Journal of History of Modern Art 2022 KCI Impact Factor : 0.55

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pISSN : 1598-7728 / eISSN : 2733-9793
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2023, Vol., No.53

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  • 1.

    From Heterology of Matter to the Abjects’ Art: A Focus on Georges Bataille’s Thoughts

    HAN EUI JUNG | 2023, (53) | pp.5~21 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This study follows Georges Bataille’s thoughts in order to investigate the ambivalence of “disgust of matter” found in human society. Bataille, who insisted on bas materialism, that is, “material in a low and humble place,” explains human beings and society as a structure in which the wastes left after being appropriated by the human body and society are excreted. In the process of abjection, which excludes and expels inferior heterogeneous things, superior heterogeneous beings acquire fascination that captivates the group, and the abandoned miserable ones become the abjects in a state of helplessness. However, at the level of art, the abjects have the power to operate while constantly traversing low places in a formless state. Artists who have become ragpickers reappropriate the abjects abandoned by society in the realm of art, but they also realize abjection by adopting a method of dragging out the abjects such as excrement, confronting them, and then discharging them again.
  • 2.

    Layers of the Discarded: Discarded Things in Contemporary Art and New Materialism

    Jae-Joon Lee | 2023, (53) | pp.23~46 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This paper considers the crisis of the Anthropocene, triggered by the accumulation of ‘discarded objects,’ trashy artifacts, and the contemporary artistic phenomena that can respond to it. The crisis prompts us to examine the question of the community of human and non-human objects in the context of trends in contemporary art history. In reaction to the crisis of the Anthropocene, contemporary art has been engaged in various practical experiments with concern, but in these experiments the waste itself is still concealed or forgotten. This article therefore proposes to examine the place of ‘the discarded’ in contemporary art through a politico-ecological perspective. Unique representations in contemporary art can suspend the consumerist political-economic gaze and even the scientistic gaze of the Anthropocene, which is superimposed on ‘the thing in front of the eye.’ For this purpose, this paper describes the object or thing itself as defined by object-oriented ontology and new materialism. ‘The discarded object’ proves its own existence outside of humanism and is also transformed through interaction with other interrelated objects. ‘Layers’ refers to the aspects of things that are transformed in this way. Based on this conceptual account of the layering of the discarded object, I reread the place of the discarded object in the discussion of the 'object' in contemporary art, presenting the materiality of Minimalism as an 'object' and the materiality of Junk Art as ‘the discarded object’. However, even in this concept of the object, the humanistic view and correlationism do not disappear. Therefore, to illustrate the possibility of non-correlationism in contemporary art, Heidegger's interpretation of Van Gogh's The Shoe and Hwang Jihae's Shoe Tree (2017) were critically analyzed. This discussion of the layers of discarded objects in contemporary art ultimately calls for an experimental role of contemporary art for the human and non-human communities of the Anthropocene.
  • 3.

    The Return of Wastes: An Expansion of the Heterological Strategies in Contemporary Art

    Jung Eun Young | 2023, (53) | pp.47~74 | number of Cited : 0
    This paper aims to study heterogeneous strategies employed by contemporary art to visualize anthropogenic garbage and waste in the economic system of global capitalism and the ecological crisis of the Anthropocene. Today, waste is managed and treated by each nation, moved and traded among nations, and landfilled or discharged into the geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere, threatening the ecological system. Contemporary art reveals the complex economic, social, and geopolitical relationships embedded in trash and waste, and problematizes them through strategic practices of heterology. In order to examine such critical interventions by contemporary art, the author critically examines Georges Bataille's heterology and sheds light on how physiological, social, and economic appropriation and excretion can be connected to the waste discharge of industrial society. The author shows that contemporary art deals with garbage and waste in terms of object/media, nature/ecology, and labor/flow, and discusses these three aspects respectively as 'garbage as mixed media', 'an apocalypse of the Anthropocene', and 'the flow of waste and the visualization of labor'. This study reveals that contemporary art has pushed heterological practices into an expanded field by incorporating such discourses as archaeology and taxonomy, Anthropocene and ecology, global capitalism and postcolonialism.
  • 4.

