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What Cannot Be Is What
2013


Photo-documented performance, costumes, found objects, paper, foamboard, red plexiglass box made to scale of architecture, audio excerpts, speakers.

What Cannot Be Is What emerged in response to a commission from The Real DMZ Project, which has curated an annual exhibition along the De-Militarized Zone between North and South Korea since 2012. Following research into the history of the Korean War, I worked with a group of volunteer children from the local community with whom I developed, rehearsed and produced a new performance. This work took place within the ruins of an historical site, which dates back to the Japanese occupation era and is now situated within the civilian control line of the DMZ. The performance was audio recorded and photographed, but no audience was invited to bear witness to the event. Instead, the residue of the performance was displayed at another historical site – Woljeongri Station - a non-operational train station on a major route that once connected the South to land that is now part of North Korea. In a quasi-museological display that sought to mediate experience in much the same way that historical representations of war are mediated, visitors to Woljeongri station could hear an edited audio work that included some of the dialogue and sounds from the performance alongside the presented images of the gestures and activities that took place.