Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dissonant Visions - art exhibition- Seoul Museum of Art til Aug 30

What: Monster era_Dissonant Visions
Dates: 2009-06-24 ~ 2009-08-30
Where: Seoul Museum of Art, Exhibition Room 1 (1st floor at main building). Near City Hall subway station (see map below)
Opening hours: 10:00~21:00 on weekdays (Tuesday~Friday), Sat-Sun 10:00 - 19:00
Entry fee: normal exhibitions - 700 won.
See website:

Genre of exhibition and the number of artworks: Range of contemporary Art styles/ 60 pieces
This exhibition features various interpretation of 'monsters', imaginative and mysterious creatures created by distinguished artists through the eyes of comtemporary art.

Monsters have been perennially living in the imagination of numerous artists. They are a metaphor to embody a dualism crossed all society like cognitive dissonance in individual values collided with the real world, refusal and violation against existing system and rationality and internal discord in human being or community. One of the hidden code to understand complicated and multiplicate comtemporary art radically changing is 'dissonance' which appears as 'monsters' in the comtemporary world. Twenty one artists in the exhibition provide common denominator, imaginary creatures through 'Dissonant Visions'.
The word 'Monster' can be traced back to the latin 'monstrare (teach)' and 'monere (warn)'. As you can see, monsters originally meant something to show to the public as a warning like psychological and moral deviation including immorality, madness, irrationality and violation rather than something to inspire fears or disgust until before 19th century. They are not natural creatures, but cultural and artistic creatures representing a stranger of the age in the historical context. As it becomes hard to draw a line between goodness and badness, the emblematic creatures earned additional images of chaotic human who lost their control over the world.

Catastrophic reality and unpredictable future make human beings unstable more and more. In this 'hybrid' world, existing rational orders and values are confusing people. Various illustration of monsters in contemporary art offers meaningful opportunities to have a deeper understanding into inhuman wildness inside us living today.

Introduction and Artists

The exhibition presents various interpretation against existing stereotype of monsters, helps the audience broaden their horizon of imagination, and looks into the contemporary world through multiple aspects. 21 participating artists show diverse works like paintings, photographs, sculptures, videos and installations diversified both in form and substance at three sections.

Section 1. Apocalypse of Dystopia

This section consists of series of works expressing monsters as a rhetoric symbolizing an dystopian response to the dismal age. They contain complaints and desperate horrors about the world's irregularities and evil practices, concerns and pessimism about the civilized society, inhuman wildness beneath it, and uncertainty of the future caused by radical changes of cutting edge scientific technology.

Section 2. Forbidden Land

This section is about monsters as an existence that refuses traditional values and violates taboos. As Michel Foucault defined monsters as a combination of impossibilities and taboos, beings that violate taboos are monstrous. Those who crossed a boundary or on the line are monsters. Present time is a 'hybrid' world that caused number of problems like violating the nature, creation of mixed species and collapsed characteristics and boundaries then monsters unveil their appearance agitating existing reasonable orders and values.

Section 3. Inner Monster

This section deals with internal darkness and madness of human being. Art is an aesthetic expression of the age and recognition of the reality by the artist and moreover, it is a report about immanent nature of human. Monster is embodiment of fear existing beneath the deepest consciousness, another ego of the artist and psychological portrait of us all. We may be able to reaffirm the monstrous characteristics inside of us.

No comments: