The exhibition part of the 11th Gwangju Biennale entitled The Eighth Climate (What Does Art Do?) opens to the public on 2 September 2016. The title is not a “theme” or a “concept,” but rather indicates a set of parameters of GB11. It is about placing art center-stage, art’s capacity to always say something about the future, connect dots over small and big distances, embeddedness in particular situations, and mediation. What happens if we try to tease out more of the artworks in this eclectic, kaleidoscopic, and puzzling adventure? If we accept their invitation to engage, and take their interpellation more at face value? One of the things which we might end up doing is to enter a dance of futurity where the past is neither completely forgotten nor a guiding light. In this sense, GB11 is a temperature check of art today.
GB11 is also a constellation of many parts happening over one year, starting in January 2016. Thinking thoroughly about what art does—without necessarily implying a utilitarian approach—how artworks land in different contexts, and how they sit in society and create ripples on the water, GB11 comprises Monthly Gatherings, or Wol-rae-hoe, made together with the local curatorial associates Mite-Ugro in Gwangju, an Infra-School in Gwangju, Seoul, and beyond, around a hundred national and international Biennale Fellows, a Forum with the Fellows, two publications and a blog designed by Metahaven, as well as an exhibition which stretches from the Gwangju Biennale building to other venues and places in the city, including Asia Culture Center and the 5.18 Archives, and online.