New Romance: Art & the Post Human

 

 

Screenshot at Aug 12 00-03-51
Still from EL FIN DE MUNDO – Moon Kyungwon, EL FIN DEL MUNDO, 2012, 2-channel digital video, HD, colour, sound 13:35 minutes 

To South Korean artists Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho, the future revolves around some challenging questions;

“… Will today’s social systems still be relevant in this future? …
Will art still be around? …
Will sunsets still be beautiful?”[1]

“EL FIN DEL MUNDO” (2012) is a video art installation by the Korean duo, which aims to answer those questions. The title of the work translates to “the end of the world” thus, exploring the possible reality of a climate change catastrophe and how that impacts humanity, art and society.[2].

The work is projected onto two screens depicting two characters whose lives have been impacted by the catastrophe. A male character living during the time of which the environmental disaster occurs; he continues to make art in his studio in solitude. A female character lives in a future world; she works, archiving and documenting objects of the past. Her world has been inevitably changed by the catastrophe and she too works in solitude. On the surface, they do not appear to interact nor acknowledge each other’s existence. However, the span of their different timelines and realities are cleverly revealed to be connected. Eventually the boundaries of time and reality dividing them are blurred. 

In the artist’s statement, the work was also an exploration of the attitudes towards contemporary art and its social functions.[3] This leaves us as artists to question the legacy and value of contemporary media art, and the role it plays in society, even in a post-apocalyptic[4] world. In the work, the art of the past differs from the art of the future, but goes to show that even through the apocalypse, art survives, and in the future is reinterpreted through revamped aesthetics [5] (see header image).

The visuals of the work were incredibly impressive, with notably incredible attention to detail to the mise-en-scene. The physical scale and installation of the work created a genuine and immersive experience of being in two times and realities at once. Moon and Jeon served an eloquent but grim reminder of the impact of climate change. However, the future is not entirely bleak and not all is lost for humanity, society and art. This work challenges the idea of a utopian future and is arguably, this is the most stand-out artwork of the exhibition.

Screenshot at Aug 11 21-49-20
Still from EL FIN DE MUNDO – Moon Kyungwon, EL FIN DE MUNDO, 2012, 2-channel digital video, HD, colour, sound, 13:35 minutes

 

Images: http://newsfromnowhere.kr/filter/works/EL-FIN-DEL-MUNDO

[1] . 2016. MOON Kyungwon & JEON Joonho :: Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.mca.com.au/discover-new-romance/moon-kyungwon-jeon-joonho/. [Accessed 9 August 2016].
[2] News from nowhere. 2016. News from nowhere. [ONLINE] Available at:http://newsfromnowhere.kr/filter/works/EL-FIN-DEL-MUNDO. [Accessed 9 August 2016].
[3] MOON Kyungwon & JEON Joonho :: Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.
[4] News from nowhere. 2016. News from nowhere
[5] News from nowehere. 2016. News from nowhere

 

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Author: z5109941

Fine Arts (Honours)

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