Sol Jee Ahn

South Korea
1990
Statement

Investigating what it is to be a subject or object from different social standards’ view, I explore the notion of the term ‘being foreigner’ and ‘local’ as a tool to connect the question of autonomy of cultural selfhood and owning a body. Seeking various definitions of ‘foreignness’ while different cultures collide, the platform of which these phenomena are shown discretely is one’s body. To be exact, a body as a landscape of authenticity becoming foreign matter, and on the other side of that landscape, the survival of such authenticity against foreign invasions such as viruses or medical drugs. Biological system is under constant update and evolves into each new versions, creating new features through hybridisation and re-positioning. But though on the other view, who can say that the germs, viruses and the city are just ‘new’? Those might have been anchored there for a very long time, and the foreigner’s body could be the new object for them. I would say this ping-pong is actually the matter of where to position or to be positioned. But how relative this is, I still regard ‘the foreignness’ as a singular element that have a power to deconstruct and regenerate the value of the existing system.

As much the body of anonymous character I created within the works is important, I care about the audiences’ body to stroll around the installations as well. Their bodies are substituents of ‘someone’ who might have been there already, or perhaps the one who might hold the space. By stepping in the installations, they breath the same air, hear same sounds and exist in same place but in different time. Building up this strange co-relation with the work and the audience is to provide experience of a transitional moment, a displacement that entails both empirical level of fragmented subjectivity crisis and theoretical discourse of loss and gain.

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