Tuesday-Saturday 11:00~19:00 / Closed on Sunday and Monday
DOOSAN Gallery Seoul: 15, Jongno 33-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea
Through DOOSAN Curator Workshop, a program that aims to train new curators, DOOSAN Gallery will host an exhibition named Calypso Καλυψώ from August 3rd to August 31st, 2022. The exhibition is co-curated by Eugene Hannah Park, Sunjoo Choi, and Yeji Hong, a group of participants to the 11th workshop.
DOOSAN Curator Workshop’s exhibition Calypso Καλυψώ begins with the story of nymph Calypso that appears in Homer’s epic poetry Odyssey. On his way back home after the Trojan War, Odysseus met a storm, lost his ships and comrades, and arrived at an island where Calypso stays at the end of the world. Calypso detained Odysseus at her island for seven years by promising wealth and eternal life.*
This exhibition focuses on Calypso, who held the visitor hostage. How did she take hold of his time? The three curators seek answers from the title of the exhibition, ‘Calypso.’ The name Calypso originates from the Greek ‘καλύπτω’ meaning ‘to conceal’ and ‘to cover’, signifying a curtain that hides something. The reason that Calypso was able to detain Odysseus was that she herself was the power of concealing the truth. Instead of telling the truth, Calypso Καλυψώ adopts ‘concealment’ and ‘curtain’ as its methodology of the exhibition and studies a way to persuade anyone who is ‘ready to leave at any moment’ to stay longer. Other than the artworks of Sohyun Moon, Mu:p, Yena Park, and Sin Wai Kin, there are pillars , placement of publications that differ from one week to another, and programs created in a way that overlaps time and space of the exhibition. This hinders the visitors’ grasp of the exhibition, and eventually delays the time of those who intend to leave.
By twisting the structure of space, Sohyun Moon has been engaging in media installations that amplify chaos originating from not knowing the exact location. Moon filmed DOOSAN Art Center where DOOSAN Gallery is located, and projected a twisted space by using its source in sink (2022), her newest piece of work to be revealed in the exhibition. The work reverses the hierarchy of space by completely revealing spaces that are not usually noticed, such as emergency exits, staircases, parking lots, rooftops, and waiting rooms behind the stage. In front of the endless hallway, the shadow is distorted and the audience gets lost in a strange and spooky space. One attempts to anchor by measuring the end only to find out such effort was futile. The time when a sense of freefall continues without touching the floor leads to an effort to locate an exit in unconventional ways.
Mu:p structurally explores space and movement. Throughout the exhibition, Mu:p will showcase 4p8p : 8 practices and 4 performances (2022) that consists of eight practices and four performances. The practice is not a predecessor to performance, while the performance is not a repetition of practice. Each practice and performance starts in one sentence and builds up a conversation. The conversation between the director and performer is transmitted to an empty exhibition space on a day where there is no planned performance. Twelve interventions that take place during the performance vary the time format itself. The entire outline can be seen through more than nine visits over the four-week period, but the moment the audience faces is always neither whole nor partial, leading one to trace the time intervened. Mu:p edits and mixes the practice and performance to ask questions about the components of performances that were not generally revealed.
Through her new piece of work Discover Artijecta! (2022), Yena Park attempts to distribute pieces of truth that she discovered to the audience. Clues that are scattered here and there in a fragmented way enable an encounter with Artijecta (Artificial+Object+Data), an unknown existence. Artijecta is an existence in a distant future where objects rule the human world and has been in constant contact with human beings invisibly. The author, who claims to be a discoverer, suggests the way how Artijecta intervenes through public Wi-Fi devices, videos, and images.
Sin Wai Kin has been working to disrupt the normative process of defining desire, identity, and objectification through speculative fiction that uses performances, moving images, and writings. For Sin, drag is an embodied practice and used as a strategy to criticize the ideal image created by the technology of reproduction. The One (2020) that fills the front of the exhibition shows the artist who is meditating deeply. On their forehead, there’s a sun that also serves as the third eye while the entire face contains the outline of his body. The image redefines the limits of the body, blurring the boundaries between the face and the background to erotize it. Today’s Top Stories (2020) simultaneously presents both truth and falsehood, reality and fiction about the quantum universe. The two tasks whisper that the distinction between oneself and the world, the mind and body, and the individual and the whole no longer exists. Repeated and elongated time penetrates the audience’s breath and dramatically breaks down the fixed dichotomy and the norm of normality.
Look, the world is falling apart. Do you still wish to go back to your own world? Do you wish to abandon this paradise of comfort and move onto the future where life is not guaranteed?
Calypso asks ‘those whose returns are delayed’: Are you going to leave the island of comfort and cross the stormy sea? The answer is already there. This is because Odysseus rode a raft to his world and completed his epic poetry.
Calypso Καλυψώ arrives as a concern on how to stay in the current world with an attitude that neither deny the reality nor give up on it. The time that Calypso held Odysseus was an essential delay that aided him to transform. The hours of isolation and detention were not consumed with failure, but rather transformed into creative moments that one can ruminate on oneself. Eventually, the visitor to the island continues his escape in new ways and overcomes the fear and lethargy that destroyed his own life. In the end, the exhibition proposes to proceed to explore the power to lift the curtain regardless of the impossible understanding towards the truth beyond the curtain and the relentless arise of apprehension. Just as Calypso gave Odysseus a tree to build a raft, Calypso Καλυψώ wishes you to please get out of here and complete a new story.
DOOSAN Curator Workshop is a program that discovers and supports young curators who will present new perspectives to Korean contemporary art. Three curators are selected every year and experts from each field are invited for a year to cover the theory and field of contemporary art in depth through lectures, seminars, and workshops. After the workshop, DOOSAN Gallery provides them an opportunity to embody a year of research by co-organizing an exhibition.
* Homer, Odysseia, translated by Chun Byeong Hee, Seoul: Soop, 2015.