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6 12 Staff Chung Sae Yong publisher Whit Altizer editor in chief Kim Dae Il design editor Seo Hee Joo, PhD words editor Yoon Kyung Amanda Lee digital editor

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에디터의 글 Whit Altizer 안효찬 An Hyo Chan 제어드 디어리 Jared Deery 모니카 니콜라이 Monica Nickolai 서혜순 Seo Hye Soon 실비 브리에르 Silvie Briere 정득용 T-yong Chung 그들이 걷는 길 Yoon Kew Hong

Apr. 2019

Artists An Hyo Chan anan0106@hanmail.net Jared Deery jareddeery@gmail.com Monica Nickolai monica.nickolai@gmail.com Seo Hye Soon shsoon21@naver.com Silvie Briere brieresilvie@gmail.com T-yong Chung climbchung@hotmail.com Writers Whit Altizer wpaltizer@gmail.com Terry O. Faulkner terryofaulkner@gmail.com Seo Hee Joo art-phil@hanmail.net John Shrader ioannes.shrader@gmail.com Rocio Cadena rocio.cadena.1984@gmail.com Meryl Booth boothmeryl@gmail.com

Contact bracketmagazinekorea.com bracket.magazine@gmail.com facebook.com/bracketmagazine facebook bracket.magazine Instagram

ISSUE 38

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Copyright for Magazine © 2019 [b]racket magazine Copyright for works of art by 2019 [b]racket magazine Used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Publisher / Chung, Sae yong 64-22, Dongduck-ro, Jung-gu, Daegu, S.Korea tel +82 10 3811 1229 www.bracketmagazinekorea.com bracket.magazine@gmail.com

Supported by

본 사업은 2019 대구문화재단 우수기획지원입니다.


Editor’s Letter

Hello [b]racket readers, Welcome to another issue of our magazine. I am always happy to bring you the art that catches our eye from Korea and around the world. As we head into spring we hope that you can shake off the cold, dark Korean winter and look forward to the lovely cherry blossoms and nearly perfect weather that April and May bring. In this issue, we have pieces that will change the way you look at things. We present to you pieces in a variety of mediums that put our lives and the things we hold dear in stark relief. Silvie Briere’s work is examined by Rocio Cadena, who writes how Briere’s work captures “the wounds that women withstand—both in the flesh and in the soul.” Terry Faulkner explores Jared Deery’s paintings that he says are “an examination of both the beautiful and the dangerous”. John Shrader looks at the work of Seo Hyesoon and how her work can knock the viewer back on their heels with the uncomfortable places that work will take you. Meryl Booth explores how T-yong Chung’s seeks harmony in bringing opposites in harmony with each other. Monika Nickolai’s modern art is analyzed by Seo Hee Joo. And I look at An Hyo Chan’s post-apocalyptic sculptures of life behind the construction wall where destruction, contamination, and greed fester. It is again up to you the reader to ultimately find the meaning behind these pieces, but we hope that you enjoy our thoughts on them too. Have a great spring.


안효찬 글. 위트 알티저


written by Whit Altizer

An Hyo Chan’s sculptures look like an industrial hazard. His sculptures of construction sites feel post-apocalyptic, but perhaps reveal what we don’t see behind the high walls that surround half-constructed buildings: the waste and grittiness that gets buried for generations, or forever, under the concrete foundations of apartment buildings. There is nothing environmentally-friendly or clean about new buildings, and An’s work captures that rawness in his work. ← ↓ 생산적 미완 #3, IUF, 시멘트, 철근, 나무, 오브제, 88x57x157cm, 2018

An’s materials include rusted metal, dirty chunks of cement blocks, bent rebar, and corroded pipes that gives his work a sense of filth. The buildings in his depictions look abandoned or condemned with only tiny workers infesting the piece as if they are constructing an anthill. In one piece a giant pig carcass lies lifeless in the middle of buildings under construction (or destruction) while little men work around the pig as if it is part of the project. Tower cranes hover like a foreman over the buildings in progress. In one piece the pig is suspended in mid-air, and in another the crane sits atop a concrete slab that looks like a skyscraper. The environment and animals in the pieces are clearly the victims in An’s work. The earth looks stripped and hacked, and even the foundations of the sculptures appear as if they have been retrieved from a building that has been demolished. The pigs in each piece don’t seem to have been slaughtered as much as died from the hazards of their industrial surroundings. They may have been crushed by the heavy machinery or simply unable or unwilling to live in this world. The animate and inanimate objects carry a feeling of destruction and suffering while only the humans move forward in the name of progress.

