This exhibition is an archive of physical forms that bear the time and work of 조향. It is not an archive whose focus is the persistent fidelity of forms. It is an archive like a forest floor is an archive, thriving in the flux of continuity and transformation.
A series of paperbacks have been preserved. Their new form protects them from any change wrought by the vicissitudes of reading. They have been ripped, soaked, drained, glued, and individually re-formed. The paperbacks resemble rocks—with wavering, irregular forms and the sober colours of the earth—but they remain paperbacks. Their identity transcends their appearance.
A man wakes up with a new form that relieves and tears him from the responsibilities of what had been his life. His new form redefines his expectations of movement and human interaction through the multiplicity of limbs, stench, and a hard shell for a back that define his physicality. He resembles an insect but is in fact a man, preserved in a new body and his old room. He lives and dies in Prague.
A hair separated from the head from which it grew, like an insect separated from the life through which it lived. Both, at least for a time, appear physically unchanged despite being divested of their vitality. The hair has been sealed in plastic lamination indefinitely; the bug, having been sealed in a glass and left without food for a decisive amount of time, emerges with the speed and volition of a stone.
Several piles of bones rest on several low tables. The bones have been cleaned, boiled, washed, soaked, sterilized, and dried so that they might more closely resemble themselves. The radiance of their processing is like a mirror. Some have also been covered in graphite, a further processing whose lustrous effulgence reflects with the clarity of a silhouette.
This exhibition accepts you as part of its archive, welcoming you with a bench among low tables. As you enter, your body will change—accepting the air of the room into your lungs and releasing it back, having changed its scent, its temperature, and its velocity. As you leave, the air slows and eventually becomes still, descending to the tables to join the rest of the archive.
A series of paperbacks have been destroyed, their remnants preserving the process of their destruction. Fragments of the paperbacks’ narratives mark the surfaces of forms resembling stones, bearing the colours of pulp divested of what was once a thin, precise geometry. The paperbacks have been ripped, soaked, drained, glued, and individually re-formed. They are irregular masses whose materiality has reached entropic consummation along with the precise strata of printed language that once neatly darkened its surfaces.
Horizontal lines stretch from edge to edge over a sheet of paper: one line drawn, followed by another, overlapped by yet another—repeated over the course of a year. The lines register time spent, building mass and order from a persistently dissipating present. Despite this observant registration, an accumulation of lines is not an accumulation of time.
Little time is needed to visit this exhibition; it can be apprehended in a single view. Yet it is clear that it embodies much more than an instant. This exhibition is an archive of physical forms that bear the time and work of 조향.
A plant is itself an archive, repeating itself through propagation. Each iteration of the species maintains the archive, with minor inflections shaped by mutation and adaptation. The variance in form from one plant to another is not a divergence from the plant’s identity; it is the expression of its identity. Regardless of how long an individual plant lives, its seeds ensure the persistence of the archive.
In Ingolstadt, a being emerges with a form that connects and burdens him with the experiences and responsibilities of life. This form establishes an expectation of movement and human interaction through a disposition of strength, sensation, and intelligence that has been constructed from the remainders of human beings. This being is not human, despite modelling humanity’s potential with superlative clarity and empathy.
Across several low tables, several piles of bones rest. They have been cleaned, boiled, washed, soaked, sterilized, and dried so that they might clearly mark a separation from their origins. The radiance of their processing engenders a mineral stillness. It underscores the cessation of faunal locomotion that these bones once served to support.
A group of photographs depict plants that did not survive, grown from seeds of fruit eaten by 조향. The photographs do not archive the flora pictured—they archive a posture of form, inscribed as the mineral stillness of light across the thin, precise geometry of a sheet of paper. Each photograph belies the demise of a plant; it models continuity by being seen and re-seen, withstanding the vicissitudes of reading.
This exhibition temporarily halts the processes that led to the creation of its works. These processes have not finished but their forward momentum has acquired the speed and volition of a stone. The exhibition is a pause.
Horizontal lines stretch from edge to edge over a sheet of paper. The lines register time spent over the course of a year, capturing the movement of ink across the paper’s surface like a photograph captures the movement of light. These lines are an accumulation of time. Their appearance as ink is simply that: an appearance.
Several books lay on several low tables. The books are unaltered except for the soft abrasion of use. The continuity of the paperbacks’ narratives precisely darken the surfaces of their pages. The books are an archive of the authors’ intentions—activating and inflecting a persistently dissipating present.
In 2008, 조향 and I first met. Three years later, while teaching a sculpture course centred on the book, I invited her to come speak to my students. 조향 mentioned to the class that she does not always feel the need to read a book. Sometimes she simply likes to have them close at hand, resting on her lap as time passes.
Shane Krepakevich is an artist and designer with training in Geology from the University of Alberta and Fine Art from the University of Guelph. He works across media and modalities, including graphic design, photography, furniture design, music, and sculpture.
Hyang Cho’s art, derived from everyday anxiety and uncertainty, engages trivial things and mindless actions through repetition and accumulation. Her works recognize the uselessness of useless things, the boredom of boring activities, and the ordinariness of everyday life. Born and grew up in Seoul, Korea, Cho currently lives and works in Guelph. Cho holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Sogang University, Seoul, Korea (1998), a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Alberta College of Art + Design, Calgary (2007), and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Guelph, Ontario (2009). Her exhibitions include ‘At Random’ at Open Space in Victoria (2018), ‘Counterpoint’ at Modern Fuel in Kingston (2016), ‘Nothing Much’ at Georgia Scherman Projects in Toronto (2015), and ‘Procés’, at Optica un centre d’art contemporain in Montréal (2013).