This article was originally written for the visual art project titled Recent Work Gallery, held in Seoul, Korea during November-December, 2017. Recent Work Gallery project curated by This Weekend Room has mainly focused on 'posting arts on our daily life'. For this project, the curatorial team has asked eight fine artists to pair up with eight graphic designers to create their own visual artifacts, specifically in a ‘poster’ format that is easy to be presented to the public on a daily basis.
We have posted our selfies/ thoughts/ or texts that we took/ came up / wrote last year / yesterday / today on an online social network platform such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter that allow us to have more efficient communication with others. The Oxford Dictionary defines "posting" as placing messages, links, and images on online sites such as blogs, novel media websites, forums, and so on. This action can be defined as the most ordinary act for acquiring the publicness of a personal reasoning through connection with others.
On the basis of posting practices of our time, posting is mainly for revealing identities, sharing ideas or delivering messages to people, who need personal ideas to be publicly discussed. It seems quite a latest trend, but we have actually had other familiar posting actions in the history that have the different names and methods. For example, in order to criticize a governing regime, the lower class of the Joseon Dynasty(Korea) set up a wall poster, filled with laments for the times in the popular market place, where all four different social classes can read. In extension to that, students who were at the center of tumultuous democratization history of South Korea in 1980s (as they are still today) have used a wall poster as a way of sending a resisting message to the corrupted and oppressive government and social injustice.
With the recent activation of the social network, the posting seems to be somewhat limited in its meanings and interpretations by online activities; however, beyond our distinction between ‘on’ and ‘off,’ the posting action becomes important solely at where it temporarily remains online. While the posting in the literary age was mainly influenced by offline activities, the posting in the image era that minimizes using unnecessary characters often starts online. The nomads in online community, who are powered by the powerful internet media and easy accessibility of information, disseminate postings (posted contents) across as many places as possible even if the sources for information are unknown.
'For what purpose and when was the post initially created' is not at all an interest of online nomads. Unless it is a special case, information about the source of a posting is usually hard to trace. What is important to them through a posting is not to reveal whose idea it is, but what they can do through this posting, so what they truly value is to help the posting to gain value and strength as a public property. In summary, when the sense of ownership of the content weakens and the its character as public goods becomes strong, the meaning of the posting as an act is completed. In other words, even if ‘I’ am the main agent of the posting, when the value of the content is not fully appreciated as ‘a public knowledge’ or ‘a reason’, the posting is hard to keep its value.
# We remember that in early 2000, there were papers posted around Seoul saying, "I love you Sunyeong." Aside from the fact that it was a marketing strategy, developed by an IT company, it was a big social phenomenon, which got much public attention, including numerous people who have a name ‘Sunyeong,’ at the time. The sentence on this poster, which sounds like a personal message to a certain person whose name is ‘Sunyeong,’ gave everyone a trivial (almost minimal) joy in everyday life that everyone could be the protagonist of this romantic message, listed in public. We know We all deserve a joy.
Recent Work Gallery project has focused on 'posting arts on our daily life'. For this project, we have asked eight fine artists to pair up with eight graphic designers to create their own visual artifacts, specifically in a ‘poster’ format that is easy to be presented to the public on a daily basis. In the past, there have been numerous attempts to move contemporary art into everyday life, but these attempts have been usually ended up in failure as they discourteously interfere with everyday life, or try unilateral penetration into it. For that reason, Recent Work Gallery project chose the poster format as an artistic medium that can easily come to the public as art.
We can recall that a poster was originally created by early fine artists, but it became a task of graphic designers now days. The posters, created through the collaboration among visual artists and designers, do not simply mean a perfect collaboration of the two different groups, but refuse to belong to any of a group and gain the meaning only as a poster. Through this project, the posters play a role of conveying art and informing the project theme to the public in accordance with the medium’s true function for promotion and advertisement. The posters would be literally posted to various public places such as a cafe, hospital, co-working space, bookstore, and etc. in Seoul and become a public medium to convey the sense of art into our daily lives.
Recent Work Gallery project does not aim to overthrow the status of contemporary art. On the contrary, it tries to slowly percolate it through the everyday life. Barnett Newman, who was trying to restore the sublimity of modern art through his works, expressed it simply by emptying the screen instead of painting the overwhelming view of nature. Pertaining to that, the modern philosopher, Jean-François Lyotard, said it is "depriving the existing rules of art and experimenting with its new possibilities." Just same as what Lyotard said, Recent Work Gallery project experiments a new frame of art, not just sticks onto an existing artistic rule. The project, taking place as a temporary event in the daily life, ultimately aims to introduce what the contemporary art is, and how it is connected to our lives.
For further information about Recent Work Gallery project
Recent Work Gallery project: recentworkgallery.com/
This Weekend Room: thisweekendroom.com/
In connection with Recent Work Gallery project, the project exhibition will be held on the 15th of December through the 30th, in This Weekend Room, Seoul.