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Cristina Ricupero and Jörg Heiser Appointed Directors of 2018 Busan Biennale

The Busan Biennale’s organizing committee has named curator Cristina Ricupero and writer and editor Jörg Heiser as co-artistic directors of the festival’s ninth edition, which is scheduled to open on September 8. Details about the theme of this year’s festival, along with a list of participating artists, have not yet been released. 

Ricupero, who is based in Paris, first worked in South Korea in 2006 when she commissioned European works for the Gwangju Biennale. She has served as a jury member for the 2012 Hermès Foundation Missulsang and a curatorial adviser for the SeMA Biennale Mediacity Seoul in 2016. In 2011, Ricupero presented a lecture at the Busan Biennale’s symposium on “contemporary art and its social practices.” Heiser, who is based in Berlin, has contributed to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung since 1997, has edited at Frieze since 1998, and is the director of the Institute for Art in Context at the University of the Arts in Berlin.

After the Biennale initiated a public search for applicants last December, Ricupero and Heiser—who in 2016 collaborated on “Nuit Blanche,” a public art festival in Monaco—applied as a team. “The exhibition plan submitted by Ricupero and Heiser was consistently praised from the academic committee screening to the selection committee review process, raising hopes for an artistic discussion of Korea’s situation and Busan’s regionality while using contemporary art to pinpoint the core of the psychological issues precipitated by conflict and antagonism, which are currently emerging as a worldwide issue,” the Biennale’s committee said in a statement.