SQUID came out of its EGG!

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SQUID came out of its EGG!

2021. 06. 24 - 07. 11

Artist(s): Mi Park

Curated by sangheeut

Currently based in Seoul and Gimhae, Korea, performance artist Mi Park explains that art—in any form— is sprung on the basis of the artist’s identity. Deeply engaging with their emotions and personal experiences, Park has been interested in choreographing rituals and socially rupturing events and inserting them into everyday scenes. Resisting ‘artwashing’ that drives away the bodies occupying a place by forcefully imposing art, the artist redefines their identity as a place/site and delves into how they, as a performance artist, would survive in the art world. While a ‘place’ defined in ‘site-specific art’ means a physical place, Park has coined the concept  ‘identity-specific art’. It treats the artist’s body as a place, all the works take place in their time/site-specific identity. Currently in the early stage of this investigation, the artist continuously questions the existing modes of documentation of performance art.


For SQUID came out of its EGG!, Park presents a new performance documentation series, Micylopedia. Micyclopedia, as its name suggests, alludes to the system of encyclopedia. The artist selects a subject from flora and fauna that best reflects emotions that are affecting the artist in that specific moment, and continues the experimental project where the selected animal/plant serves as a medium of ‘identity-specific art’. 


The first character registered at Micylopedia is Superhero Squid Minister(SSM). Park previously introduced the squid for their work titled OPERATION SQUID (working title) (2020), simply illustrating the anxiety that the artist then felt with a one-time happening. SQUID came out of its EGG! will officially announce the birth of the SSM which has been in a limbo state, it exists but it is not officially ‘born’ yet . Everything installed at the exhibition is a singular work that contributes to a series of performances. Visitors enter the exhibition and encounter Dried Squid Farm, which marks the beginning and the end of the performance. These dried squids can be seen as the guardians or ancestors of the SSM that sacrificed themselves on this land, paving ways for beings like the SSM. Their tentacles and arms are broken ‘Geum-jul’, or taboo rope that  has been used in Korea as the symbolic rope to be hung on the front door of a household that has just had a baby with the hope of casting away bad energy or person. However, these squids having broken geum-jul in this exhibition implies that people are welcomed in to witness the SSM’s birth and shows the artist’s witty gesture to reconsider the traditional culture. Installed in the center of the exhibition space is Uncharted Island (Untitled poem for the inauguration performance), which serves as the main stage for the series of the performances and the actual birthing ground of the SSM. The installation work, which consists of the sand evoking an island and the chiffon resembling waves, is a hybrid between an ocean where the SSM was born and dry land where the SSM will sweep into. 


The exhibition is accompanied by three performances: The Inauguration where the SSM leaves the ocean and prepares to transition into the dry lands, The Training Period where the SSM creates its tentacles acting as weapons and The Attack where the SSM finally goes out into the dryland armed with tentacles. The whole installation and performances that make up SQUID came out of its EGG! provide the opportunity for the visitors to witness the first step the Superhero Squid Minister takes into the world beyond its inner self. 


The exhibition also includes an archive room where visitors can watch the archived videos of Self-archiving works (2017-201) series which allows a glance into the core dilemma of Park’s art practice. Self-archiving works, the series of the work archiving their preceding works, has—though incomplete—been recorded, and Park compiled these videos for the exhibition. In this body of work, the artist explores the complex relationship between the work itself and the documentation of the work, and the subtle tension vying for dominance. Park ponders upon their position as a performance artist in the current art world where tangible evidence of artworks are required and experiments with new methods to document and exhibit performance art. 


In 2021, SQUID came out of its EGG! 


About the Artist

Born in 1996 in Incheon, Mi Park now lives and works in Seoul and Gimhae. Park received their BA in Fine Art and History of Art from Goldsmiths, University of London in 2018 and the honor of magna cum laude from Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford with MA in Fine Art in 2020. They are the recipient of Venice Research Fellows (2020) at British Council and Erna Platchte Award (2019) at Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford. They have participated in many group exhibitions including, Claustro (2020) at Centro Cultural Internacional, Panama; Full Body Yes!: Ignorance as Nowledge? (2019) at Berta Berlin, Stir-Fry: an exhibition (2017) at Goldsmiths, University of London; Chelsea Cabaret (2017) at Chelsea College of Arts, London; NO NAKED FLAMES (2017) at St James Hatcham Church, London; and thanks (2016) at Deptford Cinema, London. Park has also participated in many residencies including, Retro Bonghwang Residency in Gimhae, Korea (2021); Barchfloop Online (2018); Inconsolable in Tbhlisi and Garikula, Georgia (2018); and Treignac Project in Treignac, France (2017).