To connect with the rest of the world, we invest a certain amount of trust in various relations. Trust is by default an ambiguous notion, it is one grounded in good faith as much as in doubt. As individuals we not only have these relations to our fellow citizens, but also increasingly with modes of connection. With proliferating forms of media, information comes to us in many guises, and the message is more and more opaque; marketing poses as friendship, solitude as community, populism as democracy.

Instead of simply stepping up to the speed of technology, the curatorial team of Media City Seoul 2010 proceeds from a desire to pause, reflect, and critique the transitions and transformations of our social contexts. The exhibition is propositional by nature. Trust interprets media broadly—as a tool for engagement within a shifting terrain where political, national or religious identities are being re-charted; where means of distribution creates real and imagined communities; and where private interpersonal space share the same platform as global political issues of the day. As forms of media become more accessible and varied, we enter an era that seemingly allows more room for self-expression and individuality. Yet, what is at stake when media channels are more concentrated and powerful? How do these networks create new spaces of alienation and control? How do we reconcile the desire for changing social models, with a desire for new communities?

The exhibition works against the rhetoric of technology as progress and promise, offering instead a recalibration of its definition. Many of the artists in the exhibition are not known as media artists, but use various forms of media (printed material, urban detritus, photographic and video technology, documentary and fictional forms) to counter the generalizing of experience by dominant narratives. Trust investigates notions of community, representation and perception in a world that is continuously being retold and reconfigured. In this light, how are stories, histories and myths construed? How is collective experience represented through multiplicity and difference? The exhibition emphasizes artistic practices that play with documentary conventions, fictional forms, espousing for imagination, subjectivity and localities as underpinnings of contemporary experience. Sometimes revealing the underlying constructs of mediated stories, and at other times obscuring them. Trust does not aim to meticulously dissect the matters at hand, or present a scientific or intellectual study of our current mediascape. Instead, Trust offers a broad interpretation of media and invests in a humanistic and individual response to contemporary experience.

Artists:  Ziad ANTAR, Tarek ATOUI, Lucas BAMBOZZI/ Cao GUIMARÃES/ Beto MAGALHÃES, Yael BARTANA, Blast Theory, Manon DE BOER, Mark BRADFORD, Antonio CABALLERO, CHO Duck Hyun, Abraham CRUZVILLEGAS, Jimmie DURHAM, Rainer GANAHL, Douglas GORDON, Shilpa GUPTA, IZUMI Taro, Adrià JULIÀ, Annette KELM, KIM Beom, KIM Soun Gui, Sung Hwan KIM, KOIZUMI Meiro, Miki KRATSMAN, Erik VAN LIESHOUT, Minouk LIM, Sarah MORRIS, Deimantas NARKEVIČIUS, Tuấn Andrew NGUYỄN, NOH Suntag, Catherine OPIE, Christodoulos PANAYIOTOU, PARK Chan-Kyong, Walid RAAD, Judy RADUL, Jewyo RHII, Willem DE ROOIJ, Julika RUDELIUS, Tino SEHGAL, Allan SEKULA, Duncan SPEAKMAN, Do Ho SUH, Nasrin TABATABAI & Babak AFRASSIABI, Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL, Xijing Men (CHEN Shaoxiong/ Gimhongsok/ Tsuyoshi OZAWA), Yangachi, Tobias ZIELONY.

Publication: Media City Seoul 2010’s catalogue will also be published under the title Trust, containing texts by Kim Young-ha (fiction writer) and Jalal Toufic (writer, film theorist, and video artist ), and curatorial essays by Clara Kim, Nicolaus Schafhausen, Fumihiko Sumimoto and with a foreword by artistic director Sunjung Kim.

Opening and preview: Media City Seoul takes place at the same time as a number of other important contemporary art events in the Asia Pacific region including the Gwangju Biennial, Busan Biennial and the Taipei Biennial. The public opening takes place on 7 September 2010, with an opening reception, attended by many of the artists and with an opening speech by OH, Se-Hoon, the mayor of Seoul.

Performance: Tarek ATOUI will present his new performance Un-drum on 4 September at 5 pm and on 6 September at 6.30 pm.

Curatorial team: Sunjung KIM (Artistic director, Media City Seoul 2010) and co-curators Clara KIM (Director/Curator of Gallery at REDCAT, Los Angeles), Nicolaus SCHAFHAUSEN (Director of Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam), and SUMITOMO Fumihiko (Curator, Arts Initiative Tokyo, Tokyo).

Sponsors: Media City Seoul 2010, the 6th Seoul International Media Art Biennale is hosted by Seoul Metropolitan Government and organized by Seoul Museum of Art. With support from: Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, Korea Tourism Organization, The British Council, Mondriaan Foundation, The Japan Foundation. Sponsored by: SK Telecom, Samsung Electronics, Kyungbang Times Square, Epson Korea. The British Council generously supports the outdoor projects by Blast Theory and Duncan Speakman.