July 14, 2015 - ARKO Art Center - Eight characters in search of an author
July 14, 2015

Eight characters in search of an author

Eight characters in search of an author
Summer 2015

Arko Art Center
3 Dongung-gil, Jongro-gu
Seoul 110-809
Republic of Korea


Creative VaQi installation / performance
Daehakro Ddot
July 15–18, 11–19h
Gallery 1

Hankil Ryu+Taeyong Kim sound performance
Weird Translation
Hankil Ryu: July 24, 20h 
Taeyong Kim: July 25, 19h 
Space Feelux

Nomadic Drift
Heroes appeared
July 30, 18h, and 31, 19h
Gallery 1

August 7–September 6, 11–19h
Gallery 1, closed Mondays

Culture day: August 26 open until 21h
Cultural night in Seoul: August 28–29, open until 22h

Participating artists: Creative VaQi, Hankil Ryu+Taeyong Kim, Nomadic Drift, Barbara Hammer, Ben Russell, Christelle Lheureux, Sujin Lee, The Otolith Group

Organized by Arts Council Korea Arko Art Center

Related events

Artist talks
Nomadic Drift
August 8, 14h
Seminar Hall 3F

Hankil Ryu+Taeyong Kim
August 22, 14h 
Seminar Hall 3F

Dictee read aloud with the audience: Sujin Lee
August 15, 14h 
Seminar Hall 3F

Arko Art Center brings performances fusing plural genres of music, choreography, and installation as well as single-channel videos that take their motifs and inspirations from literary works, authors, and other preexisting creations to its 2015 summer exhibition. In these works integrating different medium traits and interpreting original sources in diverse manners, the eight participating artists (teams) present nine different types of artistic experiments. The exhibition title Eight Characters in Search of an Author has been appropriated from Six Characters in Search of an Author, a play by the Italian dramatist Luigi Pirandello. These artists, authors of each work as well as readers of any kinds of preexisting texts, will participate in this show as characters creating another text of this project. Here the authors of originals and the original texts themselves are reinterpreted and recreated by the other artists’ nine artistic languages or become the objects of their immediate homage.

The project consists of performances in July and single-channel video exhibition in August. Recognized for their experimental and integrative styles, performing teams will show new productions. Creative VaQi has concentrated on conducting experimental performances by utilizing materials like objects and bodies from diverse art forms implementing media and installation as opposed to preexisting verbal theater. On this platform, Creative VaQi makes their first foray into offering a performance during the whole exhibition hour instead of a usual one-shot piece. Nomadic Drift, a collective group of a choreographer, a musician, and a video artist, presents a site-specific performance carried out in the gallery, realizing an original fusion of different genres and challenging the boundaries of multiple forms. Hankil Ryu, with writer Taeyong Kim, conducts a sound performance in which he translates a transitory state of thoughts prior to text into something else by implementing electric theories. The single-channel video exhibition will feature six works by five artists. The Otolith Group, the 2010 Turner Prize nominee, presents a video centering on a reading of the first chapter of the poem, Sea and Fog, by Lebanese-American poet Etel Adnan. The sound of Adnan’s gentle voice, with quiet but ever present ambient noise in her apartment, creates a powerful, meditative atmosphere that draws upon the powers of philosophy to pursue the continuous mutation of matter into velocity. Barbara Hammer, who has actively worked in a wide range of fields from video to performance art, takes the motif from Maya Deren, often referred to as the mother of American avant-garde and dance film. Hammer demonstrates images of Deren’s presence along with those who remember her in a collage form, paying tribute to the female filmmaker. French filmmaker Christelle Lheureux, the prizewinner of various film festivals, displays two pieces in this exhibition. Her first work I Forgot the Title is a recreated juxtaposition of Italian films of the 1960s with official look-alikes of the movie stars. The work is dedicated to the imagination and the memory of the audience, and it brings the audience into a state of limbo between consciousness and unconsciousness, memory and oblivion. Another work Water Buffalo, confronts the historical communist (un)consciousness with the contemporary daily life of the new emerging urban life style of two interlinked stories. Inspired by Plato’s story about Atlantis and Thomas More’s Utopia, Ben Russell, the winner of The Canon Tiger Awards 2015 at International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), presents a documentary he filmed at Malta, an island that has been mistaken for Atlantis. In the work, direct uses of external texts represent Plato’s first mention of Atantis, a re-thinking of Plato’s Atlantis-as-Utopia, and the transformation of a utopian ideal into popular culture. Sujin Lee, who has mainly worked overseas, traces Theresa Hak-Kyoung Cha with her own writings, the memories and the voices of others through interviews focusing on the experience around Dictee written by Cha. Lee tries to bring viewers deeper into the journey by exhibiting documents such as letters and notes made in the process of producing this piece. 

From the performance and exhibition, viewers will experience layers of diverse forms and contents of each work, along with heightened interest in the original sources that have influenced those works. In addition, original text, and stories about the authors are newly recreated through an integration or expansion of genres such as literature and video, literature and performance while positioning characters to weave another drama of their own.

Arko Art Center presents Eight characters in search of an author
ARKO Art Center
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