Exhibition – Situated Senses 02: 30cm of Obscurity

Abandoned Urban Ruins as Creative Labs for Artistic Trials and Experimentations
Situated Senses is pleased to present the second exhibition, Situated Senses 02 _ 30cm of Obscurity.
Situated Senses is an exhibition project introducing contemporary artists who focus on the theme of space: site- specificity in particular. The aim of the project is to find dormant and useless places in the city, such as urban ruins, and transform them into a cultural space by revealing spatial relations. Those relations do not only include physical relations between the artworks and selected places but also social and cultural relations stemmed from perception of the places. Interpreting the ruined space as a place for artistic experiments and challenges, artists, as participants of the project, find the way in which they express their senses and create particularised and unrepeatable moment of situation based on their interests and artistic sensibility. In this way, the abandoned urban spaces become creative laboratories for artistic trials and experimentations and the artists become practitioners.

Emerging Three Korean Artists in Dormant Four Cells
For the second project subtitled 30cm of Obscurity, Situated Senses has selected three prominent contemporary Korean artists, Minae Kim, Sangjin Kim and Jaeyeon Chung as participants. As the venue, the four cell spaces of the Old Police Station located in Deptford in London was chosen.

The Old Police Station(the former Deptford Police Station) is one of the various forms of urban ruins remaining to this date. Although the old Edwardian building itself is a ‘grade 2’ listed English heritage, only the four individual cell spaces show an apparent evidence of their original function as the police station. Without any information of the site, the cells are hard to be discovered and rather difficult to access because of their hidden location and lack of public awareness of the site. In this respect, the abandoned cell spaces might be defined as one of the urban ruins and, in Solnit’s term, the unconscious city. The project, thus, will explore the ways of situating artistic senses into the venue to arouse the unconsciousness of the cell spaces.

Three artists present experimental installations closely related to the site-specific feature of the abandoned cell spaces where it is differentiated from typical exhibit spaces. In the subtitle of this exhibition, ‘30cm’ indicates the thickness of a solid cement wall surrounding each cell and symbolises the cell space itself. The word, obscurity, implies its double meanings: one being ambiguous and the other is the state of being unknown or forgotten. On this implicit assumption, the artists articulate their thoughts on the site by adopting different approaches, seeking physical, political and social meanings of the cells. Each artist shows the contradictory situations related to physical conditions of two symmetrically constructed cells(Minae Kim), the unstability and ambiguity of signifying space and its relation to the system of governance(Sangjin Kim) and the inconspicuousness of monumentalised space and its continuity of oblivion(Jaeyeon Chung). Every work in the exhibition are all newly commissioned for the project. These outgrowths of works were generated from extensive research and a penetrating observation of the space in preparation of the exhibition.

Finding Latent Senses in Our Mind and in the Unconscious City
All artists address their visual identities raised by the site. Those hidden senses within spatial relations could be ascertained by the audiences’ faculties of observation and perception. Unwittingly encountering the ways in which each artist creates specific situations by articulating spatial relations in the old cell spaces, the audiences might come to realize and identify the meaning of site-specificity, and furthermore engage with its crucial role in the three artists’ works in the urban ruins, both consciously and unconsciously. Lastly, Situated Senses will continue its journey to develop its experimental movement to arouse audiences’ latent senses that situates within their inner world. It also aspires to touch audiences’ daily lives through active participations of their movement in the abandoned places in the city, which is occupied by the artists’ existing senses.

Artists Information
Minae Kim(b.1981) graduated from Seoul National University with BFA and MFA in sculpture and Royal College of Art with MA in sculpture. Kim had one solo exhibition and participated in several group exhibitions in the UK and South Korea. She was one of the participating artists in ‘Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2011 at ICA (London, UK, 2011)’ and won 2nd prize in ‘29th Joong-Ang Fine Arts Prize (Korea, 2007)’ and ‘National Endowment Fund for Culture and the Art from Arts Council Korea(Korea, 2008).’ She works and lives in London.

Sangjin Kim(b.1979) graduated from Seoul National University with BFA in sculpture. He is in the MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London. Kim had one solo exhibition and participated in group exhibitions in South Korea and the USA. He works and lives in London.

Jaeyeon Chung(b.1979) graduated from Korean National University of Arts with BA in Fine Art and Chelsea College of Art and Design with MA in Fine Art. Chung participated in several group exhibitions in the UK, Austria and South Korea. She won ‘Styrian Government Foreign Scholarships(Graz, Austria, 2010)’ and also participated in artiste-in-residence programmes including ‘Philadelphia Art Hotel(Philadelphia, USA, 2010)’ and ‘RONDO artists- in-residence(Graz, Austria, 2010).’ Currently participating in the ‘Florence Trust studio residence’ programme. Chung also works and lives in London.

About Situated Senses
‘Space occurs as the effect produced by the operations that orient it, situate it, temporalize it, and make it function in a polyvalent unity of conflictual programmes or contractual proximities.’
Michel de Certeau, ‘Space’ and ‘Places’ (1980)

The title of the project, Situated Senses, is partly inspired by the notion of a space as defined by Certeau. As shown in the quotation, spatial relations are the cores of the project. As participants of the project, the artists focus mainly on the interpretation of the space as a place for their artistic experiments and challenges, and the way in which each artist expresses his or her senses around the nooks and crannies of various art forms. The notion of the title, ‘situated’, gains importance in terms of the contexts, in which artists expose their senses in relation to the space. As its literal meaning suggests, this notion originates from the texts of the 1960s movement, the Situationist International (SI). According to the SI, a situation is a created and an organized moment, seeking to find artistic productions that construct situations, which is relatively durable in comparison to the ephemeral and unique instant. Therefore, the ‘situation’ refers to an intermediary stage between instant and moment, that is, particularised and unrepeatable. In this aspect, Situated Senses does not simply seek to present works of art in the given spaces. It rather finds the ultimate meaning of existence or raison d’etre as a situational artwork and its concept derives from a consideration of the place.

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