O curator and art critic Bernardo José de Souza [1] comment on the work Porosity Valley 2: Trickster's Plot, by Ayoung Kim. One of South Korea's most outstanding contemporary artists, Ayoung Kim was the Asian country's representative at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015, had important solo shows at the Melbourne Festival and the Palais de Tokyo, in Paris, in addition to having participated in several biennials and film festivals around the world.

Part of his work is now part of a solo exhibition on the Videobrasil Online website. The show takes place Anthropocene: Korea vs Brazil 2019-2021, which was live until the beginning of this month, and shares the same partnership for its organization with Juhyun Cho, chief curator of Ilmin Museum of Art, in Seoul. The exhibition is the fourth to occupy the space of Videobrasil Online, inaugurated in September with the documentary Abdoulaye Konaté – Colors and Compositions, followed by exposure jolts, by Ayrson Heráclito, and the collective exhibition Anthropocene, by South Korean artists.

According to Cho, Ayoung Kim presents, in videos, performances and installations, contemporary issues such as modern Korean history, oil politics, territorial imperialism and the movement of capital in the world. In her experiments, the artist also presents a vast work with archives and with data development and evokes unfamiliar ways of reading, listening and thinking about the conditions of the world.

Videobrasil Commented Collection. Still from "Porosity Valley 2: Tricksters' Plot" by Ayoung Kim. Photo: Disclosure.
Still from “Porosity Valley 2: Tricksters' Plot”, by Ayoung Kim. Photo: Disclosure.

Videobrasil Commented Collection is a partnership between arte!brasileiros and Associação Cultural Videobrasil. Every 15 days we publish, on our platform and in our social networks, a part of its important collection of works, gathered in more than 30 years of trajectory. In this episode, the work Porosity Valley 2: Trickster's Plot, by Ayoung Kim, is analyzed by the curator and art critic Bernardo José de Souza, check it out below:

The work suggests an alternative world and mythology for migrations of all kinds in the 21st century. A sequel to Porosity Valley, Portable Holes (2017), builds on the previous work by creating the fictional figure of the cluster of migrants, minerals and data known as Petra Genetrix. Overlapping refugee and digital migrations, both characteristics of 21st century migration, generates a speculative time-space by questioning the “ways of existing” and “ways of representing” the Yemeni refugees who have recently arrived in South Korea.

The Tricksters (from the title of the work) have come to disturb the order in the valley, known as "the mythology of the thoroughbred". They threaten the nation-state's rigid immune system, but end up strengthening it by transplanting heterogeneous seeds (xenotransplantation) into it. What is reflected here is a state of affairs in which refugees are treated as some sort of dysfunction or virus that threatens the nation-state. Next, scenes of biopolitical control unfold, as experienced by Petra and by the Yemeni refugees themselves in Korea.

Still from “Porosity Valley 2: Tricksters' Plot”, by Ayoung Kim. Photo: Disclosure.

The work questions ideas of border, crossing and coexistence or symbiosis. The supposed solidity of the territory and borders that immigrants, refugees, minerals and data cross begins to crumble. This is due to the movement of tectonic plates, themselves eternally subject to migration and movement. In this sense, the work reflects the Earth and its strata, the movement of its various agents and the borders and symbiotic relationships that impede and facilitate it.


[1] Bernardo José de Souza is a curator and art critic. He was artistic director of the Iberê Camargo Foundation until 2019. In recent years he has developed curatorial projects in the field of contemporary visual arts, in collaboration with Brazilian and foreign institutions such as Instituto Francês, Instituto Inhotim, Prince Claus Foud, Mondriaan Fonds, KW Institute for Contemporary Art , among others. He was Cinema, Video and Photography Coordinator at the Porto Alegre Secretariat of Culture between 2005 and 2013 and was part of the curatorship teams of the 9th Mercosul Biennial (Porto Alegre, 2013) and the 19th Contemporary Art Biennial Sesc_Videobrasil ( Sao Paulo, 2015).

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