From September 5 to November 8, 2020
The 2020 edition of the Busan Biennale has announced its artistic theme, organized by Artistic Director Jacob Fabricius, of the exhibition opening this September. 《Words at an Exhibition — an exhibition in ten chapters and five poems》 examines the city of Busan to expand the various spectrums of a metropolis through artistic expressions. The title of the exhibition is derived from the Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky’s (1839–1881) 〈Pictures at an Exhibition〉 (1874). This suite of ten piano compositions is a sonic depiction of ten works by the artist Viktor Hartmann, a friend of Mussorgsky, who passed away in 1873. Borrowing this approach of translation—from one artistic expression into another medium—Busan Biennale 2020 will transform the exhibition into an act of homage that extends across writing, sonic artworks, and contemporary commissions.
For the 2020 exhibition, ten fiction writers and one poet were invited to write on the characteristics of the city of Busan as a conceptual basis for selecting the artists, each responding through new commissions and existing works within the context of the exhibition. The authors—which represent different generations, genres, and writing styles—have each created and written fictional layers around and about the city, some with direct reference to Busan, others through indirect and ephemeral urban tales involving the locale. Mixing past, present, and future, the artists and writers involved in Words at an Exhibition — an exhibition in ten chapters and five poems use Busan as a backdrop in ways that create a narrative that simultaneously combines reality, history, and imagination through experiences of contemporary fiction, a focus on soundscapes and film works, as well as paintings, photographs, sculptures, and site-specific installations.
Participant artists are below
Writers Hyesoon Kim, Hye-Young Pyun, Solmay Park, Mark von Schlegell among others
Artists Min Jung Song, Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys, Bianca Bondi, Monica Bonvicini, Wonhee Noh, Aziz Hazara, Mercedes Azpilicueta, Jimin Bae, Lasse Krogh Møller among others