A Eight Characters in Search of an Author

Art Free
Arko Art Center Atlantis
"Atlantis" Courtesy of the artist and Arko Art Center
Do you at times see yourself pull away from reading great literary works, afraid that the words written will taint your opinions that reside deep in your subconscious? While there are artists that refuse to be influenced by their peers’ works or exhibitions, Arko Art Center features eight open-minded artists that create art from well, art. Novelist Kim Tae-yong will recite the verses of composer and writer, John Cage, and project team Nomadic Drift will drum, dance and mix in some visuals to hold an “insignificant festival,” as inspired by the Milan Kundera novel. In July, performances are live and happening at Arko Art Center.
August, on the other hand, calls for the kind of watching in which you can sink into a designer chair and watch films by international filmmakers that you can’t find a single trailer for on Youtube. Christelle Lheureux’s black-and-white film I Don’t Remember Its Title features a wistful conversation between a man who speaks in Italian and a woman who speaks in English. Barbara Hammer, upon stumbling on Maya Deren’s sink, lights its porcelain surface with projections filmed in Deren’s LA and New York homes. Ben Russell’s documentary takes place in what he calls “Atlantis” (shot in Malta) where the Utopians, despite “the sea that surrounds them all,” persist that “This [world] will last forever.” (Spooky, right?) Just as the insanely blue sea rises like a fortress wall in Atlantis, you can almost visualize the millions of microorganisms not visible to the naked eye and daydream about all the great literary and artistic creations in the world that you haven’t seen, or let alone heard of. And it is in this same vein that I have tried my best to elaborate on all the performances and videos selected by Arko in this cramped space on the page, as I know that a cold list of unfamiliar names will do nothing to get you out of your bed to go see these eight characters in person.

For sound performance “Weird Translation,” sound designer Ryu
Han-gil will perform on Jul 24 at 8pm and novelist Kim Tae-yong will perform on Jul 25 at 7pm. Nomadic Drift will perform on Jul 30 at 6pm and Jul 31 at 7pm. The single-channel video exhibition will be on view from Aug 6–Sep 6.