The question is not what you look at, but what you see. It is only necessary to behold the least fact or phenomenon, however familiar, from a point, a hair's breadth aside from our habitual path or routine, to be overcome, enchanted by its beauty and significance. - Henry David Thoreau
One need not be a chamber to be haunted; one need not be a house; the brain has corridors surpassing material places. - Emily Dickinson
NC-art presents Between Spaces, the first solo exhibition by the Korean artist Do Ho Suh in Colombia. The exhibition explores the concept of passage and the liminal spaces that deal with the conditions of intimacy and the notion of public spaces. The corridor becomes the protagonist of the exhibition and shapes the large fabric sculpture and video installation in situ occupying the central part of the gallery.
The hallways or corridors are understood as transit points that allow travelling from one place to another but do not totally become complete spaces. Its characteristic is precisely this liminal state defined by uncertainty, ambiguity, hybridization and intermediacy. In this sense, just as thresholds, landscapes have become study material of several theories of anthropology and sociology. The concept of liminality is a notion taken from Arnold van Gennep - French ethnographer of the twentieth century - and refers to the state of openness that describes the intermediate phase of tripartite space-time, which is part of a place to go to another by means of a third vehicle (preliminary, liminal, post liminal). This term is often associated with rites of passage: life-changing events or border situations involving exchange consequences. The corridor can be understood as a metaphor for the evolution of our own identity and history; it becomes a cronotopos, an indissoluble unit of space-time - where the interior and the exterior, the past and the future are diluted.
Liminality has also been analyzed in post-colonial literature and cultural studies with reference to a body at the limit, dividing various fields, identities or discourses; that which occurs in these spaces free from hierarchies that allows other relationships to happen. In this sense, Between Spaces shows for the first time, two video installations conceived for NC-arte, that analyze the direct relationship between the individual and space, and probes into intimate spaces as possible arenas for the development of social exchanges. The artist is particularly interested in understanding how human relationships operate in places that are understood a priori as private and what dynamics take place when they become open and public.
Some drawings and objects enclosed in light boxes are added to the sculpture in the corridor and to the video installations. Do Ho Suh sees domestic spaces as bodies filled with memories, remembrances and specific connotations. In the subtle ball point pen designs on paper titled: Seoul Home/New York Home, Paratrooper, The Perfect Home, Seoul Home/L.A. Home, we see how “the home” becomes a personage that is capable of emotional feelings regarding what its inhabitants perceive and desire. Similarly, the Korean artist grants a different quality to the objects that make up the architectural spaces. By decontextualizing them from their common locations when they are removed from the halls and walls, radiators, plugs, doorknobs, fire extinguishers, and others become elements with other narrating capabilities. Indeed, they are no longer part of a stage décor in the living space; we are forced to look at them with different eyes, deciphering their own nature and beauty. To some extent, these everyday objects have a history, a mythology and a vast symbolic dimension. They speak of us, undoubtedly, as catalysts of memory and reminiscences, revealing a certain condition and way of life.
Between Spaces presents a compendium of works that articulate a discourse on the intangibility of what remains; the memory of what has been experienced and the illusion that we project. It allows us to change our way of looking and to see beyond what we perceive.