in between water – 두물마을 

First German Pavilion at the Gwangju Biennale
7. September - 1. December 2024

One of the most significant contemporary art events in Asia, Gwangju Biennale, celebrates 2024 its 30th anniversary under the artistic direction of Nicolas Bourriaud, under the title “Pansori – A Soundscape of the 21st Century.”

Germany participates for the first time at the Gwangju Biennale with a country pavilion.
For the German Pavilion, the artist collective Longega Project will create a space for interaction and artistic collaboration under the title “in between water – 두물마을”.

The selected artist collective, Longega Project (Fabian Feichter, Youlee Ku, Siyoung Kim, Nele Ka, and Oliver Haussmann) is named after the Ladin village of Longega (English: “in between water”) in the South Tyrolean Alps at 1,000 metres above sea level. Since 2017, it has hosted an international artist residency, mainly, but not exclusively, for artists from South Korea and Germany.

Longega Project was established to enable alternative experiences of visiting artists and their intensive exchange. Influenced by the Dolomite landscape and its myths, individual artistic approaches merge into shared processes almost always linked to local cultural practices. Artists create site-specific actions and undertake experimental (re)discoveries intertwined with the Longega surroundings, sagas and myths. Actions and ideas transform into art through narratives, each based on personal stories. The project highlights blurred aspects of urban life, returning us to the valley’s elements—forest, mountains, river, fire, a roof. Archaic elements awaken into meaningful stories. Events like processions of mythical figures as well as collective gatherings and cooking, bridge-building at the river, or badminton tournaments become poetic acts of everyday life, consciously stylized into Longega Project’s artistic work.

At the intersection of profanity and mysticism, Longega Project examines the transformative potential of artistic-social practices and fosters transcultural exchange.

For the biennale, the Longega Project stages at the Gwangju Folk Museum stories as several partially walk-in installations, featuring fragments from continuous collaborations that accompany and fundamentally shape the artistic processes described above.

Like the Longega Project in South Tyrol, the Pavilion itself reaches its meaning through the exchange and participation, through being hosted and being a host. Invited guest artists will offer performances, readings, and workshops during the exhibition period. For example, at the electric campfire, the music group Kunststoffwerkstatt, in collaboration with Franz Allein, will perform a singspiel. A badminton tournament invites pavilion visitors to actively use the space. An audio guide accompanies visitors through the site, telling stories and conveying personal perspectives from the artists.

Thus, the pavilion reflects the theme of the biennale: Pansori, literally translated as “sound of the public space,” is an homage to a traditional Korean music form of the 17th century, a musical metaphor that considers the interplay of different voices and sounds as a reflection of the profound global transformations of the Anthropocene.

Curation: Sophie-Charlotte Bombeck

The German Pavilion at the 15th Gwangju Biennale is realized through the ifa – Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen with financial support from the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.

Participating artists:

Artist collective Longega Project: Fabian Feichter, Youlee Ku, Siyoung Kim, Nele Ka und Oliver Haussmann.

Invited guest artists: Claudio Matthias Bertolini, Federico Delfrati, François Huber, Ho Bin Kim, Jayi Kim, Sul Park, Kyu Nyun Kim, Jehyun Shin, Seyoung Youn, Sool Park, Hyesoon Kim, Sung Young Hong, Chosun University in Gwangju