Busan Biennale: Words at an Exhibition《열 장의 이야기와 다섯 편의 시》The Chicago Chapter, First Stanza
Busan Biennale: Words at an Exhibition《열 장의 이야기와 다섯 편의 시》 The Chicago Chapter, First Stanza features artist/musician Kim Gordon and artist Kim Heecheon in a live, public conversation with Busan Biennale 2020 artistic director Jacob Fabricius and curator Stephanie Cristello on on the intersections between their sonic and image-based practices.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers behind the 2020 edition of the Busan Biennale have partnered with the University of Chicago’s Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, the Center for East Asian Studies Committee on Korean Studies, and Empty Bottle Presents to stage the Words at an Exhibition《열 장의 이야기와 다섯 편의 시》The Chicago Chapter. The Busan Biennale 2020 was originally conceived and presented in South Korea (Busan Biennale 2020) by Artistic Director Jacob Fabricius. Together with Curator Stephanie Cristello (Curatorial Advisor at the Busan Biennale 2020), they are reimagining Words at an Exhibition《열 장의 이야기와 다섯 편의 시》an exhibition in ten chapters and five poems for a Chicago audience as The Chicago Chapter. Unfolding over the course of 2021, this endeavor will consist of a series of events and exchanges among artists, musicians, and writers with a particular attention to sound art and music. The event on March 5 is the first of this series. Participant bios below.
From Busan to Chicago:
Developed as an exhibition in ten chapters and five poems for the Busan Biennale (September 5–November 8, 2020), Words at an Exhibition《열 장의 이야기와 다섯 편의 시》an exhibition in ten chapters and five poems made use of these literary structures to instigate and organize responses from the artists, musicians, and writers invited to engage with the city of Busan. The title is derived from the Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky’s (1839–1881) piano composition, Pictures at an Exhibition (1874), a sonic interpretation of ten artworks made by his friend Viktor Hartmann (1834–1873). Mussorgsky transformed Hartmann’s two-dimensional works into another medium: sound. By borrowing this approach of aesthetic interpretation and translation, the Busan Biennale 2020 attempted to transform the city into a kaleidoscopic exhibition of geographically disbursed short stories, poems, artworks, and sound.
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Kim Gordon studied at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles in the late 1970s and has continued to work as an artist since. For the past thirty years, Gordon has worked consistently across disciplines and across distinct cultural fields: art, design, writing, fashion (X-Girl), music (Sonic Youth, Free Kitten, Body/Head), and film/video (both as actress and director). Her autobiographical memoir, Girl in a Band (2015), is a New York Times best seller. Gordon is represented by 303 Gallery in New York City and has had solo shows at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin.
Kim Heecheon pays attention to the life of contemporary people based on a mix of individual experiences and the trend of the times. He presents a diversity of critical views on reality by constantly deconstructing and re-combing the boundaries between the virtual and physical world, using digital media. Kim Heecheon studied architecture at the Korea National University of Arts, Seoul. Since 2015, his works have increasingly been shown in an international context, including 2016 at the SeMA Biennale Mediacity Seoul, Seoul Museum of Arts, 2016 at the Kunsthal Aarhus, 2016 and 2017 at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, 2017 at the 15th Istanbul Biennale and the Roskilde Festival in Denmark, 2018 at the 12th Gwangju Biennale, Nam June Paik Art Center, Yongin, and Chronus Art Center, Shanghai, and 2019 at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila. Solo exhibitions were shown in 2018 at the Doosan Gallery, New York, and the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco. Kim Heecheon is a winner of the Mirae Award of the Parkgeonhi Foundation 2013 and the Doosan Yonkang Art Award 2016. In 2018 he was Artist-in-Residence of the Doosan Yonkang Foundation in New York. Kim Heecheon lives and works in Seoul, South Korea.
Stephanie Cristello is a curator, writer, and contemporary art critic living in Chicago. She is the founding Editor-in-Chief of THE SEEN, Chicago's International Journal of Contemporary & Modern Art, currently serves as the Director / Curator at Chicago Manual Style, and 2020–21 Guest Curator at Kunsthal Aarhus (Denmark) and the Malmö Konstmuseum (Sweden). Her writing has been published in ArtReview, Elephant Magazine, Frieze Magazine, BOMB Magazine, OSMOS, Mousse Magazine, and Portable Gray published by the University of Chicago Press, in addition to numerous exhibition catalogues nationally and internationally. She graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013 with a Liberal Arts Thesis in the Visual Critical Studies Department. In 2020, she was a Curatorial Advisor to the Busan Biennale. Her forthcoming books are Theodora Allen: Saturnine (Motto, 2021) and Barbara Kasten: Architecture and Film 2015–2020 (Skira, 2021).
Jacob Fabricius currently serves as the Artistic Director for Kunsthal Aarhus in Denmark. His career includes stints as associated curator at Cneai in Paris, France (2015–2016), artistic director at Copenhagen’s Kunsthal Charlottenborg (2013–2014), artistic director of Malmö Konsthall in Malmö, Sweden (2008–2013), and curator of CASM in Barcelona, Spain (2006–2008). Some of the major exhibitions he has planned recently include iwillmedievalfutureyou1, Art Sonje Center, Seoul, South Korea (2019), SUPERFLEX’s We Are All In The Same Boat, MOAD, Miami, USA (2018), Gillian Wearing’s A Real Danish Family, Copenhagen, Denmark (2017), and Leisure, Discipline and Punishment, the 6th Biennale of Moving Images, Mechelen, Belgium (2013). His is the Founder and Editor of the publishing projects Pork Salad Press and Old News. Fabricius served as the Artistic Director of the last iteration of the Busan Biennale, Busan, South Korea (2020).