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Busan Biennale 2018

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Busan Biennale

The Busan Biennale is a biannual international contemporary art show that integrated three different art events held in the city in 1998: the Busan Youth Biennale, the first biennale of Korea that was voluntarily organized by local artists in 1981; the Sea Art Festival, an environmental art festival launched in 1987 with the sea serving as a backdrop; and the Busan International Outdoor Sculpture Symposium that was first held in 1991. The biennale was previously called the Pusan International Contemporary Art Festival (PICAF) before it launched.

The biennale has its own unique attribute in that it was formed not out of any political logic or need but rather the pure force of local Busan artists’ will and their voluntary participation. Even to this day their interest in Busan's culture and its experimental nature has been the key foundation for shaping the biennale’s identity.

This biennale is the only one like it in the world that was established through an integration of three types of art events such as a Contemporary Art Exhibition, Sculpture Symposium, and Sea Art Festival. The Sculpture Symposium in particular was deemed to be a successful public art event, the results of which were installed throughout the city and dedicated to revitalizing cultural communication with citizens. The networks formed through the event have assumed a crucial role in introducing and expanding domestic art overseas and leading the development of local culture for globalized cultural communication. Founded 38 years ago, the biennale aims to popularize contemporary art and achieve art in everyday life by providing a platform for interchanging experimental contemporary art.


2018 I HAVE NO WORDS - For Propaganda Loudspeakers and Singing Voices

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관리자 2018-08-21 11:54

작가Augustin Maurs
Augustin Maurs

<I HAVE NO WORDS - For Propaganda Loudspeakers and Singing Voices>, Horn loudspeakers, scaffolding, amplifier, 400 x 50 x 300 cm, 2018, Courtesy of the artist

Augustin MAURS
I HAVE NO WORDS - For Propaganda Loudspeakers and Singing Voices

For Busan, Maurs is realizing the new piece I HAVE NO WORDS. For Propaganda Loudspeakers and Singing Voices (2018). A number of horn loudspeakers are arranged in a grid and put up outdoors; this is a reference to the large propaganda loudspeakers placed on borders, as it has been the case near the Demilitarized Zone between South and North Korea, or on Kinmen Island, which belongs to Taiwan and is just 6,4 km away from Mainland China. During the Cold War period, these speaker systems were use to play propaganda songs to agitate people on the other side of the border. But with Maurs, the point is precisely that the words being sung have no propagandistic value, but—using quotes from influential artists—attest to the impossibility of a truthful “message”, and instead present a selection of quotes on silence and mutism, in the vein of John Cage’s notorious statement “I have nothing to say and I am saying it”. The work deals with the sonic monumentality of propaganda and the often related traumas through the question of “what cannot be said”. The texts are musicalized through simple and short a cappella melodies sung in the native language of the performers.

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