works that explore the historical prohibitions on image making. One such work is Untitled (Staphorst) (2003), a slowed-down loop of 1960s film footage of the fundamentalist Protestant enclave of Staphorst in the Netherlands. In the film, the village’s inhabitants are seen shielding their faces from the camera. Their actions bring to mind the superstition that photographic image making devices can steal a part of one’s soul or life essence, but it is more likely that these pious villagers are simply taking the Bible’s second commandment to a logical extreme. Not content to simply abstain from the creation of unholy images themselves, they hope to avoid the transformation of their bodies into images at the hands of the camera operator, of becoming idols by proxy. But Holleman’s principle interest in the footage is cultural, not religious, and it is telling that the villagers’ gestures seem so foreign to most viewers. Holleman notes that contemporary culture has inverted religious bans on imagery; “to see and be seen via the image has become a cultural and existential duty.” CW

Woman with a Camera (35mm), 2009 Slide projection

Untitled (Staphorst), 2002 Video, 4:30





(b. 1913 Turia, Romania; d. 1985, U.S.A.) As

a young man, Andre De Dienes spent several years traveling around Europe before settling briefly in Tunisia, where he bought his first camera. In 1933, De Dienes traveled to Paris and worked for a period as a photographer with the Associated Press. Encouraged by the famed couturier Edward Molyneux to become a fashion photographer, De Dienes found success in the industry and with the help of an editor at Esquire magazine, immigrated to America in 1938, working for numerous high-fashion magazines in New York. In 1944, De Dienes moved to Hollywood, where he hired nineteen-yearold Marilyn Monroe, then Norma Jeane Baker, for her first modeling job. Soon after, they took a five-week road trip together around California and the American Southwest. Pictures from this trip landed on the covers of magazines around the world, and were instrumental in launching Monroe’s career. In Marilyn Shows What Death Looks Like (1946), De Dienes photographed Monroe with a blanket draped over her head and torso, holding her hands up to her face in a playful, peeka-boo-like pose. In the photograph, this simple act of disappearance takes on an ominous feel, one that is made all the more poignant in light of Monroe’s untimely death. But rather than disappearing from the world of the visible, Monroe’s celebrity has ensured that she will live forever as an image. CW

(PORTRAIT OF PRINCESS PARK CHANJOO, b. 1914, d. 1995, Seoul, South Korea) Princess

Park Chanjoo was born in Seoul in 1914. The granddaughter of a well-known politician, Park attended the prestigious Kyung-gi Women’s High School and later married Lee Woo, the fourth head of the Unhyeon Palace and a member of the Imperial family of Korea. Park and Lee were married in Japan, where Lee had been relocated by the Japanese government as part of the process of Japanese education that was forced on all members of the Imperial family. They had two sons, Lee Chung and Lee Jung, before Lee was forced to relocate to Hiroshima for compulsory service in the Japanese Army, where he was killed in the atomic bomb blast in 1945. After her husband’s death, Park returned to Korea, living at one of the Imperial family’s palaces in Seoul that she managed to retain despite the Korean government’s appropriation of almost all former Imperial properties after the end of Japanese occupation in September 1945. Park died in 1995 in her private residence in Seoul, where she had lived after her palace was sold, in 1992. The photograph of Princess Park that is included in the Biennale shows the future princess as a toddler, holding a small doll. Too young to stand on her own, the child’s body is supported by the hand of a figure otherwise concealed off-camera. This intervention—necessary to keep the young Park from moving during the photographer’s lengthy exposure while still showing her in an individual, noble portrait—gives the picture a feeling of both tenderness and threat. Girding her waist and assisting the young child to pose, the protective gesture of this disembodied hand extends to both girl and doll, while the young Park unknowingly mirrors this gesture as she clutches the doll to her chest.

Untitled (Marilyn Shows What Death Looks Like), 1946/2010 Gelatin silver print, 35 x 27 cm

Photo of Princess Park Chanjoo in her Infancy, ca. 1915 Photograph, 16 x 12 cm





(b. 1967 Warsaw, Poland) Pawel

Althamer’s sculptures, videos, and performances explore the fragility and contingency of the body—often his own—within the wider sphere of social and political contexts. He has often submitted his body to extreme states, either physically or psychically. In one early performance work, Althamer sealed himself inside a body-sized plastic bag that slowly filled with cold water (Water, Space, Time, 1991), in another, with the help of hypnosis and hallucinogenic drugs, he explored the inner landscape of his mind (The So Called Waves and Other Phenomena of the Mind, 2003-2004). His sculptures engage with the body less directly, often through the logic of substitution. His human-scale sculptures, representing himself or members of his family, are constructed from hair, straw, intestine, and cloth—visceral, rough-hewn materials that seem poised on the threshold between embodiment and decay. For the Biennale, Althamer has created a new version of Auguste Rodin’s The Burghers of Calais, entitled Brodno People, made with the help of people from a working class neighborhood of Warsaw. Rodin’s sculpture tells the story of six leading citizens of the town of Calais, France, who, in 1347, volunteered themselves as hostages to King Edward III of England in exchange for lifting an eleven-month siege on their city during the Hundred Years War. Althamer’s version emphasizes the social and political circumstances of the work’s production by foregrounding collective practice over individual authorship. Like totems or idols from a personal religion, his figures appear almost as placeholders for the artist’s body and those of his loved ones, as if their presence might somehow ward off the inevitable decay of the flesh. CW

Mike Kelley’s vast output over the past three decades has taken myriad forms, chiefly video, performance, painting, and photography. He explores the grotesque and fantastic elements lurking within the popular consciousness, drawing on everything from the youthful drama of high-school yearbooks to popular films, cabaret performances, and the legacies of Pop art to produce dizzying, overwhelming installations.
(b. 1954 Detroit, U.S.A.)

Rose Hobart II is a sculpture that essentially depicts one of the artist’s earlier sculptures, A Continuous Screening of Bob Clark’s Film “Porky’s”, 1981, the Soundtrack of which has been replaced with Morton Subotnik’s Electronic Composition “The Wild Bull,” and Presented in the Secret Sub-Basement of the Gymnasium Locker Room (2002). A floor sculpture of peculiar geometry, painted black and emanating an audio track from The Wild Bull by Morton Subotnik, Rose Hobart II draws further connections between Thomas Edison’s Black Maria movie studio and the system of progressive revelation in Plato’s cave metaphor. The piece invites viewers to crawl inside via its low entry points, upon which they encounter a looping video of the famed nude shower scene from the film Porky’s, slowed down and manipulated to stress the film’s highly-wrought acting. Entering Kelley’s piece on hands and knees, viewers mime the voyeuristic behavior of the characters in the film who crawl beneath the floor of the women’s shower room for an illicit view. BT

Rose Hobart II, 2006 Wood, metal, carpet, acrylic paint, and video projection, 183 x 452 x 609 cm

Self-portrait, 1993 Mixed media, grass, hemp fiber, animal intestine, wax, and hair 189 x 76 x 70 cm





The life of photographer Ernest J. Bellocq is shrouded in rumor. Conflicting reports describe him as a curmudgeonly eccentric semi-dwarf and as a dandy from an aristocratic Creole family. Whatever the case, Bellocq is now remembered as the compassionate documentarian who photographed the prostitutes of New Orleans’s Storyville district, where prostitution was locally legalized from 1898 to 1917. But it was not until after his death that his photographic negatives were discovered, hidden in a drawer of his desk and subsequently purchased and printed by the photographer Lee Friedlander.
(b. 1873, d. 1949 New Orleans, U.S.A.)

Bellocq’s portraits are marked by a startling intimacy that has fueled the fires of speculation surrounding his relationship with his subjects and spawned a number of fictional imaginings of his life. Beyond the photographs’ candor—which reveals an intimate and playful relationship with his subjects—what is most striking is that several of the glassplate negatives have violent scratches over the subjects’ faces, leaving black voids in the resulting prints. The cause of this act of iconoclasm is unknown: they may have been defaced by Bellocq himself, either in a fit of jealous anger, or to protect the privacy of his sitters, or by his ashamed brother (a Jesuit priest), or even by one of his sitters. The details are lost to history—what remains are variously tender, erotic, mysterious and disturbing documents. CW

Franz Gertsch is known for his monumental, hyper-realist paintings and woodcuts of his friends, family, and the landscape around his native Switzerland. Derived from photographs that Gertsch enlarges onto canvas, his paintings mix the casual feeling of snapshots with the rigorous precision of old master paintings. In his earlier works, which mostly depict Gertsch’s bohemian friends posed in casual tableaux, the meticulous attention to detail and the grand scale of the canvases have an ennobling effect on his subjects, creating ramshackle icons of the punk milieu. But the transformative property of Gertsch’s paintings also works the other way, as in his well-known series of portraits of punk icon Patti Smith, which have an intimate, incidental quality that belies Smith’s towering presence as a musician.
(b. 1930 Mörigen, Switzerland)

In Self-portrait (1980), Gertsch turns inward, rendering his own likeness in unflinchingly detail. Illuminated by a camera flash that throws a harsh shadow on the wall behind him, Gertsch’s enigmatic expression is both pensive and apprehensive, as if caught off guard. With its mixture of monumental scale and incidental detail, Gertsch’s self-portrait seems to be an acknowledgment of the tension between the painted image’s claim to immortality, and its subject’s inevitable disappearance. CW

Self-portrait, 1980 Acrylic on unprimed canvas, 257 x 391 cm

Storyville Portrait, ca. 1912 Gelatin silver print on gold toned printing out paper, 19 x 23 cm





Christopher Williams repurposes the formal vocabulary of commercial product photography to reflect on the industrial production of images. In his images, an object (or group of objects) is placed squarely in the middle of the frame on an evenly lit, white backdrop, as though announcing nothing more than its existence. His images of diverse consumer objects (candy bars, cameras, bicycles, automobile tires) come with lengthy explanatory titles, listing seemingly superfluous details (technical specifications, component parts, site of manufacture) for each object. Designed to inundate the viewer with the overwhelming complexity of industrial production, the captions provide clues to their wider interrelation: the shared industrial processes, economic conditions, and systems of distribution underlying almost everything in today’s globalized society.
(b. 1956 Los Angeles, U.S.A.)

The son of an art historian dismissed from his teaching post by the Nazis in 1934, the painter Konrad Klapheck grew up in the shadow of the war. In high school around the early 1950s, he discovered painting and modern literature, and was influenced early on by Max Ernst and Marcel Duchamp. In 1961, Klapheck was introduced to André Breton and his circle of French Surrealists, and the following year made the acquaintance of René Magritte; both proved decisive influences on his work.
(b. 1935 Dusseldorf, Germany)

Williams’s photographs engage with the technology of commercial photography and the obscure industrial systems of which it is a part, addressing the gap between the visible world and the network of invisible relationships that produce it. In his series of camera lenses and cutaway models of photographic equipment, Williams lays bare the photographic apparatus itself, leading us to question the very structures underlying his work’s seeming self-evidence. CW

Klapheck cultivated an idiom of close observation of modern, mechanized objects, rendered with some outsized emotional, or obliquely narrative, quotient that anthropomorphized or psychologically accentuated these machines or industrial objects. Keys, faucets, typewriters, or telephones, rendered in a smooth, stylized realism, in vivid and pastel colors on flat backgrounds, came to stand in for the absent narrative actors. The objects seem alive within their own realm, pulsing and swollen with emotion. Deceptively laced with Freudian symbolism, the works’ titles lead the viewer to far-off, frequently psycho-associative readings of the work, as in Motherly Girlfriend, the 1966 painting of a curved, sloping bathtub spout, gleaming in dark chrome. In his later portraits, rounded, simplified people live among and activate these mechanic shapes while the objects take on human form, each animating the presence of the other in a bout of discomfiting surrealist perplexity. BT

Cutaway model Switar 25mm f1.4 AR. Glass, wood and brass. Douglas M. Parker Studio, Glendale, California, November, 17, 2007-November 30, 2007, 2008 C-print, 85 x 95 x 4 cm

Motherly Girlfriend, 1966 Oil on canvas, 70 x 88 cm





In 1972, Franco Vaccari set up a photo booth at the Venice Biennale as part of a work entitled Leave On The Walls A Photographic Trace Of Your Fleeting Visit, (1972). Over five thousand visitors complied with the work’s directive; having their pictures taken in the photo booth and affixing the resultant strip of photographs to the wall. As the exhibition progressed, however, Vaccari ran into some trouble with the Venetian police, who were concerned about some of the activity going on behind the photo booth’s floor-length curtain. In order to curtail what they believed to be inappropriate behavior, the police took scissors to the curtain, shortening it to a more revealing length.
(b. 1936 Modena, Italy)

Over the past six decades, the Austrian painter Maria Lassnig has produced a body of work of deep psychic complexity around the space of the human body. Her self-portraits are brutally frank and, as with her images of others, verge on the grotesque. Lassnig’s notion of “body awareness painting” dictates that she only depict those parts of herself that she can truly sense while painting, resulting in figures with deformed, limbless edges and haunted, grimaced expressions. Lassnig’s method allows her to know herself through the act of painting.
(b. 1919 Carinthia, Austria)

For the Biennale, Vaccari has been invited to restage this work, which is a kind of image-generating machine that creates a visual history of its use and of the show itself, but which also relies entirely on the participation of the viewing public and their willingness to donate an image to the gallery walls. In this regard, the work can be seen as precursor to the relational artworks of the 1990s, which focused on creating works that remained incomplete without the direct engagement of the viewer. Within the context of contemporary culture, the work takes on a new set of associations in light of social networking and photo-sharing websites, where users voluntarily share their images with a wide audience on an almost daily basis—a cultural development that would no doubt have been foreign to viewers in the early 1970s, but which is now a prominent aspect of our image-saturated media environment. CW

Lassnig employs a flat pictorial style, with garish, if sometimes muted, colors against solid backgrounds, often with only the sparest of contextualizing elements. The images are base and visceral: characters confront their material being and their flawed behavior at the same time, resulting in corpulent, malleable bodies attacking one another, crushing small objects in their hands, or being preyed upon by cruel circumstances. In her early eighties, after decades of avoidance (and engaging in painting’s rivalry with the camera), Lassnig began using photography to help her paint, cautiously engaging in its intrinsic illusionism. These recent works have had more recognizable pictorial space and context, but no less psychological charge. Through positions and orientation of the figure, gesture, or gaze, Lassnig’s works often address the viewer directly, who is implicated as a key to deciphering meaning. Though sharing in the psychologically dense Viennese genealogy of expressionism, Lassnig’s images also partake of a more phenomenological tactic, where the act of her representation is the continued deciphering of that very thing. BT

Leave On The Walls A Photographic Trace Of Your Fleeting Visit, 1972 Exhibition in Real Time with Photomatic Kiosk

Language Grid, 1999 Oil on canvas, 200 x 150 cm





(b. 1980 Zamość, Poland) Jakub

Ziół kowski’s phantasmagorical drawings roil with mutant life: plants sprout giant eyeballs, patchwork bodies threaten to slough off their skins or tumble into piles of dismembered parts, internal organs make their way outside, objects grow hair, faces ł distort as if infected with some unspeakable virus. In Zió kowski’s world, the body is always in peril and nature is always a threat. Mixing the tortured physiologies of expressionism with fantastical menageries that seemed pulled from the works of the early Dutch painter ł Hieronymus Bosch, Zió kowski has created a nightmare landscape all his own. ł In History of the Eye (2010), created for the Biennale, Zió kowski has interpreted Georges Bataille’s controversial short pornographic novel, Story of the Eye (1928). First published under a pseudonym and not publicly attributed to Bataille until after his death, the book presents the depraved sexual exploits of two teenagers in a series of surreal vignettes, which are often fetishistically focused on disembodied eyes. These “eyes” are often tortured or demolished during the act of base bodily pursuits, actions that reflect assertions in Bataille’s philosophical works that the bodily should take precedence over vision. ł Zió kowski, with his focus on the corruptibility of the flesh and the base realities of embodiment, seems a fitting illustrator of this tale, which has become one of the most notorious works of philosophical obscenity since the Marquis de Sade. Equating the act of seeing with ł desire itself, the violence enacted in Zió kowski’s History can be seen as an attack of pornographic and forbidden images against all forms of censorship. CW

(b. 1952 Zurich, Switzerland; b. 1946 Zurich, Switzerland) Peter

Fischli and David Weiss have worked together collaboratively since 1979. In that time, they have produced a distinctly playful oeuvre, working in a range of media including photography, video, sculpture, installation, and performance. Their work is marked by an interest in the transformation of everyday objects and situations into ones that evoke a childlike sense of mischief. They have created whimsical, strangely poignant arrangements of kitchen utensils and various edibles balanced precariously on one another (Equilibres—A Quiet Afternoon, 1984-1985), transformed their studio into the site of a single, epic chain reaction (The Way Things Go, 1987), and carved and painted meticulous reproductions of everyday objects using polyurethane (Floss (Raft), 1982). In Visible World (1986-2001), Fischli and Weiss have culled three thousand images taken over the course of almost twenty years of traveling and sightseeing. They are familiar images, anodyne almost to the point of anonymity: images of airports, mountains, flowers, and sunsets. It may seem strange that they bothered to take these pictures at all, since there are so many just like them, ready to be appropriated. But their status as personal travel photographs imbues the images with the kind of affection reserved for souvenirs—they are objects that remind us of our existence in a certain place, for a certain time. Seen in this light, these banal images reveal themselves in all their complexity: both individual records of journeys taken and products of a collective visual understanding, they represent an unexpected fusion of the personal and the universal. CW

History of the Eye, 2010 Oil on paper, dimensions variable

Visible World, 1986-2001 (installation view) Light table with 3000 photographs, 83 x 2805 x 69 cm





(b. 1944 Frankfurt, Germany; d. 1968) The

German artist Peter Roehr produced a radically innovative oeuvre of film, sound, and works on paper in his sadly brief career. Making text blocks consisting entirely of the letters M or N, or the left parenthesis sign, Roehr hijacked the typing keyboard, forming small spaces of internal infinity that were, at the time, misread as concrete poetry, but should be seen as pushing into new realms of abstraction and minimalism. His austere, obsessive film loops operate in a similar manner, repurposing the imagery of popular advertising and media into short, bluntly reiterative meditations, presaging many contemporary currents of artistic production. Roehr’s tactics were seriality and endlessness. As he said of his practice: “Neither successive nor additive, there is no result or sum.” Roehr’s film work drew from the pool of popular advertising and television: shampoo commercials, wrestlers, and automobiles driving on highways. Extracting small sections of these anonymous, commercial films at key narrative moments, he sutured them into loops, forcing them to endlessly recur, which changed and charged their visual and auditory meaning. Latent characteristics emerge through the hypnotic interrogation of form and sign: images take on new scales, marginal details become central, emotions and expectations are frustrated. The repetition plays tricks on the mind: at each new start, we are willing to suspend our disbelief and brace for the possibility that the narrative will progress this time, as when a skipping record magically restores itself without intervention. Of course, that never happens here: time is stuck in neutral. The reorganization of otherwise untouched sources becomes, in Roehr’s hands, a truly transformational gesture. BT

(b. 1903 St. Louis, U.S.A.; d. 1975 Old Lyme, U.S.A.) Though

he is now remembered as one of the most influential photographers of the twentieth century, Walker Evans initially aspired to be a writer. In 1926, after dropping out of Williams College and taking odd jobs in New York City, he moved to Paris in an attempt to gain entry into the city’s vibrant literary scene. After one year in Paris, he returned to New York, where he befriended a group of literary luminaries, among them Hart Crane and Lincoln Kirstein. In 1928, Evans took up photography and quickly made a name for himself as a photographer. His first published photographs, taken of the Brooklyn Bridge, graced the cover of Crane’s seminal collection of poems, The Bridge (1930). In 1935, Evans was contracted by the United States government to make photographs in connection with the efforts of the Resettlement Administration (RA), which soon became the Farm Security Administration (FSA). Evans’s unsentimental images of rural life during the Great Depression, made under the FSA’s auspices, led writer James Agee to select him for an assignment for Fortune magazine about three sharecropping families in Alabama, for which Evans would make some of his most famous photographs. Over the course of three weeks, Evans and Agee assiduously documented the bleak lives of their subjects, with Evans capturing the spare interiors of their homes and their looks of determination and desperation. The story was ultimately rejected by Fortune, but Evans and Agee went on to publish their work as a book entitled Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, which has since become one of the most enduring documents of the era. As Evans was still working under the aegis of the FSA when he produced these images, they now form part of the prints and photographs collection at The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., which houses more than fourteen million other images. CW

Film-Montagen I-III, 1965

Negro Church, South Carolina, 1936 Gelatin silver print, 20 x 25 cm





(b. 1947 Hazleton, U.S.A.) Sherrie

Levine first came to prominence with Douglas Crimp’s influential 1977 exhibition Pictures at Artists Space Gallery in New York. In the show, Crimp identified a new generation of artists—later dubbed the Pictures Generation—who were using innovative strategies of appropriation to comment on various aspects of existing visual culture. Levine is probably best known for her series After Walker Evans (1981), in which she re-photographed Walker Evans’s iconic, Depression-Era photographs of Alabaman tenant farmers, presenting the appropriated images as her own. Though the series was controversial when it was first shown, it has since become emblematic of these new appropriative strategies. Levine’s reproductive gesture is not just a simple act of artistic plagiarism. Rather, by re-presenting Evans’s work and adding her own authorship as an addendum, Levine enacts a subtle and sophisticated shift in the work’s meaning, opening it up to new interpretations. Her gesture can be read as a feminist undermining of one of photography’s most revered patriarchs, a critique of the practice of anointing documentary photography as art, and as Postmodern critique of Modernist notions of originality and artistic autonomy. Whatever the interpretation, Levine’s treatment of these photographs succeeded in giving the images a new life that extended beyond Evans’s original intentions, and the set of meaning that were ascribed to them in their time. For the Biennale, Levine’s reproductions will be exhibited alongside new prints from Walker Evans’s original negatives from the Library of Congress, to further point towards their ambiguous status as copied originals. CW

(b. 1930 Lakewood, U.S.A.) Elaine

Sturtevant, who creates artwork under the moniker Sturtevant, has spent her career producing what appear to be exact copies of other artists’ works. Sturtevant masters the techniques used by the artists whose work she reproduces (printmaking, painting, sculpture, and photography) and engages in a kind of re-performance of the original’s production, creating a new set of meanings in the process. Since the 1960s, Sturtevant has produced facsimiles of iconic works by Felix Gonzales-Torres, Roy Lichtenstein, Marcel Duchamp, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, and others, often before the artists or their works entered into the art historical canon. Her conceptual strategy worked to stretch the Duchampian idea of appropriation to its rational conclusion, calling into question Modernist notions of originality and artistic genius. For her series of Andy Warhol’s Flowers, Sturtevant obtained the original silk screens from Warhol himself. Her Flowers would seem indistinguishable from Warhol’s in both their appearance and their production, as Warhol’s studio assistants often produced the silk screens without his intervention. However, the fact that Sturtevant, and not one of Warhol’s assistants, produced these Flowers fundamentally changes their status as objects. Never simply copies, Sturtevant’s works could be termed unoriginal originals, creating new meaning by placing old forms into new contexts. In this way, they share a conceptual affinity with contemporary “knock-off” culture, which similarly raids the storehouse of the past, copying and hijacking “original” works to create new ones. CW

After Walker Evans, 1981 Gelatin silver print, 20 x 25 cm

Warhol Flowers, 1990 Silkscreen, acrylic on canvas, 305 x 305 cm





(b. 1976 Angers, France) Aurélien

Froment’s work engages with the processes of memory and learning, often through the use of games, puzzles, and other forms of interactive mediums to address the evocative and associative powers of images. A key influence for Froment is the work of German educator Friedrich Froebel (inventor of the kindergarten) who famously promoted the intersection of learning and play as a pedagogical strategy. In the video Théâtre de poche (2007) a magician conjures an array of disjointed images, which he proceeds to arrange in the air around him, as if on an invisible screen. The work calls to mind the nineteenth century music hall performances of Arthur Lloyd (the subject of another of Froment’s works), who was known as “the human card index” because his act consisted of him producing, as if by magic, whatever document or image an audience member requested from out of his voluminous coat. The arrangement of the images is also reminiscent of art historian and cultural theorist Aby Warburg’s nowlost Mnemosyne Atlas, for which he collected and arranged images from an eclectic range of sources, not according to type or visual style, but as idiosyncratic illustrations of thematic aspects of the work, tracing the influence of classical antiquity on Renaissance art. Though Froment’s image arrangements do not share Warburg’s specific didactic intent, they do share his gregarious approach to the visual, in which disparate images can come together to activate new meanings.

