Venue COMO (Exit gate no.4 of Euljiro subway station SKT-tower,
Exit gate no.3 of Tanbang subway station Daejeon SKT Dunsan Office)
Time 8:30a.m~7:00p.m, closed on weekends and national holidays
Organized by Art Center Nabi, SK Telecom
Artist Oliver Griem
Curator Art Center Nabi Creative Team Soojung Yi, Eunjung Park
Video Editing Hyojun Park
Video Screening Youngho Lee
The city is not the product of a city planner or designer, but the mixture of the citizens' lifestyle piling up for a long time. Asian cities have gone through rapid development which remains the trace on the cities' surface. Seoul, one of the Asian megalopolis, reveals its logic of standardization. The apartments and skyscrapers show the logic. We can easily see the city loses its vividness not only by the standardized construction, also by the unified art, culture, language and their products.
A German artist Oliver Griem takes the image of Seoul between the massive skyscrapers as an observer. 〈Looping Seoul〉 (2012) is the exact work that shows Seoul from the view of foreigner. Griem went Seoul place to place to shot the awkward scene so-called "New Town." He questions the city; whole city covered with gray concrete and filled with the apartments. The artist shows the 'too-common-to-see' things like the windows of apartments and buildings repeatedly and slowly, or abstractly patternize it to discover the city's sterility and anonymity.
Lewis Mumford, an American historian, sociologist, and influential literary critic, says "The spirit shows itself in the shape of the city. It works on the opposite way, too." Following his words, Seoul in the future might be the arena of development or core of dollars-and-cents economy. However, our city could revive as the cultural hub and archive. On this March, we are going to review the reclamation policy, the culture of real estate and apartment to make our city healthier in various ways by the exhibition 〈The Travels in Seoul: Description of the City〉 by COMO.
In the 23 minute loop on channel 2 of the work the camera pans in several rows over the cityscape of Seoul. The pan starts with a silent prelude from the mountain ridge surrounding Seoul, where only occasional power poles and the passing Namsan tower give a hint to the existence of civilization. In the next row, a little bit lower, it becomes louder and noisy as the camera shows the edges of the city, where new town apartment complexes are gushing into the surrounding mountain areas. Then in the last 2 rows the camera dives deeper into Seoul and dissonant patterns of apartments and buildings endlessly pull ahead until the camera starts at the mountain ridge and it becomes quiet again.
- Oliver Griem Artist Note
〈Oliver Griem Profile〉
Oliver Griem was born in 1964, Hamburg, Germany. He studied fine arts at HfbK Hamburg, and graduated media design major at KHM Cologne. He held solo exhibitions for 4 times and debuted in 1997 at Museum Sal. Showing various artworks such as media art, interactive installation, performance and so on, he participated in several group exhibitions and collaborations including 〈Media City Seoul – Digital Alice〉(Seoul Municipal Museum of Art, Seoul) in 2000, 〈Tangible Sound〉(Total Museum, Seoul) in 2002, 〈Crash&Flow〉(Seodaemun HyungMooso, Seoul) in 2004, 〈INDAF〉(Songdo, Incheon) in 2009, 〈Welcome to Media Space〉(Gallery Jungmiso, Seoul) in 2011. He teaches the Visual Communication Design majored students at Hongik University as an associated Professor.