Problems at Kwangju Biennale

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Problems at Kwangju Biennale

With only three days before the opening of the Kwangju Biennale, an Indian artist waited for a VCR that he had requested hours ago.

He was just one of many artists invited to the event that were complaining of a lack of organization before the start of the event. Communication problems and the large number of participants were to blame for the problems.

Following the opening ceremonies, reporters were left in the dark on when the awards ceremony would be held. All the public relations team could say was, "We're not sure." In the end, artists were interviewed in the press room, with a minimum of seats and the glaring absence of a host. A translator was brought in at the last minute.

With several people standing, a staff member stood in for an awardee and answered questions on his behave. One organizer expressed his embarrassment over the treatment of the guests.

For the 247 artists that were invited from 46 countries, there was only one official translator. During the press conference, a temporary translator made several mistakes. Organizers at the Biennale said that the budget was not large enough to accomodate for more translators and that the mistakes in their English newsletter were made by volunteers working in other areas of production.

In the Reporters' Award, a mere hour and a half was given to art reporters to choose their favorite work of art. Viewing the entire event took some guests four to five hours.

Out of the 100 who were eligible, 17 submitted votes, with the problematic voting process ruining what was to have been the most prestigious award of the event.


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