reviews

Artur Żmijewski, Blindly, 2010, still from a single-channel video, 18 minutes.

the 8th Gwangju Biennale

Artur Żmijewski, Blindly, 2010, still from a single-channel video, 18 minutes.

“10,000 LIVES,” THE 2010 GWANGJU BIENNALE, was an ambitious undertaking—attempting nothing less than to get a grasp on the visible as such. Ultimately, I suppose, this is the purpose to which many international exhibitions aspire, but it is hardly ever engaged with such determination and such willingness to grapple with the power of the eye, the life of pictures, and the role of art in a world flooded by imagery. Organized by New York–based curator Massimiliano Gioni and borrowing its title from an almost endless epic by Korean author Ko Un—who, during a two-year imprisonment for his involvement in the democratic uprising in Gwangju in 1980, began a nearly thirty-year project of recalling and visualizing every person he ever met—the exhibition likewise seemed almost inexhaustible.

The inclusion of highlights from other exhibitions—such as Dieter Roth’s magnificent

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