Architectural follies impose on our assumptions of what architecture is and what it should be -- what is function, what is beauty, where do private and public space meet. Gwangju Folly II, part of the Gwangju Biennale Foundation, highlights the politicization of public space through multiple folly-interventions in Gwangju. The project includes follies by Ai Weiwei, Rem Koolhaas and Ingo Niermann, Superflex, Raqs Media Collective, David Adjaye and Taiye Selasi, among others, this November 10-11.
Artistic Director Nikolaus Hirsch, with curators Philipp Misselwitz and Eui Young Chun, focus the follies on the contentiousness of public space, and its operation on the global scale. Positioned throughout the city, some follies are mobile (Ai Weiwei's "Cubic-meter Food Cart", a rumination on South Korea's pojangmachas) while others highly site-specific (Rem Koolhaas and Ingo Niermann's "The Vote" is installed in a high-traffic commercial area).
As the setting for Gwangju’s Democratic Uprising in 1980 (also referred to as the Gwangju Massacre), public space has played a major role in 20th century South Korean political transformations. The Folly Project seeks to unravel this capacity of public space on both the local and global scale; using folly interventions to critically examine the composition of public space.