The 11th Seoul Mediacity Biennale opens to public at the Seoul Museum of Art until 21 November, 2021. Directed by Yung Ma, this year's Biennale brings 58 works by 41 Korean and international artists and art collectives. The exhibited works span from moving image and installation to photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, music, and performance.
One inspiration for the Biennale is the US sitcom One Day at a Time (2017–20), which charts the life of a three-generation Cuban American family in Los Angeles. Despite its conventional format, the streaming series flips the norms of media representation by disguising its central concerns with laughter while tackling such urgent sociopolitical issues as racism, gender, class, sexuality, identity, migration, and gentrification, among others. This strategy of turning escapist output into something that can accommodate more diverse, current, daring, multifaceted, and sociopolitical viewpoints underpins the approach of One Escape at a Time.
Notions of escape have become all the more relevant in light of the ongoing pandemic. The isolation of millions due to lockdown and other containment measures has fueled a mass appetite for different forms of micro-escape. And despite repeated calls for solidarity, the meaning of “togetherness” is also being relentlessly challenged and redefined in this new reality. Yet even if physical gatherings are strictly limited, realizing and opening the Biennale now—amid a fourth wave of infections in the greater Seoul area—is a reflection of the Biennale team’s belief in the importance of physical encounters with art, and a sign of our commitment to our local and immediate audiences. This staging of One Escape at a Time is a reminder that escapism can be a conduit for emotional and visceral connections—connections with each other, with our past and our present, and maybe even with the possibilities of a time to come.
Participants : Bani Abidi, Monira Al Qadiri, Amature Amplifier, Richard Bell, Johanna Billing, Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz, Chang Yun-Han, Chihoi, Minerva Cuevas, C-U-T (Niels Engström, Aron Fogelström, Victor Fogelström, Valentin Malmgren, Caio Marques de Oliveira, Karon Nilzén, and Ming Wong), Brice Dellsperger, DIS, Hao Jingban, Hapjungjigu, Sharon Hayes, Jinhwon Hong, Hsu Che-Yu, Geumhyung Jeong, Eisa Jocson, Kang Sang- woo, Kim Min, Sarah Lai, Oliver Laric, Li Liao, Life of a Craphead (Amy Lam and Jon McCurley), Lim Giong, Liu Chuang, Mackerel Safranski, Tala Madani, Henrike Naumann, ONEROOM, Yuri Pattison, Paul Pfeiffer, Hansol Ryu, Pilvi Takala, TASTEHOUSE × WORKS, Wang Haiyang, Cici Wu, Chikako Yamashiro, YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES, Tobias Zielony.