Tuesday, November 25, 2008

PLATFORM Seoul 08 (Part 1)

I have had to wait to blog about my arty weekend because I have had to wait a few days to process it all. I managed to catch Seoul Platform 08 in its last 2 days. I freaking couldn’t believe it. This is art I love – installation, performance, video, technology, culture – most of all – IDEAS! Simple ideas that are presented as a strong, inspiring piece. Oh man – imagine if this stuff could get to our little Blue Oyster Gallery?

Old Seoul Station was INCREDIBLE: it was built in 1925, it still has the chandeliers, the ceilings are amazing but the paint is peeling off the walls – it is so beautiful I can’t explain it.

AND most of the work was inspired by the space. We went on a tour (in Korean) but a man followed along with us and handed us a translated explanation as the woman spoke.

As we walked around the building we stopped at a window at north, south, east and west. As we looked out the window a recording was played of telling family stories that focused on something that happened in whatever direction you were watching – his aunt catching the train to Busan before she moved to Japan, the poor living in the mountains and stripping the trees bare for warmth. It was simple and beautiful and even though we read the translated version as he spoke the concept came across beautifully.

Another one here that was awesome was The Forty Part Motet by Jane Cardiff (Berlin). You walk into an old ballroom and stand in the middle of 40 speakers that are in an oval. A choir is singing – except that each voice is recorded on a different speaker, then there is an intermission in the music and you can hear each choir member chatting quietly. So as you walk around the speakers the sound changes. Oh man it was cool.

Imagine this but in a Korean 1920's ballroom.

As I walked into doART Gallery in Jongno-gu. I saw this.

I thought it was a statue. I walked up to it and looked very close. It was blinking. I thought it was a statue that blinked. I went up to the woman waiting at the side and asked her if was a statue (poor thing – imagine how many times a day people ask her that!). It was a person, caught in mid fall – completely still (except for blinking) for half an hour. Oh my god it was beautiful.

There are a butt load off galleries in the Jongno-gu district. If you go on the orange subway line to Anguk, get off at Gate 1 and walk towards Gyeongbok Palace you will find them.

Are you excited for part 2? I bet you're thinking "but this art is SO COOL - how could it get any better??!!" Well, my friend, just you wait.


Elizabeth said...


Meshell said...

Jane Cardiff is a legend she did a collaborative sound work for Sydney b
one of the most beautiful haunting things i ever saw.... YEAH sound art