Sunday, February 1, 2009

Parallel World: Twix Painting text by gustav

Parallel World : Twix Painting
January 16. – 25, 2009
Babel Art Space, Trondheim

The South-Korean multi-artist Soo Jung Choi (b. 1977) has worked in Trondheim from January 1 to 14. The result of the two short weeks of work are the art works exhibited here under the name of Parallel World; Twix Painting. They are the result of Soo Jung’s approach to her environment. In the course of the 14 days long working stint she has eaten Twix chocolate. On the poster: a photo of a reflector disk. A rigid system of crystals. But in the system we also see a breach, a brittleness in the rigid grid. A system based on contrasts rather than balance. This is one of many possible approaches to Parallel World; Twix Painting. For what greater contrast can be imagined than a concrete object like a bar of Twix and an abstract entity like 14 days of work? Through a simple, but curious and striking pun the two get a common denominator. Two weeks/Twix. The idea is reflected in the two blue twin paintings. The X-shape can be guessed at in both of them… Two weeks/ Twin/ Twix/Two X.

A grid of possible links is revealed. Not merely between words and situations. A detail from the surroundings is interweaved with traces of human activity, a remnant from daily chores, be it Soo Jung’s or someone else’s. These analogies cannot be regarded as objective causal links; this is rather about looking at things slantly. She makes something familiar unfamiliar.

Having worked for a couple of days, Soo Jung suddenly finds a closed down and derelict sign-maker’s workshop. This workshop, that other passers-by ignore, becomes her point of departure: a stage set that creates a certain atmosphere, her “dystopian spot”. From this workshop she collects photos, sketches, letters and postcards. This collection is in its turn the result of someone else’s approach to his or her surroundings. A parallel is drawn between her own project and this other person’s approach to his or her surroundings: they are both sign-makers. This other person is exposed, and yet he or she still remains anonymous.

Fragments of this salvage collection can be rediscovered as details in the works where Soo Jung’s approach offers a new meaning in a new context. Water that trickles in between the teeth of a beer top is linked to a metaphor describing days seeping into the year. Instruments for measuring, tools that used to bring about clarification, suddenly accentuate, through their optical qualities, a sense of dizziness. (Underlined by the work title Nausea.) The work of art operates as a neutral space where this linking takes place. The pictures function not only in virtue of themselves; they also engage in an active dialogue with the surroundings. The external conditions of the production are at least as important as the inner structure of the work. The pictures become a filter for Soo Jung’s experience of her surroundings.

So the pictures depend upon connections. Something parallel that takes place on the same premises, perhaps at the same time of the day, but which has had no common denominator until now. Soo Jung Choi’s works seek to make visible such connections, or, to put it in other words: to throw light upon a parallel world.

Gustav Svihus Borgersen, 15.01.2009
Translated by Birgit Kvamme Lundheim