Tilted 10,000 Lives and directed by Massimiliano Gioni, the Eighth Gwangju Biennale will develop as a sprawling investigation of the relationships that bind people to images and images to people. Gioni says: “The exhibition will engage our obsession with images and our need to create substitutes, effigies, avatars and stand-ins for ourselves and our loved ones. It is this perennial state of iconophilia, this maniacal love of images that we wish to examine in Gwangju.”
The exhibition title is borrowed from Maninbo (10,000 Lives) a yet unfinished 30 volume epic conceived by Korean author Ko Un while imprisoned in 1980 for his participation in the South Korean democratic movement. Held in solitary confinement, as a means to preserve his sanity, Ko envisaged a poem which described every single person he had met throughout his life, including historical figures and fictional characters encountered in literature. Upon his release he began writing the 3,800 poems that compose Maninbo (10,000 Lives), a magnum opus that reads as a personal encyclopedia of humanity. From the Biennale Media release
The Gwangju Biennale runs from 3 September – 7 November 2010.
Image: Eighth Gwangju Biennale masthead