(b. 1956 Yunnan, China) Documentary

Theâtre de poche, 2007 Video, 12:27

filmmaker Wu Wenguang is one of the leading voices in contemporary Chinese cinema, and a strong advocate for a realist approach to the medium. In two early works, Bumming in Beijing (1990) and At Home in the World (1995), Wu documented the daily life and rituals of a down-and-out group of artists newly adrift in the complex social landscape of post-reform China. His handheld camera work, unscripted interview footage, and landscape of bleak, rural poverty set them apart from the kind of documentary films that had been previously made in China. In subsequent projects like Jianghu: Life on the Road (1999), which documented a traveling troupe of itinerant circus performers, Wu pioneered a spontaneous realism of recording things only as they actually happened, often passing the camera off to the subjects and being filmed himself, erasing distinctions between author and subject. In the past two decades, Wu has turned to digital video technology to liberate his work from the expense and labor of cinematic production, a move which has also allowed for a more immediate connection to lived experience and real time. Recently, Wu has pushed these possibilities still farther, with his ongoing Chinese Villagers’ Documentary Project, which put cameras into the hands of regional locals (solicited through local newspaper advertisements) to record and comment on their specific villages. Realizing that non-professionals could provide a perspective that no outsider ever could, Wu spearheaded this project, eventually producing feature-length videos detailing the quotidian realities of rural life. Committed to the most authentic rendering of reality that he can produce through cinema, Wu gathered footage from villages where most people had never even seen video cameras, turning the subjects themselves into filmmakers. BT

China Villagers Documentary Project 1-4, 2006-2007 Videos, 8 hours





Mark Leckey’s videos and performance lectures have marked him as a kind of amateur cultural anthropologist, who remixes popular and subcultural phenomena with artistic tropes and references from “high” culture to create beguiling, idiosyncratic hybrids. One of Leckey’s most sprawling, ambitious works is his performance lecture Cinema in the Round (2007-2008), in which he attempts to explain his experience with images (particularly moving images) that possess a peculiar, evocative tangibility. Over the course of the lecture, Leckey employs an eccentric list of cultural sources including the paintings of Philip Guston, Felix the Cat cartoons, and James Cameron’s blockbuster Titanic (1997) to explore the tendency of certain images to “impose … a sense of their actual weight, density, and volume, of their physical being in the world.” Leckey argues that the images that make up his personalized history share a tendency to “oscillate between image and object” and engage with the viewer on a bodily level, inviting a kind of palpation with the eyes, or a visual touching. As a result, Leckey’s taxonomy presents us with an alternative mode for perceiving images, one that engages with their physicality and urges us not only to look, but also to experience. CW
(b. 1964 Birkenhead, UK)

Lee Friedlander has spent over sixty years documenting the social and physical landscape of America. His numerous bodies of photographic work include portraits of legendary jazz musicians, humorous and spatially complex street photographs, candid, often playful self-portraits, natural landscapes, and idiosyncratic nudes. He is recognized as one of the seminal figures in twentieth century photography, and was included, along with Gary Winogrand and Diane Arbus, in John Szarkowski’s landmark 1967 exhibition New Documents at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2005, his work was the subject of a major touring retrospective that was organized by the Museum of Modern Art.
(b. 1934 Aberdeen, U.S.A.)

Cinema in the Round, 2006-2008 Video, 42:21

Friedlander created the photographs that make up The Little Screens while traveling around the United States in the 1960s. These photographs are haunted by the luminous presence of disembodied faces—some recognizable, some anonymous—as they were broadcast on television screens in empty and often featureless hotel rooms across the country. Characterized by photographer Walker Evans as “deft, witty, spanking little poems of hate” in an article published in Harper’s Bazaar in 1963, the photographs seemed to speak to a particularly American anomie—a sense of alienation provoked by the perception that human relationships were becoming increasingly situated in the virtual space of the screen. CW

Florida, 1963 Gelatin silver print, 35 x 28 cm




(b. 1969 Seoul, South Korea) A

video artist from Seoul, South Korea, Heungsoon Im explores the rifts in Korean culture opened by changing economic and political conditions, often focusing on issues of class conflict and property. Adhering to a style of critical realism informed by documentary practice, he employs video, photography, and urban geographic research to examine flows of capital, architecture, and the lives of the working class, who are increasingly excluded from cultural recognition and social production. In the two-channel video Memento (2003), two sequential narratives unfold on adjacent screens, interwoven by virtue of their parallel characters and activities. The left screen presents a slideshow of old family photographs, depicting the artist and his family in all stages of life. Jangan-dong and Dapsimni, the areas in Seoul where the artist grew up, are set in the backdrops, and their effaced rural past can now only be evoked by these personal souvenirs. On the right screen, a steady, locked-off camera shot documents a trip to a professional photographer’s studio for a formal family portrait. The family members—older now, but familiar from the still images on the left—slowly assemble and act out their roles, while taking directions about how and where to pose from the photographer’s assistant. Memento sets in motion two divergent modes of image production: on one channel, a portrait of the Im family created through the aggregate collection of snapshots, on the other, through the theatrical production of a single image. The capacity of images to convey character, time, and narrative resonates in the small space between the two. BT















Memento, 2003 Video, 15:00









(b. 1927, d. 1984 New York City, U.S.A.) Stan

VanDerBeek was once a major figure of the New York avant-garde, associating with luminaries like Claes Oldenburg, Jim Dine, Robert Morris, Allan Kaprow, and Yvonne Rainer. The subject of a retrospective at Anthology Film Archives in 1977, VanDerBeek worked as an artist-in-residence at NASA and at MIT, and exhibited at major museums and international art events. After his death in 1984 at the age of 57 his work was largely forgotten, but thanks to recent efforts by artists and his family, VanDerBeek is again becoming more widely known. Initially recognized for his experimental animation work, VanDerBeek developed a fascination with technology later in life, becoming one of the first artists to work seriously with computers. This interest in technology, coupled with VanDerBeek’s affinity for the work of Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan, led to the conception of his most ambitious unrealized project, the Movie-Drome (1965). VanDerBeek’s idea was to create an international, networked imagebank—accessible and customizable by the local publics—for the presentation of images and video. Had VanDerBeek’s idea been realized, it would have created a rough prototype of the Internet, but the outlandish expense and attendant technological roadblocks ensured that the project remained a dream. A model Movie-Drome was constructed from material salvaged from an abandoned grain silo, where he staged encompassing multi-media events using film and slide projectors to fill the interior with a rotating collage of images. He later created smaller, moveable versions called “Electric Assemblages,” a version of which is featured in the Biennale. CW

(b. 1931 London, UK) British

painter Bridget Riley was a pioneering figure in the Op-Art movement of the 1960s, which foregrounded pure visual experience within the language of abstraction, and which was heavily influenced by rapidly evolving media technologies and scientific discourse. Riley first came to international acclaim in 1965, in the group exhibition The Responsive Eye, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Three years later, she represented Britain at the Venice Biennale—the first woman ever to do so. Her complex, optically rich patterns—initially painted in black and white—were designed to activate neurological and physiological aspects of vision. Producing oblique geometric shapes in seemingly endless, variable repetitions, Riley’s works can produce sensations of movement or even colors within the static image; sometimes, their overwhelming opticality induces a kind of vertigo. Though composed of purely optical information, without pictorial or representational suggestions, Riley’s canvases can evoke images, sensations, and emotions within the mind of the viewer. Her work has been said to focus on the so-called “mind/body problem”: the tension between mental state and physical sensation in perceptual experience. Throughout her career, she has remained focused and committed to “the splendors to which pure sight alone has the key.” Today, Riley’s idiom of abstraction has found currency with a new generation of artists, who are building on her foundations in exploring the farther reaches of optical and perceptual possibility. BT

Painting with Two Verticals, 2004 Oil on linen, 193 x 264 cm

Found Forms, 1969/2010 16mm film transfers, video projection, slide projection, dimensions variable





(b. 1986 Chiba, Japan) Ataru

Sato’s densely rendered pencil drawings pulse with mutant energy. Strange hybrids of the organic and the inorganic, the real and the fantastical, they seem to be a product of a mind overloaded with images, gestated in and born out of the primordial soup of popular culture. Sato has said of the production of his images: “Like undulating waves, all things in sight approach me and draw back. And I’m lost as to what I scoop up.” But, however random his collection process for his source material, some visual elements return repeatedly, as if they haunt corners of his mind that he is unable to ever fully sweep clean. Images and stylistic tropes from Anime comics and cartoons, a staple of Japanese boyhood, mix with darker, grown up visions of hanged and faceless bodies, tortured lumps of flesh, and sexually predatory succubi (female demons who seduce men while they sleep). Like the strange and symbol-rich dreamscapes of the Surrealists, Sato constructs his drawings by plumbing the depths of the unconscious—both his own, and society’s—and cobbling together the hidden detritus that he dredges up. CW

Thomas Bayrle is best known for his distinctive “superforms,” dizzyingly complex images that appear to be computergenerated, but which Bayrle has drawn, painted, and screen-printed by hand since the early 1960s. Bayrle’s use of complex patterning in his printmaking, photo-collage and design work upsets normal perception, and influenced the German Pop movement after such foundational figures as Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter. Fascinated by the idea of the mass, Bayrle’s early works critiqued Western-style consumerism and exhibited an aesthetic and political affinity for Chinese communism. But over the course of the 1960s, his stance became more ambivalent as he embraced a more nuanced allegorization of the rapid advances of (post-) modernity. Prefiguring the aesthetics of computer imaging, his work can be seen as a visual lodestar for the nascent forms of globalization. Mao (1966) is a kinetic painting on wood (outfitted with an engine) in which party members are slowly transformed into a Maoist star and then into the face of Chairman Mao himself. CW
(b. 1937 Berlin, Germany)

Flower Vase, 2006 Pencil on paper, 108 x 77 cm

Stalin (Red), 1970 Silkscreen print on colored cardboard, 85 x 60 cm





(b. 1928 Tokyo, Japan) Throughout

his long career, Japanese multi-media artist Katsuhiro Yamaguchi has been a fearless adopter and pioneer of media technologies, and a key force in cultivating (popular) aesthetic sensibilities in post-war Japan. In 1951, he co-founded the experimental media production group Jikken Kobo, and began producing complex, optically exploratory films, often suffused with an almost magically real visuality. His Adventure of the Eyes of Mr. R. S., a Test Pilot (1953) is a stark but seductive black and white slide show with voice-over and dramatic, symphonic score. Sequentially gaining visual momentum, the images depict various small glass shapes on a white background, scattering light beams and casting mysterious shadows, creating a miniature world. With shifting perspectives that suggest an aerial view, the camera seems to pan over these small models, producing a whimsical flight over a city of geometric, modernist architecture. In the 1960s, Yamaguchi began to embrace video art and technologically based installations. At the 1968 Venice Biennale, he built a light-based sculpture called Bridge, and in 1969 participated in Electro-Magica, a major international exhibition of new media art at the Sony Building in Tokyo. In 1972, Yamaguchi founded Video Hiroba, an artist collective that was part of a growing scene of video and media practitioners in Japan. Throughout all this experimentation, Yamaguchi retained his core artistic interests in cosmic, poetic visions and radical visual modes. In recent years, he has returned to painting, both as a way to seek a simpler practice and as a more critical response to the role of digital and virtual technology in contemporary life. BT

(b. 1971 Seoul, South Korea) Haegue

Yang’s works consist of delicate, purposeful arrangements of everyday objects and devices—venetian blinds, light bulbs, fans, heaters, air conditioners, electric wires—which envelop the senses and create abstract narratives. Yang’s installation works often form a kind of playground for perceptual experience. A room of Yang’s sculptures might offer such sensations as being caressed by a cooling breeze or the radiating heat of a portable heater, patterns of light filtered through a thicket of entangled venetian blinds or odors wafting through the room from a scent emitter. Since 2006, Yang has created collections of apparatuses and objects that share a certain provisional, fragile quality but which nevertheless manage to maintain cohesion and aesthetic balance. One of these collective groupings, Series of Vulnerable Arrangements—Concern Towards Personal Limits (2008), consists of a series of sculptures assembled out of what appear to be clothing racks or stands for medical equipment that have been festooned with all manner of materials— Mardi Gras beads, Christmas lights, seashells, tinsel, colored electrical cords, light bulbs, and various other detritus. In light of the work’s subtitle, the sculptures take on a curious anthropomorphic cast, becoming, perhaps, proxy representations of different guises that Yang might assume in order to discover the contours of her own limits. Taken as a kind of injunction, this practice of projection might extend to the viewer as well—perhaps they are works that ask us not to expand on our sensory understanding, but to expand on our sense of ourselves through these strange, vulnerable proxies. CW

Series of Vulnerable Arrangements—Concerns Towards Personal Limits, 2009 Installation with 7 light sculptures, dimensions variable

Adventure of the Eyes of Mr. R.S., a Test-Pilot, 1953 Video, 4:55



JIKKEN KOBO/ EXPERIMENTAL WORKSHOP (SHOZO KITADAI, KIYOJI OTSUJI, KATSUHIRO YAMAGUCHI) Jikken Kobo, or the Experimental Workshop, was a Japanese collective of artists, musicians, and writers active from roughly 1951-1958. They were pioneers of electronic music and employed a heterogeneous, inter-disciplinary approach to media, performance, spectacle, and art that synthesized a diverse range of practices. The composers Joji Yuasa and Toru Takemitsu, critic and theorist Shuzo Takiguchi, and media artist Katsuhiro Yamaguchi were among the founding members. The group forms a key node in the story of the postwar avant-garde, having independently arrived at radical cultural practices that were simultaneously being developed by artists at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, and the Independent Group in London.


(b. 1943 Denver, U.S.A. d. 1993 Buffalo, U.S.A.) Paul

Sharits was an experimental filmmaker associated with the Structural film movement in America. An early protégé of the pioneering filmmaker Stan Brakhage, whose handpainted films expressed an interest in film’s materiality, Sharits created film works that used a variety of methods to reflect on the process of filmmaking itself. One of Sharits’s most common filmic techniques was the creation of a stroboscopic effect (also known as a “flicker” effect), achieved through rapid editing and the periodic insertion of single frames of opaque film among the film’s exposed frames. This created a filmic flicker visually reminiscent of the action of the shutter of a motion picture camera. In the 1970s, Sharits began to experiment with large-scale installation works, incorporating strategies from his earlier films. Shutter Interface (1975) employs four film projectors, each connected to a separate sound system, that project overlapping frames of flickering color. The speakers emit a series of tones corresponding to the opaque frames of each film. The result is a frenetic aural and visual experience that verges on sensory overload. As with many of Sharits’s films, the initial cacophony of sound and image resolves, with patience, into a meditative experience. Sharits, in fact, described his works as akin to Buddhist mandalas—elaborate symmetrical images that are used as aids in meditation—that have been extended into the dimension of time. CW

In 1955, the Workshop produced a promotional film for the Japanese bicycle industry called Ginrin (Silver Wheel). Though technically an advocacy film for a mainstream commercial sector, it was the product of a radical visuality: a little boy falls asleep while reading a children’s book about cycling, and the rest of the film is his bizarre, hallucinatory dream of flying bicycles, spinning chrome wheels, floating ballbearings, and kaleidoscopic multiple exposures. The sound track mixes eerie wind chimes, signaling the lone, lost protagonist, with operatic, uplifting scores lifted directly from Hollywood. A spectacular cinematic gesture, Silver Wheel showcases both Japan’s 1950s cultural optimism and the collaborative possibilities between corporate industry and the avant-garde that existed before the visual language of capital had calcified. Seen today, the voice of the artists emerges most clearly: though ostensibly cultural propaganda, it is really a visual treatise on dreaming as a different way to view the world. BT

Ginrin (Silver Wheel), 1955 35mm film transferred to DVD, 11:57

Shutter Interface, 1975 Four 16mm film projections





(b. 1981 San Francisco, U.S.A.) Tauba

Auerbach’s multi-faceted output includes painting, drawing, design, and sculpture. Recuperating and expanding upon the legacies of Op Art, Auerbach explores the interstices among contemporary technology’s competing systems of vision: computer graphics, print production, typography, digitized video, and television broadcasting. Her works find hidden beauty in the artifacts of these processes: textures, creases, dot patterns, low-bit graphics, and static. Through persistent re-workings of letterforms and type designs, she also articulates the shifting meanings between words and word signs. Dense with undulating patterns and colors, Auerbach’s works only sometimes resolve themselves into the clarity of a recognizable form. Her new series of Untitled Fold Paintings—large acrylic paintings of creases and folds—produce optical illusions that activate the process of viewing. The appearance that the canvas is itself folded is often in conflict with a close inspection of the work’s surface. The form is an illusion of changing depths, and what seems to be a patterned repetition often mutates across the face of the work, never repeating itself exactly. Her calculated system of chance occurrences and formal repetitions draws from her wider interests in science and mathematics. Inviting a certain perceptual and phenomenological confusion, Auerbach’s works insist on producing an image within the mind of a participating viewer, where perception and apprehension are the product of an active collaboration. BT

(b. 1979 Hamburg, Germany) Kerstin

Brätsch’s paintings, collages, sculptures, performances, and collaborations all support and interact with each other: paintings can be the backgrounds for performances, collages the products of collaboration, a sculpture the display mechanism for a publication. Creating these interrelationships is key to Brätsch’s practice, which cross-pollinates issues surrounding abstraction, figuration, distribution, and information, while specifically adhering to none of them. Equivocation is employed as strategy: her work is a hedging of bets, a spreading of resources, leaping between media as her ideas demand. The large-scale abstract paintings of Brätsch’s Psychic Series approach the pictorial or descriptive (hair, larvae, TV static, shards of glass) by combining discernible shapes and blended backgrounds, but without imaging anything specific. Inspired by her time in New York and its vast array of professional psychics, these works can be read as portraits of the mediums themselves, or of personages psychically channeled. In certain paintings, faces are nearly discernible, as if in some kind of turmoil: dissolving, collapsing, and appearing from out of nothingness. Others are sheer patterns, fields of color bars creating spatial distinctions. The works give form to the invisible, the absent, the lost: an unverifiable source here finds an indecipherable outlet, not unlike the static of a television receiving no signal. BT

Untitled Fold Painting II, 2009 Acrylic on canvas, 132 x 102 cm

Untitled, from Psychic Series, 2007 Oil on Paper, 180 x 263 cm





(b. 1908, d. 2009 Munich, Germany) Rupprecht

Geiger was an abstract painter and sculptor known for his innovatively shaped canvases and intense fascination with the color red. The only child of the painter Willi Geiger, Rupprecht was originally trained as an architect and practiced his trade at various firms in Germany until the beginning of WWII, when he fought briefly on the Russian front and served as a military painter in the Ukraine. After the war, Geiger moved back to Munich and began making abstract paintings. One year later, he helped to form the group Zen 49, an organization of like-minded painters who practiced Farbfeldmalerei (color field painting), a style whose simplicity and straightforwardness had, they believed, a kinship with Zen meditative practices. During this period, Geiger created monochromatic geometric canvases that broke with the normative rectangular format, taking the form of circles, rhombuses, and other irregular shapes, years before similar innovations were made in the United States. In the 1970s, Geiger began a decades-long engagement with the color red, in all its hues and densities. To make these vibrantly colored works, Geiger would often apply his paint with a spray technique that gave his surfaces a sumptuous depth and consistency. Perhaps the culmination of this work is Rote Trombe (Red Whirlwind, 1985), an installationstyle sculpture that takes the form of a massive funnel of red fabric. When viewed from below, the work presents an all-encompassing field of red, allowing the viewer to meditate on the essence of Geiger’s idiosyncratic visual obsession. CW

(b. 1942, d. 2010, Xi’an, China) The

Chinese artist Guo Fengyi was a healer, shaman, and visionary whose striking, idiosyncratic ink drawings reflect her translation of mystical sensations. Her fantastical pictorial representations of uncannily anthropomorphic characters—divine spirits, magical beings, the structures of cosmic energies, genderspecific physiological systems—are delicately rendered in thousands of finely inked brushstrokes on large sheets of rice paper or cloth. The images are almost channeled through her, effacing the difference between vision and transcription; as she once said, “I draw because I do not know, I draw to know.” In 1987, Guo retired from her industrial chemical job due to illness, and the meditative, physical practice of qi-gong became a method of healing herself. Her drawings derive from Chinese mythology, history, and philosophy, and are made under the trance of her qi-gong healing studies as direct transcriptions of these meditative visions. Though formally untrained in art, her increasingly revelatory visions produced a wide array of drawings, and over the years her work has addressed wider medical issues. In her series of drawings related to the SARS illness, an epidemic that swept through southern China in 20022003, Guo depicts the virus as gruesome, human-animal hybrids that emerge from nothingness. In tall, vertically oriented scrolls, the beasts duplicate themselves in mirrored-reverse from top to bottom, much like the jack or queen in a deck of cards. Guo’s mystical practice lends the images a shamanistic dimension, they are said to have an aspect of fortune telling layered within them, revealing destinies, and encoding aspects of the future. As such, people have turned to these drawings as healing tools, as icons of illness and health, and possible maps from one to the other. BT

Rote Trombe, 1985 Dyed nylon, 400 x 700 cm

Image of Luoshu Book, 1990 Drawing on paper, 124 x 88 cm





Carsten Höller holds a doctorate in biology, and has utilized his science training to create works that explore the nature of human perception and the biochemistry of human emotions. The vast majority of Höller’s works contain an element of viewer participation—artworks as laboratory experiments, with the viewer as test subject. Engaging with Höller’s work might involve wearing specially designed mirrored glasses that turn the world upsidedown (Upside-Down Glasses, 2001), being submerged in a sensory deprivation tank (Psycho-Tank, 1999), sliding down an enormous, spiraling slide (Test Site, 2006), or experiencing close-eyed visual hallucinations as a result of a wall of specially calibrated flashing lights (Light Wall, 2000). Höller’s works challenge viewers to engage with art on a physiological level, and to reflect on human processes of perception and embodiment.
(b. 1961 Brussels, Belgium)

(b. 1984 Buffalo, U.S.A.) While

in the Visual Studies department at SUNY Buffalo, Jacob Kassay was interested in the more experimental, sometimes camera-less realm of photography, as well as the paintings of Ad Reinhardt or Piero Manzoni, whose works seemed to evolve throughout the real-time experience of viewing. Kassay’s silver-plated mirror paintings strike a unique balance between photography, painting, and sculpture. Gessoing and painting his canvases with solid blocks of color or various mediums, Kassay then sends them to undergo a silverplating process, involving several chemical baths and spray-applied layers of silver ions. The resulting metallic sheen is neither clear nor uniform, but rather a mottled, nested set of reflective surfaces, each slightly clouding out the others, reflecting back a ghostly, attenuated image of the beholder. These silver-on-canvas works began as a test process for new paintings that he didn’t like, and Kassay initially plated the canvases he felt were unsuccessful. But when they returned as alchemically changed objects, he began experimenting with different methods of applying the gesso or paint as a way to control the outcome of the plating process. The works still bear the oxidized traces of the chemical process in their scarred, darkened edges, the remnants of locations on the canvas without paint or undercoating. Originally, he thought of them as monochromatic, since they were all sprayed as one whole object, but in fact, their surfaces change and shimmer as they are viewed. In giving back a rough glimpse of the viewer through a process of chemically applied silver onto a pictorial ground, they encode an optical experience derived from photographic logic, but absent of photography itself. BT

In Infrared Room (2006), Höller arranges a series of infrared cameras in a darkened room to record the presence of gallery visitors. These recordings are then projected back into the same space but with a barely perceptible delay. At first, the work appears to be merely an elaborate mirror. Gradually however, the subtle projection lag becomes apparent, and the mediated nature of the reflection becomes unnerving as the delay between action and image creates a disconnected selfimage, a kind of out-of-body experience. The use of infrared cameras— which record a spectrum of light normally outside of the human optical register—heightens this strange sensation, creating a double sense of perceiving what would otherwise remain invisible. CW

Three-fold Delayed Infrared Room, 2004 Infrared cameras, video projectors, dimensions variable

