April 10, 2017 - National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea - Lesson Ø
April 10, 2017

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea

Courtesy National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea.

Lesson Ø
March 31–June 18, 2017

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea
30 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Sogyeok-dong,
Seoul
03062
Korea
Hours: Monday–Sunday 10am–6pm,
Wednesday and Saturday 10am–9pm

T +82 2 3701 9500

www.mmca.go.kr
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Participating artists: Beom Kim (Korea), Wan Lee (Korea), Hein-kuhn Oh (Korea), Suk-kuhn Oh (Korea), Do Ho Suh (Korea), Jung-ju An (Korea), Rohwajeong (Korea), Min-ae Kim (Korea), Haegue Yang (Korea), Jae-woo Oh (Korea), Yu-jin Lee (Korea), Yoon-kyung Lim (Korea), Fang Hui (China), Brendan Fernandes (Canada), Takayuki Yamamoto (Japan), Jon Sasaki (Canada), Hiroko Okada (Japan), Valerio Rocco Orlando (Italy) 

Art is one of our primary methods for questioning the social functions, practices, and phenomena that are often taken for granted. Two activities that have a profound influence on our lives, yet are often overlooked in contemporary discourse, are teaching and learning, or education. Instilling us with our collective values and behaviors, education is integral to our socialization process and thus, to the stabilization of our social system. While education has obvious value for human growth and development, it also entails numerous problems that are often more difficult to discern. The featured artists of Lesson Ø seek to challenge our prevalent system of education by proposing new interpretations of its conditions and consequences.

Through sensitive observations and innovative ideas, the eighteen domestic and international artists of this exhibition (including one group artist) question the role that education plays in our formation as individual and social beings. Indeed, the diverse installations and works of various media in this exhibition may be seen as a three-dimensional examination of this theme, employing a wide range of styles and techniques such as parody, humor, symbolism, allusion, and “mockumentary.” We are all tightly bound to other individuals and social groups by the invisible ties of education, but these artists seek to loosen those bindings in order to introduce possibilities for entirely new relations.

The exhibited works cast serious doubts upon the principles underlying our education system, raising numerous questions. What is the fundamental basis of the human behaviors of teaching and learning? In turn, what is the basis of the cultural styles and intellectual processes that are derived from such behaviors? Most importantly, how do these behaviors operate and formulate our social existence? While some of the featured works seek to disclose oppressive or dogmatic mechanisms that are embedded in the education system, others provide a platform for individual expression within a frame of fixed relations.

Zero, as in Lesson Ø­, is one of the most perplexing numbers, with many mysterious properties. Multiplying any number by zero results in zero, or nothingness. But adding a zero to the end of any number instantly multiplies it tenfold. Similarly, education can result in either all or nothing, depending on the methods and agents involved. Teaching others and learning from others are two of the core activities that are repeated throughout our lives. In fact, these activities are so ubiquitous that they can be easy to overlook. This exhibition aims to bring those activities under the light of introspection, allowing us to reexamine their profound effect on every aspect of our lives.

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