New Romance: Art and the Post-Human

Love or My Father? 2011 and Lady Gaga’s Taedong River North Korea — US Friendship Concert 2011 by Sanghyun Lee

At the Contemporary Museum of Art, two pieces that particularly struck my interest were Sanghyun Lee’s “Love or My Father?” (2011) and “Lady Gaga’s Taedong River North Korea — US Friendship concert” (2011). Both pieces are digital C prints pictured on historically recognized Korean landscape paintings. The works address what it means to be human today and what that may suggest about our future. One of the topics which is a theme within post-human art work is body distortion. Today, Korea is far leading in the number of plastic surgeries in the world. Apparently, it is extremely popular for women to get surgeries to look more Western, or even look like anime characters. Both works include cut out figures with barbie-like or anime features to emphasize humanity’s infatuation with body distortion. There are also sci-fi details, like aliens, which contributes to this unrealistic lifestyle that humanity seeks. More so on the corruption basis, the pieces are detailed with designer brand names, like Louis Vuitton, possibly representing how humanity is getting caught up with capitalism and materialistic things. I thought this was an interesting and symbolically realistic portrayal of the post-human. This media art allows for the question of how manipulated and far from reality and our natural states will humanity be in the future.

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