Untitled, 2009 Acrylic and silver deposit on canvas, 127 x 97 cm





(b. 1972 Xuancheng, China) Kan

Xuan’s work is concerned with the nature and possible failures of representation. In the video Object (2003), she filmed various objects being dropped or poured into a container of water. As each material meets the water, Kan whispers to the viewer whether it appears grey, black, or white in the monochrome space of the video (for example, “Coca-Cola is grey”). This cognitive dissonance between the seen and the known, between representation and reality, is precisely the point. Beginning with the particulars of the represented objects, Kan expands this question outwards to speak broadly about the nature of image making itself. Or Everything (2005) can be seen as a rejoinder to the arguments of iconoclasts, who believe that idols or representations of deities and holy figures divert us from the true essence of that which they depict. The video portrays a series of Buddha figures whose likenesses have been made to tremble in the space of the video, seeming thus to exist in a borderline state between presence and absence. This liminal state is key to understanding not only the nature of religious imagery, which is designed to act as an intermediary step between oneself and the true nature of the deity, but also the nature of the image itself: while the image can never be what it represents, it can act as a tool or token that aides in the apprehension of that which exists beyond it. CW

Glenn Brown’s assiduously rendered paintings cut a twisted path through the annals of art history. Using sources as diverse as Picasso, Dali, Fragonard, and Rembrandt, Brown remixes pre-existing works to fit his own brand of mutant classicism. One of Brown’s most frequent sources is the work of German-born British painter Frank Auerbach, whose thickly impastoed, expressionist paintings have become something of an aesthetic touchstone for Brown’s work. While Brown’s paintings roil with gestural energy, what appear to be impassioned brushstrokes and confectionary accretions of paint are the result of a painstaking process of trompe l’oeil; the canvases are in fact flat and slick, like those of an old master painting. As a result, Brown’s paintings can feel as if they are encased in amber, rendering once-living gestures frozen and death-like. Adding to this eerie feeling is the fact that many of Brown’s subjects look sick or even zombified—skin is rendered in putrescent greens and blues, flowers seem blighted by mysterious, malevolent diseases, faces liquefy and congeal into disquieting psychedelic lumps. Half Dr. Frankenstein and half pasticheur, Brown’s paintings reanimate old images and give them a strange new life. CW
(b. 1966 Hexham, UK)

Searched Hard for You and Your Special Ways, 1995 Oil on canvas, 89 x 75cm

Looking looking looking for…, 2001 Video, 2:58





(b. 1903 Fremont, U.S.A.; d. 1990 Cambridge, U.S.A.) In

1931, while completing a doctorate in electrical engineering at MIT, Harold Edgerton developed and perfected the use of stroboscopic light to create ultra highspeed photography. Edgerton soon realized that his photographic technique had potential aesthetic, as well as scientific, interest and began making photographs of everyday phenomena that occur faster than the eye can perceive. Outside scientific circles Edgerton is best known for these images, which began to appear in publications and exhibitions around the world, including Photography 1839-1937, the first photography exhibition ever mounted at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, organized by Beaumont Newhall in 1937. In addition to the accolades Edgerton garnered for his work in highspeed photography, he was also widely recognized for developing scientific and military applications for stroboscopic imaging. Edgerton served in Italy, France, and England during WWII as a technical representative for the US Army Air Force, developing and directing the use of stroboscopic photography in nighttime aerial reconnaissance, an innovation for which he was awarded the Medal of Freedom in 1946. In 1947, along with long-time collaborators Kenneth J. Germeshausen and Herbert E. Grier, Edgerton invented a camera (dubbed the Raptronic) as part of their work with the Atomic Energy Commission. The Raptronic was designed to photograph the rapidly changing states of matter at the beginning of nuclear explosions. At the time, it was the fastest camera in the world, capable of photographing at speeds of up to ten billionths of a second, and rendering the invisible visible. CW

(b. 1901 Winnetka, U.S.A.; d. 1990 Santa Fe, U.S.A.) Eliot

Porter taught himself photography as a teenager, when he began photographing the landscape around his parent’s island summer home in Penobscot Bay, Maine. Porter continued to pursue photography while attending Harvard University, where he worked as a biomedical researcher after earning degrees in chemical engineering and in medicine. In the mid 1930s, Porter’s brother Fairfield Porter—a well-known realist painter working in New York—arranged for Eliot to meet the photographers Ansel Adams and Alfred Stieglitz. After Stieglitz exhibited Porter’s work at his New York gallery, An American Place, Porter left his job at Harvard to focus on his photographic explorations of nature. Porter put his keen technical aptitude to good use by teaching himself elaborate photographic process and techniques, occasionally even inventing new ones. His passionate interest in photographing birds prompted his embrace of color photography in the 1940s, when he became one of the first nature photographers to do so. He taught himself the laborious process of dye-transfer printing, which was better able to represent the colors of the birds’ plumage, and constructed elaborate lighting rigs and scaffolds that allowed him to record the birds in flight with his cumbersome large-format camera. The resulting photographs were unlike any that had come before them: they were both exacting documents of the natural world and beguiling works of art, revealing details invisible to the naked eye. CW

Antique Gun Firing, 1936 Gelatin silver print, 51 x 61 cm

Osprey, Great Spruce Head Island, Maine, 1954 Kodak Dye-transfer print, 51 x 61 cm





Artur Żmijewski’s confrontational video works unflinchingly engage with historical and bodily trauma, often through the creation of scenarios that draw normally hidden suffering or conflict to the surface. Żmijewski is particularly known for his works that deal with the legacy of the Holocaust and some of the daily difficulties facing disabled people, often in ways that evoke complex or seemingly contradictory emotions. For Singing Lesson 2 (2003), Żmijewski arranged for a group of teenagers from a school for the hearing impaired to perform choral selections from Bach in a church in Leipzig, with inevitably dissonant results. Like much of Żmijewski’s work, it is a scenario that is in some ways cruel, an illustration of the brutal reality of what he calls “the impossible remaining impossible.” At the same time, the undeniable pride that can be seen on the faces of the choristers mitigates any impulse towards pity. This tangled emotional scenario, in which one is forced to acknowledge the reality of suffering in a way that evokes empathy but denies refuge in sentimentality, is for Żmijewski more in keeping with the true nature of hardship and suffering.
(b. 1966 Warsaw, Poland)

For the Biennale, Żmijewski has created a new work that involves people living with blindness. He has asked blind volunteers to paint the world as they see it, and to give visual representation to the invisible, or to what is generally thought of as invisible. In the context of the exhibition, which is so much concerned with the way images change our relationship to the world, blindness confronts us with the question of what it is like to live in a world without images. CW

The Portuguese artists João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva have produced a body of 16mm films and installation works that explore existential and philosophic questions with poetry, economy, and humor. Staging short, semi-narrative scenes with intentionally low-tech special effects, the films often revolve around a lone character enacting a simple, repetitive task, which open the work up to fundamental issues of choice, action, and belief. Blunt absurdity is a commonly deployed tactic: in Attempt at Liquid Sculpture (2007), water is poured slowly over a sculptural armature, suggesting an impossible attempt to use it to make a solid form; in The Torch Man (2007) a man appears to hold a flame in his bare hand as he guides viewers through a darkened cave. For the installation Eye Model (2006), an ostrich egg, projected spotlight, wooden table, and glass lens are arranged within a camera obscura, producing a fanciful interpretation of the process of vision. In the dark of the room, the floating orbs, light beam, and cast shadows—recreating the path of light through the retina—suggest a basement planetarium, or a nineteenth century science experiment. Poking at the philosophical implications of vision, the work conflates the vastness of space with the miniature mechanics of the eyeball. Undergirding Gusmão and Paiva’s diverse practice is a mining of the sprawling legacies—even fictional ones—of philosophy, and an exploration of alternate epistemologies and their still-provocative futures. In their films and installations, our lost knowledge systems, despite being outdated by technology, are still filled with the potential for meaning, wonder, and insight. BT
(b. 1979, 1977, Lisbon, Portugal)

Untitled, 2010 Video

Eye Model, 2006 Camera obscura system with table, ostrich eggs, lens, and spotlight, dimensions variable





(b. 1944 Neutitschein, Czechoslovakia) Harun

Farocki began his filmmaking career in Berlin in the 1960s with a series of agit-prop anti-Vietnam War films, which were inspired in part by the critical theories of the Frankfurt School. Later films retained the political concerns of these early works, but eschewed didacticism in favor of a more direct documentary style, reminiscent of cinéma vérité. Many of these later films shifted towards a more general engagement with themes surrounding the increasing saturation of society with media and imaging technologies, and, in particular, how these changes have led to a corresponding increase in social control and dehumanization. In 1990s, Farocki began creating multi-channel immersive video environments designed for exhibition in an art context. In the Biennale, Transmission (2007) concerns sites of pilgrimage, where contact with sculptures and monuments provides healing, luck, or catharsis, while Immersion (2009) concerns an immersive war simulation program designed to help treat veterans of the Iraq War suffering from posttraumatic stress. Though disparate in their subject matter, both works share a concern with the potential healing power of images. At the same time, rather than simply extolling the power of images to heal, Transmission can also be seen as a tragic meditation on our inability to comprehend those forces and events that are larger than ourselves without the aid of mediating objects, while Immersion reflects on the increasingly mediated nature of warfare, which turns even the grisliest images of violence into just another scene in a video game. CW

(b. 1955 Tokyo, Japan) Since

Shinro Ohtake’s first solo show in 1985, his multi-layered works in painting, sculpture, and bookmaking have become an influential presence in Japanese contemporary art. Responding directly to the mass media and contemporary urban life, Ohtake’s works are characterized by their voracious, maximalist accumulations of found materials, which balance the slap-dash and the considered, pairing short bursts of feverish energy with methodically layered imagery. This sense of purposeful chaos also translates into Ohtake’s work in music, where he has created tightly coiled noise rock with his influential band JUKE/19, as well as with his current band Puzzle Punks, which he formed in collaboration with Boredom’s front man Yamataka Eye in 1995. One of the most prominent and consistent facets of Ohtake’s practice has been his ongoing series of Scrapbooks, which he began to make in 1977. Like a traditional scrapbook, these books hold mountainous collections of found materials that Ohtake collages and paints over to create complex, stratified compositions on each of the books’ pages, rendering them into quasi-sculptural objects. However, unlike a traditional scrapbook, his works have no specific diaristic function. Instead, they function more as a series of cultural crystallization points, where Ohtake’s labor transforms the cast-off sweepings of visual culture into heightened versions of themselves. CW

Scrapbook #33, 1983, London/Africa (Kenya), 1983 138 pages, 56 x 22 x 15 cm

Immersion, 2010 2-channel video installation, 20:00





(b. 1924 Seongcheon, Korea) Hanyong

Kim began his photographic career in 1947 at Pictorial Korea, a monthly magazine in Seoul. After the outbreak of the Korean War, Kim fled south to Pusan, South Korea, where he worked as a freelance photojournalist for the Pusan Daily. Kim worked at the paper for a number of years, occasionally as a war correspondent, but he also worked to maintain and expand a small studio of his own. Gradually, Kim built his personal studio into a thriving business, producing all manner of photographs, from advertising images for large clients such as OB and Pilak Dairy Co. Ltd. (for whom he produced Korea’s first color advertisement) to artful nudes, experimental portraits, and landscape views from around the world. For the Biennale, Kim will present a selection of his advertising photographs, but stripped of their advertising copy. Shorn of their intended function, the pictures become heightened versions of themselves: we notice the exaggerated methods of display (product labels clearly legible, faces smiling at the camera, hair and makeup always perfect) and the artifice of staging and lighting. These elements combine to transform his models into blank, ideal versions of themselves. The photographs lay bare the grammar of advertising photography, in which the uniqueness of the individual is downplayed in favor of generic expressions of delight in the theater of consumption.

(b. 1972 Dublin, Ireland) Duncan

Campbell’s films employ a documentarystyle approach, though with a self-reflexive understanding of the impossibility of fully reconstituting history. Blending archival footage with both written and filmic original material, these highly subjective films address aspects of the tumultuous history of Campbell’s native Ireland, specifically the Northern Irish Troubles. In Bernadette (2008), Campbell creates a portrait of the charismatic Bernadette Devlin, who, in 1969, when she was just 21 years old, became the youngest women to ever serve as a member of the British Parliament. Known for her confrontational manner and implacable devotion to justice and independence in Northern Ireland, Devlin quickly became a hero to those devoted to the cause of Nationalism. Campbell’s film provides an impressionistic portrait of Devlin’s unlikely political career, weaving together footage that shows her both as an impassioned leader and a media celebrity. But this documentary-style collage of archival material gives way at the end of the film to a fragmentary meditation on the nature of Devlin’s dual life as an individual and an icon of Nationalist resistance. As her monologue begins, an interviewer asks, “You say you worked against the image—who was the real Bernadette?” Devlin gives a succinct reply, saying that she was just another young person growing up under a system of injustice in which she didn’t want to grow old, but as the subsequent monologue unravels, it becomes clear that the reality is far from simple—once one becomes an image, it is hard to remember what the real really was. CW

Untitled, n.d. C-print, dimensions variable

Bernadette, 2008 Video, 37:10





(b. 1974 Ba Ria, Vietnam) Danh

Vo’s work investigates history through its trace remains, and his installations often rely on the bundled gravity of seemingly minor objects, which enunciate their full meaning within Vo’s spare constructions of relationship and syntax. Trinkets are rescued from obscurity; the web of the world’s conflicts and cultural legacies are made palpable through their tiny presence. Vo, a Vietnamese refugee who grew up in Denmark, has produced an array of projects exploring the peripheral, often personal legacies of the Vietnam War and the long historical trajectories that frame it. Vo is a selector, arranger, and conductor of an orchestra of found objects: the poetics in his projects emerge from their collective voice and intertwined resonance. Vo’s seemingly simple, sentimental conceptualism transforms everyday objects into vessels of extraordinary weight and meaning through the subtlest possible gesture, a strategy he shares with Felix Gonzalez-Torres, whose work Vo admires and about whom he has written. In the Biennale, a found Civil War flag (deaccessioned from a Massachusetts Historical Society), a paper dress emblazoned with logos from Richard Nixon’s 1968 presidential campaign, and a brightly colored, wall-mounted animal mask all trace different uses of the red/white/blue color motif in American political propaganda. Setting these objects into relief are two makeshift grave markers for Vo’s grandparents, white crosses with English spellings of their Vietnamese names. Signifiers of the West’s long history of religious imperialism in South East Asia, though also authentic family relics, these two ready-mades set off an array of connections in relation to the Nixon paper dress, which was produced against the background of America’s escalating war in Vietnam. BT

(b. 1941 Dusseldorf, Germany) Hans-Peter

Feldmann first began archiving and recontextualizing images appropriated from the vast storehouses of visual culture as part of his artistic practice in the 1960s. Feldmann playfully corrals images from magazines, catalogs, books and other printed matter into seemingly arbitrary categories, delimited in the works’ wry, deadpan titles: All The Clothes of a Woman (1973-2002), Legs (2008), Flower Pictures (2006), One Pound Strawberries (2004), Pictures of Car Radios Taken While Good Music Was Playing (2004). These collections have been exhibited as multiples, in the form of books, postcards, and posters as well as in grids or loose clusters on the wall. Feldmann’s 9/12 Front Page (2001) is a room-sized collection of the front pages of international newspapers from the day after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York. The newspapers take a range of approaches to the tragedy, with sober headlines like “US Attacked” (The New York Times) and “The New War” (Le Figaro), declarations of doom as in “Apocalypse” (The Daily Mail), or expressions of fragile hope, as in “Still Alive” (The Evening Standard). The layout of the pages also varies widely, from the full-page image on the cover of The Times, to the small thumbnail on the cover of Mundo. The images, however, are oddly consistent: the instantly iconic pictures of the South Tower erupting in flames and of the towers crumbling to the ground in a cloud of dust. Feldmann’s work can thus be seen as a meditation on the representation of history through images—how certain images can become instant icons or immaterial monuments, and how such images can in turn transform our perception of historic events. CW

Untitled, 2010 Civil War era flag, hand-painted with blood stripe, 300 x 200 cm

9/12 Frontpage (detail), 2001 151 newspapers, 60 x 40 cm





(b. 1970 Ploiesti, Romania) Irina

Botea’s video works often engage with Romanian life and history, particularly as they relate to the legacy of Communism and the revolution. In 1989, Romanians revolted against their oppressive Communist government, lead by Nicolae Ceauşescu. Over the course of the weeklong revolution, violent riots culminated in the trial and execution of Ceauşescu and his wife, Elena, by firing squad. Much of the rioting and confrontation occurred in front of television cameras, and the revolution became known around the world as the first to unfold live on television. In Auditions for a Revolution (2006) Botea restages televised scenes of the 1989 Revolution— further lifted from filmmaker Harun Farocki’s 1993 film Videograms of a Revolution—using a group of students in Chicago. The students, who do not speak Romanian, are instructed to recite news announcements and revolutionary slogans phonetically, unaware of their meanings. This gap between what is said and what is understood acts as a structuring metaphor throughout the work, pointing to our necessarily incomplete understanding of mediated events and to the facets of experience that are lost when events are rewritten as historical memory. CW

(b. 1973, East Jerusalem) In

both his writing and his artwork, Seth Price has engaged closely with our relationship to images. Price has focused his efforts on issues surrounding image reception and distribution, especially in relation to the increasing prevalence of digital media. A key aspect of these concerns, thematized in Price’s work, is digital imagery’s lack of any traditional, stable relation to its support—as, for example, a painting would have to the canvas on which it is painted. Unmoored, the digital image becomes a specter that is both absent and present, freely circulating and constantly changing. Untitled (Hostage Video Still) (2008) and the series Addresses (2006) most aptly represent the multifaceted implications of the dematerialized digital image. Both deal with the infamous video of the beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl at the hands of a militant Pakistani group, which was widely circulated on the Internet following Pearl’s execution. Untitled (Hostage Video Still) features a digitally altered frame from the video that shows one of Pearl’s captors holding his freshly severed head aloft, while the Addresses series is a collection of screen prints made from images of Caravaggio’s David with the Head of Goliath (c.1609-1610) downloaded from the internet. Both are icons of violence, which seem strangely reminiscent of one another. Though the video execution recalls the Caravaggio image, strangely, the Caravaggio image seems also to recall the video of Pearl’s future beheading. Characteristically contemporary, these disembodied images, when digitized and filtered through the Internet, become part of the same code—they have lost their spatial and temporal bearings and are now merely part of the broader field of the visual. CW

Auditions for a Revolution, 2006 Video, 24:00

Hostage Video Still, 2006 Sign ink on polyester film, dimensions variable
























ZHAO SHUTONG, WANG GUANYI AND THE RENT COLLECTION COURTYARD COLLECTIVE In 1965, a group of students and teachers at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in Chongqing were commissioned by the provincial government of Sichuan to create a series of 114 life-sized sculptures depicting the exploitation of the peasant farmers at the hands of a wealthy landowner, Liu Wen-tsai. The sculptures were to be installed in the courtyard of Liu’s former manor house, which was converted into a museum of class struggle following the creation of the People’s Republic of China. Originally rendered in humble materials such as wood, clay, and straw, the sculptures were arranged in a series of narrative tableaux in which the exploitation and suffering of the rural population culminate in a scene of uprising and revolt.
(Collective at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chongqing, Sichuan Province, China)

(Kang Sun-Ho, Kim Yong-Jin, Park Sung-Wan, Jung Da-Un; established 2008) Overplus

Project is comprised of a group of students from Gwangju, South Korea, who create works that comment on the contemporary culture of image surplus. Recently, the members of Overplus have taken to making portraits in public parks around the city of Gwangju. With this action, Overplus contributes yet more images to a culture that has already reached the point of supersaturation—a project consistent with the group’s name, which connotes excess and superfluity. However, Overplus makes it clear that their intentions do not merely lie in gestures toward cultural overload, but are rather aligned with a form of cultural healing. By painting portraits, the members of Overplus hope that they can help the sitters reconnect with their sense of self, a sense that is too often atomized or repressed by the machinations of image culture. For the Biennale, Overplus is offering a free portrait service in the park outside of the main exhibition hall. CW

After its first public exhibition in November 1965, Rent Collection Courtyard drew much praise from the Maoist government, who immediately recognized the work’s persuasive potential. In 1966, at the start of the Cultural Revolution, Rent Collection Courtyard was declared by Mao’s wife Jiang Qing—entrusted with direct control over culture through the Central Committee of the Cultural Revolution—to be a model artwork for the orientation of the visual arts. In subsequent years, the collective produced exhibition copies from more durable materials to be exhibited throughout China, but the 103 figure 19741978 copper-plated fiberglass edition is the only one that survives today. In recent years, contemporary Chinese artists have repeatedly returned to this work of Socialist Realism, which unites traditional Chinese, Soviet, and Western elements. CW

MARK LECKEY (see p32)

The March of the Big White Barbarians, 2005 Video, 7:00

Rent Collection Courtyard, 1974-1978 103 copper-plated fiberglass sculptures, life size





On June 9, 1987 Yonsei University student Lee Han-yeol Lee (1966-1987) was struck in the head by a police tear gas canister while attending a pro-democracy rally in Seoul, and later died from his injuries. Lee’s death quickly became a rallying point for members of the democracy movement, and his funeral drew crowds estimated in the millions. One of the major focal points of Lee’s funeral was a large memorial portrait of the fallen activist painted by the artist and fellow democracy-fighter Byungsoo Choi. A truck displaying the portrait followed the mourners on their route from Seoul to Gwangju, where the young man was born. After the funeral, Choi’s painting was publically displayed at Yonsei University as a memorial, but it was quickly attacked and destroyed by Seoul police forces, which sought to downplay Lee’s death. Choi painted an identical portrait to replace the one that had been destroyed, but soon after it was replaced, this second portrait was slashed with knives, an act of vandalism that many also attributed to the police. The slashed painting was eventually repaired, and is on view in the Biennale, affixed to a truck in the same manner as during Lee’s funeral. Over the course of its two iterations, Choi’s image has acted as both a social crystallization point and as an icon, as a focal point for throngs of mourners and as a cipher for the democratization movement as a whole. It thus became a target of aggression by those who fear the power of images. CW
(b. 1960 Seoul, South Korea)

(b. 1967 Beirut, Lebanon) Rabih

Mroué’s work in theater, performance, and video is concerned with the political and sectarian conflicts in his native Lebanon, particularly as they were enacted during the Lebanese civil war (1975-1990). His video On Three Posters (2004) is a reexamination of a controversial earlier performance work, Three Posters (2000), which Mroué executed in collaboration with novelist and playwright Elias Khoury. This earlier work was an examination of three separate takes of a video made of Jamal Sati, a fighter in the military wing of the Lebanese Communist Party (LCP), in which he announces his future martyrdom in a suicide bombing that he will conduct against Israeli occupying forces in Southern Lebanon. Unearthed in 1999, fourteen years after Sati carried out his mission and the final edit of the tapes aired on Lebanese television, the uncut rehearsal tapes show his subtle mistakes, corrections, and adjustments of tone, diction, and wording. In the original performance, Mroué screened these three unedited tapes, bookended by three similar martyrdom announcements performed by Mroué himself, which were broadcast to the audience via live television feed, and a prerecorded interview with Elias Attallah, a leading figure in the LCP who was responsible for Sati’s mission. In Mroué’s reexamination of his earlier performance, he investigates the manner in which Sati’s videos blur the boundary between representation and reality, life and death, as well as the way in which his actions, and the actions of the LCP as a whole, have been recontextualized in light of the failure of the Left in Lebanon and Palestine and the adoption of their tactics by radical Islamists. CW

Portrait of Han-yeol Lee, 1987 Drawings, paintings, and truck, dimensions variable

On Three Posters, 2004 Video, 18:00





(b. 1898 Paris, France; d. 1964 Châtenay-Malabry, France) Jean

Fautrier’s near-abstract paintings of nudes, animal carcasses, and landscapes evoke a world of darkness and violence. His Hostages paintings (Les Otages) refer specifically to the Nazi atrocities of World War II—when Fautrier is reputed to have overheard the cries of people tortured and executed by the Nazis from his studio on the outskirts of Paris—but are also intended as universal representations of the victims of war. Born in Paris in 1898, Fautrier spent his formative years in London where he studied at the Royal Academy. After serving in the French army for three years (1917-1920), Fautrier began his career as a painter. His oeuvre has been difficult to classify because he often worked in isolation from the major schools of painting, but his distress over the outbreak of WWII pushed his painting style in a darker and more aggressive direction. In the 1940s, Fautrier invented a new process of painting, replacing traditional oil paint with a haute pâte (high paste) technique, which involved applying a thick handmade plaster or impasto to paper mounted on canvas, as in the Hostages series. Exhibited for the first time in 1945, directly after the war’s end, the twisted and pockmarked sculptural busts and torturously rendered canvases of disembodied heads of the Hostages were immediately recognized for their importance as both a deeply personal attempt to come to grips with atrocity and as a form of public memorial and testimony. CW

