Visitor Welcome Center presents YoungEun Kim and Alexandre Dorriz.
May 18 - June 22, 2019
Gallery Hours: Wednesday - Saturday, 12-6 pm
Visitor Welcome Center presents Bones of Sound, a solo exhibition of work by YoungEun Kim made between 2017 - 2019. This is the artist’s first US solo presentation of her work.
YoungEun Kim’s work is situated within the ecology of sound in the social sphere. Through installations, videos, and texts, Kim rearranges the experiences of sound used in defining political and cultural moments to speak to how sound is embodied and instrumentalized.
The invisible and intangible nature of sound lends itself to a vehicle for control, rebellion and liberation. The text and sound based video, Red Noise Visit(2018), spotlights two opposing sounds—a curfew siren and radio waves—that were used during Korea’s modernization. The siren controlled the affect of citizens and their bodies during the anti-socialist era, while radio waves crossed freely between borderlines. The video begins with the memory of local residents who recall the siren wailing from a red bricked watchtower, and expands into the institution of the national curfew siren. It then centers the memory of a former spy during the 1960s who listened to the broadcasts from South Korea while in the North. In the sixties, the press labeled the sound of radio signals as “Red Noise.” The texts in the video are collected from news articles, interviews, and essays describing memories of the siren and radio. Electroacoustic techniques, recorded voice and found objects, recomposed siren and radio sounds are embedded in the video.
Within the Korean DMZ, military troops experience sonic weapon attacks broadcasted through dozens of loudspeakers blasting weather forecasts, K-pop, and news reports critical of the North. Guns and Flowers: Sculpted two love songs(2017 - ) is an ongoing work that reflects upon the irony of the State weaponizing pop music and the complex sensations the troops experienced as a result of these broadcasts. Inspired by the power of a collective body, Kim looked to Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement, a 79-day occupation in favor of more transparent elections. The song, “Happy Birthday,” was used as a nonviolent way to counter vocal critics and governmental antagonism. During the protest, a megaphone button was unintentionally pressed, triggering the song to sound, leading to an enthusiastic applause and a mass sing-a-long. Flesh of Sound(2017 - ) draws directly from this event. A single voice is gradually enriched into a chorus through an additive process of layering multiple recordings of that same voice to transform into a collective one. Rooted in political moments, Kim proposes the possibility of rearranging our habits of assembly through the recontextualization of sound.
In 2012, a local journalist employed by a Seoul-based newspaper recorded a phone conversation with his interviewee. After the interview, the interviewee did not push the “end” button on his phone, and the journalist inadvertently listened in on a subsequent conversation between the interviewee and other parties. The journalist published the contents of this conversation in the newspaper, and was charged with violating Korea’s Protection of Communications Secrets Act. In the trial, the court ruled that the defendant was not guilty for recording, but that he was guilty for listening. The artist takes this event as a point of departure in Transcribed Dialogues (2019 - ), in which she reveals and obscures conversations overheard from recordings that she made in public spaces. Here, Kim explores the boundaries between hearing and listening, a private and public aural space in the form of a text. Through politicized experiences, the artist disorients our relationship to power and shifts our politics of listening with her work. The reverberations are evocative and chilling.
YoungEun Kim(b.1980, Seoul; lives and works in Los Angeles) studied Sonology at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague in the Netherlands, and received MFA from the Korea National University of Arts and BFA from Hongik University in Korea. She was an artist-in-residence at Q-O2 in Brussels (2018) and Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam (2014-2015). She has had solo exhibitions at Cake Gallery+Solomon Building, Seoul (2014); Seoul Art Space Mullae (2011); Project Space Sarubia, Seoul (2011); Alternative Space Loop, Seoul (2009), and Insa Art Space, Seoul (2006). Her work has been commissioned by and included in group exhibitions at Arko Art Center (2018), SongEun Art Space (2017), Seoul Museum of Art (2016), Leeum: Samsung Museum of Art (2016), and many others. Her works are in the collections of National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Korea, Seoul Museum of Art, and others. She won the Grand Prize at SongEun Art Award and Honorary Mentions at Prix Ars Electronica in 2017. She received grants and fellowships from Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Mondriaan Fund, Arts Council Korea, and Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture.
Support for this exibition was provided by Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant.
Image: “Fountain,” Book (Detail). 2017-2019.
Description: East Wing of Resnick Pavilion at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Visitor Welcome Center presents Fountain, an installation by Alexandre Dorriz.
