Thursday, October 8, 2009

NOW WHAT_Democracy and Contemporary Art - Seoul galleries, Oct 15 - Nov 21, 2009

Title: NOW WHAT_Democracy and Contemporary Art
Dates: Thursday, October 15th – Saturday, November 21st, 2009

Venue 1:
Space Hamilton
683-142 Hannam-dong Yongsan-gu, Seoul
T 031.420.1863
Opening Thursday, October 15th, 2009 @ 5:00PM

Venue 2:
Insa Art Space of Arts Council Korea
90 Wonseo-dong, Jongro-gu, Seoul
Subway directions: Orange line 3, Anguk station, Exit 3.
T 02.760.4722
Opening Saturday, October 24th, 2009 @ 5:00PM
Programme at Insa Art Space:

5pm 24th Oct (Sat) Sungmin Hong / "play-writing" (Performance)

7pm 28th Oct (Wed) Hong, Chulki / "What is Nonhuman?: Mediation between things and democracy" (Talk)

7pm 30th Oct (Fri) Baruch Gottlieb / "Materiality of Digital Media" (Talk)

5pm 31st Oct (Sat) Peter Watkins / "La Commune" (Film Screening)

7pm 4th Nov (Wed) Justine Triet / "Sur Place" (Video Screening)

7pm 6th Nov (Fri) Pash Buzari / Eun-Jung Kim / "How about this" (Talk)

6pm 7th Nov (Sat) Kim Gok, Kim Sun / (Film Screening, Director's Talk)
Contemporary art talks about democracy. The present situation and inborn significance of democracy presents the alternative to autonomy and social function of art.

'NOW WHAT_Democracy and Contemporary Art' is a question about how democracy relates to contemporary art.

This question starts from the critical mind on restrictions originated by various causes in reality, such as consequences of mass media, school education, authoritarian at workplace, lack of passage for democratic participation, and political measures of government. The reality of democracy in Korea is that the people haven’t yet obtained civic rights, and even a notion of the citizen is absent.

At a contemporary art exhibition hall, as a specifically political space that displays art, intends to present rather concrete features to this dim and abstract notion of the status and role of the citizen through contemporary art pieces that comprehend alternative for democracy and criticism on reality. This exhibition is a fundamental question about the cause of extreme social changes, as well as an ontological question about our standings. We would like to exchange alternative plans and prepare for future through this question.
About The Artists

Seokho Kang graduated from the Department of Sculpture at Seoul National University and Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Germany. He had his first solo exhibition at do ART Gallery in 2003, also held solo exhibitions at Kumho Museum in 2006 and at Brain Factory in 2008. He takes individual characters as his main motif and takes them into his paintings in different ways; the paintings of a trimmed bust of people shown in TV programs or newsmagazines, for example. In this case, gesture becomes the key of the painting since each character makes particular gesture in a very rhetorical and descriptive impression exaggeratively expresses the social or political standing of oneself. The artist also projects exhibitions with his series of collections made up of ordinary living supplies such as chairs.

Minja Gu graduated from the Department of Painting at Hongik University and Department of Figurative Art at Korean National University of Arts. She participated in Ssamzie Studio Program in Korea and Hangar Residency Program in Barcelona. She also took part in several group exhibitions such as , and , and had her first solo exhibition at Space Croft in 2009.

Baruch Gottlieb is a media and sound artist born in Montreal, Canada who took his major in film production. He is the originator for bringing in sound art in Korean curriculum as well as founding Sound Effects Seouls(SFX Seoul). From 2005 to 2008 he stayed in Korea working as an assistant professor in media art at Yonsei University Graduate School of Communication and Arts. Mainly presenting sound and computer-based films, his work even expands to interactive art, radio art, archiving and public art, pursuing systems of human form in the cosmism of human nature.

