뭍 – Poetics on the Island’

 

"The past is never there waiting to be discovered for exactly what it is. History always constitutes the relation between a present and its past." (John Berger)

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뭍 - Poetics on the Island was a case study and conversational performance at Corner Art Space, Seoul, Korea

The act of studying and compiling older writings to a new text piece (also called Jibja, 집자, 集字) was a popular ancient East-Asian practice among artists and literati in order to preserve history as well as to re-contextualize the meaning of the works within then present times. What remains is a new, single work of art that is more the reflection and manifestation of psychological, cultural, or societal truths, rather than an inaccurate historical account.

– Poetics on the Island explores the possibilities of truth and knowledge by excavating and assembling tales and myths – stories that are considered ahistorical and therefore not true. For its first iteration, I invited visitors to practice with me performative utterances (see main image) and engage in conversations utilizing images and texts that draw from different archives of stories around the ocean and the mermaid. 

As a conversation between the performer and the audience, we gathered to talk about how human beings have tried to build connectedness and understanding between seemingly different existences and cultures using fantastical creatures and stories. The remains of – Poetics on the Island were on view as a retaining and disappearing installation during the exhibition period featuring the empty island and a stack of paper that holds the stories and experiences shared.

 

Images by Nara Shin, Corner Art Space