Thomas Hirschhorn is best known for his sprawling installations and provisional structures, which he constructs using a signature repertoire of such quotidian materials as packing tape, fluorescent lights, cardboard, and mannequin parts. Bracingly raw and confrontational, his works often incorporate violent images of the ravages of war—exploded bodies, severed heads, charred and mangled remains—that are largely kept from the public eye. Embedded Fetish (2006) is one such work, for which Hirschhorn has gathered a series of graphic images of the victims of suicide bombings and paired them with a collection of mannequin heads bristling with screws. Given the context, the tortured heads immediately recall the grisly wounds inflicted by bomb shrapnel, especially since bombs used in suicide attacks and in IEDs (improvised explosive devices) are often packed with ball bearings, nails, and screws. At the same time, the heads also recall Kongolese nail fetishes—magically charged wooden sculptures into which nails were driven in order to cure or ward off evil. As such, Hirschhorn’s piece takes on a double meaning: it is simultaneously a collection of sorrows, a memorial to bodies shattered by conflict, and a grouping of modern-day idols that attempt, perhaps in vain, to ward off further violence and salve the wounds of war. CW
(b. 1957 Bern, Switzerland)

Embedded Fetish, 2006 Wood, adhesive tape, screws, nails, printed matter, painted mannequin heads, 420 x 875 x 40 cm

Otage, 1943 Mixed media, 46 x 38 cm





(Edited by Hans Aarsman, Claudie de Cleen, Julian Germain, Erik Kessels, Hans van der Meer,

(b. 1966 Munich, Germany) Hito

Useful Photography, a periodic publication put out by the KesselsKramer publishing initiative, collects and recontextualizes images sourced from a wide variety of corners of the contemporary image culture, both obscure and commonplace. Issues have included a collection of images taken from online auction websites (#002), photographs of missing persons taken from the archives of the National Missing Persons Helpline (#003), and a collection of images from photographic training manuals that show fledgling photographers’ common photographic “mistakes” (#009). Each of these idiosyncratic typologies asks us to look at images that we might otherwise overlook, or see as merely utilitarian, and view them in a new light, not merely as curiosities of visual culture, but as a vital and unexplored facet of it.
Photographs by Ad van Denderen)

For the fourth issue, the editors of Useful Photography collected images taken by Dutch photojournalist Ad van Denderen of posters made by Palestinian activists in the West Bank. The posters contain portraits of the dead—suicide bombers, militants, Intifada fighters, and bystanders killed in the conflict. They act as memorials and serve to glorify the dead, fuelling the anger and furthering the Palestinian cause. This iconography, unlike traditional forms of martyr imagery, fulfills its purpose though its startling plentitude. Pasted on buildings and walls in public spaces, and remaining only until they are covered over or ripped down, the posters shed light on a new form of the iconography of martyrdom, one that is cheap, distributable, and relatively immediate. CW

Steyerl’s film works focus on the use and circulation of images, particularly the blurring of boundaries between truth and fiction. Within the hall of mirrors of contemporary image culture, Steyerl points out that the fictional image has just as much power to shape the real as the real image has to shape the fictional. November (2004) creates a complex portrait of Steyerl’s childhood friend, Andrea Wolf, who, as an adult, was executed by the Turkish government for her supposedly terroristic activities as a member of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party). At the beginning of the video, Steyerl presents a series of fight scenes taken from an unfinished film starring herself and Andrea, which they made together as teenagers. This early film shows the duo adopting the poses of radical feminist outlaws, which they had cobbled together from Russ Meyer-style exploitation movies and martial arts films. Later, the poses would translate into Andrea’s real life, as she became a martial arts-trained militant in Turkey—a fiction that became reality. After Andrea’s death, yet another layer of ambiguity is added to the protean picture of Steyerl’s lost friend: believed to have been unjustly murdered, Andrea becomes a martyr for the PKK cause, her image gracing placards at protests and rallies across the globe. With this transformation, Andrea has completed a strange cycle, from image to reality and back again. As Steyerl observes: “First we picked up and processed traveling images, global icons of resistance. Then Andrea became herself a traveling image, wandering over the globe. An image passed on from hand to hand, copied and reproduced by printing presses, video recorders and the Internet.” CW

Useful Photography #004, 2004 Photographs by Ad van Denderen Inkjet prints, 45 x 60 cm each

November, 2004 Video, 25:00





(b. 1956 Essen, Germany) By

enlarging, replicating, arranging, and color-coding social objects both sacred and secular, Katharina Fritsch activates their latent psychological resonances, hidden associations, and art-historical trajectories. Her works replicate the familiar in a haunted, unfamiliar way, often using cast polyester resin and solid acrylic colors to mediate or charge our sense of connection to a common form. Fritsch’s contribution to Skulptur Projekte Münster in 1987—a life-size figure of the Virgin Mary, painted a loud shade of bright yellow and erected on a pedestrian street—provoked harsh reactions, and was defaced with graffiti over the course of its installation. St. Katharina and 2nd Photo (Ivy) (2006-2007) depicts the martyred saint with customary symbolism, clutching a group of lilies and wearing a crown of thorns, but painted entirely over in a dense, matte black. Posed in front of a blue silkscreened image of ivy leaves and without a pedestal, the saint stands face to face with the viewer, an unusual position for religious statuary. This juxtaposition produces a host of relationships: between the author and her namesake, the sculpture and the image, the icon and its historical narratives, and the viewer’s direct encounter with a religious figure. By setting up an engagement between viewer and icon at a known, intimate scale, Fritsch allows the humanity embedded in the icon to emerge. At the same time, by shrouding the figure completely in black, St. Katharina regains an air of mystery, further complicating the work’s internal tensions between human, icon, and living image. BT

(b. 1973 Kivol Rog, Ukraine) Sergey

Zarva’s work melds the traditions of Social Realism and expressionism to examine the legacy of Communist rule in Russia. Zarva often creates his works by painting over documents from the Soviet Era, transforming them into deformed versions of their former selves. Zarva first employed this strategy using a collection of his own family’s photographs, which he altered to create a mutant family album that evoked life in the Soviet Union, and the oftenobscured pathologies of familial relationships. For his next series of overpainted works, Zarva turned to a collection of mid-twentieth century covers of the illustrated magazine Ogoniok, one of the oldest weekly magazines in Russia. In Zarva’s hands, the cover photographs of the much-beloved magazine are distorted into expressionistic grotesqueries—the faces of politicians and peasants alike are molded through Zarva’s overpainting to become twisted, bruised, and vaguely simian. Thus transformed, the covers of Ogoniok—once a banal and reassuring presence in Soviet life—evoke a dark fantasy world. Like Zarva’s work with his family’s photographs, this series strives to summon the realities of life under Soviet rule that were glossed over in Ogoniok’s pleasant photographic platitudes, and to hint, perhaps, at the ugly realities of the human soul. CW

St. Katharina and 2nd Photo (Ivy), 2006-2007 Polyester, acrylic, and oil-based ink and acrylic on plastic panel Sculpture: 168 x 38 x 33 cm, Silkscreen: 280 x 400 cm

Ogonyok, 2001 Mixed media on paper, 34 x 24 cm each





(b. 1930 Leominster, U.S.A.) Paul

Fusco first gained experience as a photographer while serving in the United States Army Signal Corps in Korea from 1951-1953. After the war, Fusco studied photojournalism at Ohio University, and then moved to New York where he was hired as a staff photographer for LOOK magazine. During his time at LOOK, he traveled widely for photographic assignments at home and abroad, photographing to raise awareness of the lives of the people he documented, from impoverished coal miners in Kentucky, rural life in the American south, to people living in countries along the length of the “Iron Curtain.” He joined Magnum Photos in 1973. In 1968, LOOK sent Fusco on assignment to cover the funeral of Robert F. Kennedy after he was assassinated. Fusco covered every aspect of the funeral, from the requiem mass at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York to Kennedy’s eventual burial in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. But Fusco made his most iconic photographs during the train ride that ferried Kennedy’s body from New York to Virginia and provided thousands of Americans along the train’s route with an impromptu venue to express their grief. Taken from the moving train, Fusco’s photographs capture fleeting glimpses of a public in shock at the loss of yet another public figure in a string of high-profile assassinations that marred the turbulent 1960s, a decade in which the newly pervasive presence of the mass media wielded the power to transform people into icons, making it all the more difficult to accept their untimely, violent deaths. CW

(b. 1938 Buenos Aires, Argentina) The

day after Ernesto “Che” Guevara was executed by Bolivian soldiers commanded by General Rene Barrientos— who Guevara and a group of loyal guerilla fighters had been trying to overthrow—members of the Barrientos government held a press conference to prove Guevara’s death, permitting a small cadre of reporters and photojournalists to view his body. Among those present was photojournalist Freddy Alborta, whose photograph of Guevara’s body would become instantly iconic, published in newspapers and magazines around the world and quickly compared by eminent British art historian John Berger to both Rembrandt’s The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp (1632) and Andrea Mantegna’s Lamentation Over the Dead Christ (ca. 1480). Produced just over thirty years after Guevara’s death, Leandro Katz’s film El Día Que Me Quieras (The Day You’ll Love Me, 1997) is an extended meditation on Alborta’s famous image, as well as a lament for the loss of the revolutionary figure that it depicts. Centered on an interview that Katz conducted with Alborta, the film explores the strange process of making the final image of a legendary figure. Guevara’s fame and the sensitivity with which Alborta photographed his body combined to create a photograph that leads a double life: it is an image that is both an endpoint, in that it depicted the death of a man, and a kind of beginning, in that it adds yet another layer to the image of that man in the public consciousness. Far from being a mere bureaucratic formality, for many Alborta’s photograph became an icon of Guevara’s martyrdom. CW

Untitled, from RFK Funeral Train Rediscovered, 1968 C-print, 46 x 69 cm

El Dia Que Me Quieras (The Day You’ll Love me), 1997 Video, 30:00





(b. 1935 Quincy, U.S.A.) Carl

Andre is a pioneering Minimalist sculptor, known for his gridded, modular arrangements of materials, which often lay flat on the gallery floor. His pared-down works take up industrial materials and processes to create sculptural forms that directly address the body of the viewer, either through their sheer physical presence, or in the manner of symbolic surrogates. Many of his tiled floor pieces are meant for the viewer to walk across, taking this logic a step further by engaging the viewer’s body directly. For War & Rumors of War (2002) Andre has arranged a series of raw timber blocks in a square spiral. The crude wooden blocks become anthropomorphic stand-ins: perhaps they are soldiers, arrayed in recondite formation in defense against some unknown enemy, or steles erected in memory of the dead, as suggested by the ominous title derived from the Biblical passage, Matthew 24:6. A more benevolent reading of Andre’s mysterious arrangement is also possible: a rough mandala or a provisional meditation maze like the one found on the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France, the piece might also be seen as a tool to aid in the contemplation of the horrors of war, with the hopes of avoiding them in the future. CW

(b. 1962 Beijing, China) Gu

Dexin began his artistic career as a painter and became highly regarded among fellow painters even though he was not formally trained. In the 1980s, he became involved with the Chinese avant-garde groups Stars Group and No Name. However, in the mid1980s, Gu abandoned painting in favor of the creation of elaborate installation works that incorporated symbolically charged and nontraditional materials such as plastics, raw meat, bananas, and even pig brains. Gu is notoriously averse to providing explanations of his works, but the dueling themes of artificiality and decay suggest that his primary goal is to mount a critique of contemporary society. Gu’s 2009–05–02 (2009), which takes its title from the opening date of the exhibition for which it was conceived, is a case in point. The work consists of a row of painted panels that encircle the gallery, written in blood-red paint the Chinese characters exclaim, “WE KILLED HUMANS WE KILLED MEN WE KILLED WOMEN WE KILLED THE OLD WE KILLED THE KIDS WE ATE HUMANS WE ATE HUMAN HEARTS. WE BEAT PEOPLE UNTIL THEY TURNED BLIND. WE SMASHED PEOPLE’S FACES.” The aggressive brutality of the text suggests a sense of societal dissimulation that is only hinted at in his earlier works, implying that violence, brutality, and death lurk behind society’s pleasant façade. 2009–05–02 is the last work of Gu’s career; in what can be read as a gesture of quiet protest, Gu has consciously withdrawn from the art world and ceased making art, refusing to add new images to a world already filled with them. CW

War & Rumors of War, 2002 90 Australian hardwood timbers, 90 x 379 x 350 cm overall

2009-05-02, 2009 Wooden panels, red lacquer, dimensions variable





(1975-1979) From

1975 to 1979, over fourteen thousand people were tortured and executed by the Khmer Rouge in and around a former high school in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, which was converted into a detention center and renamed Tuol Sleng Prison soon after the end of the 1975 civil war. Entrance to the prison, which was known primarily by the code name S-21, for Security Prison 21, was effectively a death sentence—of the thousands who passed through its doors, only twelve inmates are known to have survived. Before their execution, each prisoner was forced to confess to a litany of imagined offences against the Khmer Rouge—often extracted by means of torture—in order to legitimate their punishment in the eyes of the regime’s bureaucracy. Prisoners were also forced to implicate friends, family, and co-workers, who would then be rounded up and subjected to similar interrogation. Upon admission to Tuol Sleng Prison, the prisoners were photographed for the Khmer Rouge’s records by sixteen year-old Nhem Ein, the prison’s “photographer in chief.” When the Vietnamese army liberated the prison in 1979, they discovered over six thousand negatives, most of which depicted the incoming prisoners posed, mug shot-style, against a white background with numbers pinned to their clothes. In 1994, American photojournalists Doug Niven and Chris Riley selected approximately one hundred of the negatives for publication in the book The Killing Fields (1996). Their efforts brought wide attention to the photographs, a small selection of which were subsequently presented at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The ethical complexity of these images makes such presentations difficult as some critics object to their inclusion in art exhibitions. The concern that such images will be viewed as art and that their historical context will be obscured is largely misplaced: although they are documents of the Khmer Rouge’s brutal campaign of genocide, the images radiate a potent sense of their subjects’ suffering in the face of unspeakable injustice. In spite of their original purpose, these images stand as testimony to the lives and the deaths of these prisoners, and have become poignant, though inadvertent, memorials. CW

(b. 1926 Nuremberg, Germany) Born

into a Polish-Jewish family in Nuremberg, Germany, Gustav Metzger was taken to Britain in the late 1930s under the auspices of the Refugee Children’s Movement (Kindertransport), a rescue effort undertaken by the British government to extricate thousands of predominantly Jewish children from Germany and Germanoccupied territories on the eve of WWII. Both of Metzger’s parents and a number of his relatives perished during the war, and since that time Metzger has lived in exile in London, where he has worked as both an activist and a producer of politically incendiary artworks. Metzger was also the founder of the loosely organized Auto-Destructive Art movement, whose first symposium in 1966 counted artists Jonathan Latham, Yoko Ono, and Hermann Nitsch among its participants. For his ongoing series Historic Photographs (1994- ), Metzger creates enlargements of images related to various historical traumas, to which he adds sculptural elements that force the viewer to engage physically with the images. For example, To Crawl Into—Anschluss, Vienna, March 1938 (1996) consists of a monumental enlargement of a photograph of Austrian Jews being forced to scrub down a city street in front of a crowd of jeering onlookers, which Metzger has laid on the floor and covered with a tarp. In order to see the image, the viewer must crawl under the tarp, and directly across the surface of the image, as though one of the condemned street-scrubbers, or on a penitent pilgrimage. CW

Historic Photographs: No. 1: Liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto, April 19-28 1943, 1995/2009 Photograph mounted on Foamex board and rubble, 150 x 211 cm

Unidentified Prisoners, S-21 Prison, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 1975-79





(b. 1965 Beijing, China) An

independent filmmaker living and working in Beijing, Liu Wei graduated from the China Central Academy of Drama in 1992 and completed his studies in Philosophy at Beijing University in 1995. One of Liu’s key concerns is the tension between the politicization of cultural memory and the tangible sensations of personal experience, particularly in today’s rapidly changing China. Two recent video projects, both dealing with the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising, have addressed the collapse of public memory in the face of state power. In A Day to Remember, the artist approached people in Tiananmen Square and at Beijing University on June 4th, 2005, asking them if they knew what day it was. It was the anniversary of the incident, but everyone he spoke to either gave evasive answers or declined to comment. In Unforgettable Memory (2009), Liu again adopted the tactic of the documentary film interview, this time showing people a copy of the iconic photograph of the man standing in front of a line of army tanks in Tiananmen Square on June 5, 1989. Again, Liu is met with resistance: no one wants to talk with him, either because they refuse to discuss taboo political topics or because censorship in China has erased this image from history. Liu finds a lacuna in the public consciousness, one that doesn’t comport with archival documents, images, personal histories, and graves of the victims. A muted critique of officially enforced history, the work ruefully admits that no resolution is possible: “People’s memory turns into a vacuum. The bygones are twisted into a blurred picture: true memory is gone, illusion remains.” BT

(Se-Ra Park, JI-Yeon Yi, Jin-A Cha, b. 1984, 1983, 1983 Seoul, South Korea) Eye

Glass Shop is a South Korean artists’ collective whose members—Se-Ra Park, Yi-Ji Yeon, and Jin-A Cha—create collaborative works that attempt to both fuse and juxtapose their distinct points of view. Their practice begins with a set of constraints, rules, or instructions that are formulated collectively, but which are then executed by each artist individually. As a result, each of their projects is composed of three unique vantage points on the same overarching endeavor—like a story retold by three different participants in the same event, the plot stays the same, but the details often vary widely. For the Biennale, Eye Glass Shop has been commissioned to expand on a previous project in which each member of the group created diaristic lists of the events of their lives for a period of one week. For this new work, the overall strategy remains the same—each artist has set out to create a portrait of her life through the accumulation of singular events, actions, and details. However, the timeframe for the project has been greatly enlarged. The artists of Eye Glass Shop have created an eight-month portrait of the year-to-date, from January 1, 2010 until just before the opening of the Biennale. Recalling the sprawling, obsessive works of Hanne Darboven, Eye Glass Shop’s chronicles straddle the line between writing and drawing, detailing the warp and weft of three separate lives caught in freeze frame. CW

Unforgettable Memory, 2009 Video, 12:45

No Date, No Data, 2010 729 notebook pages, 30 x 21 cm























KAN XUAN (see p50)


(b. 1945 Basel, Switzerland) Jean-Frédéric

Or Everything, 2005 Video

Schnyder works in a wide variety of media—painting, sculpture, woven tapestry, drawing, photography—to create artworks that engage with banality, kitsch, and the everyday using styles borrowed from outsider and folk art practice, as well as the decorative arts traditions of his native Switzerland. Schnyder often creates work in large thematic groupings, adding weight to the otherwise banal subject matter though the insistence of repetition. In the past, Schnyder has created series’ comprised of baby carriages made out of walnuts (Little Baby Carriages, 2004-2005), dancing mice (Thirteen Dancing Mice, 1978), ninety paintings of the interiors of train station waiting rooms (Waiting Rooms, 1988-1990), more than one thousand photographs of two relatively featureless Swiss streets (Baarerstrasse/ Zugerstrasse, 1999-2000), among many others. Schnyder’s 1987 self-portrait, Stigma, is a kind of folk art reimagining of Albrecht Dürer’s much earlier Self-portrait (1500), in which he depicted himself as a Christ-like figure. Here, Schnyder has retained the religious connotations of Dürer’s painting, depicting his hands raised to the viewer as if to expose the (absent) stigmata alluded to in the work’s title, but has imbued it with added comedic pathos. Unlike the young and lordly Dürer, Schnyder appears before us frail, naked, and unidealized, an icon of human fallibility and mortality. CW


Transmission, 2007 Video, 43:00


Hanging Heads #5 (Pink Andrew with Plug/Yellow Rinde, Mouth Closed), 1989 Dental wax, wood, hanging wire, 31 x 15 x 15 cm

Stigma, 1987 Oil on canvas, 200 x 150 cm





(b. 1932 Kowon, Korea) Seungtaek

Lee’s sculptures and environmental interventions take their inspiration from elemental natural forces, as well as libidinal drives and bodily processes. Much of his work in environmental intervention, which shares a kinship with both American Land Art and Korean shamanic traditions, embraces chance and ephemerality in its attempts to form a collaborative partnership with natural phenomena such as fire, water, wind and smoke, each of which Lee has made the subject of a series of works. In addition to these elemental works, Lee has also intervened in the landscape to create massive, painterly abstractions that employ watercolor, moss, and a host of other materials to transform the land into a canvas. In a series of works that he dubs “provocations,” Lee turns the focus of his examinations of the natural away from the landscape and towards the bodies that inhabit it, creating works made out of human hair, and sculptures that sprout giant sexual organs. In the monumental, double self-portrait The Artist To Be Out of Breath (1991), Lee has bound together bales of old clothes into spindly, multilimbed armatures that sprout two massive, scowling heads. These twisted, body-like arrangements are displayed sprawled out on the floor, as if suffering from exhaustion, and are tenuously connected by a length of black and white checked wooden beam, something of a signature for Lee. At first, this tortured array seems suggestive of two warring sides of the artist’s personality that have managed to reach a fragile equilibrium. Lee’s larger output from this period deals in large part with the division of Korea, and the representation of a divided self can be read as an allegory of a state torn apart by war and ideological differences. CW

(b. 1954 Xiamen, China) Having

founded the Xiamen Dada group in the early 1980s, Huang Yong Ping left China for Paris in 1989 to participate in the exhibition Magiciens de la Terre. The Tiananmen Square massacre occurred while Huang was in Europe, where he decided to remain. Originally a painter and performance artist, Huang’s work in recent decades has tended toward epically-scaled sculpture, employing skeletons, wood, sand, and even live animals in elaborate installations that often derive from contemporary political events and ancient Chinese ritual forms. In Huang’s Intestine of the Buddha (2006), a statue of the Buddha sits at the back of the room, characteristically smiling, while a group of five taxidermied vultures tear out and eat his intestines. Simultaneously recalling the mythic trials of Prometheus and the very real destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan by the Taliban in 2001 (which Huang has elsewhere dealt with more explicitly), Intestine of the Buddha is fundamentally iconoclastic: the image of the Buddha is stripped of its enlightenment and made flesh, in effect turning the icon into a magically-real version of what it once signified. But the icon’s newfound humanity is under attack by the stuffed vultures that, in death, have found a second life as the agents of imaginary narrative. BT

Intestine of the Buddha, 2006 Wood, silk and 5 taxidermied vultures, 168 x 400 x 780 cm

Stone Buddha Wearing Ringer Necklace, 1968 Painting on Photograph, 200 cm x 160 cm





(b. 1948 Marburg, Germany) Ydessa

Hendeles has cross-woven the roles of curator and collector, expanding their definitions to include artistic practice in her unique blend of curating and collecting as artwork. Hendeles’s large-scale exhibitions involve a lengthy research process and advance specific, idiosyncratic theses. Staged at the Ydessa Hendeles Art Foundation in Toronto, Canada, these exhibitions feature work from Hendeles’s own collection, and much of the preparatory labor for a given show includes scouting out and purchasing the works to be included. For Partners (The Teddy Bear Project), Hendeles collected, over a period of years, more than 3,000 photographs of teddy bears dating from roughly 1900-1940. These photographs are presented in a floorto-ceiling, two-storey installation designed to evoke a library or archive room. The images are arranged in categories that reflect the peculiar ubiquity of the teddy bear as a symbolic object: children, men and women, soldiers, and elderly people holding teddy bears, people dressed up as teddy bears, or teddy bears in the background of significant social moments. First shown in Toronto in 2002-2003, Partners (The Teddy Bear Project) later traveled to the Haus der Kunst in Munich and the National Gallery of Canada. In 2009, Hendeles finished her PhD dissertation in art history at the University of Amsterdam, framing the critical and curatorial context around Partners (The Teddy Bear Project). Beloved and invested with emotional, familial relationships, and subject to the very real political and historical forces of their time, these teddy bears transcend their status as transitional objects and become totems: images encoding the actual lived experiences of their owners. Living and dying along with them, yet persisting as resonant objects, these bears have become metaphors for the functioning of images themselves. BT

