Power 100

Most influential people in 2020 in the contemporary artworld


Natasha Ginwala & Defne Ayas

Curators - Artistic directors of the 13th Gwangju Biennale

77 in 2020

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Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

In the face of intelligent systems – technological or economic – that are in danger of besting us, where might an organic counterintelligence emerge? This is the question Ginwala and Ayas pose in their Gwangju Biennale. Or rather will pose, once we’ve bested COVID-19 – the exhibition, featuring Cecilia Vicuña, Korakrit Arunanondchai and Seon Buddhist monk and chef Jeong Kwan, now postponed to February. The answer, not to get ahead of ourselves, is the ‘communal mind… rooted in healing technologies, indigenous life-worlds, matriarchal systems, animism, and anti-systemic kinship’. Big ideas, then, but they have form: Ayas is curator at large for V-A-C Foundation in Moscow and was formerly director of Witte de With in Rotterdam; Ginwala is associate curator at Gropius Bau, Berlin, and artistic director of Colomboscope, in Sri Lanka. She has previously curated Contour Biennale 8, in Belgium, and was part of the curatorial team of Documenta 14, Athens and Kassel. If experience alone doesn’t ensure success, Kwan has also administered a blessing, delivered on the occasion of Gwangju’s title announcement: Minds Rising, Spirits Tuning.

The ArtReview Power 100 is presented by BMW Group Culture

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