Collaboration with South Korean Novelist, Kim Yoseob & Film Director, J. At Espace Rhizome, South Korea
I was tasked to remember (through performance art) an important political event in Masan, South Korea, during my participation in the International Artist Residency Program at Espace Rhizome. I chose to focus on the 3.15 protest, which took place on March 15, 1960, against electoral corruption and led to the April Revolution, which overthrew the autocratic First Republic of South Korea under Syngman Rhee. As I conducted my research, I found myself grappling with the question of how artists can contribute to creating public instances of collective remembering and how to highlight histories of exclusion, victimization, and discrimination.
As a white Afrikaans artist, I struggled with my role and responsibility in creating spaces that recognize the injustices that form my country's problematic past while leading to reconciliation. I collaborated with a South Korean novelist and film director to investigate how public and personal memory intersects and what this intersection might offer artists in creating works about complicated, traumatic public events. Together, we focused on how public history is projected onto objects in the private space and how political narratives are projected onto the private body in public spaces. I used simple repeated performative actions to bring prominence to the importance of asking "how" in considerations of remembering on behalf of, or as a collective.
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