Magazine article Artforum International

Koo Jeong-A: Secession

Magazine article Artforum International

Koo Jeong-A: Secession

Article excerpt

On the day before her opening at the Secession, Koo Jeong-A locked herself in the basement in order to work on its difficult series of spaces. When she came out twenty-four hours later, the work was done: Between an emergency exit, an office, and a storage room spread a poetic dream landscape, a compellingly carefree exhibition--subtle and meditative, yet anchored in the material bluntness that characterizes sculpture. In the relation between order and disorder there emerges a pattern, and these textures of chaos are what interest Koo.

A large table--nearly twenty feet long--at the beginning of the exhibition held an orderly stack of cigarettes; beneath it lay a trashy installation of junk. The table was covered with white packing paper and spoke (like another variant of the "last painting") the language of Minimal art. The traces of a lonely night of working on the installation had literally been swept under the table: cartons and crumpled-up plastic wrap from unpacked art supplies, and the pastel tissue paper from the evening's victuals, Italian almond cookies. Koo's references to her presence in the work were personal and intimate: In the poignant sleeping nook, the bed was simply newspapers with a T-shirt spread over them; there were little pictures on the wall. It was enchanting--at least for those who recognize the principles of organization and composition in what seems to be so haphazard. Not that this is particularly important. What concerns the artist is the fact that art is made by perception just as much as production, by the vi ewer as well as the artist. Koo's ephemeral installations of the poetic fragment are not about conventions of museum display; rather, they are tied more to collective and individual memories and help spark the observer's imagination.

Koo, a Korean who has lived in France for the last ten years, spent the summer of 2002 as artist in residence in the Augarten studio of the Osterreichische Galerie Belvedere in Vienna. …

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