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"Documentary Others: Curated by Sujin Lee"
2004-05-23 until 2004-06-06
Mushroom Gallery
Hoboken, NJ, USA United States of America

MUSHROOM Gallery is pleased to announce its very first invitational group exhibition, Documentary Others. The exhibition, featuring the work of three emerging artists, is curated by Sujin Lee, an interdisciplinary artist. Each work at the exhibition deals with documentary perceptions in unique ways though any of them are straightforward documentations. Documentation is fiction because it involves a subjective mechanism (whether it is a machine (e.g. camera), or a person) in the creation. Artists in the exhibition turn their attention to the mechanism itself and show the duality of documenting: depicting oneself by documenting others, and vice versa.

Mira Friedlaender's video piece, Many Pockets, mines the relationship between the camera, the viewer, and the artist/ subject. In Many Pockets the artist seems to float in space, sometimes gazing at the camera while reaching into the many awkwardly placed pockets in her robe. At times the pockets appear to be entry points to the body. Using minimal expressions and a looped structure, the piece loses its narrative, and present unproductive and repetitive thoughts and acts. Friedlaender’s work addresses the viewer because the viewer becomes very conscious of his/her own emotion towards the work. As a performance, made for video camera, the work becomes provocative in its sensual and spectral gesturing; bringing the ideas and psychology the artist investigates home to the body.

Having a keen interest in documentaries, especially those in TV news, which manifest a selectiveness and fictitiousness, Joshua Thorson presents a video installation, Grotto. Grotto is a series of six video pieces by “other people” telling their stories of familial pain in somewhat humorous and ambiguous ways. The piece brings emotional confusion to the viewer (whether one should be amused by or sympathize with the stories), which also reflects the artist’s own reaction to the discrepancies and intersections between adult reality and childhood memories. By pretending to be “others,” Thorson questions the position of the storyteller of his own story. Combining his personal stories with fragments from media and stories given by other people, he documents the change of consciousness and memory.

Heeseop Yoon’s installation consists of pieces of masking tape. Yoon seeks to present the most basic formal information – outlines – as a true representation of her own perception. When Yoon selects the subject matter and takes pictures of it, the accumulation of objects is what she is drawn to, rather than each individual object. However, when she draws the transferred images (taken by the camera) onto a space, she discovers individual objects within. Mistakes that she makes in her drawing appear as double lines or multiples lines as she applies her “corrections” to them. They reflect the physical “errors” (e.g. the artist is astigmatic) that she lives with, and they also question the validation of one’s perception. How does one perceive an object, how does one depict (or document) it, and how does one perceive the documentation? These questions manifest the most basic, but also the most complicated, issue of documentation – the presence of “I/eye” in documentation and the interpretation of “real.”


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