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2017 Seoul Art Space Geumcheon 8th Open Studio Exhibition Back to Marginality
by Exhibition Curator Sewon OH

Back to Marginality is a report on Seoul Art Space Geumcheon's art ecosystem that crosses the boundaries, dissolves a center, and shows its capacity as marginal existence. Through the experiment on the boundaries and art practice by the artists, this exhibition will show the power and various values of ochlos. Ochlos is an alienated remnant that is not integrated with a social system and a huge latent that moves history at the same time. As the social anxieties in Korea are somewhat relieved, the marginal individuals that have become stronger in the process try to make them free from the community influenced too much by ideology and go back to practicing individuals, and recover the meaning and emotion of the marginalized life with various values. They work on the boundaries and surroundings, firmly confronting the otherization and alienation and caring the people that are affected by such phenomena. As a result, they can show their virtue and sublimity with diversity and flexibility.

Many people in Korea experienced helplessness, anger, and sense of defeat in the last few years, and suffered from collective trauma of miscommunications, recession, and unfairness. Art world was not an exception from the misery dominating the society for some time, too. Nevertheless, we have shown the power of the people against the government through the candlelight rallies, and now we are facing another phase. Again, the artists go back to marginality that shows the alienated ochlos and is armed with various values as a redundant existence. The marginality that internalizes the situational values shows the signifying works that are scattered here and there in the meantime. And it also shows forward-looking sentiment that can regenerate various values of life. Furthermore, it points out the communication gap and the inherent contradictions within the system through helplessness and loneliness of the alienated existence.   

Now, the artists are set to recover the injured individuals. They show the experiment that is different from segmentation and authoritarian integration of art through aesthetic practices with various values alienated from the social and cultural system. Lina Younes, Park Kyung jin, Chen Chen-Yu, Lee Won ho, and Chun Jae yong get together in the Warehouse to make a theatrical, romantic momentum different from life. They navigate the boundaries between a community and an individual in the social system, and they experiment, borrow, and violate the cultural distortions, prejudices and customs on things and events occurred at the boundaries. Chen Chen-Yu explores the boundaries between post-truth and truth in The Fall, The Crash, The Series, and Park Kyung jin and Lee Won ho search the non-centralized aesthetic values through their sideline production process and labor. Meanwhile, Chun Jae yong defies the symbol of authority in avant-garde style. And Lina Younes presents a sensuous and fantastic shadow puppetry as the opening performance in this Open Studio in collaboration with a musician Jimmy Sert. 

In the exhibition hall, you can hear the rhapsody consisted of impromptu but diverse values. Kang Suki Seokyeong and Cho Jai young show variations extending area and dissolving the privileged status of each area on the border between painting, sculpture, and language. Radicant tries to extend our sense through a photographic punctum and bizzare imaginary existence. Kook Dong wan and Jeong Ju won show the thought of an individual that repeats the cycle of desire and its frustration through boundary experiment between consciousness and non-consciousness. Ah-Bin Shim hides an aesthetic pleasure within the light-hearted humor triggered by ''moderate'' violation of the boundaries between inner side and social conflict. On the contrary, Park Hyung guen exposes the irregularities of the system that tenselessly removes the differences existed among various values through the photographic works about the forest inhaling an eternity. 

Apart from the exhibition hall, Elisa Strinna navigates the essence of life through ambiguous cohabitation of virtual reality and real reality by cross editing the alleys of Hanok Village and video games. Park Chung ki recalls the cultural memory that is not resolved from the outrageous things and events occurred within the community under the fierce conflict by collectively playing the short films in the projection room. Lastly, David Crespo that has explored the aesthetic values of popular culture and mania on the edge of alienated culture now shows the images collected during the stay in the residency through DJing.

Seoul Art Space Geumcheon has played a significant role in supporting artistic creations for the past nine years, and the artists hugely contributed to such result. They side with ochlos that is the subject of history, event, and emancipation and sensed a marginal existence free from a center. In addition, they made it possible for diversity to have a meaning in a social context by showing the flexible aesthetic values of life. The artists of the 8th Open Studio spent a lot of time, musing on their works in Seoul Art Space Geumcheon over the course of the year. This exhibition will become the resulting product that can provide the audience with enjoyment, recovery, and comfort through practice reflecting public sentiment and pursuing the forgotten public interests in our society. We hope that Back to Marginality will be the belles of this Open Studio that shows their spaces and working processes to the audience and communicates with them. Furthermore, we expect that this event will become the festival that shows the distinctive features of Geumcheon. Ultimately, we hope that this event will be the space that can communicate with the community and attract voluntary participation from it.