A group performance & script (in collaboration with David Berridge, David Johnson & Pippa Koszerek)
Included in *periphery publication by YH485 Press. View PDF online.
An interactive process diagram
This diagram attempts to communicate the multifaceted processes that have emerged during my artist-in-residence at Gyeonggi Creation Center in conjunction with the two other local institutions (Doongji Children's Home and Gyeonggi English Village Ansan Camp); it is composed of four categories : Conversation, Research, Workshop, Event. Each bar is linked to relevant documentation in video, photo series, writing, etc.
This was exhibited as part of the Art + Education exhibition at GCC in October 2010 along with the participant group's short videos resulted from the workshops. (Please contact me, if you're interested in seeing the interactive diagram above.)
Some reflections on the project (published in the GCC yearbook 2010-11).
For the last two months, I have been going through many hours of video materials taken from the English Village in Ansan (Korea) - the proposed subject for my art project - during a four-month artist residency at the Gyeonggi Creation Centre this past spring. Reading about the English Village phenomenon on a website before my visit, the general aim of an English Village is to offer an English immersion environment within Korea that transports visitors to a ‘typical’ English or American town inhabited by English speaking teachers/performers. Currently about 100 English Villages exist in various scales and styles. I was excited and curious to look at this situation in person, yet also suspicious about the nature of my curiosity.
After several visits, I arranged a situation where 50 students (between 6 and 17 years old) from a nearby children’s home were invited to the English Village for one weekend. Eight students from the group were equipped with a video camera after having taken a series of video workshops that I hosted. My thought was simply to have more ‘authors’ on board. (I also had one professional camera person.) The student camera team could record their selection from experience as well as be proactive with a camera - acting and talking to the camera. Jean Rouch’s idea of a “shared anthropology” perhaps points to my intent. He describes this as "a new method of research which consists of ‘sharing’ with the people who, before, were only the objects of study." (What does he mean by “sharing”?) From my students’ footage I continue to discover many ‘new’ scenes that I had not seen in person. I wonder what this footage - more intimate interviews and blunt shots - represents and how it can be part of the final work.
This was my first time to see and experience firsthand what goes on in an English Village, yet engaging with this place has been a return to my own past; certain aspects bring me back to my experience of English education in Korea. Moreover, this engagement connects to a broader question that I have been interested in for a long time : what it is that we acquire when we learn a (foreign) language and what the personal experience is to use (or have to use) that language.
These thoughts reveal my mixed position on approaching this place - as observer, inquirer, traveler, and a native participant. A structural strategy might be to offer my own autobiographical account to delineate the source of subjectivity, the particular gaze that is not pure (nor desired to be pure). The term and history of “autoethnography” that Catherine Russell discusses in her book Experimental Ethnography (1999) was helpful to identify my concern. Russell remarks that “autoethnography produces a subjective space that combines anthropologist and informant, subject and object of the gaze, under the sign of one identity.” How then can my position be indicated in the video - via my voice-over or my physical presence on-display? How should I balance these two elements - unmediated depiction of the phenomenon compared to disclosure of the perspective that informs that depiction? And if these positions are deeply interlinked, what would be the ways to reflect that?
As I spend more time with the footage, the list of the questions keeps growing: What should be the main language of the final video, Korean or English? Who is my intended audience? Can this work ‘serve’ the participants in the video (native Korean students and English teachers living in Gyeonggi province) whilst staying ‘interesting’ to my current art peer groups in London? I hope to find the platform where questions such as these - ones not necessarily exclusive to art - are the main content of the work.
A performance lecture (in collaboration with David Berridge)
Presented as part of Summer of Dissent at Plan 9, Bristol
This two part performance lecture re-works an article in Frieze to create a micro-exhibition, a performance lecture, a film, and a photo-novel. It enacts a dissent-ing methodology of the oblique and the indirect, refusing the article's original context to create an expanded meditation on the utility and social relevance of experimental writing and art practices, whilst also exploring the non-art 'art' activity to be found in the streets of London, Hanoi, Berlin, Paris and Seoul. The second part develops further the notion of dissent focusing on the working methodologies of the two invited artists - Alex Hardy and Stewart Geddes.
A group performance (in collaboration with David Berridge, David Johnson & Pippa Koszerek)
Presented as part of Welbeck Street Show Garage (curated by Birdseye Production) at Welbeck Street NCP, London
This project returns to Ivan Illich's 1967 manifesto Celebration of Awareness, originally written after the 1967 March on the Pentagon. It reconfigures this text as a site specific response for a guerilla re-enactment on the roof top of the Wellbeck Street NCP Car Park, a short distance from London's Oxford Street. Upon arriving on the ninth floor of the car park, participants are greeted by one of the artists, invited to take a protest banner and proceed on to the roof. There, from an ACCIDENTAL PULPIT made from the car parks own architecture, a series of readers pronounce the following text from Celebration of Awareness. Audience members are invited to enter the pulpit and read themselves, fitting the words to their own bodies and voices.
A performance lecture (in collaboration with David Berridge)
Presented as part of Scratch Festival 2009 at Battlesea Art Centre, London
An extract from the script
A and B do legibility test. (Maybe with a series of books)
When the Roni Horn Recording (2nd time) is about to end, A and B finish the test and B walks back to her computer.
A : When I think about democracy I think about peoplereading in public.
B : I am thinking about the story of my Dad. I remember him making his own book covers for the books he would be reading during his commute. They were often covered with brown paper, sometimes with newspaper.
A : I think they were a bestselling novel series. I suppose he thought of them as not intellectual enough? Maybe. My dad probably thinks that other people wouldread into him based on the books he’s reading and he doesn’t necessarily like that. He doesn’t want to be identified with the specific books – what they represent.
B : When I think about democracy I think about people reading whilst walking down the street.
B plays a series of slides as A speaking
A: I’m interested that the act of reading removes youbut also makes you more present...
An audio Installation/3mins 20secs (in collaboration with Nina Noechtl)
Presented at the exhibition ” Moved, Mutated and Disturbed Identities“ in Casino Luxembourg
a diagram for the organised group talk among all theparticipating artists and translators
The participating artists who shared their thoughts for this project:
Tessy Bauer, Hangfeng Chen, Clement Cogitore, Miquel Garcia, Abhishek Hazra, Ingrid Hora, Kata Sangkhaes, Elisabeth Smolarz, Mayura Torii, Nguyen Anh Tuan, Jason Wee
Voice performance by:
Sonny Bauer, Lysiane Soreze
English interpretation by:
Sonny Bauer, Sofia Bouratsis, Suzanne Cholewka Pinai, Taku Miyamae, Claudia Passeri, Jie Zhou
This work is drawn from the 7th Asia-Europe Art Camp I participated in summer 2009. The application required a fluency in English to participating artists, but no one in the final selection was a native English speaker, so we all in the end communicated in diversely broken English. In response, Nina and I organised a group gathering with one interpreter for each artist; every artist talked in her/his native language, which was then translated into English by the interpreters. This conversation was recorded, transcribed, and edited together - resulting in a single text. This text was then read by the two local women alternating sections of the artist’ words.
at Project Space Sarubia / 8 March - 6 April 2011
The Agency offers 10 participating artists free Korean to English language translations of their artist statement, as well as gallery installation of both the Korean and English text alongside the artist’s work. It wants to explore the current relationship between art practice, writing and theory, and its communication to a viewer. Of primary focus is how this set of relationships may be impacted when the language in which they are conducted is translated into another.