Querencia

2022. 03. 16 - 04. 03

Artist(s):​ Jahyeon Chang, Gichan Lee, Sukgeun Yoo

Co-curated by sangheeut & Yoojin Lee

Living as an intermediary

 

One. The human race has relied on what nature has already created. For their protection and rest, they disrupt and invade nature. As a result, nature constructs the house to defend itself. The more money people amass for their homes, the more animals seek alternative routes.

 

One. People have survived off the backs of what other humans have developed for their own benefit. For one's own safety and rest, one disturbs and invades others' homes. Those that are sent out quickly construct a shelter to protect themselves. The more money one accumulates for one's home, the more people look for alternate routes.

 

One. Many birds create a buffer zone between their nests and hunting grounds. Weak individuals breed in this zone to protect their young from external attacks.* Querencia** acts as a safe haven for three artists and three curators. Animals are not pushed away by humans here, and neither are humans by other humans.

 

Jahyeon Chang recalls that soil is used as the foundation for animals to build their shelters, as well as for ceramics. The artist has explored and recreated animal habitats to shed light on those who have been marginalized. She constructs a house for humans out of materials used by animals to be of their kind. Gichan Lee's works depict vagrant birds for various reasons, who may or may not survive their travels under changing conditions. Lee has wished for the safe flight of all birds after discovering the ironic fact that wind power generation installed to gain eco-friendly energy kills a large number of birds. Sukgeun Yoo captures the subjects in motion. The subject in his photographs is reflected on the lenticular screen, which adds to the dynamics. The degree of definition varies depending on the angle and distance. Lee's photographs highlight the distinction of access by modifying his sound work with a modulator over time. sangheeut is a two-curator collective that runs an exhibition space. It opened in June 2021 and will close in June of this year. They are ready to navigate their way from the current space, where the owner's existence is muddled, to the next buffer zone or the true home.***

 

Querencia is a place where anyone can come and rest for however long they want. It is accessible to all, but it is not a permanent residence for any being. Visitors, both human and non-human, are free to occupy this space, with the understanding that they will inevitably leave one day. The difference between interference and departure is not found in the location of a querencia, but in how it is used.

 

Written by Yoojin Lee

 

* Jakob von Uexküll, 2012. A Foray into the Worlds of Animals and Humans: with A Theory of Meaning.

**Querencia is a Spanish word that means affection, attachment, homing instinct, and shelter. It is a bullfighting term that refers to the area of the arena where the bull defends itself. In his querencia, the bull feels strong and safe, and a matador is not permitted to attack the bull. This term has been defined as a place where people feel safe or comfortable or a place that energizes or empowers them when they visit.

*** Space is open and empty for sangheeut. Aside from its physical appearance, a single location has a significant impact on people. A space is created for human use or purpose, but within it, humans share a variety of emotions and memories. The same could be said for sangheeut's starting point. We attempted to provide visitors with experience—in whatever sense or form—by focusing on variability rather than the size or shape of the space. In Querencia, sangheeut is regarded as a neutral zone that limits human intervention by artists and curators, as it neither pushes nor is pushed away by anything. It welcomes birds at the door that opens its neutral zone, receives sound that changes with resonance every day, and supports ceramic bricks.

The silently located space appears to have infinite possibilities, and we realized that these possibilities are not restricted to three or four walls. The lyrics to the children's song Why Did You Come to My House? suddenly came to mind while preparing for this exhibition. The song in which they ask why they came to my house and then say they came to catch you. – From a note by sangheeut