South Korea

Questioning the Conditions of Civilization Under the Pressure of…

Contemporary art has not been a popular topic in the mainstream Korean media for a long time, except for its annual – or biennial – appearance around the time of openings of Venice or Gwangju Biennale. However, with the rise of Korean culture through Hallyu (which translates into Korean Wave), Korean contemporary art has become a topic of interest for the media as well as for the government bodies supporting arts and culture: contemporary art has become a member of a platoon that fights its way toward the (imagined) cultural hierarchy on the global stage, regardless of its will to become a part of the game or not.

In other words, for some of those in the chain of command of the cultural warfare of recognition, time is ripe for Korean contemporary art to achieve something that K-Pop achieved in recent years around the globe. Again, this national anticipation may have nothing to do with what happens in Venice. But again, eyes (in Korea) will follow the Korean Pavilion, yearning for yet another Hallyu in the field that has not been under much national attention.

With a poetic title that includes a proper noun in Korean and an aim to “question the conditions of civilization,” how does To Breathe: Bottari satisfy or circumvent the omnipresent national call for standing at the front line in promoting the national status through cultural affairs?

Work on Work (Hyejin Jang & Jaeyong Park)

http://venicebiennale2013.ideologicalguide.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/venetie_small_2x.jpg

Pavilion

Organizer/Commissioner:
Arts Council Korea
Artist:
Kimsooja
Curator:
Seungduk Kim
Open Call?
No
Selection procedure:
Appointment of the curator/ commissioner by Arts Council Korea, who selects the representative artist(s) for the national pavilion.

Curator

Name:
Seungduk Kim
Gender:
Female
Born:
South Korea, 1954
Lives and works in:
France
No. of participations in the venice biennale:
1

Artist

Name:
Kimsooja
Gender:
Female
Born:
South Korea, 1957
Lives and works in:
France, South Korea and the United States of America
No. of participations in the venice biennale:
5
Represented by galleries in:
Seoul

Politics & Economics

State System:
Unitary presidential constitutional republic
Ruling Political Party:
Conservative neo-liberal Saenuri Party
Population (World Bank, 2011):
49,779,000
GDP per capita (World Bank, 2011):
$22,424
Unemployment (World Bank, 2011):
3.4% of the labor force
Net OECD ODA Aid Received (2011):
$118,480,000
Military Expenditure (SIPRI, 2011):
$31,660,000,000

Alliances


Coalition of the Willing
G20
International Criminal Court recognized
OECD
WTO

Conflicts

Country independent since:
1945 (from Japan)
Last Major Border Revision:
1953 (creation of the Military Demarcation Line)
Global Militarization Index (BICC, 2011):
18
Nuclear Force?
No
Ongoing Conflicts and Disputes:
The Korean War ended in 1953 without a peace agreement, leaving South Korea technically at war for more than fifty years.
Currently the demilitarized zone between South and North Korea is the world's most heavily-fortified border. After years of "sunshine" policy of engagement, relations with North Korea have severely deteriorated in recent years.
Participation in Multinational Missons:
UN peacekeeping missions in Darfur, Haiti, India & Pakistan, Ivory Coast, Lebanon, Liberia, Sudan and Western Sahara.