Minor Adjustments (John Reardon&Hyemin Son)

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Works at: Seoul Art Space_GeumCheon
Stays in: 2014
Genre: Visual Arts
Website: http://www.Johnreardon.info/

Solo exhibition
2014 ‘The Growing Manual’, Seoul Museum of Art(upcoming), Seoul, KR
2012 ‘Minor Adjustments/Ghost’, Takeout Drawing, Seoul, KR
2011 ‘Minor Adjustments/Incheon’, Incheon Art Platform, Incheon, KR

2011 ‘Visions of 140’, IAP! Summer Art Camp, Incheon Art Platform, Incheon, KR

2014          Seoul Art Space_Guemcheon, KR
2012          Takeout Drawing, Seoul, KR
2011          Incheon Art Platform, Incheon, KR 

2013 The Growing Manual, authored/edited by Hyemin Son and John Reardon, Rock-Paper-Scissors, KR (English & Korean, partly Malaysian)
2012 Minor Adjustments/Ghost, authored/edited by Hyemin Son and John Reardon, Takeout Drawing, KR (English & Korean)
2011 Minor Adjustments/Incheon, authored/edited by Hyemin Son and Hong-Ki Kim, Rock-Paper-Scissors, KR (English & Korean)

Ghost_Rooftop Movie Mashup, a hand-made MDF screen, barrowed 32 wooden palettes, an amplifier, speakers, and a mixing desk, 2012

Ghost_Ghost Tour, One-hour running tour in Itaewon, Seoul, Korea 2012 
Ghost_Ghost Tour, One-hour running tour in Itaewon, Seoul, Korea 2012

Ghost_Ghost Tshirts, Silk-screen printing onto the tshirts, 2012

Ghost_Aviary, artists-designed flight cage (welded steel, steel mesh, wheels), 10 parakeets, 2012

Billboard, black water-based paint on plywood, Incheon Art Platform Bldg. A Rooftop, 540cm × 180cm, 2011 
Visions of 1:40, IAP! Summer Camp Workshop, 2011

Visions of 1:40, IAP! Summer Camp Workshop, 2011

London, performance, Elephant & Castle, 2011

The Growing Manual, publication/plants/architecture, ongoingGrowth and Manual: On John Reardon and Hyemin Son’s Collaboration and Community Activities
Kwon Jin, Chief Curator(Anyang Public Art Project)

Growth and Manual: On John Reardon and Hyemin Son’s Collaboration and Community Activities
Kwon Jin, Chief Curator(Anyang Public Art Project)

John Reardon and Hyemin Son always collaborate in their work based on communities. The communities they have so far chosen are not ones where they turn out some specific stories with specific persons at a specific place during a certain period of time but ones approximating spaces, situations, or groups of unspecified persons they associate with through artist-in-residence programs. Unlike most community projects that directly disclose some deficiency in our social system, their strategy is to adopt some indirect method and the product of this method is like a chemical action caused by chance. This product may be pleasurable when the fluent, predictable artistic idioms of John Reardon meet the unpredictable place of Korea. Let us review a few projects which Reardon and Son co-produced. The Growing Manual is a research project displaying a process of forming relationships with art-related institutions or communities in Malaysia, Indonesia, England, Mexico, and Cuba. They began talks based on preliminary research on relevant groups or institutions and offered seeds pertaining to a specific environment and history. Growing plants from the seeds in the new environment, they come to comprehend each different trait, deepening an understanding of each other. A group of artists is likened to plants here, and a publication introducing the artists’ works as a manual for the group of artists and plants growing in different climates and environments. An exhibition or an art system that can be interpreted as the soil for their growth is preconditioned at the back of the manual. Another project <Minor Adjustment> has content developed through Takeout Drawing (located in Itaewon, Seoul) Café and Residency program. The main summary of this project is the record of crimes committed by U.S. military personnel, civilian employees of the U.S. military stationed in Korea, and their children in the Itaewon area, over the last 20 years. Based on this summary, the two artists expand the concept of a specific place as a form of art in collaboration with experts in other fields such as folklore, shamanism, architecture, and design. The artists had the Café staff wear the T-shirts with the names of criminals printed for a certain period of time, projected the Ghost Tour on physical locations where crimes were committed in Itaewon, and arranged relevant materials at the Book Kiosk at Takeout Drawing. Artistic narratives were engendered naturally through these activities. These are in fact similar to community programs created by an art institution in a traditional sense. Reviewing their activities, we cannot help but raise a simple yet underlying question without mentioning such terms as an evolutionary process of a specific genre and relational aesthetics. Where is the value of the artistic activities they pursue? That is to say, how are these activities deriving from their engagement in a specific community’s social, economic order associated with an art system? Should we imagine the growth of an artist and the manual for this based on the limited soil of the art system? Shouldn’t the seed of the artist or art grow not from the pot of the art system but from the broad land of society? When launching a cooperative project, the two artists make clear their stance and attitude. They take the motifs of their projects from the communities for which they have concern, but related activities are made in the apparent category of an art project. The naive criticism that their projects brought about no substantial change in communities is thus a groundless assertion. The best role community-based art can assume is perhaps to maintain proper tension and distance from established groups and work as a message to reflect on preexisting scenes and daily routines. All the same, we still have some expectation and nostalgia for “community” projects. Even if a project of community art is incomplete, it is like some genuine confession that art can bring light to life - or it would like to do so.