    Non-human Thought and the Reconstruction of Relationships: “The Moment of Transition” in the Works of Hyewon Kwon

    Moon-Jung Lee | 2023, (53) | pp.75~99 | number of Cited : 0
    This paper analyzes the works of Hyewon Kwon, focusing on the artist’s critical reflections on human desire and civilization, recognition of diversity and relativity, and reconstruction of relationships through non-human thought to determine artistic and sociocultural meaning, employing the ecological theories of Donna J. Haraway and the discussions of Luce Irigaray and Michael Marder on plants. Kwon explores the duality of society's pursuit of uniformity by recovering memories of beings separated from human society and exiled or pushed aside. By tracing garbage, which is considered worthless, and plastics, which are evidence of the Anthropocene epoch, Kwon infers the past, present, and future of civilization. Furthermore, by introducing objects that are outside of human norms and logic, and cannot be fully recognized, Kwon reveals the diversity and uncertainty of the world, reminding us of the interweaving relationships between humans, nature, and non-humans. Finally, the artist attempts a multispecies “becoming-with”, amid this web-like world, through a self-reflective thought experiment in which humans perceive themselves from the perspectives of non-human others. This paper considers fundamental questions regarding our existence in the world and the aesthetics of a new coexistence as explored in Kwon’s work.
  • 5.

    World Environmental Issues and Becoming of Korean Ecological Art Discourse: Based on the Concept of ‘Mediation’ in ANT

    Yu HyunJu | 2023, (53) | pp.101~127 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Based on the mediating concept of actor network theory (ANT), this study aims to investigate mediators who played an important role in forming Korea’s ecological art discourse and to study the significance of current ecological art discourse. Bruno Latour’s mediation theory has the meaning of ‘translation of goals, complexity, overlapping time and space, and delegation’. Mediation forms a network in which heterogeneous objects, both human and non-human actors, interact. The main mediators that form Korea’s ecological art discourse are Yatoo and Baggatmisul, which created such a network starting in the 1980s and later played a mediating role in ecological art. Yatoo was connected to Hamburg through Rim Dong-sik to promote their natural art to the world, and under the influence of the Rio Declaration and Joseph Beuys’ works, it established a complex mediation relationship with global environmental issues. Meanwhile, Baggatmisul held a “History and Environment” exhibition in 1997, when the Kyoto Protocol was proposed, and shows where it was mediated in global environmental issues through environmental-focused exhibitions on Nanjido and Jara island. Since the 2000s, Korean ecological art exhibitions and texts derived from them have served as a medium for delegations to carry out Korea’s ecological art discourse by emphasizing ecological coexistence and frequently showing the reason of “connection.” Through these considerations, we can see that the discourse on Korean ecological art is paying attention to environmental issues around the world and expressing interest in ecological problems of this era in solidarity with complicated actors.
  • 6.

    A Study on Cecilia Vicuña’s Earth Art in the 1960s

    Han Deul Kim , Chung Yeon Shim | 2023, (53) | pp.129~151 | number of Cited : 0
    This article introduces the art world of Cecilia Vicuña, a female Chilean artist, and explores her position in the history of earth art through an analysis of her work from the 1960s. While she had built her art world, consisting of social movements(activism), literature(poetry), and visual art, she presented her first visual artwork Precarios, Casa Espiral, at the beach in Concón in 1966. Meanwhile, earth art emerged in New York amid the post-Minimalism movement, such as dematerialization and anti-form, and Earth Art (1969), curated by Willoughby Sharp, took a key role. Sharp summarized the three common aspects of earth art after the exhibition; earth artworks tend to lack visual sophistication, the works can exist without physical support, and the works can be experienced through no one perspective or focus. However, Lucy R. Lippard insisted that some artists had taken these essences of earth art due to “raping” the land, such as by digging up the ground. According to Lippard, Casa Espiral, which was produced with an interest in the history and nature of the land from the indigenous culture of Chile, can be considered a true work of earth art. The work also opens the possibility of including third-world female artists who treat nature as an extended body by recognizing the womb as the primordial place in the history of earth art developed mainly by whites and men.
  • 7.

    Walking as a Layer of Relations: A Study on Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller’s Walks Series

    Min, Kyungso | 2023, (53) | pp.153~175 | number of Cited : 0
    This article analyzes the ways in which Canadian artists Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller expand the physical and psychological environment encountered during the everyday practice of walking on stage for constructing multiple relationships in their collaborative video Walks. As an immersive walking experience employing binaural sound recording technology and hand-held media players, video Walks prompts participants’ active self-exploration and reflection on the world as community members through a media screen that overlaps the artist-narrator’s past with the walker-spectators’ present. In order to understand how Cardiff and Miller’s audiovisual media-based participatory project experiments on the mechanism in which contemporary spectators negotiate their positions within contemporary sociocultural topography and fashion their association with specific communities and the world, this article first defines the artists’ manipulation of video screens as a practice of layering. It then examines how video Walks transforms the spectator in a moving theater into a postmodern subject who enthusiastically discovers what is audible (inaudible), what is visible (invisible), and what is readable (unreadable) and, thus, produces new relational spaces. Ultimately, this article argues that the highly quotidian practice of walking establishes a performative site that enables the spectator to reconstruct both intimacy and distance with others and the world.
  • 8.

