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The Symposium 2013: “Biennale Ecology in Contemporary Art”

Biennales today have been thrust into a fierce competition for survival in the complicated ecosystem of contemporary art, where diverse species multiply at a rapid clip. Cities around the world cite as a rationale for hosting biennales or similar types of blockbuster art festivals the reinvigoration of cities and the enhancement of the quality of life for their citizens through arts and culture. In other words, art festivals are tapped into as a means to raise the competitiveness of cities. Contemporary art combined with festivities seems to travel down the path toward infinite expansion, which allows biennales to have their roles and functions established as one of the crucial evolving elements in the ecosystem of contemporary art.

The Busan Biennale, which is set to celebrate its eighth biennial event in 2014, seeks to explore differentiation strategies in an increasingly competitive global biennale ecosystem and reflect on the characteristics of the ecosystem which can benefit the Busan Biennale and the methods of establishing the system. To this end, the Symposium 2013, Busan Biennale deals with relations in a multilayered network, that is, relations among diverse elements in a society, such as areas, institutions, organizations, media, and communities. How do art museums, art fairs, auction houses, galleries, collectors, artists, and the public, as well as biennales of different sizes and features, regard each other and forge relations? What could be the desirable biennale ecology that supports the establishment of proper relations? The discussion of these issues will help us uncover an ecological niche for biennales.

With these objectives in mind, the main theme of the Symposium 2013, Busan Biennale “Biennale Ecology in Contemporary Art,” has been divided into three sub-themes for in-depth and goal-oriented discussions.

–’Ecosystem of Contemporary Art with a Focus on Biennales’ will give an overview of the status and role of biennales, which have secured a certain ecological domain in contemporary art, and review the current ecological state and challenges of global biennales and prospect for their future, as biennales around the world are faced with growing challenges in the ecosystem of contemporary art.

–’Innovation Tasks and Strategies for Self-Sustainable Biennales’ will come up with specific innovation tasks for biennales to sustain themselves, especially small- and medium-sized biennales, like Busan Biennale, and explore implementation strategies.

–’External Alliance and Collaboration Strategies for the Survival of Biennales’ will look to alliance at different levels and collaboration networks as part of the survival strategy for small- and medium-sized biennales like Busan Biennale in the environment of a rapidly expanding global art market.

Friday, November 29, 10–18h
–Forum 1: “Current State and Crisis of Biennales”
Presenters: Terry Smith (Andrew W Mellon Professor of Pittsburgh University), Jinsang Yoo (Professor of Kaywon School of Art & Design)

–Forum 2: “Innovation Tasks and Strategies from the Internal Perspective”
Presenter: Paul Domela (independent curator)
Debaters: Kuroda Raiji (Chief Curator of Fukuoka Asian Art Museum), Lee Young Jun (Director of Exhibition & Education, Gimhae Arts and Sports Center), Seo Sangho (Director of Openspace bae)

–Forum 3: “Biennales and Other Mechanisms, External Alliance and Collaboration Strategies from the External Perspective”
Presenters: Anna Harding (Chief Executive of SPACE), Calvin Hui (Fine Art Asia Co-founder), Park Chaneung (Gunpo Cultural Foundation, Art Promotion Headquarter Director), Ha Kyehoon (art critic)

Saturday, November 30, 10–12:30h
–Wrap-up discussion
Moderator: Sae-Jun Kim (Professor of Sookmyung Women’s University)
Debaters: Terry Smith, Jinsang Yoo, Paul Domela, Anna Harding, Calvin Hui, Park Chaneung, Ha Kyehoon, Kuroda Raiji, Lee Young Jun, Seo Sangho

Busan Museum of Art (Hall, B1)
Haeundae Centum Hotel (Emerald Hall, 18F)
T +82 51 503 6111
F +82 51 503 6584