2015-06-30 22:28:42 , Monday
|I have been to a filming location. Versatile walls for scenes were left around the site and props were stored between the walls as if discarded. Props without their own places seem to suggest the miserable presence of those wandering in our society without an identity. I consider a TV drama another world in which everyday life is transcended when it is combined with our imagination. This genre of entertainment allows us to view and perceive the familiar newly through a closer perception, affording us a clearer understanding of what we already know. This filming location is a place where what we want to show and what we do not want to show coexist. This is a place where we can catch a glimpse of another world through windows here and there and where fantasy, possibility and reality are intertwined. |
I created the photo series Strange Site with my critical consciousness of familiar things and places, keeping an objective distance from them. I also tried to comment on places and space in a way calling attention to surroundings by putting objects into a new perspective and thus generating another semantic relation. I tried to remind viewers of the ideal value of the familiar by forcing a defamiliarization with the general, as Bertolt Brecht claimed, and underlining generality by paradoxically denying it. I have worked with a critical and objective attitude, accepting the fact that reconstructed things and spaces are not reality itself but just representations of reality. The expansion of space has to do with time, moving beyond past space and place. This is the result of an individual history being reduced to an aspect of society.
The places this series showcases are anonymous, nameless things. They are things as much as places. I found places closed after use (inside the Defense Security Command building), places that are temporarily abandoned and off limits to the public (Chang-dong subway station) and buildings under construction (inside of buildings under construction in the whole area in Gyeonggi-do), demonstrating social problems and myths of our time.
All things and places have their own intrinsic history and meaning, but I did not raise any question in this regard. In the present, based on the tremendous evolutionary rates made on the Web when the boundaries between reality and imagination become blurred through a link on the screen with multiple windows open, I try to show that “here” is not our destination but a transit place, which could be “nowhere” or “anywhere” in a broader sense. I have commented on space and place in this series, reflecting on my previous themes of loss of identity and anonymity in society. As I have avoided expanding on these themes, I have entitled all my photos with serial numbers.
I portray the concealed absurdity of everyday life we consider safe in this age when we live nomadic lives rather than settled lives and we are closer to virtual reality than actual reality. This absurdity emerges as unstable and unfamiliar forms. I arm myself with the secret and uncanny found in abandoned, anonymous urban spaces. As Jean Baudrillard argued that “A digital photograph is in the present. This digital work proves nothing has occurred or the absence of something that means nothing.” In the meantime “nothing” has happened in our surroundings and everything flows as if there is not “any” meaning.
_ LEE Minho