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DOOSAN Curator Workshop

Artist IncubatingDOOSAN Curator Workshop

Seminar VI—Jaelee Kim

Dec.16.2023

Seminar 6 - Jaelee Kim (choreography critic)

 

 

Jaelee Kim discussed the role and practice of curators from the context of performances, focusing particularly on their meaning and status. In performances, bodies move toward and away from each other, ultimately blurring the fixed boundaries of an artwork. A performance is therefore unstable and loose, an ungraspable, formative language in constant motion that is impossible to define. Regarding their status, performances have often been allocated to the periphery of art museums. The aesthetic politics of performances have been pushed to the farthest corners where by-products are collected. Curatorial practices should thus demonstrate respect for performing arts’ constantly changing relations and significance within a specific time and space, while also paying attention to its most unstable and weakest elements.

- Seunga You (DCW 2023)

 

 

 

Under the theme of “micropolitics of performances,” the session with choreography critic Jaelee Kim examined performance-related vocabulary and a variety of performances that take place in the fine arts field. One memorable point was about the potential political nature of performances, which have the power to envelop and indirectly induce their surroundings. It prompted contemplation on minor gestures, fleeting bodily movements that shatter and reduce language to nothing; the process of drastically reducing movement speed to make said speed apparent; and the power and meaning of uncontrollable seizure-like movements and gestures in performances. One example is Steve Paxton’s Small Dance, which involves moving so slowly as to approach stillness and directing the audience’s attention to the surroundings and scenery. This restraint of one’s strength to create a scene of balance and assimilation, as opposed to one of control and domination, generates a moment of unification and harmony impossible to attain through control. I believe that this is connected to Jaelee Kim’s talk about the political power, or micropolitics, of good performances.

- Sangyeop Rhii (DCW 2023)

 

 

 

Many words are associated with Jaelee Kim—researcher, choreographer, dramaturge, director of movement, and more. Dissecting each one of them, I am aware that the words are vague yet connected and have slightly different functions. Last year, while organizing two performances and a follow-up exhibition in a project called a fist is a fist is a fist, I deliberated endlessly about the nature of dance, contemporary dance, and performances that unfold in museums. In May last year, I met Kim for the first time and talked for more than three hours about the interchange and absorption of choreography and technique. The talk provided valuable materials for the basis of the special exhibition A Deliberate and Rapid Transplant.

During this workshop, we explored dances and performances that have entered the fine art scene since the 1970s, micropolitics, and the cultural and political aspects of choreography. We also touched on early discourses about performance’s physicality, identity, and performativity in connection to the multifarious problems of the current era as well as the nature of politics manifested therein. Many performances that infiltrated Korean museum spaces, from the 1970s to today, are more like footnotes for artworks, or “additions” and “movements circling the periphery.” Some of the seminar’s case studies included performances from the 1990s that affectively reinterpreted the intersection of space and time-action within museum spaces. However, the most recent museum-linked performances that I’ve watched exhibited still bodies in specific poses, as if to assert that the body is a physical tool. I have begun to understand that before using words trending in contemporary art, such as “post-human,” “post-humanism,” and “post-dance,” there must first be an emphasis on the horizontal relationship among dancers, curators, and choreographers as well as the performativity of one another’s roles. 

- Jieon Lee (DCW 2023)

 

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