Amalia Pica | 2016 Gwangju Biennale // The Eighth Climate (What does art do?)
GWANGJU BIENNALE, BUK-GU, GWANGJU, REPUBLIC OF KOREA | 2.9.–6.11.2016
2016 Gwangju Biennale

Context 
Attention is directed precisely to art works and projects, addressing the agency of art in terms of the question, "what does art do?". A central part of this interest in the performative aspect of art is its projective and imaginative qualities – art’s active relationship to the future.  
Other concerns of this edition of the biennale is the mediation of art, its embeddedness in various contexts and the potential of connecting dots between already existing activities and people near and afar.

Background 
The notion of the eighth climate, or “the imaginal”, goes back to the 12thcentury Persian mystic and philosopher Sohravardi, and was elaborated by the 20th century French philosopher Henri Corbin. It is an addition to the seven physical climates of the earth identified by ancient Greek geographers.  
Unlike in the seven earthly climates, the eighth climate is not based on a separation of matter and spirit, history and myth - it is ontologically real and existing, but beyond our ordinary way of perceiving and understanding things. The eighth climate establishes real imaginative knowledge and function, while escaping rationalism as we know it. The eighth climate is also known as mundus imaginalis in Latin (the imaginal world).   

Exhibition   
By placing art center-stage, with an emphasis on its imaginative capacity, its connection with the future in the midst of daily life and struggles for survival in the present, the curatorial process and resulting structure of GB11 highlights art as a kind of visionary knowledge and practice which can encompass prefiguration, diagnosis and prognosis, allowing for slightly different, be it ambiguous and conflictual, perspectives on how art engages with what lies ahead of us.
Thinking thoroughly about what art does, how it lands in different contexts, and how it sits in society, GB11 does not aim for a single exhibition but place emphasis on process of communication and mediation of art and society

- Curatorial Process
· above and below ground: on struggles over land, natural resources and the faculties of the earth
· the labor point of view: the persistent engagement of artists with changing working conditions and  their effects on  daily life
· between molecules and cosmos: how the minutest and invisible elements have wide-ranging effects at the  same  time as cosmos becomes a stage for action
· new subjectivity: the enlightenment subject is continuously challenged by the pharmaco-pornographic  paradigm as  well as both old and new models of performativity· the   right to opacity: – how strategies of abstraction can produce  artistic and other kinds of  space to maneouver  
· becoming file: a renewed focus on signification processes in and through images, deeply informed by new  technologies
· defiance: challenging the powers that be

- Structure· 
  Different floors of the exhibition space will be treated differently, creating various “atmospheres”
· Exhibition space expanded to cultural space and private museums in the local area including but not limited to          Asia Culture Center, Uijae Art Museum, Mudeung Museum     of Contemporary Art, Woo Jaeghil Art Museum and May 18 Archives

Exhibition Layout  
- Several methodological and thematic strands have developed which will direct spatial dimension of each exhibition floor   
· Gallery 1: Multiple artworks with various features that juxtaposes each other creating a powerful first impression
· Gallery 2: Installation space for video productions,  minimal usage of free-standing wall, utilize superdirective sound system
· Gallery 3: Each art production creating its own zone· Gallery 4: Compose bright space using minimal and limited artworks
· Gallery 5: Large screen installation of Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz (Berlin based artists)