LOST IN SPACE: Gucci's 'No Space, Just a Place' Exhibition
Text by Kee | Photos courtesy of Gucci
Olivia Erlanger, 'Ida, Ida, Ida!' (2020)
Lee Kang Seung, 'Covers (QueerArch)' (2019/2020)
Yunjung Lee, 'Tongue Gymnastics' (2020); exhibited by d/p
Jun Hyerim, 'Nothing is There Though #2' (2019); part of 'Index of Six Sides' by Hapjungjigu
Dans ta chambre and Joohye Moon 'Creeper' (2020); part of 'Secret for Longevity' by White Noise
Martine Syms, 'Notes on Gesture' (2015)
Cécile B. Evans, 'What the Heart Wants' (2016)
Meriem Bennani, 'Party on the CAPS' (2018/2019)
Daelim Museum in Seoul

No Space, Just a Place, an art exhibition curated by Myriam Ben Salah and sponsored by Gucci, looks to challenge the structures of the art scene and redefine the landscape of how we consume art in the future.

Let’s be honest about the current planet’s predicament. Though physically being present at any scheduled event during this period is proving to be quite a challenge, it has not stopped humanity from coming up with ways to work around the inconvenience. This is very much the case of Gucci’s No Space, Just a Place art exhibition in Seoul that kicked off in mid-April having met delays to its start date because of Covid-19. But lo and behold, it is now open – both physical and digital – and perhaps carries with it even more significance than ever before. After all, we know great art thrives on struggles. Held at the Daelim Museum, the Myriam Ben Salah-curated exhibition is set on the theme of Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele’s reflections on eterotopia, borrowed from a Michel Foucault concept on the other place. Think of it as that in-between of utopia and dystopia where things are neutral and just different from the status quo, where people come together in spite of differences and passions. Don’t think of No Space, Just a Place as just a gathering of artists serving separate agendas. There’s oneness that the curator seeks in the work, which are “tied to the idea of the alternative spaces as a utopian place in which to set new empowering narratives, dwelling on the understanding of otherness, the exploration of minoritarian identities and queer politics.” Salah hopes this space provides a non-traditional viewpoint to consuming art, one eschews the commercial prefixes that modern galleries have fell in the trappings of. Seoul is a great ground for this experimentation as the city is a hotspot for independent art spaces that used to take over storefronts, lofts, and warehouses that traditional art exhibits often avoid. In such venues, it is a commonplace to art that is at times experimental and always debatable. These art spaces have been thriving since the 1990s and have given mainstream art some food for thought. No Space, Just a Place invited 10 of these groundbreaking art spaces to take up three floors, creating a seamless experience whilst tackling the theme of otherness. Each art space curates their own project with Salah and also includes one of several of the artists it represents. This list includes Boan1942 that showcased the work of artist Sungsil Ryu that explored the superstitious and made-up world between humans and nature; Hapjungjigu represented painter Jun Hyerim who reworked the boundaries of a canvas with multiple layers of flat art turning three-dimensional; and d/p zoomed in on choreographer Yunjung Lee’s performance of Tongue Gymnastics which focused on the tongue as a gateway for feelings and connections. The exhibition also invited five international names to tackle the theme of “displacement, biotechnology, queering, and hybridisation”: Olivia Erlanger placed mermaid tails into a laundromat scene that highlights its real meaning as a place for passing time as well as symbolising gender stereotypes; Kang Seung Lee plastered a room and stairwell with wallpaper of covers expressing the marginalised view on queer culture in the last four decades in South Korea; and Martine Syms created a video installation that showcased how identity is shaped by gestures and body language and can be altered just as easily by changing these variables. No Space, Just a Place runs until July 12 and a 360-degree tour of the exhibition can be viewed in the link/video below.


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