Seminar I - Sohyun Ahn
Sohyun Ahn, a curator, critic, and the director of Art Space Pool, introduced each of the exhibitions she organized since 2011 to present in the first seminar of the DOOSAN Curator Workshop.
First, Ahn talked about her experiences of organizing Peace Like a River (2011), an exhibition under inadequate conditions in which Ahn and the participating artists attempted to voice out their perspectives on the Four Rivers. The Four-River Project was already underway at the time; thus, there was nothing that could be done institutionally about the project. However, the exhibition was organized in the belief that art must speak, even more so when it’s deemed to be too late.
X-Sound (2012), Tireless Refrain, Nam June Paik on Stage, and Random Access are exhibitions curated by Ahn, either jointly or independently, while she was an appointed curator at Nam June Paik Art Center. Ahn talked about her experiences of organizing an exhibition beyond a certain scale through joint curating in X-Sound, which Ahn worked with contemporary artists based on the historical research on the relationship between John Cage and Nam June Paik. Ahn also talked about her involvement in her solo project Tireless Refrain (2013), through which she identified her directivities as a curator in the gradual process of discovering the subject rather than grasping onto a clear subject from the onset. In addition, Ahn also talked about her experiments with installation format in exhibiting the museum collection in Nam June Paik on Stage (2015), and her concerns and problem-solving in working with the museum space and institution while working on Random Access (2015).
Ahn discussed the considerations related to the intervention of curator according to the nature of the exhibition, through the individual exhibitions and exhibitions planned as an independent curator. Ahn gave examples of Eunyoung Jeong’s solo exhibition Trans-Theater (2015) and Sanghee Song’s solo exhibition The Story of Byeongangsoe 2015: In Search of the Others (2015) in talking about the gesture of constantly throwing questions and mediating between a number of participants including artists. She also examined the exhibitions Degenerate Art (2016) and Salt of the Jungle (2017) in talking about ways of identifying the power of the exhibition to convey a message, or dealing with the process of making detours to circumvent political pressures.
In this first seminar, the participants had the opportunity to discuss curator’s concerns that change with specific conditions and situations based on concrete examples. Rather than exploring a certain principle which applies to all circumstances, the discussion examined how the dynamics between the artist and curator, and art works and curating can change in different examples, and also explored some of the anticipated difficulties.