Lara Baladi featured in Gwangju Biennale: Imagined Borders

Lara Baladi, Watch Out for Zuzu, Gwnagju Biennial, 2018. Multimedia installation
ACT at MIT

The 12th Gwangju Biennale opened on September 7, and is comprised of seven exhibition sections, organized and developed by 11 different curators.

This year’s biennial brings together 153 artists from 41 countries under the timely theme of “Imagined Borders.” One of these sections, co-curated by Los Angeles County Museum of Art curators Christine Y. Kim and Rita Gonzalez, is titled “The Ends: The Politics of Participation in the Post-Internet Age.” One of the 16 selected artists in this section is ACT’s own Lara Baladi.

Baladi’s piece, titled, “Watch Out for Zuzu,” is a multimedia installation which weaves historic correlations between the Arab uprisings and other global social movements through a wide range of iconic and archetypal images, videos, poetry, articles, and more.  The third in a series of 4 installations, this piece focuses on the notion of exile at large, from prisoners, death toll, disappeared, political refugees, and political assassinations in the current post-revolution status quo.

In describing their section, Kim said “some of us use social media for consumption and display, while the internet is used for civilian control in other parts of the world. We wanted to generate discussions about the potential end of the internet as we know it and politics in the post-internet age.”

According to a review from ArtNet News, “this biennial comes with a loaded origin story… [having been] launched in 1995 to commemorate the pro-democratic uprising of 1980, which ended in the massacre of peaceful demonstrators by the military. In terms of scale, relevance, and engagement with collective trauma, the 12th edition of one of Asia’s oldest and best respected biennials has a lot in common with the German quinquennial documenta.”

The Korea Times wrote that the theme of “Imagined Borders” is “derived from Benedict Anderson’s book Imagined Communities, [and] the 2018 Gwangju Giennale deals with imminent issues such as refugees, migration, cold war, divisions, and the digital divide.”

The Gwangju Biennale runs until November 11, 2o18.