Scene from Jiwon Choi's "Parallel". Photo: reproduction

O curator and professor of Social Communication at UFMG Eduardo de Jesus comments, in the new episode of the Videobrasil Commentary Collection, on the work Parallel, by the South Korean Jiwon Choi, a work that was presented at the 20th edition of the Sesc_Videobrasil Festival, in 2017. “This is a powerful essay film on issues of contemporary social life in South Korea”, says the curator in his testimony.

The new episode of the series is released at the same time that the institution promotes the collective show Anthropocene: Korea vs Brazil 2019-2021At VB Online platform, featuring works by six South Korean artists and curated by Juhyun Cho.

In the words of Eduardo de Jesus, Parallel “on the one hand, it seeks a forceful testimony of the experiences lived by the artist's grandfather in the Korean war, on the other hand, it reproduces media processes that almost structure the subjective forms typical of contemporary South Korea. A profusion of signs typical of the media system”. In this way, the work of the young Korean artist – with a consistent trajectory in audiovisual languages ​​– draws a parallel between two periods in the country's history, making clear continuities and differences in time.

“This becomes quite clear in passages in which she approaches the ambiguity of meanings of the word shot between 'shoot' or 'take a picture', to produce a kind of reflection on the excessive production of images in contemporary society and at the same time the intense militarization process that Korea has been going through since the war,” says Jesus. The name of the movie itself, Parallel (parallel, in Portuguese), also refers to the division between South and North Korea and to the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone of Korea), a strip that divides the two countries.

The K-Pop universe also emerges with intensity – in the film the artist herself builds a K-pop band, in which she performs all the members of the group. For Jesus, it is clear that a struggle in search of identity is at stake. “If in that first moment of the war the issue was democracy, now it is identity”. And he concludes: “It is quite interesting the way in which the artist constructs a very forceful critique, using the very elements of media culture to elaborate this critique”.

Watch here also the testimony given by the artist to Videobrasil in 2017 about Parallel. “I am presenting contemporary Korean culture resulting from the Korean War and Korean popular culture,” she says. When talking about her grandfather's struggle, her parents' struggle and the contemporary culture of South Korea, the artist concludes: "We need to learn more from each other, just listen and dialogue more".

The artist's grandfather in the movie scene. Photo: Reproduction.

Still don't know the Commented Collection?

Videobrasil Commented Collection is a partnership between arte!brasileiros and Associação Cultural Videobrasil. Every 15 days we publish, on our platform and on our social networks, a part of its important collection of works, gathered in more than 30 years of trajectory. Check out the other episodes in this link.

About Videobrasil

A institution was created in 1991 by Solange Farkas, the result of the desire to host a growing collection of works and publications, which has been gathered since the first edition of the Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil (still Videobrasil Festival, in 1983). Since its creation, the association has worked systematically to activate this collection, which brings together works from the so-called geopolitical South of the world – Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East –, especially video art classics, own productions and a vast collection. of art publications.

This project contributes to “rediscovering and relating works from the Videobrasil collection, and thematic aspects, in the voice of critics, curators and thinkers, illuminating urgent contemporary issues”, says Farkas.

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