September 17, 2019 - Art Sonje Center - iwillmedievalfutureyou1
September 17, 2019

Art Sonje Center

Yun Choi, I∙MEDIEVAL SEOUL∙U, 2019. Single-channel video, 4K, sound, 14 min 35 sec, printed on foamex board, printed on coated sheet (character design: Sin-hye Park), acrylic plank, bricks, mixed media.

September 18–November 17, 2019

Art Sonje Center
87 Yulgok-ro 3-gil, Jongno-gu
03062 Seoul
South Korea
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 12–7pm

T +82 2 733 8944
F +82 2 733 8377

Artists: Jeremy Blake (US), Yun Choi (KR), Che Go Eun (KR), Sidsel Meineche Hansen (DK), Michel Houellebecq (FR), Kang Jungsuck (KR), Will Benedict & Steffen Jørgensen (US/DK), Mire Lee (KR), Lynn Hershman Leeson (US), Abu Bakarr Mansaray (SL), Gerhard Nordström (SE), Rolf Nowotny (DK), Aniara Omann (DK), Ovartaci (DK), Artavazd Pelechian (AM), Ali Akbar Sadeghi (IR), Mark von Schlegell (US), Aphex Twin (IRL), Magnus Wallin (SE) and Peter Wächtler (DE)

Art Sonje Center proudly presents iwillmedievalfutureyou1, the fourth exhibition in a series of ten non-chronological group shows that tells an epic tale about the future through fantastical, oddball and dystopian depictions of the times in which we live. Cannibalising on existing exhibition architecture, the layout and display change with each edition of iwillmedievalfutureyou as it mutates into a new configuration of works. iwillmedievalfutureyou1 includes works by 20 artists, half of whom are specially invited for the exhibition at Art Sonje Center.  

The exhibition attempts to mirror primitive and disruptive elements in our present existence and potential future; each artist presents a distinct depiction of the human condition, coalescing into restored hopes and the development of a post-human state.

In the exhibition, mankind’s interference with the natural world interlinks with technology’s impact on the human body. Mounted on a wallpaper of genetically manipulated plants and animals, Lynn Hershmann Leeson’s video, Seduction of a Cyborg, depicts a technology-induced breakdown of the human immune system. In Will Benedict and Steffen Jørgensen’s dark sitcom The Restaurant, the grocery-delivering, half-man-half-snail protagonist Snailien demonstrates the versatility of the natural world, while Mire Lee’s mechanical, human-cum-alien-like sculptures appear to be harbingers of a new post-human evolutionary state. 

The primitive and the grotesque characterise another strand of works in which medievalesque imagery and fantasies surface. Chased by an immense wall of fire, appropriated drawings of disabled people by Hieronymus Bosch populate a nightmarish contemporary gladiator’s game in the animation, EXIT, by Magnus Wallin, and, in a work by Rolf Nowotny, enlarged, metal renditions of ancient woodlice have the hallmarks of crude, futuristic armour. Collaborating with members of a Medieval Renaissant Swordsmanship Association and a game designer, Yun Choi explores contemporary desires for the Middle Ages in Seoul. In the work of Ovartaci, drawings of fantastical, retro-futuristic machines and alien bodies testify to a desire to overcome the boundaries between species, genders and the natural world. Eroding boundaries also influence the work of Kang Jungsuck, where reality and the immersive virtual reality of the gaming space coalesce.   

Seemingly ushering in a new dark age, the menacing exhibition title performatively suspends our conception of linear time by fusing past and future. Time travelling would appear to be inevitable, and jetlag to be expected, but are we about to encounter an old future or a new past? As futurologist Alvin Toffler has remarked, “The future always comes too fast and in the wrong order.”  

Conceived and realised by Jacob Fabricius, iwillmedievalfutureyou is a series of exhibitions that will appear in ten different iterations throughout the course of 100 years. In 2016, iwillmedievalfutureyou4 initiated the exhibition series at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Roskilde (DK). Later the same year, the second iteration, iwillmedievalfutureyou5, unfolded at Kunsthal Aarhus, which also hosted the third instalment, iwillmedievalfutureyou6, in 2018.

Since 2017, Art Sonje Center and Kunsthal Aarhus have collaborated on a number of projects and exhibitions. In addition to iwillmedievalfutureyou1 at Art Sonje Center, the collaboration also includes a solo exhibition by Hwayeon Nam at Kunsthal Aarhus opening in October 2019. Earlier this year, Art Sonje Center also collaborated with Kunsthal Aarhus, when Kunsthal Aarhus hosted the exhibition Water from Ganges River in the Cup Made with Newspaper from Congo by Kim Beom.

Curated by Jacob Fabricius (Artistic Director, Kunsthal Aarhus)
Exhibition Management by Heehyun Cho (Assistant Curator, Art Sonje Center)
Organized by Art Sonje Center
Supported by Danish Arts foundation, Embassy of Denmark, Korea, Arts Council Korea

Art Sonje Center
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