Pash Buzari is an artist mainly presenting video and installation works mixed with photography and drawing, with his interests based on architectural or cinematic space. The artist is also interested in aspects such as light, space and perception shown in sci-fi films, he experiments alternative possibilities about “future” and investigates models of future life in the boundary of architecture and society. In those works film, design or architecture becomes a tool to look out on future. Buzari participated in the Berlin Biennial in 2001, Venice Biennial in 2003 and Whitney Biennial in 2006.

Hwayoung Park, born in Seoul in 1968, graduated from Department of Painting at Seoul National University and got her master degree in New Form at Pratt Institute. She participated in P.S.1 International Studio Program held by Institute for Contemporary Art, New York in 1995, and took part in Theaterwork DESDEMONA held in Germany and Japan in 2000 and 2001. In 1998 she co-projected the very first single video exhibition in Korea and presented it at Art Sonje Center. Merging together varying media and scales, she has been showing her works in diverse forms, searching for the most appropriate ways to express identities, the essential topic. Her works metaphorically represent things she actually feels and experiences in her everyday life.

Pascal Lièvre was born in France in 1963. He has constantly been having exhibitions around the world : Paintings Ombres in Belgium(2000), Vidéochroniques in France(2001), VideoHisboa Festival in Portugal(2003), “Face Off” in New York(2004), Preview Art Fair in Germany(2005) and “Women Portraits” in Hong Kong(2005). The artist re-appropriates himself icons of pop culture and mixes them to create new political language, scrapping out famous art works from their structure and background in his paintings.

Justine Triet, born in France in 1978, graduated from National Art School in Paris, and worked as a director, screenwriter, actress, photographer, editor and sound editor. She presented a short film “Sur place” in 2006 with the scenario, sound editing and production on her own, and in 2007’s film “Chroniques de 2005” she played a role as an actress.

Sungmin Hong, Professor of Kaywon School of Art and Design, inspires a new wave into the art and performance field in Korea with his projects turning a shopping mall into a performance stage, or presenting a lip-synch opera performance played by well-known characters of TV commercials. His general-oriented works stand on a unique, inflecting line in the Korean contemporary art society. The artist presents the new aesthetics the modern society desires, deranging symmetrical aspects like Eastern & Western, ordinary & extraordinary or tradition & revolution. His site-specific projects filled with various devices like dance, performance, live music and images run by a nonlinear scenario subvert traditional structure of a theatre.

Chulki Hong is a noise musician and improvisation player born in Seoul in 1976. In 1997 he formed Astronoise, which was the first group in Korea that plays noise music. In 2000s he produced several albums of noise music and improvisation music, while co-managing an independent label Balloon and Needle. He also played with other improvisation musicians from in and out of the country several times, and wrote music for experimental films.

Peter Watkins is an English film director born in 1935. After studying at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art he started making films with an 8mm camera, and in 1959 his film “The Diary of Unknown Soldier” won Oscar Prize for Amateur. Then he started his career as an assistant producer of TV films and commercials at BBC, but since the film “The War Game” he presented in 1965 was banned by BBC Watkins left England. From then on Watkins consistently produced films that criticize the brutality of war and reveal his hostility towards public power and the press. “Punishment Park”, “Edvard Munch” and “The Freethinker” are the well-known works by Watkins, especially “La Commune” filmed in 2000 is valued as the zenith of his works with all his standpoints integrated. He is named as the initiator of fake documentary, or mockumentary in other words.

Raqs Media Collective is a group of three media artists Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula and Shuddhabrata Sengupta, with their activities based in New Delhi. They all graduated from the Mass Communication Research Center at Jamis Milia Islamia University, India, and gathers in 1992. The three members were also co-curators of Manifesta 7, The European Biennail of Contemporary Art took place in Italy in 2008. Raqs had their exhibitions at Frankfurt and New York in 2004. Their work continues to explore and develop in subsequence the urban landscape and experience, the meaning and uses of media and technology, the nature of knowledge and what it means to learn. We face not only an artistic impulse but also a wider range of human faculty associated with the capacity of individuals and societies for imaginative and ethical innovation.

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