REAL, SYMBOLIC, IMAGINARY
01.05 - 29.08.2020
Ka Hee JEONG
Curator: Jung Me Chai
Assistant Curator: Jiwoo Kim
‘I began with the Imaginary, I then had to chew on the story of the Symbolic ... and I finished by putting out for you this famous Real’ – Jacques Lacan
The title of this project Real, Symbolic, Imaginary, is inspired by Jacques Lacan’s three psychoanalytic orders. These fundamental dimensions need to be discussed not only in the aspects of psychical processes but also in understanding the real-life of North Koreans.
While South Korea is understood in various perspectives with its active interaction around the world, North Korea is often seen unilaterally and passively through mass communications or clips from foreign visitors. There have been several recent exhibitions abroad on North Korea, in Gwangju and at the Busan Biennial. Artworks from North Korea were presented, and some were even by a North Korea defectors. Most of the time, North Korea’s political issues, ideology and armaments are what catch the eye of the outer worlds. However, the general populations’ lives, their dreams, families, love, and friendships, are barely known. The DISKURS Berlin project aims to turn away from what is known, reported and sensationalized and turns instead toward the people, the mundane and the daily lives of North Koreans.
Hence, political ideology will be excluded from the project. The invited artists from South Korea and Berlin will explore materials from North Korea collected on a research trip by Jung Me Chai, they include linguistic books, modern comics, medical books, movies and television series. The artists will use these source materials and their artistic practice to present the audience with original artworks that actively interprets the daily lives of North Koreans, escaping from current perceptions of the country. Moreover, they will enter into a critical examination of these concepts and open up a dialogue that moves beyond monolithic narratives.
Last year Berlin celebrated 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Through its history, Berlin is now seen as a symbol of freedom and liberal expression.
Real, Symbolic, Imaginary expects the positive synergy between the exhibition and the symbolic place Berlin.
The project Real, Symbolic, Imaginary attempts to transport an emancipatory alternative into the public consciousness in this critical era. It will be a platform where two worlds of North and South Korea meet and understand each other for the better.
Jung Me Chai