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A Strategy in-between Universality and Specificity: Speaking through Korean Woman Artist Lee Bul in the Globalized Art World

  • Journal of History of Modern Art
  • 2020, (48), pp.103-129
  • DOI : 10.17057/kahoma.2020..48.004
  • Publisher : 현대미술사학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Art > Arts in general > Art History
  • Received : October 25, 2020
  • Accepted : November 27, 2020
  • Published : December 31, 2020

Cho Hyeok 1

1

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Within a globalized, Euro-American, and male-dominated context, a non-Western woman artist speaks in a familiar voice, while simultaneously challenging the art world in an unfamiliar voice. I shall reconsider the question posed by Gayatri Spivak, “Can the subaltern speak?” (which she answers negatively) through Donna Haraway’s “Situated Knowledges” in order to analyze how a Korean woman artist intervenes in the globalized art world through the way her art is articulated. Lee Bul, who is based in Korea, has taken an active part in the international art community. The first section examines the different voices of Lee and her art critics from Korea and abroad through a selection of interviews, articles, and catalogs. The following section addresses how the network of global art institutions and art markets, developed in the 1990s, has functioned as a filtering system to homogenize Lee’s art ever since she gained international fame. By referring to Homi Bhabha’s concept of “mimicry,” I respond to the question of how this Korean woman artist can bring heterogeneity to the art world, contending that Lee, while appealing to the Western art world, offers a challenge not on negation, but rather on a touch-and-go strategy.

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