“A Cabinet in the Washing Machine” is a project which brings the spatial characteristics of the recycling center and the context connoted in the items there into the realm of art. The project reinterprets the relationship between space and objects, objects and art, and art and the audience. In the recycling center, there are a lot of things we use in ordinary life. It even has good accessibility in order to allow people in the area to visit easily. The things that fill the place are found by new owners. Therefore the recycling center is a space where things are in constant circulation. Even the people who visit the center casually, find great pleasure when they unexpectedly find something useful. Also the recycling center is a gathering place of resold items, so people’s lives and memories are part of those things. This is because they were a part of somebody’s life, unlike new products.
The artists who participated in this show focused on the characteristics of recyclable goods, which include the idea that buying things is not simple consumption but is connecting to emotional communication as well, by a review of the history and memory of each object. It is different from the value or meaning of antiques because recycled goods are practical ordinary goods that touch our lives. So we used the recycling center, which has a function between those of shops and of storage spaces, as an exhibition place or a space for a creative project, and we gave the recycling center a multi-layered spatial concept. In this way, we tried to create artistic communication with local residents through the site specificity of the recycling center. The final presentation of this project consisted of the exhibition in the recycling center and an exchange event. First of all, this exhibition tried to focus on the spatial characteristic of the recycling center and the inherited time and meanings embedded in the things in the recycling center by combining the histories and stories in the recyclable goods. The artists attempted to interpret the context of the space and place of the recycling center and the sensibility about the recycled goods by using a variety of media including installation, drawings, paintings, and video.
The exchange event, entitled "Old Lovers," is an attempt to connect the recycling of objects to emotional communication through an awareness of the history of objects and of people’s memories as a nonmaterial value. In the process of exchange, a change of ownership of personal objects--which were no longer useful to the previous owners--, someone’s possessions, containing experience and memories, become desirable objects with new meanings and values by their attractiveness. In this event, we exchanged memories and stories of the objects by bartering. And the new owner could choose to keep the stories and memories that accompany the items received from the previous owner.
This project was delivered in two exhibitions. First, the exhibition in Seodaemun-gu Recycling Center was delivered in an overlap with the recycling center’s business and exhibition space: an ‘in situ’ exhibition. Secondly, the exhibition in Pangyo Eco Center was delivered in archive form: the conceiving of the exhibiting artists’ ideas, the process of creating the work, and the record of the exhibition.
- The Other Guy, 2012