On this coming November 26 to December 22, 2019, ONE AND J. GALLERY is pleased to announce its group exhibition Courage and Poem. Artists Socheol Kim, Yi Yunyi, Seo Young Chang, and Han Jin participate in the exhibition with choreographer Soo-hyun Hwang's performance taking place for four days during the last week of the exhibition. The exhibition Courage and Poem initiates from the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben's phrase cited by the French philosopher Georges Didi-Huberman in his book, Survival of the Fireflies (L'Image survivante). Huberman points out 'courage-political virtue-and poetry' as the duty of the contemporaries in Agamben's essay, 'What is the Contemporary.' According to his interpretation, the contemporaries are those who are not 'perfectly tied to it (the epoch) in every respect' thus can manage to perceive the epoch; those which deviate from the era thus grasp it squarely, bear the courage to sense the 'light that strives to reach us but cannot,' and are capable of writing poems as the 'art of fracturing language, of breaking down appearances, of disassembling the unity of time.' exhibition translates this task of the contemporary as the task of the artist, and construes the gloom of the era as the yet-to-be-called 'pain / minority-ness / disharmony.' These pains are issued through the apparatus of the exhibition to be acknowledged by peoples, consequently inducing them to imagine the penetration into political units.
Socheol Kim primarily dealt with the domain of civil society and conviviality as he criticized and intervened in social issues through forms of art such as tearing down the wall of Arko Art Center or operating workshops where the participants breed and produce cigarettes firsthand. He currently collects media including independent publications that suggest lifestyles through social activities, and examines the ways of which these could be conveyed to users as texts. In this exhibition, Kim intervenes in the visitor's exhibition experience as he deploys fake walls for space zoning. These fake walls, inspired from the British Stowe Landscape Garden and the architect Libeskind, lead visitors to accidentally stumble upon artworks whilst wandering in the natural environment. Moreover, the spaces one abruptly runs across such as multifariously entangled hallways and sharply folded walls were menacingly displayed as those which demand change to the visitors due to the acts portrayed by the work.
Yi Yunyi poetically expresses the female's speech, or the feminine speech. Yi has collected non-narrative behaviors and words from oneself and those around her and displayed them in video, photograph, and installation works. When the emotions, languages, and acts generated from private incidents become poems inside the works, the mundane and daily language transforms into political language and the language as the passage to truth. Wetland, Greencard, Trio, the video introduced in the exhibition, describes the situation when her boyfriend had to suddenly depart to Korea due to a green card issue during their studies overseas. The sudden parting could have been a light matter; but it became a disaster that totally overturned and grinded all forms of the narrator's life in the video. Furthermore, the artist delineates the figure of which an individual's life inevitably crumbles inside a state's system as she borrows the voice of an actual resident who has been dwelling in the States for a long while, craving for a green card, yet constantly living with that anxiety.
Seo Young Chang portrays her own chronicle of disease through her artworks. Through unexplainable pain and a sense of difference, she shows the dislocation and darkness of being that do not surface nor reveal its name. The artist's state of obstinacy and endless pain, and conditions that cannot be resolved through others' aid due to its invisibility also appear as metaphors of unexposed beings and marginal beings who have to feel fear and a sense of difference amongst the disparity and conflict between their own awareness and the world's. Thus, the disease chronicle of an individual represents invisible pains and suggests a contemplation of those lives.
In her paintings or drawings, Han Jin represents landscapes lucidly imprinted in the body (memory) among superimposed or messed up times. These can but only be expressed as the artist's memories, but they are also those which exist somewhere in some point of time that we also live in; thus, the artist states that her images are 'representations' with distinct subjects. To express them, Han traces, explores, and depicts the subject to the limit-which is also an attempt to bodily represent a landscape inscribed in the body and to approach the certain point that the representation takes place in person. The artist eventually let goes of her brush at the moment when everything that only the artist knows becomes exposed. This enables the viewers to get access of the landscape the artist represented, and at last, perceive them inside the time of present.
For long, Soo-hyun Hwang has explored movements that rule out emotion, and movements as choreography. The artist showed how the intense bodily movements of laughter and crying can be displayed and conveyed without emotions through her works such as A Crying Sense, I'm Crying, But I'm Not Sad, I Think of What the One Feels, and Sense of Black; but one gets to discover the paradox that emotion inevitably occurs between the dancers or dancer and audience in whatever form it may be in, at the very moment these movements are displayed. In a way, the intentional separation of emotion and bodily reaction is the representation of pain. Most of us live in a certain point that cannot be utterly segregated or integrated, a point of agony barely graspable-yet never comprehensible. Mechanical laughter is the prerequisite of the laughter in Hwang's performance, but it becomes a dislocated expression of pain when it is unable to absolutely escape the bridle of emotion.
Press release courtesy One And J. Gallery.