(b. 1962 Hamburg, Germany) For

years, art historian and cultural critic Tom Holert has collected pictures of people carrying pictures, primarily sourced from news media coverage of protests, rallies, and memorial gatherings. As Holert points out, in an era of digitization, these images “may seem archaic in that they emphatically, even fetishistically highlight the objecthood and materiality of visual objects.” Indeed, the people in these pictures seem possessed with an ardor for the singular images they carry in a way that seems antithetical to an image culture based on flow, flux, and ephemerality. As Holert remarks, “In the image carriers, the relationship between bodies and images is so evident as to seem a manifestation of a desire to be seized by the images as one seizes them.” It is easy to understand, and even to empathize with the actions of the bereaved, who clutch images of their loved ones as if they had the power to bring them back from the dead, or, in some cases, hold aloft images of the fatal tragedy itself, as if they were offering to both literally and figuratively bear the weight of the event’s memory. But the image-bearers that populate rallies and protests are more complex entities: our understanding of them is wholly contingent on the functions of the media apparatuses that provide a stage for the expressions of solidarity that they enact under the banner of their carried images. In other words, the images held aloft by protestors may create a sense of visual cohesion between what would otherwise seem to be a hopelessly atomized agglomeration of individuals. CW

Partners (The Teddy Bear Project), 2002

Carrying Pictures, 2010 Video, 11:03





(b. 1968 Seoul, South Korea) YangAh

Ham’s video Adjective Life—Out of Frame (2007) shows a group of young people playfully interacting with a bust of a man that has been carved out of chocolate. They caress it, pose with it, lick it, kiss it, scratch it, and eat it. They treat it like a sacred thing—as if it contained the power to heal them, absolve them of blame or sin, or bring them exultation. Like the statue of Saint Peter in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, whose foot pilgrims touch or kiss to gain indulgences from the church, or a Kongolese nail fetish that enacts its power by way of sympathetic magic, Ham’s bust seems to harbor secret powers that speak to a life beyond its material existence. But its material (chocolate) is imbued with significance as well. Sensuous and, above all, sensual, the chocolate from which the bust is carved charges it with an erotic energy that spills over the boundaries of the religious notion of the fetish, and into the psychosexual, Freudian one. Given the multi-faceted suggestiveness of Ham’s bust, it is interesting to note its subject: it is the likeness of an international curator of contemporary art. This detail renders the piece almost parodic, transforming the performers’ actions from those of religious devotees or sexual fetishists into the caricatured actions of artists approaching one of the contemporary idols of the art market. CW

(b. 1899, d. 1977, Garden Valley, U.S.A.) James

Castle was born deaf and mute to a farming family in rural Idaho. Schooled for only five years, Castle never learned to read or write, and communicated with his family through a kind of semi-private rudimentary sign language. Castle’s family was content to allow him to pursue his passion for making art, which he developed at a young age. Having no access to traditional art making materials, Castle began drawing on scraps of paper using a sharpened stick and ink made by mixing soot from the wood-burning stove with water or spit. He used string to bind hand-made illustrated books and sew together rough figures of people and animals made from salvaged cardboard. As his work progressed, Castle employed linear perspective to create countless drawings that incorporated aspects of his daily life. Many of Castle’s painstakingly rendered scenes contain strange figures—dubbed “friends” by scholars of his work. In addition to his drawings, Castle also made a large number of cardboard “friends,” which resemble dolls or even small idols. Whether effigies of people he encountered or imaginary companions created to stave off the feelings of isolation, Castle undoubtedly found comfort and companionship in these lovingly rendered figures and the world of images he created. CW

Adjective Life—Out of Frame, 2007 Video, 6:50

Untitled, n.d. Mixed media sculptures, dimensions variable





(b. 1932 Detroit, U.S.A.; d. 1997 Cairo, Egypt) James

Lee Byars combined aspects of poetry, Buddhism, and mystical philosophy into a multi-faceted artistic practice. Inspired by an extended stay in Japan from 19581968, and fascinated by the work of Joseph Beuys, Byars produced sculpture, performance, poetry, paper constructions, and installations. He combined the sculptural forms of American Minimalism and the performative public engagement of the Fluxus movement with traditional Japanese concepts of simplicity, ephemerality, and eternality. The philosophical tenets of Zen Buddhism and the rigidly compressed language forms of haikus and koans were his guiding formal examples. A student of philosophy and literature, he also produced public readings of Gertrude Stein texts and sculptures based on the theories of Ludwig Wittgenstein. Byars’s onyx sculptures, The Figure of Question is in the Room, The Figure of the First Totally Interrogative Philosophy, and The Figure of the Spherical Text (1987), reference Wittgenstein’s ideas of analytical philosophy. An homage to Wittgenstein himself, the works continue Byars’s explorations of death and memorial: the raw stones, sliced and marbled like slabs of meat, stand upright like human figures. At the same time, they act as grave-markers or steles—one of the most fundamental sculptural forms—re-embodying and reanimating lost lives. BT

(b. 1889 Cotta, Germany; d. 1987 East Berlin, German Democratic Republic) Hermann

Glöckner was a painter, sculptor, and assemblage artist who created much of his artwork in secret, hidden away from the prying eyes of the various oppressive regimes that held power over his native city of Dresden for most of his career. After fighting in WWI, Glöckner gravitated towards the abstract forms and revolutionary politics of the Russian Constructivists, a prominent aesthetic force in interwar Germany. Glöckner worked in seclusion for most of WWII, until his house was destroyed in the Allied bombing in February of 1945, forcing him to relocate to Loschwitz. After the end of the war, Glöckner continued to work in secret because the government of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) forbade abstract formalist practices and allowed only the state-sanctioned realist art they believed furthered the cause of socialism. Beginning in this period and continuing until his death in 1987, Glöckner focused on creating small sculptural assemblages, constructed from cast-off materials: bits of string, wood scraps, match boxes, a tin pitcher, and other detritus. Humble in both material and size, many of these works were created as maquettes, to be reproduced at a larger scale with more durable materials when freedom of artistic expression was once again allowed in East Germany. Unfortunately, these large-scale works were for the most part never realized, as Glöckner died two years before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Though forbidden to produce the work as he intended, what he left behind are testaments to the persistence of human creativity—an artistic universe that fits on a tabletop. CW

The Figure of the First Totally Interrogative Philosophy, 1987 Onyx, 165 x 60 x 44 cm

Symmetrical Composition, 1977 Montage, pharmaceutical boxes, 7 x 6 x 6 cm





(b. 1969 Wuqiang Hsien, China) When

Liu Zheng began his epic, seven-year project The Chinese in 1997, he set out to create a portrait of his native country that would reflect the tumultuous reality of its rapid modernization. The resulting images fuse the documentary sensibility that Liu perfected during his six-year tenure as a photojournalist for the Workers’ Daily newspaper with a poised artistic sensibility that recalls a wide variety of historical photographic touchstones, ranging from August Sander’s encyclopedic People of the 20th Century to Diane Arbus’s stark portraits of social outliers. By turns touching, acerbic, and disturbing, Liu’s project delves deep into the heart of the contemporary Chinese condition, and shows that it throbs with a fractious vitality. The selection for the Biennale focuses on some of his haunting pictures of wax works, statues, and masked and costumed figures that crop up periodically throughout The Chinese, as ghostly reminders of the country’s often traumatic past. Photographs such as Actors in a Film about the War Against the Japanese (2000) and Waxwork in the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Museum (2000) directly address the scars to the national psyche incurred during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), specifically the 1937 massacre of an estimated 300,000 people in the city of Nanjing. Other works, like Buddha in Cage, Wutai Mountain, Shanxi Province (1998), Yungang Grottoes (2002), and Quianling Tomb Stone Figures (1998) depict mutilated or uprooted statuary and suggest that historical traumas run even deeper, the scars of which are borne out on China’s ancient effigies. CW

(b. 1976 Vienna, Austria) Anna

Artaker studied philosophy and art in Vienna, and her practice explores the relationships between photography, historiography, and representation. In recent projects, she has re-indexed and re-captioned archival imagery to recuperate and highlight the roles women played in twentieth century avant-garde art movements, and made a small textual monument to the list of inventors and software engineers who worked on Adobe Photoshop, the now ubiquitous image-processing software. Her film 48 Heads from the Merkurov Museum (2008) focuses on the work of Soviet sculptor Sergey Merkurov, who originally trained under Auguste Rodin in Paris, but found success in Russia producing monumental public sculptures and death masks of party officials. The Merkurov Museum, in Gyumri, Armenia, holds a collection of these masks, which includes the faces of V. I. Lenin, Sergei Eisenstein, Maxim Gorky, and many Soviet party functionaries, such as Felix Dzerzhinsky, the head of the secret police. Death masks are direct, primal images—indeed, they were first known simply as imago, or images—and have a long cultural history as mementos, official portraits, or religious objects, and have a close connection to funerary sculpture. In the nineteenth century, these wax or plaster casts also played a role in the pseudo-science of phrenology, as people attempted to deduce broad sociological truths from physical traits. Artaker connects these twin histories of usage, filming the state-sanctioned portraits in a manner that highlights their physiognomic traces. Her technique is borrowed from (and homage to) the Austrian filmmaker Kurt Kren’s 1937 film 48 Heads from the SzondiTest, in which the rapid editing of a similar sequence of expressionless portraits of psychiatric test-subjects is used to subvert the test’s loaded meanings. In probing the political, scientific, and historical possibilities of what a face might reveal, Artaker questions the nature of images through the image-making mechanism of cinema itself. BT

Buddha in Cage, Wutai Mountain, Shanxi Province, 1998, from the series The Chinese, 1995-2000 Ultra Giclée print on fine art paper, 46 x 46 cm

48 Heads from the Merkurov Museum, 2008 16mm film, 8:00





(b. 1935 Hwasun, Korea) We

all have an idealized image of a village in countryside. Though each village is, of course, distinct, they are linked by familiar scenes, which give village life its texture: an old man walking on a path between wheat fields; drying persimmons glowing in sunset light; a mother, in simple clothes, holding her swaddled child; a curious boy tentatively poking a beehive with a stick; snow falling on glazed vases. Such visions may be idealized, but they have nonetheless carved a niche for themselves in the cultural mindset, and have become a point of pride among rural people who still adhere to traditional ways of life. Of course, while these well-worn visions of rural life do have a basis in reality, they are far from a complete picture. In Kang Bongkyu’s photographs of village life, we are given a glimpse of a existence populated by shamans, folk entertainers, and stalwart, hardscrabble people who have had the trials of rural existence etched onto their wizened faces. In Kang’s photograph that is included in the Biennale, we see a simple room that shelters a collection of life’s bare necessities: a folded dining table, a few threadbare garments, and a pair of meager sleeping mats. On the wall hangs a collection of photographs, tokens of remembrance depicting absent family members who have either fled their hometown for local metropolises, or have been stolen away by death. The photographs lend Kang’s image a palpable air of melancholy, speaking not only to the inevitably passing of familial relations, but to the fading of traditional ways of life. HS

(b. Bangladesh) Yasmine

Kabir is an independent filmmaker whose films focus on social and economic issues in her native Bangladesh. My Migrant Soul (2000) is a damning indictment of the labor exportation market in Bangladesh, portrayed through the tragic story of Shahjahan Babu, for whom the video is also a kind of memorial. In 1993, like over 244,506 other Bangladeshis, Babu went abroad in search of work so that he could make money to send home to his family. Ferried to Malaysia with the promise of well paying hotel work, Babu quickly realizes that he has fallen victim to a criminal labor trafficking organization. Through anguished audio tapes and letters that Babu sends to his family, we hear that the organization—handsomely paid with his widowed mother’s only savings—has stolen his identification papers and is forcing him and his fellow workers to work backbreaking construction jobs for little or no pay, under constant threat that they will be turned over to the notoriously brutal Malaysian police force for working illegally. Babu’s distraught and impoverished family pleads with his Bangladeshi handlers for his return, only to be met with dismissiveness, brutality, and false promises. Informed that her son is coming home, Babu’s mother keeps vigil at the airport until news of his death reaches her. Babu died in a Malaysian immigrant internment camp after being rounded up in a police sweep, two years after he left home. A portrait of the lives of a family caught up in the nefarious forces of globalization, Kabir’s film is heartbreaking, and is made all the more so because the story that she tells is by no means unique. CW

Family, 2007 Gelatin silver print, 120 x 106 cm

My Migrant Soul, 2000 Video, 34:00



(ca. 1890-1940) Kokdu


are small, carved-wood sculptures, mostly dating from the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth century, designed to adorn Korean funeral biers. These highly ornate biers were used to transport the bodies of the deceased from their villages to the ancestral burial grounds, which were often located in the mountains. An elaboration of ancient burial practices, kokdu functioned as talismans to aid the passage of the deceased from our world to the next. Though the Kokdu take many forms, including that of birds, plant life, and mythical beasts, they commonly appear as diminutive, doll-like figures that fall into one of four basic typological categories: the guide, who leads the deceased along the route of death and is often rendered so as to appear in motion; the guard, who protects the deceased from evil spirits and takes the shape of an armed, goblin-like creature; the caregiver, who cares for the dead as if they were still alive and which is often a stationary female figure; and the entertainer, who takes the form of a musician, clown, or acrobat, and is designed to ease the sadness elicited by death. Like the biers themselves, the Kokdu were supposed to be burned after the burial ceremony so they could join the deceased in the next world. However, due to the cost and labor expended on the creation of the elaborate biers and their talismanic Kokdu, villagers began to reuse them. Preserved when their original purpose was to be destroyed, the Kokdu can be seen to exist in a permanent state of limbo, frozen in a liminal state between life and death. CW

(b. 1965 Jilin Province, China) Zhang

Enli’s spare, delicate paintings often render isolated domestic objects and empty interiors in ethereal veils of color that lend them a melancholic, haunted air. An almost palpable sense of human absence pervades even the most fragmentary and elliptical of Zhang’s paintings. Container (2005), a bone-colored bathtub seen from above, signals a history of past use, while Trunk (2006) depicts a perspectivally skewed wooden box with a discomfiting funerary air, whose awkward contours suggest the psychologically fraught nature of its potential contents. Even his imploring, fragmented views of trees and hushed still lives suggest the lingering presence of someone no longer present. In Circulez! Il n’y a rien à voir the sense of absence and nostalgia hinted at in other works is brought to the fore. A combination of painting and installation, the work features the shadowy outlines of furniture and objects from Zhang’s former apartment in Shanghai. The title’s declaration, which translates as “Move along! Nothing to see here,” is familiar from countless police procedurals. As a result, Zhang’s shadow apartment takes on the feeling of a crime scene, as if the ghostly outlines delineated not merely furniture or picture frames but the outlines of some past trauma. CW

Circulez! Il n’y a rien à voir (with Moshekwa Langa), 2007 Painting installation

Kokdu, from the collection of Ock Rang Kim Carved wood, paint, dimensions variable





(b. 1925 Alexandria, U.S.A.; d. 1996 Boca Raton, U.S.A.) In

the mid-1960s, sculptor Duane Hanson began producing extraordinarily realistic human figures cast in fiberglass and resin, arranged in politically charged tableaux that came directly from the social upheaval of the times. Back-alley abortions, racial violence by police, and the war in Vietnam were all depicted in eerie, frozen detail. The objects were cast directly from live models, meticulously painted to maintain blemishes and realistically uneven skin patterns, and dressed with clothes bought from secondhand shops. Though grouped with the rising tides of Pop art, Hanson himself professed more admiration for nineteenth century French realism. In the 1970s, Hanson’s cast figures became more peaceful, when, instead of social or political upheaval, Hanson arranged them in scenes of prosaic, middle American consumerism. Moving his subject matter toward generically recognizable American “types” (cheerleaders, tourists, amateur photographers, shop-keepers), Hanson began to place the works themselves openly in the exhibition space, such that they often blended in with the crowd. In Flea-Market Vendor (1990), a large middle-aged woman, dressed for the bright Florida sunshine, sits calmly in the exhibition space on a folding chair, a bright flowerprint handbag at her side. In this disjunct of exhibition space and object, Hanson’s life-sized polychrome bronze sculpture reveals its eeriest self: the piece approaches the aesthetic automata, confusing audiences when it doesn’t move or react to the crowd, and testing the psychic space of our recognition of the real. BT

(b. 1951 Santa Monica, U.S.A.) Matt

Mullican is the center of his own sprawling, diverse artistic cosmology, which, after some four decades of production includes drawings, paintings, performances, and sculptures. In Sleeping Child (1973), a pillow on the gallery floor supports the “head” of a blank wooden board, projecting a ghostly image of innocence scuttled by its own construction. Mullican’s broad artistic research, theoretically focused but physically unwieldy, probes fundamental questions of representation itself: how much is enough, what shapes can it take, and whether or not it is even necessary. Mullican often invents characters and draws them in hypothetical situations: his ongoing Bulletin Boards series collate massive amounts of research, photographs, and peripheral drawings to display a complex flux of scenarios, propositions, conclusions, or consequences. He has also repeatedly performed under hypnosis, as the main character at stake in Mullican’s practice is Mullican himself. Indeed, his name, frequently repainted over the years in propaganda-styled signs, has itself become a semiotic totem. His work is an endless, selfproduced library, but his compulsion to catalog and analyze objects and experiences is so extraordinary that it effectively produces its own form of chaos. BT

Flea Market Vendor, 1990 Polychromed bronze, life size

Untitled (Doll and Dead Man), 1973 Two gelatin silver prints, 25 x 20 cm each





Jeff Koons is known for his wry, affectionate engagement with popular cultural forms. Though he originally worked with appropriated objects and documents culled from everyday life (such as vacuum cleaners, advertisements, and basketballs), in the 1980s Koons began to employ the help of master craftsmen to fabricate increasingly luxurious versions of kitsch objects. Cutesy balloon animals, collectable decorative figurines, topiary sculpture, an inflatable pool toy—often rendered in larger-than-life size—are all crafted under Koons’s careful supervision using the finest materials and the most labor-intensive processes, sometimes over a period of years. The resulting sculptures are sumptuous to the point of perfection, creating a pointed sense of aesthetic dissonance between their references to high and low culture. But for all of their seeming irony, the sculptures exude an undeniable sense of the artist’s love.
(b. 1955 York, U.S.A.)

(b. 1949 Long Island, U.S.A.) Since

These craft heavy works were first shown concurrently at three separate commercial galleries under the exhibition title Banality. Promoted through a series of related ads in major art magazines, Koons was pictured in elaborate tableaux, as if announcing a high-profile international product launch rather than an art exhibition. Among the works was Ushering in Banality (1988), an enlarged decorative figurine of a prize pig being pushed forward by a little boy and accompanied on either side by winged cherubs. It is a cloying image, but one that speaks to a brand of sentimentalism rampant in consumer culture. It can be seen, like most of Koons’s sculptures, as a kind of contemporary Golden Calf, placed upon the altar of one of our most cherished aesthetic positions: banality. CW

the 1970s, Laurie Simmons has produced a large body of photographic work that employs ventriloquist dummies and puppets as surrogate actors in a dense narrative landscape of human emotion. Her early work featured miniature puppets set in domestic interiors, whose aesthetics were culled from popular images of 1950s American suburbia. Recreating cultural mythologies in doll sizes, Simmons set her puppets among pastel walls, checkered floor tiles, and perfect living rooms, subtly implying social and psychic turmoil by employing typologies of stereotypical American characters like grim working fathers and cheery, if vacant, housewives. She repurposed the commercial and artificial aspects of color photography to amplify the imaginary, fictive dreaminess of her sets and puppets. Girl Vent Press Shots (1990), a grid of twenty-five appropriated portraits of female ventriloquists, each with their respective dummies, reveals and foregrounds the backstage workings of Hollywood’s fantasy production machine. Throughout her career, Simmons’s practice has centered around two core themes: the puppet or dummy as a flexible metaphor for lying and truth telling, and the Pygmalion myth, where constructed figures can transcend their form and take on human characteristics and emotions. BT

Ushering in Banality, 1988 Polychromed wood, 99 x 170 x 89 cm

Girl Vent Press Shots/part II (detail), 1989 C-print, 25 x 20 cm





Berlinde De Bruyckere’s sculptures grow out of the sculptural tradition of representations of bodies in fragmented, twisted, or inchoate states, which stretches back from Hans Bellmer’s haunted, tangled dolls and Auguste Rodin’s piecemeal bronzes to Michelangelo’s tortured slaves and the Roman marble of Laocoön and his sons. De Bruyckere’s earliest mature works, made just after she graduated from art school, consisted of evocative arrangements of worn blankets, a material that she began to work with after seeing images of survivors of the Rwandan genocide swaddled in blankets in refugee camps. Soon afterwards, she began to add wax casts of body parts to her melancholy arrangements, transforming them from metaphorically charged memento mori into visceral embodiments of the reality of death. In her most recent work, De Bruyckere has employed wax casting in the creation of twisted, headless figures that seem to be in states of decay or trauma. Many of these figures even sprout branch-like appendages, which prop up their hobbled bodies and threaten to engulf them, victims of some unspeakable, metastasizing blight still undiscovered by science. In addition to these waxen figures, De Bruyckere has made works cast from the bodies of horses and covered in horsehide, cobbled into strange forms that seem mutilated or shot through with pain. Her child-sized sculpture Pascale (20032004) is wax rendering of a hunched, blue-veined female figure engulfed in the tangle of her own hair. This delicate, reticent figure recalls a diminutive Eve, bereft of any means of comfort. CW
(b. 1964 Gent, Belgium)

(b. 1939 Liège, Belgium) Intentionally

avoiding a signature style, the Belgian artist Jacques Charlier has instead cultivated a wide range of artistic activities: painting, sculpture, installation, written text, works on paper, music, film, and performance. Maintaining an artistic identity as a detached observer of the art world’s foibles, Charlier adopts and adapts various meanings and processes, proudly referring to himself as a general wholesaler of Belgian humor. His earliest works, from the 1960s, were commissioned photographs of generic urban scenery, made under official auspices and accompanied by his own text—a move that signaled both his belief in conceptual practices and his irreverent critique of them. In the 1980s, Charlier began a series of installations that tested aesthetic taste by combining extreme ends of divergent art-historical moments. Making large-scale, faux-Cubist or -Futurist paintings, Charlier often set them within sculptural tableaux that suggest strange, fragmented narratives. His installation Tragic Painting (1991), consists of one large abstract painting, a colorful mass of swirling shapes, in front of which is a mannequin dressed in a tuxedo. His bowtie unbuttoned and seeming a bit forlorn, this mannequin holds a packet of confetti strips and a rifle, out of which it appears he has just shot a bundle of paper streamers and plastic decorations. Our host suggests that the party is just now over, his actions frozen in mute relief. BT

Pascale, 2003-2004 Wax, horse hair, epoxy, and wood, 140 x 50 x 45 cm

Peinture Tragique, 1991 Oil on canvas, life-size mannequin, mixed media





(b. 1942 Boston, U.S.A.) Jonathan

Borofsky’s human-scaled I Dreamed I Could Fly (1984-2006) and Chattering Man (1982) are set in relationship to each other in the Biennale. In I Dreamed I Could Fly, a flying man dressed in blue jeans and a T-shirt is suspended from the ceiling, arms outstretched in free-fall and chest mysteriously emblazoned with the number 2887539. Below him is Chattering Man, a simplified, slategrey robot automaton who gazes up in awe while its motorized jaw chatters audibly, left foot etched with the number 2890538. These numeric codes relate to Borofsky’s personal counting system, which he began in the late 1960s while forging his space within the percolating conceptual art movement. The works’ numbers correspond to where, sequentially, Borofsky was when he produced the idea for the work. Throughout the past few decades, Borofsky’s massive sculptures of human figures in the midst of labor or activity have been installed in numerous public spaces, signaling a perpetual sculptural reminder of our collective social self-image. Walking to the Sky (2008), a permanent installation at the Kiturami building in Seoul, South Korea, consists of a vast, tilted pole, pointing upwards, on which a number of life-sized figures in casual, everyday dress appear to be walking, single-file, into the oblivion of heaven. BT

Chattering Man, 1982 Painted wood, aluminum, electric motor, audio system, 213 x 61 x 91 cm

Through a vast multiplicity of forms, Paul McCarthy explores the sublimated grotesque of American culture and mythology. His diverse materials include ketchup, mustard, chocolate, dolls, and sex toys, and are often employed in conjunction with photographs, drawings, sculptures, or installations. McCarthy’s works excavate taboos that undergird vast swaths of popular culture, which he delightedly harvests and shapes into gleeful and obscene installations. He initially began making puppets and using dolls as props for performance works, where they would double for the artist himself—a gesture of personal displacement that has persisted throughout his practice. His work Garden Dead Men (1992-1994), a two-part installation made of latex and foam rubber, shows two men (one of which is a portrait of the artist) lying prostrate on clinical dissection tables, face up and pants down, their genitalia and legs bloodied from their obsessive compulsion to have intercourse with trees. Another of McCarthy’s works, Children’s Anatomical Educational Figure (ca. 1990), is a ready-made children’s toy—a stuffed human model complete with removable internal organs—so in line with his thinking that McCarthy has appropriated it as his own. One of McCarthy’s core gestures, which emerged in his more recent works, is to enlarge everyday objects to spectacular, architectural scale: he has produced outdoor, inflatable sculptures, in the manner of children’s toys, of copulating animals, Santa Claus holding sexual aids, condiment bottles, piles of excrement, and the collapsed head of George W. Bush. McCarthy sets images in motion through a chain of psychological and cultural filters: political and cultural reality generates an impossible psychic image, which is then rendered as the cartoonishly haunted real. BT
(b. 1945 Salt Lake City, U.S.A.)