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평범한 사람들(Detail), Stuio148, 가변설치, 2018


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An’s work could be a critique of the construction industry. An industry that runs rampant with its incessant building of high rises, new stadiums, and commercial buildings around the world. In many parts of Korea, large tracts of once thriving farmland have been sold off to the highest bidder allowing new wealth and buildings to emerge from the pure labor of broken farmers. Sometimes these buildings fill up with life, sometimes they do not. Earth that was once fertile is now contaminated by scrap metals, sludge, and chemicals. The jutaek (주택) that people leave for these newer versions of home are torn down, and people pack into high rises like livestock. When seen this way, An’s work is depressing in its accuracy. The work is messy but it is intentional. A clean version of An’s work would be too sterile and that would be a grave inaccuracy. The work captures the greed of man, the dehumanization of the land and animals that are contaminated and displaced by that greed, and the destruction that human progress can bring. An’s work evokes the feelings one might get by seeing a beautiful rice field in spring get demolished by dirty bulldozers and replaced by a 17-floor, white monolith that casts a shadow over the land like a gravestone. There is nothing beautiful or heart-warming about that.


↑ 평범한 사람들, Stuio148, 가변설치, 2018

↖ ← 우리 안의 우리_state, IUF, 시멘트, 철근, 나무, 오브제, 61x41x132cm, 2017

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제어드 디어리 테리 오 포크너

Jared Deery is an artist intent on examining the complexities of meaning inside a subject that is familiar and recognizable: flowers. Here, he has found an endless love for these forms and their meanings but also a dark underbelly of psychology and surprise. Much like the Lily of the Valley, the flower has a sweet scent yet carries a poison that is anything but harmless to all who come into contact with it. For Deery, it is an examination of both the beautiful and the dangerous. Deery’s ideas often begin with a type of poetic emission. The images of flowers, bowls and/or still lifes in Deery’s work can be triggered by a song, book or experience. Then come long periods of contemplation for the artist until feelings turn into colors and lines. Then Deery lays down marks until an image evolves. Next, the process of watching and waiting begins; allowing the image to guide him until he starts to create meaning in earnest. By working on many things at once, Deery commands a sort of alchemic cross-pollination, with pieces evolving together in a dance within the studio. Like the aforementioned lily-of-the-valley, Jared entices the viewer initially with something quite beautiful and almost recognizable but then upon closer inspection, abstraction and anxiety appear leaving the viewer confused with an ambiguous if not unsettling form.

← A Still, Volcano Flower

→ Finally, Theres a Season


Terry O. Faulkner

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Born in Philadelphia, both parents were artists and teachers so Deery was exposed to art, creative thinking and travel from an early age. He moved to New York in 1998 to get his BFA from Pratt Institute (graduating in 2001) and later went back to Hunter College (2006) for a masters degree in Painting. Before graduate school, he started out with the urge to resist conformity but found himself beginning to overthink and over conceptualize, finally learning how to get out of his own way. Experimentation has always been an important part of his process navigating his way through many mediums and forms. ←← Days After The Seeds Were Sewn

← Shed The Skin Your Living in

When writing about his work, critics often mention Redon, Klee, Morandi, Guston or others with a romantic tilt. As a self-proclaimed “alchemist with a brush” however, he has mined many visual languages of the past and much of his work is a process that often is more hermetic than referential. Thus, his work should not be compared to any particular genre rather as an amalgamation of a host of many genres. This is not to say that he disagrees with the romantics and their love of nature and organic forms. What drives many of his visual influences, more than any style or artistic movement is how artists find form and rhythm in a nature that is subject to and embedded in an ever-increasing digitized future. For Deery, the most challenging aspect of being an artist is to keep creating no matter what. Art does not provide immediate results, it takes time to develop a language, and is often looked upon as a commodity or some romantic subculture where people are only discovered after they die. Deery said, “art is as equally as important as science, philosophy, and economics as it was there in the beginning, in the caves, and there has never been a world that did not have some form of art.” He adds that we should reexamine the questions about who we are, what we value, and how we agree on what is beautiful. His art is not easy on the eyes and is beyond the frame of traditional beauty, but it embraces newer representations of beauty in art and in life.

