CHORUS + Q&A with the KFN Programmers

Wed 10 Jul, 6:00pm

Korean Cultural Centre UK

CHORUS

25 Going
55 remaining
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Vidéoème

Directed by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha

4 min 42 sec | 1976 | Korea | b&w

Print source: EAI (www.eai.org/artists/theresa-hak-kyung-cha)

An artist, performer, and novelist, Korean-born Theresa Hak Kyung Cha (1951–1982) often reflected on how the experience of immigrating to the United States at an early age informed her understanding of language and identity. The multilingual aspect of her practice is evident in Vidéoème. The title is a French neologism that combines the word for video (derived from -videre, ‘I see’ in Latin) with that for poetry, poème. Working at the intersection of video and poetry, Vidéoème dismantles words into small parts to underline the arbitrariness of language.  (Source: M+ collection)

Floral Patterned Romance | 꽃가라 로맨스

Directed by Cho Youngjoo

6 min 51 sec | 2014 | Korea | colour

Artist’s Portfolio: youngjoocho.com 

Part of a series of five dance-film works, Cho Youngjoo collaborated with 13 women, who work at Dadaepo (literally translated as a big and wide port) located on the outskirts of Busan, for this film. The project started with her interest in women of her mother’s generation, who were born right after the Korean War and sacrificed themselves for their husbands and children. Through acts of collective movement, Cho and these women went on a journey to rediscover their beauty, culminating in an experience of child-like joy and catharsis.

Nameless Syndrome Patch Version | 네임리스 신드롬 패치버전 

Directed by Cha Jeamin

24 min | 2022 | Korea | colour

Korean with Eng subs | Artist’s Portfolio: jeamincha.info 

Nameless Syndrome explores the constant reduction of the self through digitisation. Unidentifiable illnesses are often dismissed as trivial or psychological. Yet, a growing number of women are suffering from conditions ignored by a society that holds medical science as one of the highest truths. Divided into five chapters, this essay film delves into the objectification of a body through its manifestation as an image and the attendant alienation of the corporeal subject. In seeking to understand the various possibilities of experiencing an image in the absence of its subjecthood, this work also examines the ramifications and efforts involved in recognising the subject.

Delivery Dancer’s Sphere | 딜리버리 댄서의 구

Directed by Kim Ayoung 

25 min 12 sec | 2023 | Korea | colour

Korean with Eng Subs | Artist’s Portfolio: ayoungkim.com 

Foregrounding the importance of world-building in Kim Ayoung’s practice, this video work depicts female delivery rider Ernst Mo (an anagram of ‘monster’) working for the delivery platform Delivery Dancer, which is administered by a master algorithm called Dancemaster. The work not only examines the gig economy and platform labour (which became immensely popular in Korea during the pandemic) but also topological labyrinths, possible worlds, hypervigilance, and the accelerationist urge to optimise body, time and space. It also hints at a queer relationship with En Storm (another anagram of ‘monster’), Ernst Mo’s counterpart from another possible world.

Feathers on lips | 입술 위의 깃털

Directed by Cho Youngjoo 

10 min 30 sec | 2020 | Korea | colour

Artist’s Portfolio: youngjoocho.com 

Women’s bodies have always been an important subject in art history, and are still consumed in multifarious forms across various media today. With this work, the artist wanted to explore the nuances created when two bodies come in contact and capture the intimate moments we experience in our daily lives, while considering society’s perceptions of these encounters as well as what it overlooks.

술래 SULLAE

Director: Jesse Chun

6 min 25 sec | 2020 | Korea and USA | colour

Artist’s Portfolio: jessechun.com 

술래 SULLAE translates systems of language, power, and legibility by looking to the Moon as a conceptual site; addressing it not only as a poetic metaphor but also a colonial site. In this video, moving images of a precolonial Korean women’s Moon dance, gang gang sullae (강강술래), are interwoven with consonants in the English language, Hangeul (한글), and English text, various index pages from intonation books, white noise, and word-censor bleep. Chun highlights how this dance was historically used as a means for unleashing silenced angerreleased through song, bellowing, yelling, and circling under the Moon.

A programme of six short films inspired by the legacy of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha. This presentation starts with Cha’s Vidéoème before leading into a selection of contemporary artists’ films, placing them in dialogue while celebrating a diversity of voices. Though the architecture of the programme is conceptually framed as a palindrome in three dialectic arcs—exploring language (Cha’s Vidéoème with Jesse Chun’s 술래 SULLAE), corporeality and movement (Cho Youngjoo’s Floral Patterned Romance and Feathers on lips), and the relationship between technology and women’s bodies (Cha Jeamin’s Nameless Syndrome and Kim Ayoung’s Delivery Dancer’s Sphere). The intention is for the films to break out of this ostensible symmetry to form polyphonic conversations with each other. Across a range of tones, aesthetics, and perspectives, these voices represent a desire to build a chorus that refuses to be silent.

Cheryl Ho, programmer

CHORUS

25 Going
55 remaining
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