Disappearance, Bar in the Gallery: Reflection

On 22nd August 2019, we went to the National Art Gallery to see an interactive exhibition titled, “Life Circuit: I/O” by Inter-Mission which was a response to Lee Kang-So’s 1970s works “Disappearance”.

When I first entered the exhibition space, you could see people buzzing around in tables and performers were setting up their electronic equipment. There were projectors, various controllers and random screen recordings were played. We were encouraged to sit around freely from the tables to the stairs.

When I first sat with the audience, I did not realise that the performance had started. The projected videos on the three different scenes were actually live feeds from Japan, some motto from NAG and real-time video of the audience. it seems like a mish-mash of montage videos compile together. While all these visual footages were playing, there was also a distinctive white noise heard, it is sometimes manipulated by the artist by twisting knobs or controlling it via his computer.

The two main artists were wearing head and body gears which project images on the goggles and screen as you can see below. They were seen walking around, creating different images and white noises as the walk. I was very confused throughout the performance. I kept asking myself, were they trying to facetime someone or calling someone from other countries to get “live” feedback. I kept waiting for the white noise to be clear to hear a proper sentence. But it didn’t happen.

After the show had concluded with a camera feed of a group crossing Japan’s Shibuya crossing which I have known much later, the crowd slowly dispersed after welcoming applause. With a casual conversation with one of the performers, I learnt that they were trying to covert images to sound. They were having a live feed with another group of performers in Japan and it was a response to reinterpret the chaos of mundane life back in the past of Korea.

The latter part of capturing Lee’s work is still a part I cannot quite grasp the idea of with the performance. I think if they performed in a different setting it could still imply the same theme and aims they wanted more effectively.

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INTJ who loves apples.

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