→ Silent Symphony →→ The Sun Calls at Strange Times

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모니카 니콜라이 서희주

나는 작가들에게 으레 건네는 질문이 있다. 작품의 주제와 의미가 무엇인지, 작품을 통하여 주장하는 것이 무엇인지, 등. 이런 질문은 어떤 작가들에게 귀찮은 일이거나 대답할 가치가 없을 만큼 명료한 자신의 작품에 예의가 아니라는 생각에 미칠 수 있다. 그러나 나에게 이런 질문들은 작가의 작품 세계를 관통하는 이념 또는 작품과 예술관 사이의 관계를 이해하는데 도움이 된다. 작품을 굳이 언어로 설명하지 않아도 될 만큼 시각적 이미지가 모든 것을 표현하는 작품도 있다. 그럼에도 불구하고, 나는 소통이 잘 되는 작품이든 그렇지 않든 간에 스스럼없이 질문을 던진다. 가끔 의외의 흥미로운 이야기를 들을 때도 있고 작가의 예술관과 다른 시각적 이미지가 드러난 작품을 만날 때도 있다. 편집장 위트가 소개한 모니카 니콜라이(Monica Nickolai)에게도 나는 유사한 질문을 던졌다. 개념적 작업에는 작품과 감상자 간의 소통에 언어적 설명의 개입은 일정부분 필요하다. 시각적 이미지가 작가의 주장을 충분히 전달 할 때도 있지만 작품에 더 가까이 다가가고 소통하기 위해서는 작품에 대한 정보가 많을수록 좋다. 니콜라이는 자신의 작품 세계를 존재론과 인식론이라는 용어로 집약했다. 구체적으로 말하자면, 작가는 자신의 관심사가 인간 존재의 본질과 인간에 대한 철학적 해석 그리고 언어에 있다고 말했다. 세계에 대한 근원적 고찰과 존재의 근원에 대한 물음은 유기적으로 우리 삶에 관계한다. 그리고 진리의 의미와 기준에 대한 성찰은 인간으로서 삶의 의미를 사유하고 지향하기 위함이다. 철학적 사유는 우리를 더 나은 인간으로, 더 나은 삶으로 이끈다. 그래서, 삶에 대한 깊은 사유를 하는 사람은 한번쯤 그 근본적인 질문을 던진다. 니콜라이의 작품도 그러한 질문에서 시작되었다.

↑ So Little, Watercolor Screenprints and Closed-Circuit Camera and Televion, 2015

