In Out Up Down
At first glance, the exhibition space at Casco appears empty and deserted.A ladder, table and chair look lost. Only after a moment does it becomeapparent that Koo Jeong-a is allowing the space to tell its own history; astory of use, with the holes, repairs, scratches and cracks it brings withit. Like a poetic incantation, her handwriting covers the cracks andstains; her almost invisible, pencilled graffiti, recording recipes withendless lists of ingredients from a Korean medical handbook, extends like avirus across the space.
Koo Jeong-a often chooses spaces that are not designated for showing art,which through their intermediary nature have a character all of their own:a garage, attic, or stairway. Like an archaeological investigation sheexplores the source that is the space - not only the stuff that she comesacross there, but the space too becomes the subject of study. She emptiesit like a trouser pocket, turns it upside down and inside out. A simple intervention with a colour transformed her studio into swimming pool. KooJeong-a is interested in materials which are condemned, excluded andregarded as unartistic. She fiddles with the distinctions we make betweenrubbish and useful things, and confuses their functions. In past work shehas made a series of houses out of sugar cubes, pushed flower seeds into awall, and placed a pane of glass over a hole in the ground on whichcondensation collected. Her interventions make the invisible visible. Theyare poetically concentrated, sometimes meditative. The path her work takesfrom chaos to order is not that of striving towards a goal, but an act:unostentatious, subtle and humorous.
translation: Annabel Howland
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