    Images of Animals: Reading Cat as Other Minds, Object, and Representation

    Seunghan Paek | 2023, (53) | pp.177~206 | number of Cited : 0
    In this article, I explore the intersections of the Anthropocene, animal studies, and visual culture through the investigation of theories and case studies of the cat. I aim to implement a claim that looks at the relationship between Stanley Cavell’s other minds, Graham Harman’s object, and Eileen Crist’s representation. First, Cavell’s other minds explores philosophical skepticism and the ordinary via the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein. It is then put into conversation with Jacques Derrida’s speculation about cats’ gaze, and Donna Haraway’s criticism of Derrida. Second, the concept of object originates from Graham Harman’s Object-Oriented Ontology. It acts as a critical perspective to overview Haraway, who focuses on the relationship between human and nonhuman agents, as well as offering an opportunity to rethink issues of making relationships and communicating with the cat, which accompanies perception and sensation in a broader spectrum. Third, as a way to connect the notion of representation with Harman’s object, which is about imperfect knowledge of the object being encountered and remainders with which one cannot fully communicate, I will review Eileen Crist’s animal studies that cut across ecology and ethology, and the skepticisms of Cavell and Wittgenstein. If a cat does not know the fact that it is being drawn or photographed, how would one be able to claim that people and their cats are attuned to and communicate with each other? Rather, would one need a more rigorous way of investigating based on scientific understandings and facts? By critically reviewing the scientific approaches which ethology inspires, this article explores cats as other minds articulated by ordinary language and the object. In doing so, I will focus on analyzing the following two cases: a series called Magazine tac that highlights discussions of various aspects of the cat, and The Moving Dunchon Cat, which deals with cats’ migration caused by the redevelopment of Dunchon Jugong Apartment Complex.
  • 9.

    A Study on La Menesunda by Marta Minujín

    Shin Hyesung | 2023, (53) | pp.207~236 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This study examines the art installation La Menesunda by Argentine artist Marta Minujín, which was originally exhibited during her stay in Buenos Aires in the mid-1960s and has been re-produced and re-presented recently. La Menesunda, co-created with Rubén Santantonin in 1965, was a monumental work that shows a sensuous representation of Buenos Aires changing into a consumer capitalistic metropolis. The work, which enabled eight people to enter at the same time, achieved success due to its playful and popular aspects. This work can be seen an achievement based on the support of the Di Tella Institute, which aimed at international simultaneity of Argentine art through radical and experimental young artists and the influential art critic Jorge Romero Brest. In 2015, Minujín held a solo exhibition at MAMBA (Museo Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires), reproduced the installation with the help of experts, and later exhibited it abroad. Returning La Menesunda to the new generation who are familiar with participatory blockbusters or media art exhibitions over the past 50 years, was seen as a kind of entertainment with a historical source. The important motivation of returning La Menesunda to the present is the charisma and self-directing ability of the veteran artist, who continues to have an active career.
  • 10.

    A Study about Ai Weiwei's Independent Publication: Black Cover Book, White Cover Book, Grey Cover Book

    Doyeon Kim | 2023, (53) | pp.237~261 | number of Cited : 0
    Publications as events and field records of art are among the best materials to observe art in the passage of time and the views of the time. Starting with The Stars exhibition in 1979, modern Chinese art grew and changed rapidly. The ’85 Art Movement bloomed as a modern art exhibition in 1989, but many artists left the country before and after the Tiananmen Square incident in the same year, and Chinese art in the 1990s was divided into domestic and overseas spheres. Three independent publications, The Black Cover Book(1994), The White Cover Book (1995), and The Gray Cover Book (1997) were published in China during this period. They represent the first activities of Ai Weiwei on his return to China after a long stay in the United States: they show an aspect of the work and criticism of early Chinese contemporary art and have been mentioned by many writers and critics. However, only a small number of these three books were printed due to national restrictions on independent publishing in the 1990s, and even these were traded on the black markets. This paper discusses the process of finding these three books and interviewing contemporary artists introduced in them to study the publishing process and to understand the meaning of these three publications in Chinese contemporary art history.