← Aphorism V, Television, Spraypaint, 2016


Seo Hee Joo

→ Aphorism II, Found Object, 2015

↘ Aphorism III, Photo, 2015

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니콜라이의 철학적 사유는 자신의 작품에 내포되어 있다. 작가의 작품에는 삶에 대한 많은 질문들과 우리들의 생각, 현대사회가 마주하고 있는 다양한 상황들, 세계화에 따른 서로 다른 문화들의 이해, 소통, 이주 등 다양한 문제들이 텍스트/언어를 활용한 미디어 설치, 사진, 영상, 사운드 등으로 표현되고 있다. 주목할 것은 니콜라이가 작품의 주제를 전달하는 매개로 언어를 주로 활용한다는 점이다. 언어는 인간의 역사와 문화를 전달하는 훌륭한 도구이며 서로 다른 문화를 이해할 수 있는 도구이기도 하다. 따라서 작가의 철학적 사유는 언어를 통해서 구체화되고 작품이 되는 것이다. 마치 언어의 구조가 세계의 구조를 드러내고, 언어 분석을 통해 실재를 파악할 수 있다고 믿었던 초기 분석철학자들처럼 언어에 대한 작가의 생각은 작품 안에서 강력하게 작동한다. 이런 점에서, 니콜라이의 작품 ‘No-no’는 그의 작품 세계를 잘 드러낸다. 영어에서 ‘No’와 우리말에서 ‘아니오’의 사용에서 드러나는 다름은 언어적 습관으로 표출되는 문화적 다름에 있다. 이 다름으로 인해서 우리는 영어를 처음 배울 때 문법적으로Yes와 No의 사용을 이해하지만 막상 외국인과의 대화에서는 종종 혼란을 경험하거나 소통에 문제를 발생한다. 반대로 영어를 모국어로 사용하는 사람들은 한국어를 배울 때 동일한 혼란을 경험할 수도 있다. 한편, 영어 ‘no’의 발음은 한자어 櫓(물살을 저어 배를 앞으로 나아가게 하는 노)와 유사하다. 동음이의어는 공통된 언어를 사용하는 집단에게 쉽게 구분되지만 다른 언어를 사용하는 사람들에게는 여러모로 어려운 단어이다. 이런 부분 때문에 언어는 공통된 언어를 사용하는 집단의 역사와 문화를 내포하고 있으며 새로운 언어를 이해하는 과정은 그 언어를 사용하는 세계를 알아가는 과정이라고 말한다. 따라서 니콜라이의 작품은 초기 분석철학자들이 언어 분석을 통해서 세계 구조를 탐구 했듯이 언어를 통해서 서로 다른 문화의 다름을 드러내고 이해하도록 한다. 이것은 인간 존재의 공통 분모를 이해하고 서로에 대한 공감을 키워 우주에서 우리의 존재적 가치를 더 잘 이해하고자하는 작가의 의도가 함의 되어있다. 니콜라이의 작품은 동시대적 매체를 활용한 흥미로움과 그 작품에서 느껴지는 철학적 사유에 몰입하게 한다. 서로 다른 문화를 경험하면서 살고 있는 작가에게 존재의 근원과 본질 그리고 그 존재의 가치가 무엇인가에 대한 탐구는 글자와 글자들이 만나 생산되는 의미를 넘어선다. 니콜라이는 우리가 자유롭게 철학적 사유를 할 수 있도록 이끈다. 그리고 더 나은 세계에 대해 꿈꾸도록 한다.


↑ A No-no, Neon Light, 2015

↖ 10,000 Li Back Home, Video Projected onto Suitcase and Bubble Wrap, 2016

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서혜순 존 슈레이더

← Nostalgie for Minorities, 04’33”, Sound, in Situ, 2017


John Shrader

Imagine you are traveling in a far off land, a place where your mother tongue is not heard. The local language swirls around as you try to grasp meaning before it passes by. You struggle to understand and be understood. Any familiar phrase catches your attention and creates a sense of nostalgia and unexpected longing. This experience inspired Seo Hyesoon’s recent art project. Seo studied and worked in France where she almost never heard Korean. Then, upon returning to Korea, she noticed the lack of French spoken. The subway provided English and Japanese announcements and buses and signs used English, but other languages were rare. Inspired by the absence, Seo created the aural installation “Nostalgie for minorities”, an intermittent playing of four minutes and thirty-three seconds of French radio broadcasts in Busan’s Shinsegae in 2017. This created a sense of temporary belonging to Francophones and Francophiles in a far-flung foreign mall while also potentially creating a minor sense of unfamiliarity and discomfort for the local inhabitants. It is also a great jumping off point for exploring Seo’s oeuvre, examinations of sound and place which often feel like an extended Dear John letter. John Cage that is. “Nostalgie for Minorities” uses the iconic duration of the composer’s 4’33”, with only the visual and audio aspects of that piece reversed. But this is far from the only homage Seo pays to Cage. In “harmony” soundproof sponge from an anechoic chamber carpets portions of a glass room, a reminder that perfect silence is impossible. Small sections of the soundproof sponge are replaced with ceramic castings, contrasting white against the black sponge. Speakers on the floor provide the sounds of ceramics being fired and cracking due to rapid temperature change, a harmony of contrasts that echo the experience of hearing your own body while in an otherwise soundless vacuum. Even more directly is “For John Cage”(p. 20) which features 12 radios, tuned to various local stations, all facing a microphone as would a choir. This references Cage’s “Imaginary Landscape No. 4”, a composition for 24 musicians playing 12 radios. While “For John Cage” lacks the performative nature of Cage’s work, the installation creates a new context, setting the radios alone in an otherwise barren shopping display. This makes it easy to see the radios as performers in their own right rather than mere instruments, yet it also commodifies the performer, reminding us that music, as all art, is grossly and inexorably with the commercial.