Children’s Anatomical Educational Figure, ca. 1990 Fabric, wool, found object, 173 x 130 x 117 cm





(b. 1960 New York, U.S.A.) Nayland

Blake’s practice encompasses sculpture, photography, and video work, and revolves around psychically charged themes such as biracial identity, homosexuality, and the physicality of the flesh and body. Using widely varied materials—sticks, leather, furniture, fabric, and sometimes toy bunnies—Blake has produced a unique body of work that shrewdly upends prejudicial social codes and customs, while maintaining a taut, austere sculptural aesthetic. Feeder 2 (1998) was a human-scaled house made of gingerbread on a steel framework, which was slowly eaten by visitors over the course of the exhibition. Gorge (1998), a video that accompanied Feeder 2, showed the artist being steadily fed by another man for an hour. For the assemblage sculpture Magic (1990-1991), Blake purchased a puppet at auction from the estate of Wayland Flowers—a flamboyant television entertainer, puppeteer, and icon of gay American culture—and set it inside an open box, from which it emerges at the top of a collapsing mass of dried flowers. Activating the encoded sensation of animate life that resides within a puppet to gesture toward the life of its author, Magic is equal parts homage and memorial. BT

Marion Laval-Jeantet and Benoît Mangin have been collaborating as Art Orienté Objet since 1991. Through images, sculptures, text, and installations, they reconfigure and reassess the societal overlap between biology, behavior, science, and aesthetics. Their work foregrounds concerns with the environment, animal rights, and social justice, and imports into the museum system a set of social and political critiques. They have produced a miniaturized dollhouse cataloging the horrors of animal experimentation, and explored the experiences of visiting prisoners as a complex gallery installation. For their project Wire-mesh Surrogate Monkey Mother (1991), they recreated a landmark behavioral psychology experiment conducted on rhesus monkeys in the late 1950s by Dr. Harry Harlow, who replaced a mother monkey with an ersatz simulacrum monkey puppet made of cloth and wire-mesh to measure the emotional effects. The results were devastating to the social and mental health of the baby monkeys. Here this scientific faux-mother is recreated, exorcising the taint of the experiment and rehabilitating the image-sign of the mother. The work is displayed along with photographic documentation of the original experiment, charging the distinction between its past life as science and its current life as sculpture. BT
(Established 1991)

Magic, 1990-1991 Mixed media, puppet, 91 x 17 x 23 cm

Wire-mesh Surrogate Monkey Mother, 1990 Mixed media, 48 x 38 x 30 cm





(b. 1935 Osaka, Japan; d. 1990 Tokyo, Japan) Coming

of age in a Japan that was recovering from nuclear attack, and adjusting to a nuclear future, Tetsumi Kudo produced a wide variety of artworks that probed and puzzled over human life and social constructions. Though Kudo initially produced installations and performances, his move to Paris in 1963 spurred a figurative trend in his work, where the body is contorted, dismembered, and mutated into dense installations that tackle fundamental ideas like the cultural collision of nature and technology, while also producing a complex web of psychological associations surrounding control, victimhood, material culture, sexual drive, and societal forms of repression. In Kudo’s sculptures, genitals sprout from a bucket of dirt; a disconnected face feeds itself (with disconnected hands) inside a brightly colored birdcage; a skull is decorated with pastel colored yarn and thread. These works derive from Kudo’s political concerns about postwar Japan: its devastation, exhaustion, and efforts at rebuilding, and its entwined military relationship to the United States. But he also grew to articulate a philosophy of a potential future humanism, one where ecology could accommodate pollution, and give rise to new forms of animal life and social habits. For L’Amour (1964), two chairs support two giant, gelatinous, disembodied heads whose faces and tongues are locked in a luscious, if slightly awkward, kiss. BT

(b. 1933; d. 1988, New York, U.S.A.) The

American artist Paul Thek died in 1988, at the age of 55, leaving behind a complex body of sculpture, installation, painting and drawing that has proved inspirational for subsequent generations of artists. Reacting to the prevailing climate of austere minimalism, Thek sought to insert emotion and flesh back into the sculptural discourse. In an untitled 1966 piece, Thek encased a painted wax model of an ancient warrior’s bloodied leg—clad in a shin-guard and sliced gruesomely above the calf—inside a clear plexiglas vitrine. In another untitled work, from the series Technological Reliquaries (1965), Thek placed a wax sculpture of decomposing human flesh and bone inside a bright yellow plexiglas casing of futuristic, minimalist design. Much as religious reliquaries safeguard the remains or talismans of saints, Thek’s sculptures—though dealing in imaginary lives—cast images within our minds through those same gestures of collection, preservation, and display. Thek’s other major works include a suite of bronze sculptures depicting sections of an outdoor fairytale scene, and an installation of a full-scale, realistically pink-clothed cast of the artist’s own body, entombed within a large, pink ziggurat. Presaging a revived discourse after Minimalism that would be infused with concerns for the pictorial, the human, and the animate, Thek reengaged the possibility for sculpture to propose an image, and used those images to trigger fundamental questions about human life. BT

L’Amour, 1964 Chairs, cotton, plastic, polyester, electrical diagrams, vinyl tubing, hair, painted wood box, audiotape, 99 x 119 x 58 cm

Untitled from the series Technological Reliquaries, 1965 Metal, formica, wax, 99 x 27 x 65 cm





(b. 1927 Fairfield, U.S.A.; d. 1994 Hope, U.S.A./ b. 1943 Los Angeles, U.S.A.) Raised

on a dairy farm in Fairfield, Washington, Ed Kienholz emerged as a West Coast artist in the 1960s with a brusque, muscular style of assemblage, sculpture, and installations. His works were grounded in a hypermasculine sensibility and in Kienholz’s broad range of mechanical skills. His sculptures (from the 1970s onward made in collaboration with his wife, Nancy) combined found materials with cast and painted objects into unruly installations, which traded on multiple aspects of American culture cut loose from their contexts and in tense collision with each other. Untrained in fine arts or art history, Kienholz’s forms derived from his own lexicon of personal citations: farm trucks, military architecture, Los Angeles car culture, Las Vegas kitsch. In some of his earlier works, like John Doe (1959) or The Illegal Operation (1962), human figures had holes ripped open in their bodies and were strapped to baby carriages; and installations of rotting, domestic interiors suggested that flesh would stick to the furniture. Later projects focused on more immersive installations that suggested bleak, discrete narratives of suburban life. The works were often grotesque: pop objects were melted, mutilated, or repurposed, and sculptural human forms were posed in compromised social or sexual positions. Kienholz intuited and stripped bare the ghastly underside of American life. BT

(b. 1941 Denver, U.S.A.) John

De Andrea grew up in Boulder, Colorado and studied painting at the University of New Mexico. Inspired by a boatbuilder’s casting techniques, he began cultivating his signature version of hyper-realist, polychrome sculpture. His remarkable technical skill gives his statuesque sculptures of nude models an extraordinary semblance to reality. Cast from molds of human body parts, cellulite, bumps, and wrinkles are all faithfully reproduced. Though De Andrea’s early works were made of resin and finished with auto-body paint, in recent years he has perfected a subtle, layered application of polychrome paints onto bronze casts, producing a hauntingly lifelike rendering of skin and the sinewy flesh beneath. His works carry the psychic charge of someone who is alive (just holding their positions in a perpetual tableau-vivant), until very close inspection reveals its true nature. But in edging closer and closer to the appearance of the real, De Andrea tests the strangeness of that sensation, highlighting the slippage between being and seeming. BT

Hoverman, 1993 Mixed media, 81 x 30 x 25 cm

Katy, 1991 Vinyl, 132 cm high





(b. 1954 Cleveland, U.S.A.) John

Miller’s provocative body of sculpture engages the question of artistic value, often suggesting a fundamental transference between the cheap and the expensive, the low and the high. Miller has made suites of sculptures made of plastic, everyday objects first glued into freestanding agglomerations and then precisely gold-leafed by hand. An earlier series of paintings and installations, The Price is Right, postulated on the sublime infinities embedded in the visual codes of the television game show (and consumer indoctrination strategy program). For the piece Mannequin Lover (2002), Miller set a generic mannequin in the window of the gallery for the run of the show and had its clothes changed daily by gallery staff, either purchasing new items for it to wear, or soliciting donations. Mannequin Lover questioned the role of the artist and the autonomy of the sculptural object and confused viewers who were unsure whether to look at the clothes or at the object itself. Side-stepping the array of associations usually made with mannequins—their haunted, quasi life-like, often uncanny qualities—Miller locates his usage within a materialist cultural critique: this mannequin acts more like his corporate brethren, showcasing the (perhaps) expensively unattainable, and reminding us of the constant presence of economic transaction. BT

(b. 1946, d. 1986 Busan, South Korea) Oh

Yoon was the leading artist in the Minjung cultural movement (Minjung means “the people”), an activist artistic movement that was intimately involved with the broader democratization movement in South Korea, which formed in response to the 1980 Gwangju Massacre. Oh, who specialized in sculpture and printmaking, founded Reality and Utterance, an artist group that contributed to establishing the theoretical and formal foundation for Minjung art. His work is renowned for its simple, graphic depiction of the prototypical subjects of Minjung culture such as laborers, mothers, dokkebi, farmers, which he rendered in thick, hard-edged lines that he created with a print knife. On exhibition in the Biennale is the death mask of Oh’s father Oh Youngsoo, which the artist made himself soon after his father’s death. Like his son, Oh’s father shared an abiding affection for the plight of the common people, and, like his son, expressed this affection through art, writing novels such as his well-known work The Seashore Village, which earned him a place among Korea’s most eminent modern novelists. HS

Mannequin Lover, 2002 Mannequin, wig, shoes, 190 x 51 x 35 cm

Death mask of Oh Youngsoo, 1979, Plaster, life size





(b. 1902 Kattowitz, Germany; d. 1975, Paris, France) Born

in Kattowitz, in the far reaches of the German empire (now Katowice, Poland), Hans Bellmer began producing his eerie, disturbing doll works in the early 1930s. Weaving together his own obsession with a young girl cousin, nostalgia for childhood toys, and a visit to the opera to see Tales of Hoffmann (in which the protagonist falls in love with an automaton), Bellmer began producing interchangeable, ball-jointed doll sculptures and arranging them in photographic tableaux. By 1934, Bellmer had found a keen audience in the circle of Parisian Surrealists, and his collection of photographs of disembodied doll parts awkwardly propped in a number of disturbing domestic situations was published by André Breton in the Surrealist journal Minotaure. Grotesque and highly sexualized, these doll works were a manifest rejoinder to the Nazi obsessions with physical perfection and Aryan purity, and they resonated with the Surrealists’ interests in automata and the fear and repulsion engendered at the sight of the plastic, nearly human, body. After his wife’s death in 1938, Bellmer settled in Paris, where he spent the rest of his life making sexually charged drawings, paintings, prints, and photographs of young girls. BT

(b. Germany; d. 1951 or 1952, UK) Karl

Schenker became a well-known and successful photographer during the Weimar Republic, working chiefly for the popular Berlin women’s magazines Uhu and Die Dame. He specialized in portraits, images of actors, and fashion photography. From 1913-1923, Schenker kept a studio on the fashionable street Kurfürstendamm in Berlin, and remained in the city until 1938, when he immigrated to London. In these images, taken in 1925, Schenker has meticulously painted and dressed wax mannequins in preparation for use in a fashion spread. Fashion was at the forefront of Weimar culture (in cinema, theater, and media) and—along with the popular idea of the New Woman—was a mechanism for women’s engagement with the public sphere. Clothing displays were so common that the word “mannequin” was interchangeably applied to both these inanimate dummies and to the real women who modeled outfits for individual clients or fashion shows. A modern Pygmalion, Schenker here recreates the classic image of the artist at work with his model, playing on the object’s haunting, human-like presence. Convincingly life-like, Schenker’s mannequins also offer a window onto an earlier moment in image making, when photographic technologies fell short of today’s high-resolution clarity, and so could mask (or produce) confusion between the living and the inanimate. BT

La Poupée, 1934 Gelatin silver print, 9 x 6 cm Ubu Gallery, New York & Galerie Berinson, Berlin

Karl Schenker Working on a Wax Shop Window Mannequin, 1925/2004 Gelatin silver print, 28 x 36 cm





(b. 1903 Hamburg, Germany; d. 1975 Munich, Germany) German

photographer Herbert List has had a profound impact on the postwar visual codes of fashion photography and gay masculinity. His iconic, 1930s black and white images of young men, often taken outdoors, combined an avant-garde visual idiom (starkly modernist compositions, double exposures, and props such as masks and fabric) with an erotically charged imagination. List found work in the late 1930s photographing assignments for Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and Life, but was forced to return to Germany and serve—despite being gay and half-Jewish—in the German campaign in Norway, as a military cartographer. He returned to commercial work after the war, under contract with Magnum, though he focused more on his personal work and took relatively few assignments. His images of wax models undergoing operations—performed with brutal surgical tools by other wax figures—were produced at the end of the war, in 1944. They are disturbing images: a woman seems to undergo some kind of sanctioned torture as her skull is drilled (Trepanation); tear ducts are poked with sharp instruments (Surgery for Squint). Contextualized by their author’s experience during the war and the haunted spirit of their times, these images provoke a visceral response for their seeming abstention from moral and humane behavior, while also conflicting with our core sense of photography’s depiction of the real. BT

(b. 1980 Paris, France) Connecting

threads of land art, monumental sculpture, minimalism, and trespassing, Cyprien Gaillard’s work questions the trajectories of Modernist architecture and the structuring of public space. Through videos, paintings, photography, and sculpture, Gaillard connects the iconography of modernity with Romanticism, provocatively reviving ideas of ruin, collapse, and loss. In the video Desniansky Raion (2007), a public light show heralds the implosion of a public housing block in Meaux, while in the painting series Swiss Ruins (2005), modernist architecture in Switzerland is transplanted into a new, postdiluvian landscape, in the style of the seventeenth century ruinist painters. For the project Dunepark (2009), Gaillard excavated an intact WWII bunker from a hill overlooking the beach in Scheveningen, Germany. Once part of the German Atlantic coastal defense system, the structure was unearthed, opened to the public, and then reburied, simultaneously connecting the town to its history and its current situation of gentrification and real-estate speculation. His new video deals with the relocation of the Nubian Monuments from Abu Simel to Philae in Egypt in the 1960s, to prevent their destruction by the flooding of Lake Nasser, a vast reservoir produced by the Aswan Dam. The ancient rock temples, carved under Ramesses II in the thirteenth century BCE, were disassembled and moved in their entirety to a high hilltop. Reconfiguring archival footage and pushing at the conventions of anthropological films, Gaillard’s work continues his interests in destruction and iconoclasm as symbols of our location in history. BT

Gorilla Kidnaps a Girl, 1944 Gelatin silver print, 22 x 25 cm

Cenotaph to 12 Riverford Road, Pollokshaw, Glasgow 2008, 2008 Recycled concrete and building detritus from demolished housing estate, 400 x 200 x 200 cm





(b. 1976 London, UK) Tino

Sehgal’s practice is inspired by his training in dance and political economy. Executed by rigorously trained interpreters, who Sehgal instructs especially for each exhibition, the works take the form of moving tableaux and interactive “constructed situations,” as Sehgal calls them, during which viewers are asked to enter into structured discussions with his interpreters on a wide range of political and philosophical topics. His works share a common critical tactic of radical dematerialization, which can be seen as both a political and philosophical gesture in its own right. Rejecting both photographic and written documentation—the traditional methods used to preserve performance practice—Sehgal’s works continue for the entire duration of the exhibition. But they exist only in the time and space of the exhibition, thereafter circulating in the cultural sphere only via word of mouth, or secondary written accounts. Thus, Sehgal’s works are unified by a principled refusal to add objects or images to a world already supersaturated with both. Sehgal’s Instead of allowing some things to rise up to your face, dancing bruce and dan and other things (2000) consists of a single dancer, who writhes around on the gallery floor in a slow, stylized manner, seeming to mime the effects of physical or psychic trauma. However, the dancer is in fact reenacting dance-like gestures from early videos by Bruce Nauman and Dan Graham, who are alluded to in the work’s title. As a result, the artwork can be seen as both an homage to these towering artistic figures, and as a kind of exorcism, a ritual that Sehgal has created in order to divest himself of the encumbrances of the past and the great burdens of influence. CW

Maurizo Cattelan is known as an art world court jester, who pokes fun at the foibles of the market and lampoons the traditionally expected roles of the artist. In the 1993 Venice Biennale, Cattelan rented out his allotted space to a perfume company, who put up a large billboard in place of, or perhaps as, his art. His 1996 exhibition in the de Appel Gallery in Amsterdam consisted of the stolen contents of a nearby gallery, repackaged and entitled Another Fucking Readymade. Underlying the playful exterior of Cattelan’s work are darker concerns with death, failure, and despair. Cattelan is also notably concerned with religious imagery, inherited from his Catholic upbringing in Italy. Early on, these concerns were manifested in his controversial work La Nona Ora (The Ninth Hour) (1999), a hyper-realistic sculpture of Pope John Paul II being struck down by a meteorite. A later work, Untitled (2007) consists of a large wooden crate, into which the figure of a woman, apparently crucified to the interior, has been secured as though ready for transit as an artwork. Unlike the traditional icon of the crucified Christ, who faces out towards the faithful as a reminder of his sacrifice, Cattelan’s figure is packed with her back to the viewer, as if hiding or in shame. The protective packaging that girds the figure’s waist and encircles her hands and ankles suggests a tension between her status as spiritual relic and art object—carefully and lovingly stored, whether in a church vault or circulating from exhibition to exhibition. CW
(b. 1960 Padova, Italy)

Untitled, 2008, Silicone resin, clothes, wood, 140 x 140 x 70 cm





(b. 1892; d. 1963, Brittnau, Switzerland) Emma

Kunz’s elaborately detailed geometric drawings were not designed to be art. Rather, she created them to be used as guides in healing rituals, where she would place the drawings between herself and her patient and use them to divine energy disruptions. Aware of her artistic and mediumistic abilities from young age, when she began making drawings in her school notebooks, Kunz developed an interest in radiesthesia, a divining process that relies on energy fields. Kunz used a pendulum to guide the creation of her drawings’ geometries, completing each piece in a single session, which occasionally lasted over twenty-four hours. Kunz believed that her drawings were a product of “the most profound interiorization of the outward and the purest exteriorization of the inward,” which allowed her to discern negative energy and transform it into healing energy. As such, Kunz’s drawings are part of a much larger history of healing images, whose presence or touch are enough to salve wounds and cure illness, both psychic and physical. What is interesting about Kunz’s works, however, is that while the history of healing images is largely entwined with overarching structures of religion and cultural belief, her images are wholly personal and idiosyncratic, a manifestation of what she called “a specific system of law, which I feel within me and which never allows me to rest.” CW

(Ye Jinglu b. 1880, d. 1968 Fuzhou, China; Tong Bingxue b. 1969 Hebei Province, China) Ye

Jinglu sat for his first photographic portrait in a London studio in 1901, and for his second studio portrait in 1907. Thus began an annual ritual that continued until his death in 1968 and resulted in an impressive, sixty-two year archive. Looking over a cumulative picture of a life, it is compelling to pick out the little details that hint at the texture of Ye’s existence: the playfulness in his warm but otherwise serious-seeming persona that comes out in a picture of him reading a newspaper (1949) or pretending to talk on a telephone (1959); the Western suit that speaks of his time abroad (1909); the haggard look that marks a period of illness (1961). In one anomalous image from 1952, Ye even chose to forego a portrait all together, replacing his image with a cutout silhouette. In addition to personal changes and Ye’s passion for portraiture, the pictures reflect changes in photographic styles. While the early portraits typify the conventions of portrait studio photography of the nineteenth century, around 1941 they begin to take on a more modern cast with his first close cropped, head-and-shoulders portrait. The clear stylistic evolution of photographic portrait conventions adds another layer of interest to Ye’s archive, making it not only a life history in images, but also a kind of life history of images themselves. Discovered by the collector Tong Bingxue, exhibitions of these portraits raise complex questions about authorship: the photographs can be seen as a kind of displaced collaboration between the subject, the anonymous photographers, and the album’s current guardian, whose efforts have helped to bring this remarkable life chronicle to public view. CW

Drawing No. 086, n.d. Pencil and crayon on white scale paper, 92 x 92 cm

From the Album of Ye Jinglu, discovered and collected by Tong Bingxue, 1901-1968 62 photographs, dimensions variable




(b. 1965 Hampyeong, South Korea) For


years, Taekyu Park has acted as the only remaining movie poster painter in Gwangju. Once the predominant method for advertizing coming cinematic attractions, the vocation of poster painting has largely fallen victim to the strict standardization of multi-national cinematic advertizing. However, Park’s enormous, handpainted interpretations of promotional material for cinematic releases both new and old still occupy a small, yet significant outpost in the visual culture of his native city. For the Biennale, Park will exhibit a series of freestanding lobby placards that tell the history of Korean cinema, through a selection of what he considers its seminal films. CW


Memory, 2002 Painting on panel, 180 x 90 x 40 cm




(b. 1960 Changzhou, China) Zhou

Xiaohu’s videos, animations, and paintings engage with the structures of the mass media, politics, and the culture of consumerism. Many of his works employ painstaking stop-motion animation techniques, breathing life into drawings, clay figures, and everyday objects. Through these techniques, Zhou is able to construct complex allegorical works that mix some of the levity of children’s animation with serious socio-political concerns. In addition to his work in animation, Zhou also produces live action videos, which nevertheless exhibit the same playful criticality as his animated works. His video Concentration Training Camp (2008) shows a corporate training meeting for the American company Amway during which something appears to have gone wrong. What aberrance has occurred is not immediately clear, but all the participants have strained faces, oddly draped clothing, and their hair has a tendency to stand on end. Soon, the problem becomes apparent: these corporate trainees, who are emphatically repeating platitudes about their future wealth and success, completing trust and team building exercises, and unburdening themselves about their past hardships, are, in fact, all suspended from the ceiling of an upside down conference room. This ridiculous situation comically pairs the absurd money-worship of corporate Capitalism with its bizarrely topsy-turvy acolytes. This double absurdity slowly works to reinforce Zhou’s purpose: as the video’s vignettes unfold, they form a portrait of a world whose values have been turned upside down. CW








Concentration Training Camp, 2007-2008 Video, 3:40






(b.1967 Esbjerg, Denmark) Henrik

Olesen’s work attempts to expand traditional historical narratives to include discussion of the presence and influence of gays and lesbians, as well as to expose methods of oppression and exclusion that have been enacted against them. Olesen has created projects that attempt to undermine (often playfully) the staunchly masculine, heterosexual legacies of Minimalism and conceptual art. Some Faggy Gestures (2008), Olesen’s most ambitious project to date, is an incomplete history of homosexual and homo-social imagery in the history of art. For this project, which has been reconfigured and expanded for the Biennale, Olesen has assembled a huge number of historically disparate images ranging back as far as the twelfth century, images that are homo-erotically charged, made by gay artists, or contain homosexual subtext. Arranged into loose categories (“The Effeminate Son,” “Dominance,” “The Appearance of Sodomites in Visual Culture”) or focused around the lives of specific artists (Thomas Eakins, John Singer Sargent, Anne Seymour Damer, Rosa Bonheur), this project is reminiscent of Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas. However, while Warburg’s work—named after the Greek goddess of memory—formed an idiosyncratic illustration of the influence of classical antiquity on the imagery of the Renaissance, Olesen’s archive asks us to remember a more contentious vein of cultural influence, which many would still wish us ignore. CW

