• Cai Guo-Qiang, Performance view of Ye Gong Hao Long: Explosion Project for Tate Modern, 2003.

    Gwangju Biennial 2004

    Various Venues
    Sharjah United Arab Emirates
    September 10–November 13, 2004

    Nearly a decade after its inception, the Gwangju Biennale is breaking new curatorial ground for its fifth incarnation. Promoted as an attempt to challenge the passive position of the viewer, sixty so-called viewer-participants from all walks of life were asked to select one artist each. Italian fashionista Miuccia Prada, for instance, invited Korean video artist Lee Kyung-ho, while British farmer Ross Cherrington chose art star Damien Hirst. Among the roughly two hundred artists in the themed shows are Anish Kapoor, Cai Guo-Qiang, and Park Bul-dong. This process might, however, risk reviving the exhibition’s origins as a political decoy in its obtuse celebration of transformation, exchange, and ecological correctness, symbolized by its organizing themes of dust and water.