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← Harmony, Soundproof Sponge, Ceramic, Speaker, Wood, 01’18” sound : Loop, 500x500x200cm, 2017 *Sound link : https://youtu.be/__ A3S6DuD4M

← For John Cage, 12 Radio, Microphone, Amplifier, Socle, Sound Diffusion, 2011


It is not surprising that Seo is not afraid to use sound and space to look at social issues. In “Beyond” porcelain pipes come up out of the ground and connect to the walls. Distant war sounds are then piped into the room, an uneasy reminder that for many, modern war feels far away. But it isn’t. War and death is homegrown, facilitated by domestic industry and finances, making one complicit despite its unassuming nature. Meanwhile, in “Home Sweet Home”, Seo contemplates a broken home with a ceramic house half smashed in chaos. The audio isn’t provided to the whole room, but is heard through headphones connected very literally to the shattered home. Put on the headphones and one will hear a sad and lonely humming of Henry Bishop’s “Home! Sweet Home!” The song itself is about love for one’s home regardless of where one travels, but Seo’s “Home Sweet Home” turns this into a nostalgia for a place that, perhaps, never really existed. While Seo’s work relies very heavily on the audio component, her 2008 “Untitled” focuses a little more on the visual. Here the gallery’s white room has two white plaster speakers flanking a window flung open to the green trees outside. The expectation of listening to the speakers is subverted by only being provided with the sounds of trees swaying or a bird singing. But the genius of the piece manifests after the installation is gone and all that is left are photos, for it allows the visual to imply the audio. The window framed greenery creates a feeling of the sounds of the natural and the outside coming through the silent speakers. It makes one feel like they are both here and there, an alien in their homeland.

↑↑ Beyond, 1.5x3m (variable dimension), Porcelain, Sound Diffusion, Mini Speaker, MP3, 2011

↑ Untitled, 56x40x1.5cm, Plaster, 2008

← Home Sweet Home, Unfired Ceramic, Headset, Wood, MP3, 04’59” Sound :Loop, 300x200x25cm, 2017 *Sound link : https://youtu.be/3IlDlm77wT4

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실비 브리에르 루치오 가데나

Silvie Briere’s works of art are imposing. The cropped torsos of women with enlarged and distorted vaginas are intensely mesmerizing. Inspired by Gustave Courbet’s famous “L'Origine du monde” (The origin of the world), Briere painted a series dedicated to exploring the origins and mysteries of the human condition. Initially, the artwork may unsettle viewers. Instead of an anatomical representation of vulvas, the painter chooses to draw eyes, lips, mouths and myriad other objects in their place. The results are equally spellbinding and jarring. In a society that usually associates vulvas with flowers and delicacy, Briere’s bolder and provocative approach feels like a confrontation. The emotional diversity in the pieces is striking—some vaginas seem sad, others scared and a few unwavering. All these different elements aptly convey the depth, profundity and complexity of women. Viewing Briere’s paintings also bring to mind gender norms and female sexual repression. The abstract and aggressive vaginas seem to be screaming, rebelling against social expectations of any kind. Possibly a nod to feminism. Briere alludes to the wounds that women withstand—both in the flesh and in the soul. She produced the works ten years before the #MeToo phenomenon but as we painstakingly learned, women have endured sexual harassment in the workplace and elsewhere since the dawn of time. In the wake of many detailed accounts of abuse and a general infuriating and frustrating feeling toward the injustices caused and perpetuated by the toxic patriarchy, Briere’s work encapsulates some of the collective rage and indignation experienced by women. Her raw work offers solace through the variety of emotions it evokes. Briere’s art also raises questions. Why is the proliferation of male genitalia accepted so widely in most societies but we tend to find the depiction of the female genitals somewhat taboo? Jeju’s Loveland


Rocio Cadena

↖ Origine de nos mondes, 115, 2015

↑ Origine de nos mondes, 312, 2015

← Origine de nos mondes, 208, 2015

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in Korea, for example, boasts penis shapes and statues from the entrance to exit. But vaginas and vulvas are barely represented in the entire park. It would be wonderful to feature Silvie-inspired artworks in Loveland, a place that’s supposed to promote sex education and healthy sex lives. One would walk away with a balanced picture of human anatomy rather than strong undertones of gender roles and male superiority. A puzzling notion is how the connection between vaginas and weakness came to be. The fact that we use the term ‘pussy’ (especially between men) to refer to perceived weakness or displayed fear is ludicrous. After all, women give birth to life. The vagina is strong and elastic enough to let a baby pass through. Art that aims to normalize and celebrate the female reproductive organs, the origin of human existence, should be applauded and encouraged. We need to shift the view of vaginas—and women—as frail and vulnerable to powerful and resilient. Thankfully, artists like Briere are paving the way for altering this perception.


