Moving Milmeory

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park, chan kook
choi, young eun
Lee, seol

Running Trash
Help Me-Kill Me
Mullae-dong, Seoul
Green Desert Plan
Seoul Art Space_Geumcheon
Cafe Salliza
Seoul Art Space_Geumcheon

Aesthetisizing Relations, Processing Life, and Subjectifying Living
                                                                                                                              Kim Jong-gil, Art Critic

In the late 1960s when Minimalism reached its limit, young artists refused the corporeality of art. Rosalind Krauss (1941~ ) referred to this as ‘the extension of sculpture’ but it was not confined to only sculpture. These artists, called land artists, ventured outside the white cube, and the outside
of art, but they pursued the essential outside of art, not just the outside of sculpture or a gallery. Their pursuit of the outside to free art confined to ideas and aesthetics was new to them. Their spirit soon became banal, but land art in a desert or on a plane was distinctive and revolutionary.
This spirit compares with practical, avant-garde, and the experimental spirit. This spirit is found in Hyunsil Dongin’s first manifesto, aspects of the Minjung-misul (Mass Art) world, and conceptual performances of the 1960s and 70s. A few groups highlight on-the-spot activities, and individual artists who attended such activities in the 1980s practiced such spirit from the outside of art. They pursued the creation of artworks through collaboration in the community, refusing the completion of art from the perfection of artwork, and deconstructing the marketing within art. This evolved through public projects and discourse on public-ness in the mid-to-late 1990s. In the 2000s, projects executed by the Public Art Promotion Committee, community projects, and village art projects, produced significant results.
Site-specificity completed through land art, was applied to and was reinterpreted in Korea’s public art. This concept for land artists initially encompassed deserts, sites of ancient civilization, and wild forests. Exceptionally it also included downtown areas for Christo Javacheff (1935~ ). The concept of site-specificity in public art includes a place’s environmental, social, historical, cultural, and  anthropological connotations. Artistic events were conducted in the center of a city, redevelopment sites, apartment complexes, deprived hillside villages, ruined ports, traditional markets, and even rural villages. I think Park Chan-Kook is a representative artist who raised these events to works of art. I began this discussion with land art, but Park’s conviction does not depend on land art. His work relies on the theory of community art espoused by Minjung-misul groups. As a project planner and artist, I intend to shed light on Park’s art world.

Living Scenes
Places Park focused his attention for his on-the-spot projects were mostly centers of life. A center of life is not a center of humans. Life is fiercer in marginal, border, alienated areas. People think their lives flow into the center of a river, but many undergo upheavals in their lives. Park considers places where he involves and practices art. He analyzes living scenes as follows: “The realms related to life, such as garbage, parking, safe food, congested subways, co-workers, drinking parties, leisure, family and social relations, infant care, education, learning, and professional activities change or expand at a terrific speed incomparable to that of the past.”
Through this analysis, what he pursues is living beyond living. In other words, he sees we can rehabilitate a true-life by transcending changing and rapidly expanding real-life.
The core of the type of living lies in slowness. It coincides with ‘slow life’ by Suzi Shinichi(1952~ ), ‘ancient future’ by Helena Norberg Hodge (1947~ ), and ‘Dersu Uzala’ by Klaudievich Arseniev (1872~1930). This is deeply associated with ecological life, or life of a natural man. One who is not
chased as he follows the time of nature, and his relationships with others are based on trust and appreciation. Park tries to recover our sanity from an autistic life that remains self-completive, losing relationships with others. His work is thus not to be individualized or collected. It has nothing to do with corporeality. He aestheticizes relationships, processes life, and subjectifies living.

Project Aesthetics
Park’s project begins with an analysis and criticism of realistic life. What his project seeks is not its completion but its continuation. He does not monopolize the project, and collaborates with the subjects of a place to lead to subsequent projects. His plans are completely different from others
in their way of analyzing an object place. He replaces the project with art, by investigating conflict in life, violence toward the system, fixed notions from customs and habits, merciless competition and disinterest, and the tediousness of daily life. His plans are thus not dominated by ideal philosophy
or aesthetic concepts distant from reality. They are rather realistic, with concepts and words from reality. Solidarity, discussion, and agreement are presupposed, but elements of discord are also clarified in his plans. Life should embrace clashes, conflict, violence, customs, and disinterest, grasping structures, locality, environment, history, and culture. In this process we can attain a deep understanding of each other and inner discoveries, and proceed to a feast.
Park’s places are original spaces that life belongs to. His site-specificity appears from a place where life is formed - whether political or social. The reason why a man instinctively tries to return to a place is familiarity. A familiar place is not easily forgotten by an individual, group, or nation. That’s why he paid attention to a village, apartment complex, or market.
Not long ago, he executed the Bap project, in which all participants brought food to cook. This project was planned to enable them to enjoy relationships while having food in a disorderly, distracted, unspecific feast, instead of though some order of invitees. The feast may help participants live a lively life, transcending the exclusiveness and tedium of daily life.