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08-1

Seoul-based Korean artist Seokmin Ko’s photographic series The Square evokes both a peaceful sense of being at one with the world around us and a feeling of being lost. Addressing ideas of normalcy and identity, the artist holds up a giant mirror to reflect his surroundings and camouflage himself from the viewer. “We live locked by each other’s view and even our eye views sometimes serve as surveillance over each other. When individual views tamed by cultures and customs in societies aggregate and then serve for views of groups, each individual has no choice but stays as a standardized human being hiding himself or herself. Like this, under society strongly influenced by views of group, a real individual can’t co-exist… We begin to change ourselves to become ‘A normal human being.'” (via)

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These last few weeks have been spent exploring all parts of Yerevan some intentionally and others purely by accident.  One day this week even was comparably to my days on my snowboard.  Using the bus like a chairlift to take me to a point in the city with a line back to house which I walked capturing many elements that I had over the weeks hope to experience.

These random wanderings and planned excursions have allowed me to interact with architecture and accidental sculptural objects.  They have created conversations within my practice that I am now exploring and will continue post residency here.  I spend time photography and field recording the sounds I encounter not always for later work but to use the process of recording as a way to explore the moments that I have experienced.  Some of these elements naturally appear in the work but sometimes it is me focusing on something that i see a metaphor amongst or pausing just so the brain absorbs and allows the senses to filter completely.  Though the sounds and visual elements are important it is all senses that inform my thoughts.  If only to have a machine to record the smells both pleasant and not so.  The aromas here are strong and really striking.

Certain themes are constant within my travels such as looking through but seeing behind in reflective moments or the attraction to controlled and protected spaces.  Here especially where traffic cones are not so common the ways in which people mark space is intriguing.  One thought that is common with my travels here though is to do with vacancy as a positive.  The building of vacancy, i.e. in the sense of building glass and marble buildings that seems to be for something that only they know about.  With these buildings not necessarily fitting into the landscape rather standing alone amongst the tower blocks of Soviet era.  I see these new buildings a positive in one sense and nod to a new era or at least optimism.  This in comparison in other cities that I have lived recently where new construction has stopped.

As for work I am currently working on a new digital work, a step on from the Athens Arrival work I made in Greece last year and also some new photo and sculptural works.  These are all due to be exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art here in a couple of weeks.  So for now the walks and excursions are more precise and studio time has increased.  I will update from the studio in a few days prior to the show.

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