Seminar Ⅰ- Heeseung Choi
Seminar 1 - Exhibitions as a Poetic Language: Heeseung Choi
Curator Heeseung Choi introduced her exhibition methodology under the title, “Exhibitions as a Poetic Language.” She spoke on exhibitions that are intentionally vague, rather than assertive—those that stay in the domain of an unreachable void, thus inducing viewers to fill said void or explore the inter-space gap by themselves. To viewers, Choi's exhibitions function as a sort of poetic language and her attitude to curating is like that of a poet. Treating artists as the “words,” Choi arranges spaces between the artworks to create an lyrical atmosphere without appealing to viewers’ emotions. Choi’s curated exhibitions The Sunken Eyes Were Dim (2023) and Rain Reading (2021) are classic examples of her “exhibitions as a poetic language” approach. Her attitude to curating—safekeeping artists in her pocket and bringing them out in the form of an exhibition—has the purity and transparency of a child storing their most precious valuables in a treasure box. While introducing her exhibition methods and attitudes, she shared that curators must find and practice their own methodologies, just as every artist takes a unique approach to medium, forms, and content in their art. Her words seemed to forecast what’s in store for the participants of the DOOSAN Curator Workshop.
- Seunga You (DCW 2023)
I’ve spent some time thinking about the first seminar on exhibition methodologies, “Exhibitions as a Poetic Language.” Such exhibitions are about creating place, blank space, distance, and rifts. In an exhibition, there is a certain amount of space between individual artworks, as well as between the artist, curator, and viewer. Thanks to this distance, each element has enough freedom to breathe at its own pace and reveal its innermost thoughts without any restrictions. Poetic exhibitions that favor ambiguity over directness or assertiveness invite viewers to look beyond the curator’s intentions. If there are exhibitions that enhance meaning by showing more and providing ample detailed descriptions or directions, then there are also exhibitions that reveal more by saying, showing, and directing less. When comparing an exhibition to poetry, curatorial statements and artwork descriptions could be likened to the afterword found at the end of a poetry book. Additionally, I tend to read exhibition brochure only after viewing an exhibition. This order is similar to how an afterword is only read after completing the poems preceding it.
- Sangyeop Rhii (DCW 2023)
I’ve been pondering the word “language.” A curator’s language begins with individual “words,” that is, the artists. Curator Heeseung Choi talked about her curatorial approach and previous exhibitions. She described the process of making and completing an exhibition as being “poetic.” Curating an exhibition could be likened to stringing together round, angular, shining, and broken marbles; or to the process of writing “poetry.” Since each of us brings different “words,” or artworks, the resulting exhibitions are special and at times even similar. Choi’s seminar was a chance to reflect on how a curator’s attitude, passion, and distance can approach and touch the viewers and readers of the exhibition. I was prompted to think about the kinds of marbles I might have in my pocket: What have I been making with them? What will I collect in the future?
- Jieon Lee (DCW 2023)