(b. 1973 Seoul, South Korea) Hyejeong

Cho’s films blur the boundary between the private and the public to create highly personal documents that speak to both her subjective experience and the experiences of society at large. In her film What They Remember from the Lost (2009) Cho interweaves impressionistic vignettes pertaining to the memory of one of her recently deceased friends (footage taken from a trip they took together, scenes of family and friends in mourning, and, in a gesture towards possible rebirth, images of a mother languidly breastfeeding her child) with images of public memorials commemorating the passing of former President of the Republic of Korea, Roh Moo-Hyun, to create a complex picture of both personal and societal grief. However, as the title implies, What They Remember from the Lost is not only designed as a marker of loss, but also a receptacle for memory. In a globalized world beset with frantic and frequently frivolous dispatches from all corners of the media environment, it is easy to acquire a mindset in which all information—from the trivial to the tragic—becomes equivalent. Against this deluge of information, Cho’s dream-like and meditative work attempts to create a bastion of remembrance so that in our headlong rush towards the ever-quickening future we might not lose hold of the past. CW

Some gay-lesbian artists and/or artists relevant to homo-social culture I – VII, 2007 7 collages, wood, 2 padded chickens, 1 padded rooster, dimensions variable

Grand(m)others, 2007 Video, color, sound, 20:00





(b. 1977 Sochumi, Georgia) Andro

Wekua creates psychologically charged sculptures, drawings, and films that he arranges into meticulously considered environments, simultaneously evoking the surreal and sometimes frightening world of dreams, and the layered histories of the visual. Wekua is best known for his work with mannequin-like wax figures, cast from live models. These mute, enigmatic figures haunt his oeuvre like ghosts attempting to convey a message that may never be deciphered. Like much of Wekua’s work they are both giving and withholding, seemingly clear but ultimately obscure. Wekua’s recent series of miniature buildings—Hotel Abchasia (Building 1), Pier (Building 2), High-rise building (Buidling 7), Steamboat Administration Buidling (Building 4), and Hotel Ritsa (Building 5)—are models of his childhood hometown of Sochumi, Georgia, recreated entirely from memory. Wekua’s models are constructed from the unreliable building blocks of memory itself— incarnations of recollection rather than its storehouse. Embodying a traumatic series of events that compelled him to leave Georgia, Wekua’s subjective memories have produced a model of a personal landscape rather than an accurate representation of his former hometown. Though subject to revisions, distortions, and omissions, this model, for Wekua, is perhaps more real than the place itself. CW

(b. 1957 Kangreung, South Korea) Kwangho

Choi’s startlingly intimate photographs from his series My Family tackle grand themes—life, death, intimacy, joy, and pain. But despite the broad emotional scope of his photographs, they are never melodramatic, cloying, or clichéd. Rather they are possessed by a modest yet penetrating rawness and realism that makes the photographs seem as though they had been torn from the pages of a private diary—mementos of an ordinary life lived by a passionate, astute observer. Some pictures are vignettes of the everyday: a grandmother holding her crying grandchild; a seashell repurposed as an ashtray, filled with extinguished cigarette butts; a family dinner; a girl knitting. Others preserve life’s more traditional landmarks: weddings, childbirth, and family gatherings. But Choi’s most poignant and disquieting works are those that deal unflinchingly with the end of life: the process of dying and the rites and rituals that attend its aftermath. In three particularly affecting series, Choi has painstakingly documented the final moments of the lives of some of his elderly relatives. In these sequences, the evacuation of vital energy from the bodies of Choi’s subjects is almost palpable, and their terror utterly present. We see their mouths twist in pain, their ravaged bodies tense, and their faces finally slacken and sag under the weight of death. They are frightening, disturbing images, both because of what they depict and the intimacy and frankness with which they depict it. But, if Choi is to show life in all of its fullness, as he endeavors, they are images that could hardly have been left out. CW

Steamboat Administration Buidling (Building 4), 2010 Wax, metal scaffolding, wood, 39 x 91 x 28 cm

My Family, 1975-2009 Gelatin silver print, dimensions variable





(b. 1972 Seoul, South Korea) Jung

Lee’s photographic series Clubgenki was made in a London pub that claimed to offer a place to share the cultures of East and West; a place for Western men to meet with Asian women. Born and educated in Korea, when Lee moved to the UK to study photography she found herself confronting, for the first time, issues of identity, outsiderness, and cultural stereotyping. For several months, Lee was a member of this club (genki means “well-being” in Japanese), but she soon found herself uncomfortable with the dialogues and meetings between the Asian girls, who spoke broken English, and the Western men, who cast themselves in dominant positions. Her pictures show the pub patrons engaged in convivial conversation, but the peculiarities of its demographics creates an uncomfortable sensation for the viewer. The men are not here just to meet women—one of the goals of male bar patrons the world over—but to meet women who conform to a specific ethnic type. The impression is that the individual woman is less important than whether or not she conforms to certain behavioral and physical expectations. Lee’s photographs are ultimately concerned with the act of looking—the Clubgenki series communicates the tension and suspense of these interactions with strong cinematic lighting and emphasis on the gaze itself. In psychoanalytical theory and cinema studies, we are often reminded that the gaze is inextricably bound up with notions of desire, objectification, and otherness. Lee’s pictures make these theoretical notions manifest, exposing them to scrutiny and criticism. CW

(b. 1977 Tel Aviv, Israel) Keren

Cytter produces work as a filmmaker, novelist, and, most recently, as a choreographer for her dance troupe D.I.E. Now (Dance International Europe Now). Cytter has produced approximately sixty films in the past ten years, all of which are relatively low budget productions with casts made up of her friends and acquaintances. These films, like most of Cytter’s endeavors, are marked by disjointed, unstable narratives that shift erratically between various genres and emotional registers and feature characters whose identities are unstable, which has lead to comparisons with the strategies of the films of the French New Wave cinema. Like these films, Cytter’s works are also known for their self-referentiality and use of distancing techniques, such as intentionally bad acting and the inappropriate use of music, which serve to remind the audience of the constructed nature of the work. For the Biennale, Cytter has created a new film in which a single narrative evolves simultaneously in four cities: Johannesburg, Inhambane (Mozambique), Tel Aviv, and Berlin. Hot Days (2010) is a mocumentary that follows the French colonialist anthropologist Anne Marie Baptist as she moves from South Africa to Israel in the nineteenth century. She follows the great legend of South East African tribes, focusing mainly on the Koi and the San tribes that migrated from Mozambique to Matsulu and White River (today north of South Africa), until she finally arrives in Israel. CW

Four Seasons, 2009 Video, 8:00

Clubgenki, 2002 C-print, 90 x 120 cm





(b. 1978 Macau, China) Alice

Kok’s photographs and videos address crosscultural communication in the post-colonial, globalized epoch. The video installation Family Script (2007) addresses these concerns quite literally—through the facilitation of international communication between members of Tibetan families living apart from one another in India and Tibet. Traveling between the two countries, Kok would record and deliver video messages sent between the long-separated families with often touching results. The families sing songs to one another, send news of new additions to the family, and, on the Indian side, ask to be sent back images of the small corners of their homeland that they hold fondly in their memories. Of course, there are inevitably also tidings of sadness, hardship, and death, but even these are borne with a resoluteness and dignity that exudes tenderness for the feelings of the recipients, who are constantly reminded not to worry. Mostly, there is joy: one woman even exclaims, with an expression that she is barely able to contain, that seeing her daughter again (through the video message) has been the happiest day of her long life. Ultimately, whether they deliver good news or bad, these video missives—shuttled across vast distances by one intrepid artist—constantly remind us of the power of images to potently make the absent present, to bring our loved ones near, no matter how far away they may be. CW

(b. 1971 Singapore) Ming

Wong works primarily in video, a medium that he uses to explore the performative aspects of identity and language, often through restaging and reconfiguring scenes from commercial motion pictures, with Wong acting each part. Past works have found him engaging with films by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Douglas Sirk, Wong Kar-Wai, and Luchino Visconti, among others, each of which Wong uses as a starting point for his investigations, which play with received expectations of racial, cultural and gender roles, and explore the possibilities and impossibilities of communication. In Filem-Filem-Filem (2008-2010), Wong expands his exploration of film to encompass the architecture of cinema—the theaters themselves. The work is composed of what appears to be a series of Polaroid photographs of small cinemas (but are, in fact, digital composites of a number of images of different views of each building) that were built in colonial Malaysia and Wong’s native Singapore in the 1940s and 50s. The images form a typological study of these eccentric structures, which were constructed using a grab bag of architectural styles, ranging from Bauhaus to Art Deco, and customized by local architects to reflect the tropical climate to create vernacular architectural folies. However, like the ersatz Polaroids with which the cinemas are depicted, these former “dream palaces” are now merely leftover husks of an obsolete form, put out of business by the bland architecture of the multiplex, abandoned or repurposed as enterprises not in the business of selling dreams. CW

Family Script, 2008 3 channel video, 18:05

Filem-Filem-Filem, 2008-2010 Instant color photograph, 9 x 10 cm





(b. 1930 Paris, France) Jean-Luc

Godard was a seminal figure of French New Wave cinema of the 1960s and is considered one of the most influential filmmakers of the twentieth century. Godard’s critical writings first appeared in André Bazin’s influential Cahiers du Cinéma and in his own journal Gazette du Cinéma, which he founded in 1950 along with fellow filmmakers Eric Rohmer and Jacques Rivette. In 1960, Godard released his first feature film, Breathless, which was marked by a unique visual style that resulted from his pioneering use of discontinuous jump cuts, as well as by its plentitude of extra-narrative references to earlier films. Along with Alain Resnais’s Hiroshima, Mon Amour (1959) and Francois Tuffaut’s The 400 Blows (1959), Breathless was instrumental in bringing international attention to the French New Wave. Godard’s interest in revolutionary politics is evident in the boundary-breaking feature films he continued to produce for the remainder of 1960s. After the student uprisings in May 1968, he began to more fervently identify with Maoism, distancing himself from his previous cinematic output and creating films that more explicitly addressed the political and social issues of the day. In 1980, he resumed a more narrative style with the release of Sauve qui peut (la vie). Since this time, he has completed a number of projects, but none have been more ambitious or storied than his epic, four-and-a-half hour masterpiece, Histoire(s) du Cinéma (1988-1998). Almost entirely composed of a dizzying array of appropriated footage and dialogue, with occasional asides in the form of narration and overlaid text, Histoire(s) du Cinéma is Godard’s frenetic, personalized account of cinema’s historical entanglement with society, politics, love, sex, and death, which he ultimately fashions into a critique of twentieth century history as a whole. CW







Histoire(s) du Cinema, 1998, Video, 4:25:00





(b. 1948 Kent, UK) Thom

Puckey’s focused sculptural language produces images that, while crystallized in sculptural form, persist and flicker in the mind in the manner of cinema and literature. For the installation True Light (1989), two mannequins fully dressed in Victorian garb (a man and woman) stand on a ten-meter long, cruciform shaped platform, each holding a disc of green or red glass, a physical duality that directly references Jan van Eyck’s famed Arnolfini Portrait (1434). Between them, miniature wood marionettes, all dressed in identical uniforms, mill about with tiny props, while a magnifying glass focuses a small disc of light on the rear panel of the platform. The work suggests an oblique but imagistic narrative, and even includes a sculptural rendering of the technology of image production itself— again, a nod to the complex optical illusions within van Eyck’s portrait. Puckey’s more recent marble sculptures are made from live models and produced in a laborious, classical method of casting and finishing. They depict disturbing scenes: realistically rendered nude women, posed in the manner of nineteenth century history paintings, aim and fire brutallooking contemporary military technology into an imagined horizon of space, if not at each other. Collapsing classical studio techniques with art-historical legacies and contemporary political implications, Puckey continues to coax from his frozen material a kind of trans-historical living image. BT

Artist to Be Out of Breath, 1991 Mixed media, 400 x 200 cm


True Light, 1987 Mannequins and mixed media, 260 x 193 x 1073 cm

Self-portrait, 1971 Video, 4:30

PAUL MCCARTHY (see p109)

Garden Dead Men, 1992-1994 Latex rubber, foam rubber, wig, clothing, and tables, 2 parts: 243 x 76 x 98 cm





(b. 1955 New York City, U.S.A.) Roni

Horn’s works often employ minimalist forms that refer to the natural world. Her sculptures, photographs, drawings, and installations tend to be structured according to twinned concepts, addressing the relationships between the human and the natural, the fixed landscape and changing weather, the self and the other, internal, psychological life and exterior, natural forms. Making use of doubling and repetition, Horn pays close attention to the dialog created between the work, the space it inhabits, and the other works with which it is situated. For Horn, this engagement with duality is related metaphorically to her own identity, particularly to her androgynous appearance. In a.k.a. (2008-2009), Horn literalizes this examination through a series of paired self-portraits, taken by various friends and family members. Each pair of images presents Horn at two different stages of her life, tracking the changes in her appearance as she ages as well as her personal decision to render her gender ambiguous. The work becomes a photographic autobiography, presenting identity as never stable, but rather in constant flow and flux. CW

(b. 1981 Webster, U.S.A.) Ryan

Trecartin’s videos conjure alternate realities and warped futures populated by a motley cast of unstable, ambiguously gendered characters, many of which are played by Trecartin himself. These characters rush across the screen with screaming, lysergic abandon through a cacophony of digital effects, hyperactive editing, and candy-colored face paint, as if the product of an Internet fever dream. Fittingly, Trecartin’s works initially appeared on the videosharing website YouTube, where their visual supersaturation and semiincomprehensible teenage techno-babble are not totally out of place. Instead, Trecartin’s videos can be seen as a kind of sounding board, amplifying the manic energy of the digital free-for-all until it echoes back on itself. Trecartin’s videos are populated with characters with multiple identities, clones, or digital avatars, and which, like the videos’ supersaturated aesthetic, also reflect the (virtual) realities of the digitized world. Online, we can create new images of ourselves, fashion new identities, and even maintain multiple personalities, just as Trecartin’s characters are able to do in his videos. As such, just as his madcap aesthetic is merely an amplification of the frenzied realm of the digital, Trecartin’s characters, strange though they are, can be seen as warped reflections of ourselves, as we appear in the digital hall of mirrors. CW

a.k.a., 2008-2009 30 Inkjet prints on rag paper, 38 x 33 cm each

P.opular (section ish), 2009 Video, 40:00





(b. 1973 Modena, Italy) Beginning

in 1998, Roberto Cuoghi became his father. He adopted his father’s style of dress, and carefully imitated his daily habits. He ballooned to over 150 kilograms, grew a beard, and bleached his hair white. People began to treat him as if he was his father’s age—they gave up their seats, opened doors, offered to help him with his bags. It was a radical transformation, and, unsurprisingly, one that was hard to reverse. For over five years he inhabited his father’s life, and the process of returning to some semblance of his original self was a grueling one, which required multiple surgeries and left him with lingering health problems. In successfully fast-forwarding his life, Cuoghi voluntarily submitted to the fear that we will one day all grow up to be our parents. For the Biennale, Cuoghi has created a series of paintings that play on a related psychological roadblock: the idealized image of our future lives that forms in the minds of our parents, sometimes before we are born. The paintings are self-portraits of the artist, not as he is, but how his mother imagined, or hoped, that he might be. As such, they can be seen as totems erected in honor of a life not lived, icons of defiance, and, perhaps, as a kind of apology. CW

(b. 1909 Chicago, U.S.A.; d. 1992 Boston, U.S.A.) In

1993, an antiques dealer named Marion Harris made a curious discovery at an antique fair in New York: a collection of anatomically correct, handcrafted dolls packed carefully in thirty-year-old newspapers, accompanied by stacks of black and white photographs of the dolls (both with and without clothes), in a variety of intricately staged tableaux. The items were from the estate of the recently deceased Morton Bartlett, who had spent his life working as a commercial photographer and graphic designer in Boston. Though few knew of Bartlett’s strange obsession with his collection of dolls, he was a far cry from naïve outsiders like Henry Darger, with whom he is often compared. Raised by a wealthy adoptive family, Bartlett studied at the prestigious Philips Exeter Academy and briefly at Harvard University, and was known to attend art exhibitions with his social circle of well-heeled Bostonians. Bartlett’s relationship with his creations remained largely secret—brought to life through a private labor of love, the dolls can be seen as embodied projections of his desire. CW

Untitled, 2003 Mixed media on tracing paper, acetate and glass, 73 x 53 cm

Untitled, Standing Girl, c. 1950-1960 Plaster with polychrome and fiber hair, 81 cm high





(b. 1954 Glen Ridge, U.S.A.) Cindy

Sherman first rose to prominence with her Untitled Film Stills (1977-1980), a series of sixty-nine photographs that appear to have been taken from an array of B-grade movies in a variety of recognizable genres, in which Sherman always appears in the starring role. To make each image, Sherman transformed herself with wigs, makeup, and costumes in order to inhabit a series of stereotypical female roles—innocent schoolgirl, femme fatale, pining housewife—which, in turn, can be imagined to inhabit an equal number of hackneyed narrative tropes. At once typology and critique, the works went beyond an unpacking of filmic representations of women to address how predetermined roles and types contribute to the formation of individual identity. These early works laid the foundation on which the rest of Sherman’s practice has been built. In her photographic work to date, Sherman continues to use herself as her subject. Her costumes and backdrops have become increasingly elaborate, and her themes have become darker, tingeing her photographs with traces of sexual violence, desperation, decay, and death. However, despite the inevitable changes in her work, Sherman is still concerned primarily with the costume play of identity—the ways we attempt to mold ourselves into images of an idealized other, along with the ways we inevitably fail. CW

(b. 1950 Nanzhou, Taiwan) Tehching

Hsieh is best known for a series of yearlong performances he completed between 1979 and 1986. In each of these works, Hsieh followed a simple set of rules, which over the course of an entire year, become feats of endurance. These performances were recorded in photographs and statements of intent, which now comprise the documentation of the work. Hsieh spent a year in a cagelike enclosure in the corner of his studio during which time he was not allowed to read, watch television, listen to the radio, or speak (19781979); a year entirely outdoors (1981-1982); a year tied to fellow artist Linda Montano with an eight-foot rope, during which time they were not allowed to touch (1983-1984), and a year in which he ceased to make, view, or speak about art (1985-1986). In One Year Performance (1980-1981) Hsieh spent a year punching a time-clock every hour of every day, taking a photograph of himself as part of his record keeping account. As spare and restrained as the work itself, the individual images register the passage of time only through the progressive growth of Hsieh’s hair, which he had shaved at the beginning of the performance. These separate portraits mark the passage of time like the monotonous beats of a metronome, but, taken together, form a kind of timeline that is essentially a single, larger portrait of a year. CW

Untitled, 2010 Pigment print on PhotoTex adhesive fabric, dimensions variable

One Year Performance April 11, 1980-April 11, 1981, (Punching the Time Clock) 1980-1981 C-print, 32 x 22 cm





(b. 1970 Gwangju, South Korea) Namjin

Lim creates elaborate, painstaking ink drawings using the same, traditional techniques with which ancient Buddhist religious icons were produced. However, in Lim’s works, the ancient world of gods and demons is intermingled with scenes from contemporary life, often to pointed effect. Her work, For the Souls of the Departed (2000), depicts the atrocities perpetrated by Chun Doohwan’s military forces during the Gwangju Democratization Movement. Amid scenes of unrest, many of which are bracingly forthright in their address of the uprising’s brutal realities, two gnarled demons hold court, gleefully reveling in the destruction. On a mountainside above the fray, a collection of placid Buddha figures look down upon the proceedings with a calm that bespeaks an equal measure of God-like patience and chilly aloofness. This strange, occasionally incongruous mixture of religious imagery with the triumphs and tragedies of everyday life fashion Lim’s works into modern-day icons, which, though they may not reflect humanity in an altogether rosy light, can nonetheless be seen as astute interpretations. CW

(b. 1930 Hannover, Germany; d. 1998 Basel, Switzerland) Born

in 1930, Dieter Roth spent his childhood years in Zurich during the war, before moving with his parents to Bern in 1947. Throughout the 1960s, he developed a diverse and prolific practice of writing, printmaking, sculpture, and book making, often collaborating with colleagues in the Fluxus movement. He became known for his use of decaying, natural materials such as cheese, chocolate, birdseed, and feces, and for his uncompromising personality. Solo Scenes (1997-1998) was Roth’s last project. The 128-monitor installation shows him ambling around his house and studio, convalescing in isolation from his most recent bout with alcoholism. Saddled with a large amount of free time while recuperating, and yet frustrated by television’s manipulative fictions and endless cultureindustry products, Roth made a series of daily videos about his routine domestic trials. A mix of diaristic revelation, television overload, and epic narcissism, Roth’s project takes the promise of television’s reality and calls its bluff: our protagonist, broken with age and drink, gives a vivid account of his own, real life. Much of the footage in Solo Scenes shows Roth as a ghost-like figure (in night footage mode on the camera), echoing his frail health and foreshadowing his death shortly after the project began. The installation echoes with voyeuristic, surveillance tape aesthetics, and the overwhelming amount of visual information adds up to a dizzying account of the authentically mundane. BT

Living Like a Drunkard Like a Dreamer, 2009 Painting, 152 x 205 cm

Solo Scenes, 1997-1998 128 monitors with VCRs, 3 wooden shelves, 128 VHS-tapes





(b. 1928 Pittsburg, U.S.A.; d. 1987 New York, U.S.A.) Andy

Warhol’s name has become synonymous with both Pop Art and the practice of art as a business. Known as much for his unorthodox, industrial-style production methods and his meticulously constructed public persona as he was for his iconic, brightly colored images lifted directly from the popular culture of his day, Warhol carved out a niche for himself in the popular imagination and irrevocably altered artistic practice. Despite Warhol’s fame, there was one aspect of his practice that remained unknown to all but a handful of friends and assistants until after his death: a collection of over six-hundred equally sized cardboard boxes filled with all manner of keepsakes and ephemera. Warhol began collecting materials for these Time Capsules in 1974, assiduously filling them with material that might some day be of interest: a receipt from Max’s Kansas City, newspaper clippings, a pair of Clark Gable’s shoes. Warhol toyed with the idea of selling the Time Capsules, each for the same price, without divulging their contents, but this plan never came to fruition. Instead, the boxes kept piling up in storage until his untimely death in 1987, leaving a vast archive of his life, or what amounts to a sprawling self-portrait in objects. Only one of the Time Capsules had something resembling a coherent structure: Time Capsule -27 was devoted to Warhol’s mother, Julia Warhola, who lived with the artist in New York from 1952 until 1971. They had an extremely close relationship, and Warhol often integrated her distinctive handwriting into his works. Nestled in his vast archive, Time Capsule -27 is a portrait within a portrait, a box filled with tokens of their relationship, marking the place Warhol kept for her in his heart.

(b. 1951 Hartford, U.S.A.) Since

the 1980s, Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s photographs have blurred the lines between the spontaneous and the staged, the intimate and the theatrical. Even his earliest works contain features of both autobiographical reportage and the cinematic, arranging family members and friends in subtlety staged domestic tableaux. In later works, diCorcia took to the streets: for his series Hustlers (1990-1992) he photographed male prostitutes in a similarly filmic style, paying each their hourly asking price—noted matter-of-factly in the titles—in exchange for their pictures. He further expanded his attempts to merge the real and the cinematic in Street Work (1994-1998) and Heads (2001-2003), rigging remote-controlled lighting setups on city streets to create paradoxically theatrical, impromptu photographs. Thousand (2009) is a collection of one thousand Polaroids culled from diCorcia’s vast photographic output over the past twenty-five years of his career. They reveal the diversity of his practice, including family snapshots, portraits of friends and lovers, still lives, test shots and sketches from past projects, fashion shots, and landscapes. Exhibited in an unbroken row that snakes around the gallery walls, Thousand forms not only a compact timeline of a life’s work, but also an autobiography in images. CW

Thousand, 2009 (installation view) 1000 Polaroids mounted on aluminum, total length of photo rail: 104 m

Time Capsule -27, n.d. (installation view) Mixed media, dimensions variable




The Yangdong traditional market has been a vibrant marketplace for over 100 years and is considered the largest market in the Honam region of Korea. Jangsamisa—a satellite project of the Gwangju Biennale, programmed by Kyungwoon Jeong—will present an accumulation of images, objects, and observations from merchants and visitors to the market, which will add up to a rich experience of individual and collective impressions. Several sub-programs bring together various aspects of the market’s history. Gwangju painter Taekyu Park will realize a special commission for Jangsamisa, a large scale outdoor painting depicting the many stories and characters of the market. Yangdong Market Diary is a collection of objects, images, and oral histories of the market vendors to reconstruct the history of this community. Though they may appear small, rough, or old, these are treasures of Yangdong Market in their own right.

