The Artist Video strand for this year’s London Korean Film Festival imagines a space for Korean artists whose moving image practices allude to subtle, intricate and ambiguous inquiries against status quo and complacency. As the global outcry wakes us up from collective amnesia, we are reminded of the fundamental problems that have been hovering near us yet overlooked. Korea, the country that succeeded in flattening the curve is not an exception. The causes behind the success story ironically cannot discount issues such as homogeneity, conformity and prioritisation of efficiency that hinder a radical and meaningful change.
The programme comprises two Artist in Focus screenings; the Moojin Brothers and Seo Young Chang who acutely probe their visceral responses to everyday reality, which underpin broader issues. Inspired by their lived experiences, the Moojin Brothers create dreamlike parables infused with contemporary fatigue and absurdity within the prescribed structure. Their surreal imageries reconsider the path through which knowledge is constructed. While the Moojin Brothers’ social critique often reflects the life of their generation in stagnation, Seo Young Chang looks inward to echo how the power of a structure can shape one’s experience. Chang focuses on the (in)visibility of corporeal existence and the physical pain that collapses the network of time and space of a body, generating an unproductive entity. The selected videos will guide us through different states of existence and trouble the conceptual and physical definition of a living body.
The underlying theme in the programme interrogates the standardised speed, value and meaning of linear time. Chang once said in an interview, a body is “a prism that perceives the world.” In the works of both the Moojin Brothers and Chang, the medium of moving image becomes a body that senses, endures and refracts the time at unforeseen angles. The films invite us to linger for a while to reassess what it means to make progress and move forward in and outside of Korea.
The strand is presented in partnership with LUX – the UK agency supporting artists’ moving image. For the online edition of the 2020 LKFF, LUX will host both screenings online.
Sun Park (artist and programmer; Events Manager, LUX)
Read here an interview to Moojin Brothers.