In the living room of Lynda and Stewart Resnick’s (POM Wonderful, Wonderful Pistachios, Teleflora, FIJI Water) Beverly Hills home stands a seven-foot statue of Vincenzo Vela’s The Last Days of Napoleon I, a white marble monument of Napoleon clenching his hands over what looks like a blank white map.* Following President Jimmy Carter’s instated embargo on Iranian goods in 1979, the Resnicks purchased acres of land in California’s Central Valley from Mobil Oil and Texaco throughout the 1980s. Before the sanctions, Iran had maintained the global market share on pistachios. Dorriz traces the Resnicks’ financial contributions to both politicians and organizations whose continued involvement in sanctioning Iranian goods led to The Wonderful Company’s global market share on pistachios today.
Ibn al-Haytham’s Book of Opticsis the lens through which Dorriz examines the Resnick’s farming practices, provenance, museum holdings, and financial contributions. From the perspective of early modern French Orientalist expansions, Dorriz reflects on the representation of mirages—illusions of water—as a way to elucidate upon Imagined Geographies.* Through fieldwork and site visits, he imagines the territorialization of mirages at the prospects of droughts, floods, and the privatization of water banks. During the month of Sha’ban, the final lunar month before the beginning of the fast and historically dedicated to Bedouins’ search for water (April 5 - May 5, 2019, Gregorian), Dorriz has collected, indexed, and tested nearly eighteen liters of potable water from the water fountains of Los Angeles arts, science, and academic institutions to which the Resnicks donate.
Fountainis an installation that considers histories and narratives that vacillate between and collapse into interchangeable lens and optical-based systems. The inverted Shah Qajar tent in which the water fountain sits is made to the approximate average dimensions of the five versions of J.L. David’s Napoleon Crossing the Alps, in which optics are interpreted through historical painting.** The tent interrogates the history of French colonialism through the advent of the daguerreotype, which French Orientalist photographers would introduce into the Iranian royal court. The cyanotypes exposed within the inverted tent are defined by the location of their exposure. Exposed in front of the Resnick Pavilion at LACMA is a painting of the ship with which Napoleon led his campaign into Egypt, L’Orient, that set sail with scientists, artists, and academics on May 19, 1798.
* Eye for the Sensual: Selections from the Resnick Collection
* Edward Said’s Orientalismreferences two attributes to the Oriental image. One refers to the concept of "Imagined Geographies," which exist as amorphous land masses that conflate identities of Oriental peoples. An "Imagined Geography" through the lens of Western hegemony conflates the identity of an Arab, an Iranian, and an Indian land mass. Said’s second attribute to the Oriental image is an image of timelessness, a “Timeless Orient,” which lacks the specificity of regional historicity. Hence, the Oriental image exists as one which vacillates Space and Time between dimensions and retrocausal histories.
* There has been a discrepancy between the representation of colonial figures and artists’ relationships with those figures in schools of Historical Painting. Each of the five versions of J.L. David’s Napoleon Crossing the Alpscontradict one another in their representations of historicity as journalistic mediums, the horse which Napoleon crosses the St. Bernard pass alternate between the five paintings and so do Napoleon’s costumes. Forty years later Delaroche would paint Napoleon crossing the St. Bernard Pass on a mule. Both Napoleon and David would be exiled from France in 1815.
* The Resnicks had independently funded the research on the health benefits of the pomegranate at UCLA. Their advertisements made claims that their natural POM Wonderful products could treat, prevent, or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction. After researchers at UCLA filed a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, the Resnicks countered their claim to an infringement upon The Wonderful Company’s Right to “Freedom of Speech” to promote their product—claiming advertisements are protected by the First Amendment. In 2013, FTC Commissioners upheld a trial judge decision that POM Wonderful deceptively advertised pomegranate products by making unsupported health claims. Later that year, the Resnicks donated four million dollars to instate The Resnick Center for Food Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law.
Alexandre Dorrizis a research-based artist informed by interdisciplinary photographic approaches towards textile archiving and preservation, specifically matrilineal histories working with and collecting textiles for four generations through the Iranian Diaspora. He networks vacillating Orientalist histories with museum provenance in his practices. Dorriz’s current body of research is in breeding silkworms to model localized economies, investigate memory seriations in fiber and interpret silk protein as a time-based, photographic medium in an ongoing studio installation, entitled Economies of Small, or the Location of Capital.