I'm Your Baby Tonight, 2016Exhibited at Hockney Gallery, London, UK, 2016
<CAN AN ARTWORK BE TOP OR BOTTOM?>ON THE SEXUALLY CHARGED WORKS OF JINHEE PARK AND DEW KIM
Jinhee Park’s paintings and Dew Kim’s installations lead us to think about the hypothesis of an artwork as top or bottom. Their new productions, manipulating the metaphor of the bed as a temporary sexual battlefield (between the playground and the free-fight ring), complicate ideas of giving and receiving on different levels. (Whether you always knew it or are trying to figure it out, you deal with it. Who is giving and who is receiving? The necessary inquisitive corporeal research through desire and pain – until you discover it’s all about blurring the lines).
Park’s paintings are colourful yet also look bleached-out; Kim’s installations appear welcoming but refuse approach: Two Seeds of Early Spring brings both a promise of flowers and a risk of weeds. The works in the exhibition are intricate microcosms that interchangeably feed the voyeuristic viewer (top) and feed off the voyeuristic gaze (bottom). (An Interrogation with unquestioned banality that needs to be cleared before the excitement is dismissed. Session ruined, night is over. Impossible. Someone wants what you want. Remember flexibility is also an option you can embrace to save the moment. Loose, win, it doesn’t matter).
Let them fuck you. Submissive? The servitude is pleasure. Carnal.
Entangling with strangers for the first time is often vague. (The artwork as a stranger, the exhibition space as cruising area). You are ready to know your role; to know the rules. Recurring experiences strengthen detachment and control. Power. To dominate also means that you are dominated the way you want to be. Get what you want. Who is the top now? (Featured artworks mirror this relationship – the power relation between them is violent yet soft. Soft violence – a cold war involving guns charged with high blood pressure. If everyone is waiting for someone to pull the trigger, who is the bottom now?)
Childish colours fade with time. Gradually, pre-adolescent arousing experiences are no longer unnoticeable under the tender face. (Corruption + Blooming). Special characteristics of desire are confronted in the battlefield with uncertainty. Love hurts, indeed. Your dirtiest secrets are all kept – odours, organic leftovers, all absorbed by the bed sheets. Loosing the battle is to feel used. Whatever you were looking for, everything that happened has been archived. (In that sense, the six artworks composing ‘Two Seeds of Early Spring’ are retentions of the past, though they in themselves also hold potential narratives of upcoming adventures and battles).
Sometimes, what is quickly sought hastily goes away. Evaporated illusions need to be fed once more. The next step is to bring back the hope for spring – a temporary strategy: find a way to hibernate in someone else’s bed. And fight again.
Interview with Gerardo Chavez-Maza ︎︎
△ Gerardo Chavez-Maza & Cédric Fauq Two Seeds of Early Spring (Dew Kim & Jinhee Park)