Seminar IV - Yonghee Sung
The fourth seminar of 2020 DOOSAN Curator Workshop was led by curator Yonghee Sung, focusing on the question “Is curating possible? The curator as an uncertain subject.” The first part of the seminar looked at the whereabouts of the subject of curating, and whether curating is something that is indeed possible. After discussing where the purpose of curating lies, and how it can be defined, the participants explored whether the curators themselves can be reflected in contemporary art and curating as a self-confession.
In the second part of the seminar, the workshop looked at the performing arts programs and exhibitions which Sung organized and dealt with in detail what social outcomes these projects brought about. His recent performing arts program included works such as Karel van Laere’s The Non-Present Performer (2019) where the existence of the hypnotized performer vanishes on the stage, and Ten Journeys to a Place Where Nothing Happens (2019), in which the audience is invited to a tent and nothing happens. This project, MMCA Performing Arts 2019 held at National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (2019), invited the audience to think about the art museum and theater as a public space and site of public sphere, under the subject heading “The Square.”
On the other hand, The Museum for All, The Museum for Dogs (2020) was a project that began with an interest on the Other. The project attempted to question our attitude towards others in the society and the scope of publicness guaranteed by the art museum, by inviting 'dogs' as a real visitor to the museum, which is an extremely human sphere. Sung asked whether such results of curating can bring about many social changes, and ended the seminar with an emphasis on “empty performativity.'
This seminar was fascinating in that it talked about the process of organizing an interdisciplinary program that traverses across the different genres of dance, theater, sound and video, etc. At the same time, it was a meaningful time for the participants of the workshop to deeply consider the definition of curating and the attitude towards it, as an imperative issue as a curator.