Gallery Baton displays artworks loosely tied to space theme
A group of panels that show mystic light amid darkness, reminiscent of nebula pictures taken by NASA, are now hanging at Gallery Baton in Hannam-dong, central Seoul. They are flat installation works created by German artist Max Frisinger in 2015. Though they are named after real nebulae such as “Volans” and “Cygnus,” they are actually made of LED lights and worn-out nets. They “prove the artist can recreate the aesthetic qualities of industrial products whose functional worth is already extinct,” the gallery said.
The works are part of the ongoing exhibition titled “The Secret Life” at Gallery Baton. Some other artworks on view are also loosely related with space. A three-channel film “Once Called Future”(2019) by New-York-based Korean artist Jaye Rhee shows a ruined “Futuro House” in Texas. Futuro House was a portable chalet reminiscent of a flying saucer designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen of which less than 100 were built in the late 1960s and early 1970s amid the space exploration boom. Most of them are now abandoned or dismantled.
Alongside the images of the Futuro House is a narration by an elderly man and his memories of when he regularly bought flowers and gave them to a woman who was never impressed and his thoughts about time and life in easy but poetic words. The film is related with “the future which was looked forward to in the past but never actually arrived and has become the past, and nostalgia about it,” the artist said.
In a corner is Sejin Kim’s “Messenger(s)”(2019), a two-channel 3-D motion graphic video depicting Laika. The dog was launched into space in the Soviet Union spacecraft Sputnik 2 in 1975. Laika, with a calm expression and eyes, seems to have a premonition of her tragic fate, suggesting the dark side of the space exploration competition in the Cold War era in the 20th century.
The work makes a strange pair with “Dog,” an ash-colored life-size sculpture of a dog that is lying on its stomach on the floor. With its eyes closed, the dog seems to be peacefully sleeping but also might look exhausted. It is a work by Belgian artist Hans Op de Beeck, well known for life-size sculptures depicting fragments of our daily life, which are in hyper-realistic style but in ash color, giving surrealistic ambience.
Among the other exhibits is “Fragment of Forgetting”(2019), Dutch artist Mark Manders’s sculpture which depicts a human face fragmentally just like that of an almost-destroyed ancient sculpture. The exhibition runs through Friday.
BY MOON SO-YOUNG [email@example.com]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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