13th Gwangju Biennale — Minds Rising Spirits Tuning

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Ad Minoliti

Ad Minoliti animates the codes of painting and its sphere of action in ideational, pedagogic, and psychosocial modes. As cofounder of the feminist art collective PintorAs, their practice has been driven by nonbinary and interspecies-centered approaches to artistic processes, the aesthetics of solidarity, and lived reality. Often their projects call for total inhabitation and act as sensory fields of worldbuilding, bringing together cultural forms like cartoons, fairy tales, game characters, and internet memes in compositions of geometric abstraction, op-art patterning, and Surrealist landscapes. Minoliti’s work has been influenced by the Argentinian constructivist avant-garde groups Arte Madí and the Asociación Arte Concreto-Invención, which pioneered experimental approaches to non-figurative art and departed from the rectangular into irregularly shaped canvases.

The artist adds a material critique to the politics of cuteness to resist hypercommodification and social arrangements of value under late capitalism. They conjure a visual language of plasticity in which animism and the internet converge to map shared utopias refuting human-animal, male-female, and cyborg-cosmos binaries. The cyborg is an essential character in Minoliti’s ongoing series Queer Deco (2012–ongoing), which addresses how anthropomorphized forms interact with objects, interior architecture, and stylized plant and animal life. In this pictorial space, they replace the “human user” with alternative fantastic protagonists as other typologies of “users,” at times in monstrous forms. In a recent artist talk, they said, “I think it’s very important to process data with our entire body.” Going by this logic, the ongoing project The Feminist School of Painting (2018–ongoing) turns the exhibition space into a classroom to expand the male-dominated canon of global art history and activate inquiry through workshop sessions around traditional painting genres—landscape, anatomy, history painting, and still life—with invited Korean collaborators who address feminist legacies, the #MeToo movement, speculative fiction, and queer theory among artists and nonartists alike. The newly commissioned murals for The Feminist School of Painting advance a common ground for learning and activate new forms of visual literacy.

Natasha Ginwala