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US curator appointed as artistic director of 2023 Seoul Mediacity Biennale

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Rachael Rakes, the newly appointed artistic director of the 12th Seoul Mediacity Biennale / Courtesy of SeMA
Rachael Rakes, the newly appointed artistic director of the 12th Seoul Mediacity Biennale / Courtesy of SeMA

By Park Han-sol

U.S. curator Rachael Rakes has been appointed as the artistic director of the 12th edition of the Seoul Mediacity Biennale, slated for September 2023, the Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA) announced Wednesday.

Hosted and organized by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the SeMA, the Biennale has been recognized for experimenting with and forging new links between art, media and the urban fabric of Korea's capital city since its founding in 2000. It is referred to as one of the country's major biennial art events alongside the Gwangju and Busan biennales.

For the first time in the event's history, the appointment of the artistic director for the 2023 edition was conducted through an international open call process that invited 32 candidates.

The selection committee deemed Rakes' proposal to be "delicate and thoughtful on prospecting (the ideas of) 'Seoul' and 'media,' and exploring alternative imaginaries on locality, history, knowledge and subjectivity, while extending the project's historical continuum," according to Atelier Hermes director Ahn So-yeon, who served as the committee head.

"I look forward to working with the SeMA and Biennale team and their networks, and with local collaborators and international practitioners to bring about imaginative frameworks for seeing, acting on and re-drawing the lived environment," Rakes said in a statement.

Rakes is a curator, writer and educator, whose projects over the years have involved research-based, time-based and collaborative practices.

She served as the head curator and manager of the curatorial program at de Appel in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, from 2017 to 2019, and as the curator for public practice at BAK in the Dutch city of Utrecht from 2019 to this year.

The upcoming edition of the Seoul Mediacity Biennale aims to explore global and contemporary aesthetics of media infrastructures and communication through an alternative lens in the context of Seoul's cultural networks, according to the museum.


Park Han-sol hansolp@koreatimes.co.kr


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