The Busan Biennale Organizing Committee has appointed Roger M. Buergel (artistic director of Documenta __ Kassel) as the artistic director of Busan Biennale
2012. Buergel is a seasoned exhibition organizer born in 1962 in Berlin. He received his education from the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and studied under the Australian artist Hermann Nitsch for 3 years.
He served as a guest curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona and the artistic director of Documenta __ Kassel. He also curated exhibitions that won critical acclaims, such as "Barely Something. On Ai Weiwei" (2010, Museum DKM), "The Government" (2003__2005, University Art Gallery Luneburg, Museum d'Art Contemporari de Barcelona, Miami Art Central, Witte de with Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam Secession) and "The Subject and Power" (2001, Central House of the Art). He taught in Luneburg University (2002__2005, Luneburg) and the Academy of Fine Arts (2007__2009, Karlsruhe), contributing significantly to the education of young artists.
Buergel suggested the concept of "Garden of Learning" for Busan Biennale 2012, in which councils consisting of 10 to 15 citizens and one or two artists will be formed. The members of these councils would collaborate with one another to produce artworks to be presented at the Biennale. He emphasized that production of artworks through collaboration not only would provide the council members with a deep knowledge of and a strong sense of belonging to the artworks but also could be reproduced as a variety of programs in which the council members educate the wider audience about the artworks by explaining or debating the concept of the works. Furthermore, in the process of collaboration, artists will also gain a valuable opportunity to debate their proposals with the public and produce artworks that would have a long and lasting effect on the community. He was also confident that Busan with its rich cultural resources as well as its scenic nature is a perfect venue for such a project and that this project will succeed the public-friendly tradition of the Biennale, providing the vision for Busan as a city of culture.
Buergel's concept which can be summed up as a sharing of artists' creative experience with the public is very significant from the perspective of communication between contemporary art and the public. He will actively utilize his know-how in undertaking this project, combining the internal elements of the city of Busan and the external elements required for staging the exhibition. Through these efforts, the Biennale will become an exhibition that highlights the regional characteristics and uniqueness of Busan from a new perspective.
Considering the current trends and limitations of the international contemporary art world, the Organizing Committee focused in selecting the Artistic Director on whether the candidates came up with an experimental and fresh concept that would serve as a turning point and provide a new driving force for the development of Busan Biennale and whether the concepts were in line with the basic principles and the direction for the long-term development of the Biennale, such as popularization of contemporary art, urban revival and education. With the newly appointed Artistic Director, the Committee will begin preparation for Busan Biennale 2012 in earnest, starting from the establishment of basic exhibition plans and system for organizing the exhibition.