The 12th Seoul Mediacity Biennale (SMB12) announces the title, identity, initial artist list, dates, and new team members.
Entitled THIS TOO, IS A MAP, the Biennale will open to the public at the Seoul Museum of Art and several other venues across the city of Seoul from September 21 to November 19, 2023. A press and professional preview day will take place on September 20.
THIS TOO, IS A MAP presents works, projects, and programs by artists from around the world, several showing in Seoul for the first time, and many with new commissions. The initial list of participants includes Agustina Woodgate, Animali Domestici, Anna Maria Maiolino, Bo Wang, Chan Sook Choi, Femke Herregraven, Francois Knoetze, Fyerool Darma, Guido Yannitto, ikkibawiKrrr, Jaye Rhee, Jesse Chun, Kent Chan, Mercedes Azpilicueta, Sanou Oumar, Sasha Litvintseva & Beny Wagner, Shen Xin, Torkwase Dyson, and Ximena Garrido-Lecca. The final list of participants across the exhibitions, program, and publication will be released in May 2023.
Developed to imagine the global aesthetics of the non-territorial–from physical and cultural displacements and replacements, to “unseen” infrastructures and media, to co-situated solidarities–the project focuses on alternative concepts of mediating and relating through diasporas and social ecologies that live outside of borders. This refers to the global relations that take place within Seoul and its industrial surroundings, and the positions and references of those willingly and unwillingly displaced, often multiple times over, whether within or outside of the city and state. The Biennale aims to think about how networks operate today when there’s often no going “back,” and in a dynamic in which so much of what controls daily life happens outside of territorialization. To this end, it looks at systems imposed or created outside of national borders, including transnational solidarities, “underground” commitments, the coded mapping of data and infrastructure, as well as those of artistic and political communication. The project opposes the sense of rational clarity ostensibly offered by the cartographic map and looks to the necessity of abstractions and hidden and deliberately obscured language.
Alongside Artistic Director Rachael Rakes, the SMB 12 team includes Associate Curator Sofía Dourron, Biennale Project Director Kwon Jin of SeMA, Assistant Curators Hanul Cho, Lee Hyewon, Miji Lee, Moon-seok Yi, Sinae Park, and coordinators Jiyoung Song and Jooyoung Oh.
Complementing the ideas and work of the project, the visual identity of SMB12 has been realized by berlin based graphic designer So-Hyun Bae. Independent Curators Annie Jael Kwan and Ong Jo-Lene have been invited as Program Advisors.
Ahead of the opening dates, selected projects and programs will be presented as part of Seoul Art Week x Seoul Mediacity Biennale coinciding with the Kiaf and Frieze Seoul art fairs starting on 6 September 2023.
Hosted by the Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul Mediacity Biennale has been operating since 2000 as an initiative of the Seoul Metropolitan Government that has earned international recognition for its experimental engagement with contemporaneity and changes of media in the city and re-defining what media is and can be. The Biennale has presented conceptual experiences with and on media from its precursor exhibition SEOUL in MEDIA, which has presented eleven editions, each embodying varying ideas and activities that resonate with its respective time.