A mini MoMA opens its doors in central Seoul
A miniature version of The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York has been brought to Korea.
Hyundai Card, which has maintained a partnership with MoMA since 2006, selected five video works from five media artists from MoMA’s collection to showcase at Storage by Hyundai Card in Yongsan District, central Seoul.
The exhibition is called “Pervasive Light: Works from MoMA’s Media and Performance Collection” and presents pieces from 34-year-old Martine Syms, 33-year-old "American Artist," Harum Farocki (1944-2014), 48-year-old Trevor Paglen and 33-year-old Sandra Mujinga.
It is the first time MoMA is introducing its media and performance-based works in Korea.
The artists each depict specific motifs and issues that are prevalent in modern day society, such as feminism, racism, war and artificial intelligence (AI). Despite being relatively unknown in Korea, these artists give a fresh insight into these matters.
Syms is a Los Angeles-based artist whose work focuses on Black culture and feminism. On view is her video work “Lessons I-CLXXX” (2014-18), which is a compilation of 180 videos that span across interviews and vlogs. The videos are programmed to play in random order according to a set algorithm, and surrounding the walls is purple wallpaper that spell out "girl" in alternative ways, such as “girrrl,” “girlll” or “gggirl.”
The identity of "American Artist" remains unknown to the public; the only thing that has been revealed is that they legally changed their name to American Artist in 2013. Their video piece “2015” (2019) is shot from the viewpoint of a dashboard camera in a police car, which drives around “suggesting” which area is susceptible to crime. Although the system is a fictional version in this video, it sparks discourse about how racially biased it can actually be.
German artist Farocki and American artist Paglen dive into the darker aspects of society; the former illustrates the technology and human labor used in wars, and the latter uses AI technology to categorize human behavior.
Paglen’s “Behind These Glorious Times!” (2017) questions the extent of how much AI is capable of permeating into human society.
Norwegian artist Mujinga’s three-channel video “Pervasive Light” (2021) is what inspired the name of the entire exhibition — in the hope that media artwork can pervade into our lives. The alluring yet profoundly mysterious performance by Norwegian musician Mariama Ndure in “Pervasive Light” is sure to absorb the attention of visitors.
Hyundai Card’s “Pervasive Light” exhibition continues until Sept. 25. Tickets are 5,000 won ($3.90) for adults. Tickets are 20 percent discounted when purchased with a Hyundai card. For more information, visit the Hyundai Card’s DIVE app.
BY SHIN MIN-HEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]