Latency/Contemplation. Artist Films and Videos from South Korea since 1960s



Invisible image produced by the action of light on silver halide crystals suspended in the emulsion of a photographic material. History of Korean artist’s cinema is exactly the same as latent image, writing our history is much the same as archiving unexposed film prints. Experimental film and artist moving image made over five decades in Korea are extremely difficult conceptualize due to lack of historical contingency. Although our consciousness is suspended by the presence of archive itself, this program focuses on the ways in which artists in South Korea have addressed the intrinsic conditions of cinema and the changing social and political context that have defined the ways artists have been able to work. This screenings will attempt to map the continuities across various generations and the crucial role of artists’ organizations. (This program title is borrowed from Cho Seoungho’s video work.)

In-tae Kim

7’ | 16 mm - HD | Color | Stereo

1967

Screening format: High-definition digital video

Canada

Alfabeto coreano

While at National Film Board of Canada (NFBC), In-tae Kim produced Korean Alphabet, an educational film designed to teach the Korean alphabet with a soundtrack created by Norman McLaren. Through this work (which received the Golden Prize for Educational Films at the Tehran International Film Festival in 1968), we can get an impression of the scope of cinema in Korea during the 1960s, and glimpse how new technologies and experimental techniques were used to explore cinematic concepts, in this case within a pedagogical setting.

Kim Ku-lim

11’ | 16 mm | Color | Silent

1969

Screening format: High-definition digital video

Republic of Korea

The Meaning of 1/24 Second

Taking the basic structure of film, that consists of 24 frames per second, The Meaning of 1/24 Second expresses the harsh reality faced by modern humanity and the sense of alienation that comes from uncontrollable speed. Duration was a key concept in Kim’s artistic journey and the cinematic shape of this film was based on editing every second image. Unable to make a finished film print at that time due to technological limitations, Kim was so worried about the fragile nature of the print, given its many splices, that he prepared many additional elements for the premiere, including dancers and multiple slide projectors. These elements turned the film premiere into a multi-projection performance. The event was held at the Academy Music Hall in Seoul on 16 July 1969. This artistic gesture is considered to be one of the first non-normative cinematic interventions in Korean moving image history.

Lee Kun-yong

12’ | Super 8 mm | Color | Silent

1975

Screening format: High-definition digital video

Republic of Korea

Event-Logical

From 1975 to 1979, Lee presented about 50 “events” in different locations and exhibitions, although documentation of Lee’s performances is extremely rare. Identical Extent and Indoor Measurement were originally presented as part of Today’s Method group exhibition at the Identical Extent and Indoor Measurement White Deer Gallery in April 1975, while Rope and Two Peoples (originally titled as Meeting) were first presented as part of An Event by Four Artists at the Seoul Gallery in April 1976.

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