←← Collage 36

← Petite Robe 60

→ Tree of Life 1

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정득용 머릴 부스

John Keats, 브론즈, 2018


Meryl Booth

Duality surrounds us, enriching our experiences and inspiring narratives in art with themes of life and death, love and loss. Without the former, one cannot appreciate nor fully comprehend the latter and vice versa. T-yong Chung draws inspiration from duality and from the contrast between East and West. Born in Daegu South Korea, T-yong Chung now resides in Italy and has been doing so for nearly two decades. He received his degree in Environmental Sculpture from the University of Seoul and continued his studies of Fine Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts Brera in Milan. Chung has also won numerous awards in Italy and has come a long way from his beginnings in Daegu. Chung was chosen to create work for the Keats-Shelley House in Rome. In the exhibition, Chung presents the contrast between the antique and modern, the East and the West. He created a series of bust sculptures to honor the Romantics of English poetry and prose. The bust sculptures are made from cement and plaster with parts of the faces sawn off intentionally, forming flat areas on one or several parts of the head. The figure is not destroyed as much as the empty space becomes a key element of the work. The use of color such as the use of bronze on the sculpture John Keats is done to emphasize this aforementioned space. Beautiful sleek geometric shapes are created against the organic contours of the face. Slicing the face may play on a sense of loss. However, Chung states that his aim is to “…create harmony of form and space, between the past and present, the West and the East.”

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컨택 3, 판화, 2018

Chung’s sensitive use of color and shape continues in his installations. Large semi-transparent tapestries hang from a frame, in his work titled Contact. Three monotone objects representing different vessels are overlaid to create the final image. The objects are spaced out and respected in their individuality but also brought together through their commonality and physical overlapping. The forms personify and focus on the characteristics of the Romantics; John Keats, Lord Byron and Percy Shelley. Through Chung’s creations honoring the English Romantics, we are shown that poetry and the essential themes of duality is a crosscultural idea and the beauty of these poets and their works remain timeless. T-yong Chung is a diverse artist, able to adapt his work skillfully as characteristic of contemporary art. He is also experimental and continues to grow his techniques. He is of course naturally influenced by his Korean background but has also experienced growth and inspiration through his immersion in Italian and European culture.


