Grammar of the World - Based on Operational Play
Opening: Saturday 5 September 2009, 17.00-20.00
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In front of the falls the iceberg stands straight.
Then the queen appears.
The queen turns on the iceberg.
Then the iceberg starts to spin in a circle.
As an iceberg starts to spin, the purple warrior enters.
As the purple warrior starts to spin, the blue tiger enters.
As the blue tiger starts to spin, the silver fox enters.
This is how the collective performance 'Operational Play' began. Last May, following an open call by Casco in collaboration with artist Hwayeon Nam, a group of participants gathered and choreographed at different public locations around the neighborhood where Casco is situated. Everyone chose a character such as "iceberg", "queen" or "blue tiger" and a corresponding mask to play the text in public space.
Named after various military operations, these characters appropriate the euphemistic disorientation of such naming, which has been the convention since WWII, for the very act of another type of operation. The performance investigated modes of performing the self and masquerading, and action and interaction in a group vis-a-vis public attention and disinterest, in order to deal with the state of never ending oscillation between reality and rhetoric, secrecy and publicity, knowing and not-knowing and participation and disengagement as conditions of contemporary culture.
The exhibition 'Grammar of the World-Based on Operational Play' is the outcome of Hwayeon Nam's own further inquiry into this collective deliberation. She has now created a constellation of several new pieces of work, ranging from performance-film, installation and drawing to text, and including the film documentation of the performance in Utrecht. Visitors are given the codified narratives and actions to play with, so as to speculate together on the never fully transparent -sometimes mysterious or cruel- grammar with which the world speaks to us.
Berlin based designer Manuel Raeder contributes 'Triangle Circle Square' to the exhibition, the latest project from his series of furniture works, which consists of seats constructed from separable units that allow for different groupings and, hence, variable shapes and functions. In the show they not only provide seating, but also function as shelves for information.
Hwayeon Nam (b. 1978, South Korea) is based in Seoul and has developed (collaborative) projects with her ongoing research in theatricality and the rhetorical modality of the world. Play-writing, performance, films, installation and drawing are media she frequently employs in her practice. Nam has participated in various Korean and international exhibitions and festivals including the 5th Gwangju Biennale: Annual Report; Platform 2008, Seoul; 'Now Jump!', Nam June Paik Art Center, 2008, Yongin; 'Between the Lines', Project Space Sarubia, 2008, Seoul. Nam is a member of collective fourseasons QQ.
'Grammar of the World-Based on Operational Play' is simultaneously presented at Atelier Hermes in Seoul, where the artist is being honoured as one of the three candidates for Hermes Misulsang.
With many thanks to: Dr. Eva Fotiadi, Brigitte van der Sande, Marc van Gool for their contribution to the preparatory workshop, and to all the participants: Joke van Erkel, Nicole Baros, Eunhyong Kim, Lisa Scheer, Mafalda Dï¿½maso, Inge Zwirs, Marianna Papamarkou, Nicky Grunfeld, Lisette Quak, Hosun Lee, Hejin Lee, Mirjam van Drenth, Jaring Dï¿½rst Britt, Yolande van der Heide.