Folding space at Biennale of Venice

By Turning the Korean Pavilion of Biennale of Venice into a kind of laboratory for archaeological investigation, The Ways of Folding Space & Flying, the multimedia film project created by Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho invites to an interesting mirror reflection about the digital future of art.

As the 56th edition of Biennale of Venice is about to kick off in the city of Doges, by flooding as every two year the large spaces of the Giardini and Arsenal for the official programme (alongside with a high number of galleries, private palaces and other venues spreading in the whole town for the Biennale off-site), the retained theme for 2015 of All The World’s Futures gives a glimpse of some digital-oriented devices to be shown at. Amongst the huge amount of projects, installations, films and pieces presented in this always prospective exhibition, the one up to be presented at the historical Korean Pavilion located in the Gardens offers a intriguing audiovisual journey between memories of a past civilization and aesthetic of a future to come. And it seems furthermore to sum up this way an interesting point of entry into the digital world of tomorrow that expresses explicitly the general title’s orientation.

Created by duo of Korean artists Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho, The Ways of Folding Space & Flying is indeed a multi-channel film of ten minutes that uses the immersive approach of digital art installation to turn the Korean Pavilion into a kind of timeless laboratory establishing a zone of future-retrospective narration, interweaving the historic evolution of the Biennale itself to stress out the desire of men to release from barriers of time and space in a sort of complete emancipation of both mind and body. By the way, the piece is actually referring to Taoist practice of chukjibeop (a hypothetical method of contracting physical distance and time) and Bihaengsul (that refers to another supernatural power, i.e. to levitate, fly and travel across time and space).

A new quest for art

Concretely, the story shows a distant character - seeming like coming from a sci-fi screenplay such as Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey - occupying the Korean Pavilion after the building has stayed as the only remaining house surviving to the sinking of city of Venice deep under water and has then been turned into a laboratory for archaeological investigation.

Extract of The Ways of Folding Space & Flying at the Korean Pavilon.

Through his visual exploration of the past of the city, the protagonist progressively awakes his consciousness to a new kind of humanity, transcending technology, time and history. By looking like an immersive mirror of a shifting socio-political landscape to come, expressing the deepest quest of the sense of human civilization meaning, this multimedia piece connects immediately to the previous works of Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho, and particularly to their film installation News from Nowhere, which was first shown at the 13th edition of dOCUMENTA festival in Kassel, Germany, in 2012, that intended to create an interdisciplinary and transnational platform involving scholars and experts from various academic and professional fields, such as philosophy, science, film, design and architecture.
 


News from Nowhere - MOON Kyungwon & JEON Joonho

By pushing the boundaries of their artistic and technological research through the corridors of time, heading towards an unknown future that is at once an end and an origin, The Ways of Folding Space & Flying appears like a new step of the project. As the artists explain, their ongoing inquiry is “to make sense of what we perceive as a fundamental function of art in the increasingly uncertain and precarious environment we are collectively facing”, by trying to imagine a future “where existing notions of art and creativity may no longer be relevant”. “Art is a crucial yet curiously unexplainable facet of complex human desires that compel us to imagine, dream, wonder and challenge”, they say as a trouble assumption of their body of work. And Biennale of Venice definitely looks then like the most natural artistic location to express this contemporary persistence of human mystery.
 

Laurent Catala

 

All The World’s Futures
56th International Art Exhibition Biennale of Venice
From 9 may to 22 November 2015, Venice
www.labiennale.org

Korean Pavilion exhibition
koreanpavilion2015.com

Moon Kyungwon & Jeon Joonho website : www.newsfromnowhere.kr

 

Photos: MOON Kyungwon & JEON Joonho, The Ways of Folding Space & Flying, 2015, HD Film Installation, 10’ 30” © the Artists. All rights reserved.

 

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