The 56th Venice Biennale closes this weekend with a full slate of activities
A scene from Korean artist Im Heung-soon’s feature-length documentary, “Factory Complex,” winner of the Silver Lion at the 56th Venice Biennale (May 9 – November 22, 2015). This is highest accolade ever received by a Korean artist at the exhibition which dates back to 1895. Using interviews and historical footage, the engrossing film documents the appalling conditions experienced by female workers in South Korea during the country’s industrial boom from the 1960-80’s and the retaliation they faced when they attempted to organize. Hardships still exist today, especially for those in the services industry such as flight attendants and call center operators, which the film documents. And, like a disease, the exploitation has spread─Korean conglomerates have outsourced even cheaper labor, so the conditions previously faced by Korean women are now a reality for those in South East Asia. Accolades to Mr. Im for bringing the truth to light.
Venice’s Biennale Arte 2015 closes with a full weekend of events that will take place from Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd November, at the Central Pavilion, Giardini, Arsenale and Giardino delle Vergini. This was my first time to attend the sprawling exhibition which opened May 9 and included over 80 national shows and a main exhibition curated by Nigerian-born Okwui Enwezor. Generlly, the national pavilions are where politics play out but, this year, Enwezor’s general theme “All the World’s Futures,” which involved 136 artists from 53countries, turned out to be highly political with a large number of artists lobbing harsh and complex critiques of the forces behind the global economy. Look for my article on ARThound just after the event closes.
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