The market is more than a place where goods are traded, it is a place where people exchange ideas and stories. Map of the Marketplace collects such gestures of rapport: customers will be asked to select images of their favorite stores to complete the map with a thousand emoticons. Open-Wall is a site where visitors to the market are invited to write their impressions on the wall, creating a public view of their diverse expressions and experiences. These three projects present records of time, tracing the past, present, and future of Yangdong market. We can find traces of the lives of our ancestors in Yangdong Market Diary, see how small gestures can add up to a vibrant display of contemporary life in Map of Marketplace, and share ideas about what is still to come in Open-Wall.






LENDERS TO THE EXHIBITION A Palazzo Gallery, Brescia

Gladstone Gallery, New York Estate of Hermann Glöckner Marian Goodman Gallery, New York The Granger Collection, New York Greene Naftali Gallery, New York Galerie Haas & Fuchs, Berlin Hauser & Wirth Hauser & Wirth Collection, Switzerland Ursula Hauser Collection, Switzerland Ydessa Hendeles Art Foundation, Toronto Hotel, London J. Crist, Boise Steven Kasher Gallery, New York Sean Kelly Gallery, New York Anton Kern Gallery, New York Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich Gallery Koyanagi, Tokyo Knoedler & Company, New York Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York Kukje Gallery, Seoul Kunstmuseum Basel Emma Kunz Foundation, Würenlos Kurashiki Museum, Japan L.A. Louver, Venice, CA Rachel and Jean-Pierre Lehmann Herbert List Estate Long March Space, Beijing Marvelli Gallery, New York Matthew Marks, New York Stephen Mazoh and Co., Inc. Louis K. Meisel Gallery, New York Metro Pictures Gallery, New York Yossi Milo Gallery, New York Motive Gallery, Amsterdam Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris

Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York Galerie Praz-Delavallade, Paris Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich Regina Gallery, Moscow/London Estate of Peter Roehr, Berlin Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg-Paris Dieter Roth Estate Scheinbaum & Russek LTD, Santa Fe M. Scheler, Hamburg Esther Schipper, Berlin Karsten Schubert, London Laurence and Patrick Seguin ShanghArt Gallery, Beijing Estate of Paul Sharits Sichuan Fine Arts Institute Sperone Westwater, New York Sprüth Magers, Berlin/London Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau, Munich Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo/Kyoto Take Ninagawa, Tokyo Tate Collection, London Courtesy Galleria Tega, Milan Timothy Taylor Gallery, London Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo Estate of Stan VanDerBeek Walker Art Center, Minneapolis The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin Michael Werner Gallery, New York/ Berlin Helene Winer ZERO…, Milan David Zwirner, New York 303 Gallery, New York

Official Sponsors

Joshua Adler American Folk Art Museum, New York, Blanchard-Hill Collection Anthology Film Archives New York Arario Gallery, Seoul Art:Concept, Paris Aschenbach & Hofland Galleries, Amsterdam Balice Hertling Gallery, Paris Helke Bayrle Joseph Bellows Gallery, La Jolla Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York BSI Art Collection James Castle Collection, Boise Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Cologne/Berlin Galerie Bugada & Cargnel, Paris Capitain Petzel, Berlin

Official Supplies

Official Licensee

Co-Marketing Sponsors

Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris Galleria Continua San Gimignano/ Beijing/Le Moulin Paula Cooper Gallery, New York Pilar Corrias Ltd., London Thomas Dane Gallery, London Danziger Projects, New York Galleria Massimo De Carlo, Milan Elizabeth Dee, New York Deitch Projects, New York Deste Foundation, Athens Eric Diefenbach and James Keith Brown, New York Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York Eleven Rivington, New York



Ellipse Foundation – Contemporary The Museum of Photography, Art Collection, Portugal Hamni Emotion Pictures Henrique Faria Fine Art, New York Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan Foundation of Arts & Culture, Seoul FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Rheims Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco Gagosian Gallery, New York Galerie Fortlaan 17, Gent Geiger Archive, Munich Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main Myunggi Museum, Damyang Greene Naftali Gallery Akimitsu Naruyama, Tokyo National Film Center, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo Neugerriemschneider, Berlin Doug Niven Ock Rang Kim One and J. Gallery, Seoul OneWest Publishing PKM Gallery, Seoul








9:00 am-6:00pm

Docent led-tours are available in Korean and English and are offered 8 times a day (Please refer to the timetable). Reservations are essential for groups. Docent Program Operating Period: 2010.9 3-11.7 Timetable: every hour from 10:00 to 16:00 Tours last 60-90 min Maximum participants: 20 people Meeting point: Information Desk, Gwangju Biennale Hall, Gallery 1 Reservations: Inquiry :

The venues of the 8th Gwangju Biennale include Gwangju Biennale Hall, Gwangju Museum of Art, Gwangju Folk Museum, Gwangju Folklore Education Center. There will be special projects held in the Yangdong Market, Gwangju’s wellknown traditional marketplace.


211 Biennale 2 gil Buk-Gu Gwangju, Korea (500-070) / T.062-608-4114

Bus #83, 64 to Biennale Exhibition Hall Bus #58, 95 to Gyeongsin Girls High School, then take a taxi to Biennale Exhibition Hall Bus #19, 38, 56 to Jeonnam University Side Entrance, then take a taxi to Biennale Exhibition Hall Bus #57 to Yuchang Apartment, then take a taxi to Biennale Exhibition Hall

52 Haseo-ro Buk-Gu Gwangju, Korea / T.062-613-7100


213 Biennale 2 gil Buk-gu, Gwangju, Korea / T.062-521-9041

A Gwangju Biennale 2010 application will be available for iPhone users. This application will be available in Korean and English as a free download at app stores starting in August 2010. Contents: Gwangju Biennale 2010 Overview, participating artists, artwork information, latest news Inquiry:

from Gwangju Station: 3000 won/10 min from Gwangcheon Bus Terminal: 3000 won/10 min from Gwangju Airport: 8000 won/30 min from Chungjang-ro Gwangju: 6000 won/20 min

213 Biennale 2 gil Buk-gu, Gwangju, Korea T.062-521-9041

441 Yangdong Seo-gu, Gwangju, Korea (502-729) / T.062-362-2042



Gwangju Biennale 2010 provides Young Students Class Education sessions to further enhance understanding of visual art and to encourage young students’ early experiences with art. Reservations are required. Program Operating Period: 2010.9.7 - 11.7 (Except Sundays and Mondays, 5 times a day) Timetable: 09:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00 Program lasts 40 min (approx.) Venues: Gwangju Museum of Art (Lecture Hall) & Gwangju Folk Museum (Media Room) Maximum participants: 100 people Reservations: Inquiry :

Honam Expressway -> Seo Gwangju IC -> Right Turn -> Right Turn -> Gwangju Biennale Parking Lot TRAVEL INFO (YANGDONG TRADITIONAL MARKET)

Adults (19-64): 14,000 Youth (13-18): 5,000 Child (4-12): 3,000 Seniors (+65): 4,000 Families (Parents + 2 children): 26,000 * Special group discounts are available

160, 760 / 19, 30 ,36,37, 39, 48, 99 / 52, 59, 61, 65, 69, 71, 72, 79, 82, 177

Get off at Yangdong Traditional Market Station (Exit # 1)

Adult: 30,000 Youth: 20,000 Child: 10,000 Ticket Prices (in Korean Won)

From Gwangju Station: 7 min/2600 won; from Gwangcheon Terminal: 12 min/3500 won; from Gwangju Airport: 30 min/ 8000 won



IMAGE CREDITS & PERMISSIONS 8 © Sanggil Kim, Courtesy PKM Gallery, Seoul 9, 86 © 2010 Bruce Nauman/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, Courtesy Walker Art Center, Minneapolis/T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 1994

10 © Sanja Iveković, Courtesy May18 Democratic Associations for Honorable Persons and Victim’s Family 32, 66 © Mark Leckey, Courtesy Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New 11 Courtesy Steven Kasher Gallery, York New York 33 © Lee Friedlander, Courtesy 12 © Anne Collier, Courtesy Anton Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco Kern Gallery, New York 34 © Heungsoon Im 13 © Arnoud Holleman, Courtesy The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam 36 Courtesy Estate of Stan VanDerBeek. Originally re-staged 14 Courtesy OneWest Publishing at Guild & Greyshkul, New York and Joseph Bellows Gallery (2008) 15 Courtesy The Museum of Photography, Seoul, Hanmi Foundation of Arts & Culture 16 © Pawel Althamer, Courtesy Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw and Neugerrimschneider, Berlin. Collection Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin 17 © Mike Kelley, Courtesy Gagosian Gallery 18 Photography by E. J. Bellocq, © Lee Friedlander, Courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco 19 © Franz Gertsch, Courtesy Galerie Haas & Fuchs, Berlin 20 © Christopher Williams, Courtesy David Zwirner, New York 21 © 2010 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Courtesy David Zwirner, New York 22 © Franco Vaccari

28 © Sherrie Levine/© Walker 49 © Jacob Kassay, Courtesy Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Eleven Rivington, New York, Photo: Museum of Art, New York, Courtesy Rons Amstutz Paula Cooper Gallery, New York 50, 86 © Kan Xuan, Courtesy of 29 © Sturtevant, Courtesy Museum Galleria Continua San Gimignano/ für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Beijing/Le Moulin Main, Photo: Axel Schneider 51 © Glenn Brown, Courtesy 30 © Aurélien Froment, Photo: Gagosian Gallery, London Aurélien Mole, Courtesy Motive 52 © Harold & Esther Edgerton Gallery, Amsterdam. Foundation, 2010, Courtesy Palm 31 © Wu Wenguang Press, Inc. 53 © 1990 Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, Bequest of the artist, P1990.52.95 54 © Artur Żmijewski, CourtesyFoksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw 55 © João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva, Courtesy Galeria ZERO…, Milan, Photo: Raimund Zakowski 56, 86 © Harun Farocki, 2010, Courtesy Greene Naftali, New York 57 © Shinro Ohtake, Courtesy Take Ninagawa, Tokyo 58 © Hanyong Kim 59 © Duncan Campbell, Courtesy Hotel, London 60 © Danh Vo, Courtesy Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin 61 © Hans-Peter Feldmann, Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York 62 © Irina Botea 63 © Seth Price, Courtesy Capitain Petzel, Berlin and Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York 66 © Overplus Project 67 Exhibition view, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt 2009, © Norbert Miguletz 68 © Byungsoo Choi 69 © Rabih Mroué 70 © 2010 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris, Courtesy Galleria Tega, Milan 71 © 2010 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris, Courtesy Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris, Photo: Romain Lopez 72 © Useful Photography (Hans Aarsman, Claudie de Cleen, Julian Germain, Erik Kessels, Hans van der Meer), Photographs by Ad van Denderen 73 © Hito Steyerl 74 © 2010 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

75 © Sergey Zarva, Courtesy Regina Gallery, Moscow & London 76 © Magnum Photos, Courtesy Danziger Projects, New York 77 © Freddy Alborta, 1967, Courtesy Leandro Katz and Henrique Faría Fine Art, New York 78 © Carl Andre/VAGA. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York and Stephen Mazoh and Co., Inc. 79 © Gu Dexin, Courtesy Galleria Continua San Gimignano/Beijing/ Le Moulin 80 © Doug Niven/© Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide, Cambodia. Courtesy Doug Niven 81 © 2010 Gustav Metzger, Courtesy Generali Foundation Collection, Vienna, Photo: Sylvain Deleu 82 © Liu Wei 83 © Eye Glass Shop 87 Jean-Frédéric Schnyder, Courtesy Kunstmuseum Basel 88, 141 © Seungtaek Lee 89 © 2010 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris; Courtesy Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris, Photo by André Morin

104 © Jeff Koons, Courtesy Deste Foundation, Athens 105 © Laurie Simmons, Courtesy Sperone Westwater, New York

135 © Jung Lee, Courtesy One and J Gallery, Seoul 134 © Keren Cytter, Courtesy Pilar Corrias Gallery, London

106© Berlinde De Bruyckere, 136 © Alice Kok Courtesy Hauser and Wirth, Zurich, 137 © Ming Wong Photo: Mirjam Devriendt. 107 © Jacques Charlier, Courtesy Gallerie Fortlaan 17, Ghent 108 © Jonathan Borofsky, Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York 109, 141 © Paul McCarthy, Courtesy Hauser & Wirth, Photo: Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich 110 © Nayland Blake, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery, New York 111 © Art Orienté Objet 112 © 2010 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. Courtesy Kurashiki Museum, Tokyo 113 Collection Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino 114 © Kienholz, Courtesy L.A. Louver, Venice, California 115 © John De Andrea, Courtesy Louis K. Meisel Gallery, New York 116 © John Miller, Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York and Galerie Praz-Delavallade, Paris 138 © Jean-Luc Godard, Courtesy Emotion Pictures 140 © Thom Puckey, Courtesy Aschenbach & Hofland Galleries, Amsterdam 142 © Roni Horn, Courtesy Hauser and Wirth 143 © Ryan Trecartin, Courtesy Elizabeth Dee, New York and Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York 144 © Roberto Cuoghi, Courtesy Galleria Massimo De Carlo, Milan 145 Courtesy Ricco/Maresca Gallery, New York 146 © Cindy Sherman, Courtesy Metro Pictures, New York 147 © 1981 Tehching Hsieh, Courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery, Images from Out of Now: The Lifeworks of Tehching Hsieh 148 © Namjin Lim 149 © Dieter Roth Estate, Courtesy Hauser & Wirth (installation view, 48 Biennale di Venezia, 1999) 150 © 2010 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 151 © Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Courtesy David Zwirner, New York

37 © Bridget Riley, Courtesy Timothy Taylor Gallery and Karsten Schubert, London 38 © Ataru Sato, Courtesy Gallery Naruyama, Tokyo 39 © 2010 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Courtesy Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin and Cardi Black Box, Milan, Photo: Axel Schneiderf 40 © Katsuhiro Yamaguchi, Courtesy Take Ishii Gallery 41 © Haegue Yang, Courtesy Kukje Gallery, Seoul. Photo: Bob Matheson and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria 42 © Tokuma Shoten Publishing Co., Ltd. 43 Courtesy Anthology Film Archives New York City; Greene Naftali Gallery, New York City; Estate of Paul Sharits

90 Courtesy Ydessa Hendeles & the Ydessa Hendeles Art Foundation, Toronto, Photo: Robert 117 Courtesy Estate of Oh Yoon Keziere 119 Courtesy Ullstein Bild/The Granger Collection, New York 91 © Tom Holert 92 © YangAh Ham 93 Courtesy The James Castle Collection, Boise, Idaho/Courtesy Knoedler & Company, New York 120 © Herbert List Estate, M. Scheler, Hamburg Germany

121 © Cyprien Gaillard, Courtesy Galerie Bugada & Cargnel, Paris

44 © Tauba Auerbach, Courtesy 23, 141 © Maria Lassnig, Courtesy Deitch Projects, New York Hauser and Wirth 45 © Kerstin Brätsch, Courtesy 24 © Jakub Ziółkowski, Courtesy Balice Hertling Gallery, Paris Foksal Gallery, Warsaw 46 © 2010 Artists Rights Society 25 © Peter Fischli David Weiss, (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery, Bonn, Courtesy The Geiger Archive, New York Munich 26 © 2010 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild Kunst, Bonn/Archiv Paul Maenz, Berlin, Courtesy Estate Peter Roehr 27 © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Courtesy The Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 47 Courtesy Long March Space, Beijing 48 © 2010 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Courtesy Esther Schipper, Berlin, Photo: Attilio Maranzano

94 Courtesy Michael Werner, Berlin 123 © Maurizio Cattelan, Photo: Zeno Zotti 95 © 2010 Artists Rights Society 124 © Anton C. Meier, Emma Kunz (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Foundation, CH-5436 Würenlos, Bonn Switzerland 96 © Liu Zheng, Courtesy Yossi 125 © Tong Bingxue Milo Gallery, New York 97 © Anna Artaker 98 © Kang Bongkyu 99 © Yasmine Kabir 100 Collection of Ock Rang Kim 101 © Zhang Enli, Courtesy ShanghART Gallery, Beijing, and Hauser and Wirth 102 Courtesy Arario Gallery, Seoul 103 © Matt Mullican, Courtesy Tracy Williams, Ltd. 127 © Taekyu Park 128 © Zhou Xiaohu, Courtesy Long March Space, Beijing 130 © Henrik Olesen, Courtesy Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Köln/Berli 131 © Hyejeong Cho 132 © Andro Wekua, Courtesy Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich 133 © Kwangho Choi






Eunyoung Kim

Untae Kang

Dongpyo Jeong

Yongwoo Lee

Kyoungmin Lew Jinkyoung Jeong Goeun Lee Jiyoung Ahn Tae Cheon Yongseong Kim Jeesun Kim




Woosung Lee

Massimiliano Gioni

Jenny Moore

Namgyeong Hong Hyunjoo Lee Jungmin Lee Jeongeun Shim

Gwigeun Song

Inho Cho

Kwangmyung Kim Youngho Kim Jitaek Park Sooknam Song Jaegil Woo Kwangho Youn Cheongyong Rhee Sunsuk Lim Chaehyong Lim Soonyi Jung Seungju Chung Gyucheol Choi Younghoon Choe Misun Pyo Rayoung Hong Sangryul Kang Woonwook Kim

Jiyoung Hong
Policy & Research Department

Keunjong Lim, Chief Mansub Roh Youseon Gang Donggeul Choi

Aurélie Wacquant Mazura

Judy Ditner

Sooeyun Lee Sookang Park Jaehwan Roh Yeonjeong Go

Myunghee Soun Myeonghwan Shin Jiman Park Soyeon Lee Jinhwan Kim Jungho Bin Byeonghwan Na Hyunjeong Kim Bokrae Lee

Mihee Ahn, Chief Johnson Han Woosung Lee Yoonhee Chun Taeyoung Cho Aurélie Wacquant Mazura Namgyeong Hong Seungyong Ryu Jaeyeop Jeong Hyunjoo Lee Jungmin Lee Jeongeun Shim Jeongsun Yang Hyunjun Lee Mingyeong Kim Eonjin Chin

Chris Wiley

Jeongsun Yang Hyunjun Lee Mingyeong Kim Eonjin Chin

Sohyun Kang, Yoonhee Kwan, Myung Kim, Danhwa Kim, Dongseon Kim, Moonsung Kim, Mihee Kim, Minha Kim, Sunhee Kim, Seonghee Kim, Sujin Kim, Joohee Kim, Hanui Kim, Eunhee Na, Youngji Ryu, Eunyoung Moon, Miso Park, Eunjae Park, Hana Park, Hanbyul Park, Jungeun Bang, Hwayoung Sung, Gyeongri Shin, Eunhee Yoon, Choah Yun, Kyounghee Lee, Bora Lee, Yeujin Lee, Hyein Lee, Woojung Lim, Chaewon Lim, Suyeon Jang, Dahye Jeong, Jimi Jeoung, Jihye Jeong, Minyoung Cho, Rahee Cha, Jimi Choi, Sunhwa Hwang

Tamsen Greene

Guard-Top Guard Association

Ian Sullivan

Dongbu Insurance Co., Ltd


Sunjinart, Seoul Dongbu Art

Kyungwoon Jeong, Taekyu Park, Kiju Jeong, Gibeom Kim, Yumi Seo, Miyoung Kim, Shinhee Park, Sol Kim, Hyunnam Lee, Jaemyeong Lee, Yuri Kim

Andy Cushman Flavio Del Monte

Kwangjo Shin

Eunha Lee Youngmi Song Sera Park Youjin Lee

Joanne Bonhee Koo Atalanti Martinou Róisín Morris

Hyunjin Cinema Kwangju Total Rental Rental Leader

Tino Sehgal, Instead of allowing some thing to rise up to your face dancing bruce and dan and other things, 2000 Gyeong Lee, Younghee Kim, Minki Kang, Gyeorye Han, Hana Kim, Ahhyun Kim, Yuri Kim, Giljune Oh, Jaeyeon Song, Gongji Kang

ARTEC Co., Ltd CL Co., Ltd




Insnine Co., Ltd. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ministry of Public Administration and Security Korea Customs Service Gwangju Metropolitan Office of Education

Kwangju Bank Gwangju Shinsegae Department Store Co., Ltd Asiana Airlines Korean Airlines Bohae Bank

Hampyeong Cheonji Bokbunja Agricultural Guild Co. Bo Hae Brewery Co., Ltd.

KBCard BCcard Co., Ltd. Kwangju Bank Visa Card Samsung Card Co., Ltd. Hyundaicard GS Caltex Co., Ltd Tourrail Network Co., Ltd KUMHO BUSLINES U·square Kumho Resort Kumho Familyland Hampyeong Dynasty Club Damyang Dynasty Country Club Gretech Naju Image Theme Park Hampyeong Count KIA Tigers Lottecinema Gwangju Korea International Art Fair

Deste Foundation For Contemporary Art, Athens Fundación/Collection Jumex, Mexico City David Teiger, New York Austrian Embassy, Vienna Centre Culturel Français CULTURESFRANCE The Danish Arts Council, Committee for Visual Arts Dedem, Rome DigiCube, Seoul Embassy of Italy in Seoul Embassy of France in Korea Ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen e.V.), Germany Italian Cultural Institute, Seoul The Japan Foundation, Seoul Mondriaan Foundation, The Netherlands The Henry Moore Foundation ProHelvetia, Swiss Arts Council The Park, Busan

Defne Ayas (ArtHub Asia) Davide Quadrio (ArtHub Asia/Far East Far West Ltd.) Adeline Ooi Eun-a Nana Seo

Mihee Ahn

Jinsung Kim, Hyeonbeom Kim, Jiung Park, Hanbit Park, Jihun Yang, Junho O, Geunwoo Lee, Duhwan Lee, Changbeom Lee, Useock Jang, Daehyeon Jo, Hyeonuk Bae, Geunyeong Cheon, Sangdong Cho, Jubin Im, Jinwoo Jeon, Jonggyu Kim, Changseong Lee, Jaemyeong Lee, Uju Sin

Sanja Iveković, On the Barricades, 2010 Soyeon Kim, Gyeongnam Moon, Sook Kim, Younghee Jung, Soyoung Park, Nagun Lee, Soomin Kim, EunHye Lee, Nanim Jung, Misook Park, Gaenam Seo, Maeja Kim, Gyeonghyun Choi, Sunhee Park, Younghee Yu, Yewon Kim, Junghwa Lee, Jungah Seo, Hyunjoo Jung, Moonyee Kim, Bokja Kuk, Hyunjung Lee, Byungnam Kim, Hyesook Park

Johnson Han

Yoonhee Chun

Gwangju Museum of Art Gwangju Folk Museum Yangdong Traditional Market

Taeyoung Cho Byeongjae Kim

Seungyong Ryu Jaeyeop Jeong





Massimiliano Gioni Judy Ditner

Gwangju Biennale Foundation 211 Biennale 2 Gil, Buk-Gu Gwangju 500-070, Korea T. +82 (0)62 608 4114 F. +82 (0)62 608 4409

Published on the occasion of the exhibition 10,000 Lives, the 8th Gwangju Biennale, September 3-November 7, 2010.

Mihee Ahn Jenny Moore Chris Wiley

Yoonhee Chun

TEXT 49 Gahoe-dong, Jongno-gu  Seoul, 110-210, Korea T. +82 10 3338 0862 F +82 2 742 3441

© Gwangju Biennale Foundation. All rights reserved. Except for the legitimate excerpts customary in reviews of scholarly publications, no part of this book may be reproduced by any means without express written permission of the publisher. The editor and publisher gratefully acknowledge the permission granted to reproduce the copyright material in this book. Every effort has been made to trace copyright holders and to obtain their permission for the use of copyright material. The publisher apologizes for any errors or omissions in the above list and would be grateful if notified of any corrections that should be incorporated in future reprints or editions of this book. ISBN: 978-89-87719-15-3 93600

Chris Wiley Benjamin Tiven Hyunjin Shin

Eunhae Kim Jeonghye Kim Sanghyun Park Hyunjin Shin Wonhwa Yoon Juyoun Jo Jieun Ha

Hyunsil Cultural Studies 2F, 12-8, Kyobuk-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, 110-090, Korea T. +82 2 393 1125 F. +82 2 393 1128


Hyunsil Cultural Studies

Suki Kim, Chief Hanko Kyu Seon Yeoim Dong Jungwha Chae Woojung Lim

4,000 KRW / $4.00