컨택(Pieve di Cadore), 판화, 2018

컨택, 판화, 2018

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흔적 8, 석고+시멘트, 2015

이탈리아 오딧세이 2, 설치, 2017


스페이스 [b] 윤규홍 Yoon Kew Hong

그들이 걷는 길 입으로 작업하는 작가들이 있다. 그게 꼭 손발이 수고를 덜하고, 창작하는 머리도 조금만 쓰며 예술 활동을 벌인다는 이야기는 아니다. 열심히 하거나 말거나 그것과는 별도로, 자신이 쌓아온 숙련 과정이나 개념 착안을 남들에게 은근히 흘리며 자기 경력에 휘장을 두르는 예술가들이 있다는 뜻이다. 물론 그들 예술가가 지나가는 사람 아무나 붙잡고 자기 자랑을 늘어놓지는 않을 것이다. 요즘 들어 스피커라는 단어가 부쩍 많이 쓰이는데(잘 알려진 누군가가 지식 예능 프로그램에 나와서 썼을지도), 스피커 역할을 하는 언론이나 비평을 매개 삼아서 그럴 듯한 이야기는 탄생한다. 난 언젠가부터 그들의 발언을 수집해서 분류하고 걸러내고 끼워 맞추는 일을 연구 삼아 죽 해오고 있다. 재미있는 작업이다. 각자 하는 분야가 다르고, 유명세에 높낮이가 있지만, 이야기를 뜯어보면 공통된 요소와 줄거리 방향이 있다. 뭐 설마 이런 연구를 내가 독창적으로 벌였겠나. 이미 오래전부터 문학 연구에서는 깊이 다루어져 온 영역이다. 많은 사람들이 알고 있는 러시아 형식주의 이론가들의 업적이다. 분트, 아르네, 폴리프카, 베셀로프스키, 프로프 같은 학자들은 말이나 글로 표현되는 서사 구조를 동식물의 계통학처럼 낱낱의 형태 의미 단위와 관계 항으로 쪼개어 따져놓았다. 베셀로프스키가 이런 언급을 남겼다. “모티프는 일차적인 것이고, 주제는 이차적인 것이다.” 불후의 명작을 만들어낼 수밖에 없었던 이유가 이미 한 예술가의 삶에 있으며, 작업 주제는 작품을 감상하는 사람들을 위해 작가가 표면에 드러내는 겉치레라는 뜻이다. 작가가 평론이라는 남의 입을 빌어, 혹은 작가노트라는 자기 진술로써 곧잘 꺼내는 게 개인의 역사다. 그 작품에 흠뻑 빠지기 위해서 주제의 얼개를 따지기보다 ‘감추고 싶었지만 털어놓는’ 이야기를 듣는 게 훨씬 나을 거라는 생각이다. 어떤 기자들이나 평론가들은 작가에게 이런 걸 또 부추긴다. 그렇게 쓸 게 없나? 모든 이야기에는 등장인물이 있고, 이들 캐릭터는 줄거리를 끌고 가기 위해 전형성을 갖춘다. 이를테면 착한 사람, 못된 사람, 잘난 사람, 못난 사람 같은 성격 말이다. 주인공은 이러이러해야 되고, 그 옆에는 사랑하는 사람과 골탕 먹이는 사람이 있고, 누구에겐 도움을 누구에겐 복수를 하고 결국 어떤 자리에 올라선다. 이런 이야기는 수많은 신화 전설 민담 소설 영화 만화 게임 드라마에서 조금씩의 변형만 있을 뿐 끝없이 되풀이된다. 여기에 왕자와 공주, 악당과 마녀, 스승과 조수, 경쟁자, 괴물, 어릿광대 같은 전형적 캐릭터가 배치된다. 작가들이 털어놓는 고생어린 성공담도 대개 이런 규칙을 따르고 있다. 주인공은 물론 작가 본인이다. 대부분의 동화 속 주인공 영웅은 평범한 집안에서 태어난다. 하지만 그 혈통은 알고 보면 비범해서 부모 또한 예사롭지 않은 재능을 주인공에게 물려준 것이다. 아주 가난하거나 반대로 부유한 현실은 주인공을 그 삶 속에 옭아매려고 하나, 그/녀는 우연인지 필연인지 어떤 마법 같은 동기에 이끌려 고난의 여정을 시작한다. 현자 같은 스승의 가르침을 받고 또 쟁쟁한 라이벌들과 벅찬 악의 세력 앞을 누르고 왕관을 쓰기위해 분투한다. 신비한 모티프는 우연히 접한 예술작품일 수도 있고, 현자는 학교 은사 내지 책일 수도 있다. 원래 전공을 바꾸어 예술에 진입하거나 무작정 떠나는 유학 모두가 영웅의 면모에 걸맞은 모험이다. 겉으로 드러난 신체적인 결함, 출신지, 사회적 소수자 신분은 오히려 주인공을 더 강하게 만든다. 맞서 싸워야 하는 악당의 축에는 상업적인 세태, 거기서 단물을 빨아들이는 자본가들, 구태의연한 주류예술, 뭐든지 말이 된다. 구체적으로 지목하면 곤란하니까 두루뭉술하게 소개될 때가 많다. 이 줄거리의 핵심에는 주인공이 선택하는 방랑이 놓여있다. 작가의 삶이 곧 방랑길이다. 아마도 이 이야기는 이렇게 끝맺음 할 것이다, “그는 여전히 사람들이 알아주지 않는 길을 걷고 있다. 하지만 그 길은 곧 영광의 길이다.”

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Profile for Bracket Magazine

[b] April 2019 Online  

An Hyo Chan / Jared Deery / Monica Nickolai / Seo Hye Soon / Silvie Briere / T-yong Chung

[b] April 2019 Online  

An Hyo Chan / Jared Deery / Monica Nickolai / Seo Hye Soon / Silvie Briere / T-yong Chung

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