Possibilities from the unknown: contemporary art and institutions
December 1, 2023
National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul
30, Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu
Monday to Sunday 10am to 6pm;
Wednesday and Saturday 10am to 9pm
Phone +82 2 3701 9500
The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA) will hold the international symposium “Possibilities from the Unknown: Contemporary Art and Institutions” on Friday, December 1, 2023 at MMCA Seoul’s Multi-Project Hall.
This symposium commemorates the 10th anniversary of MMCA Seoul, which has played a central role in Korean contemporary art since 2013, and aims to consider the role of museums as open institutions that are in harmony with the city, history, society, and the present. The purpose is art. Nine speakers will present thought-provoking works: Alexander Alberro, Karen Archey, Boris Groys, ikkibawiKrrr, Jung Hyun, Kim Inhye, Seo Dongjin, Lucy Steeds, and David Teh. These presenters are prolific artists, curators, art critics, researchers, art historians, and philosophers who are active in a variety of fields within and outside of Korea. The objectives of this symposium are as follows: First, we will examine the influence of institutional standardization and globalization on contemporary art practice, using modern society and cultural infrastructure as an opportunity. Second, it considers how art history has been institutionalized by a privileged few and explores the trajectory of exhibition, criticism, and art theory that emerged in Korea and Asia. Third, we will focus on the value of knowledge production through the organic interaction of the agents that make up the contemporary art system, and envision an ecological perspective for future museums.
The symposium will consist of three panels. Panel 1After the system” Panel 2 “From an Asian perspective” and Panel 3 “Ecological Exposure”” will offer themed presentations followed by discussion and Q&A.
paNell 1 “After the System” We will clarify the interrelationship between art museums and typical factors that promote changes in modern systems, such as the Internet and capitalism, and consider future challenges for art museums. philosopher boris groys (European Graduate School, Saas-Fee, Switzerland) critically reconsiders the changing landscape of museum exhibitions in the Internet era. Art theorist Seo Dong-jin Kyewon University of Art and Design (Gyeonggi-do, South Korea) traces the influence of contemporary aesthetic experiences intertwined with the capitalist system on the practices of art institutions. Curator Karen Archey (Curator, Stedelijk Museum, Netherlands) presents examples of institutionally critical works by artists from each generation of the above-mentioned foundations.
Panel 2 “From an Asian perspective” From the perspective of contemporary Asia, we investigate the history of institutionalized art by a privileged few. Art critic and curator David Teh (National University of Singapore, Singapore) challenges the concept of institutional criticism from an Asian perspective. Art historian Kim In-hye (Former Korean MMCA Contemporary Art Director) explores ways to remember and reinterpret Korea’s colonial history in the context of contemporary art discourse. Art critic Chung Hyun (Inha University, Incheon, South Korea) examines how the interaction between art and various phenomena in South Korea in the 1990s, such as hybrid culture, cultural studies, and globalization, influences the interpretation and production of art in the past and in the future. Discuss what was given.
Panel 3 “Ecological Exposure” We envision an ecological vision for future museums. Art historian Alexander Albero (Columbia University, New York, USA) argue that interdisciplinary, process-oriented, community-centered “project exhibitions” have the potential to fundamentally change how museums operate in the 21st century. Artist group ikkibawiKrrr (Ko Gyul, Kim Jung Won, Cho Ji Eun) Ama diver (Korean Ama divers) on Jeju Island. Curator and writer Lucy Steeds The University of Edinburgh (Scotland, UK) shares its thoughts on the concept of ‘ecological responsibility’ by comparing artistic practices with botanical practices when plants propagate across regions.
This event ultimately aims to stimulate intellectual exchange within and outside the museum. It also aims to reflect the role and function of art institutions in the form of cultural criticism, while establishing a starting point for the museum’s own innovation. The symposium’s meaningful results will be published in a special issue of MMCA Studies, MMCA’s research journal, for a wider audience. We hope that this symposium will provide an opportunity to reconsider the role and function of museums and further research into the future of sustainable museums. MMCA is dedicated to connecting contemporary social and cultural discourse with the institution’s vision.
The symposium will provide live transcription services for all presentations and sign language commentary for Korean presentations. MMCA Soul is open to everyone, but anyone can participate via live streaming on the MMCA Youtube channel. This is a new attempt to expand the diversity of museum accessibility.