Sunday, September 28, 2008

Real Fiction

Jaishri Abichandani, Kaliyug Now, lighbox, 2008

Sarawut Chutiwongpeti, Untitled, c-print, 2007

Bill Berry, Master Monkey, single-channel video with sound, 3' 20 '' [excerpt], 2008

Real Fiction

Co-Curated: Raul Zamudio, Director of Exhibitions, White Box, for Asian Contemporary Art Fair Pier 92, NY, NY November 6-10

Real Fiction is an exhibition that weaves together numerous narrative strands into its curatorial framework: one is a direct reference to the English release of the similarly titled film by Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk. The film, which many consider to be Kim’s most avant-garde work, was shot in real-time and in one take and used low quality video cameras to achieve an “impure” cinematic aesthetic.

Real Fiction explores the two ostensible poles of Kim’s work, that is, narrative and documentary, within the context of pan-Asian artistic practice that interrogates a variety of dichotomies including east/west, native/foreigner, as well as more personal configurations that are no less political found in class, gender, and sexual orientation.

Real Fiction will present work that underscores these dichotomies as fictional; for a more realistic analysis of these presumed antithetical rubrics reveal that through globalization, for example, the east is never monolithically the east nor west the west, nor is the native purely autochthonous, nor the foreigner completely alien. Even the title of the exhibition itself rubs up against notions of privilege. Since the title of Real Fiction is first conveyed in Korean rather than English, it attempts to undermine hierarchy in a show of Asians curated by a non-Asian; thus the title’s auto-deconstruction begins to delineate the curatorial parameters from which the works will be framed.

Finally, is the presentation that reflects on the problematic nature of the art fair. Most art fair booths are commercial, though the art fair often allays this with exhibitions mounted by independent curators or museums that often claim objectivity by positioning their participation as outside of the market and its machinations. Real Fiction will be part of the 2008 Asian Contemporary Art Fair; yet because its approach is thematic as well being mounted in museum-quality fashion in a booth within the fair by a non-profit institution, it blurs the distinction between the art fair and the museum where the former is presumed to be market-driven while the other claims to be free from the strictures of commerce.

Artists include: Jaishri Abichandani, India/New York; Bill Berry, Thailand; Sarawut Chutiwongpeti, Thailand; Shin-il Kim, Korea/New York; Jin Shiu, Korea; Sang-jun Yi, Korea

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