News & events > Mediacity Seoul 2014
02 Sep 2014 - 23 Nov 2014

Mediacity Seoul 2014

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seoul_mediacitySeoul’s international biennale of new media art will feature 12 new works and participants from across Asia. Taking three keyword themes - ghost, spy and grandmother - Mediacity Seoul 2014 (SeMA Biennale) takes place from 2 September to 23 November 2014. It presents a large number of works by artists from East and Southeast Asia, as well as by artists from other parts of the world. Mediacity Seoul 2014 will feature twelve new works, the largest number of new works to be presented in the history of the biennale. Three words – ghost, spy, and grandmother — will serve as the theme for the SeMA Biennale Mediacity Seoul 2014. Most of the works selected for Mediacity Seoul 2014 address themes of at least two of these three keywords. The exhibition for the biennale will be held at two venues: the main building of the Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA) and the Korean Film Archive. At SeMA, the exhibition will feature works in media art, installation, film, photography, painting, and sculpture. At the Korean Film Archive, the exhibition will showcase thirty carefully selected works of film and video art; it will also feature a selection of installation works. Mediacity Seoul 2014 invokes the word ghost to call upon those silenced spirits whose presence has been erased by dominant historical narratives; we want to hear them. We examine modern and contemporary history, with a focus on Asia, by calling these ghosts into our presence. Given that Asia is the birthplace of Buddhism, Confucianism, Shamanism, Taoism, and Hinduism, and that the influence of these religious and spiritual practices is still strong in the region, we also examine how contemporary artists in the region are reinventing these various traditional spiritual practices. Spy is our keyword for alluding to the experience of colonialism and the Cold War in Asia. Given that nationalism is on the rise again in East Asia, particularly in the aftermath of the Great Tōhoku Earthquake of 2011, we seek an opportunity to rethink about the very notion of modernity and its brinkmanship course as represented by this potentially catastrophic radiation disaster. The immense amount of state violence experienced by East Asian and Southeast Asian countries in the 20th century brought about not only more wars but also intense mutual distrust and ideological witch-hunting; they still exert great influence in the region. In our everyday vocabulary, grandmother is someone who is perhaps least associated with political power. In real life, grandmothers are living witnesses who have endured the ages of ghosts and spies.

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