June 3 – 18 2006
At Bloc in June Katie Davies presents a new video installation that is a response to her recent seven-month residency in Seoul.
After the house is burnt, pick up the nails is a result of the artist’s fascination with the influence of Confucianism on contemporary Korean culture; similarly it represents the experiences of a foreigner coming to terms with an unknown, mesmeric environment.
Using video footage and audio recording the installation presents us with impressions of a chaotic and bustling metropolis and hints at the ideologies to be found within its fabric.
Of particular interest to the artist was the discovery of certain beliefs and customs, in particular a widespread acceptance of the reality of ‘fan death’: deaths supposedly caused by household electric fans without any direct contact or electrocution, a notion that is unique to Korea.
Traditional proverbs such as ‘After losing a cow one repairs the barn, only after a big disaster you fix the problem’, were also an influence, providing the artist with an uncensored insight into the habitual and customary nature of a Confucian doctrine.
Davies’ work explores the idiosyncrasies of an unfamiliar culture, investigating seemingly impenetrable cultural references. Fragments of advertising and television that are present in the work function as a common ground between East and West, offering some resolution through this shared, global mode of representation.
Click here for image archive of exhibition
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