The Jeonnam Museum of Art (JMA) presents a special exhibition premiering the Russian collective AES+F and their major works. AES+F: Lost, Hybrid, Inverted is not only the collectives’ first exclusive show in Korea but will be the JMA’s second international exhibition after the museum’s opening in March 2021. This exhibition tracks the ongoing flow of contemporary art in Berlin and provides an opportunity for visitors to gain closer access to the art scene.
The global world, including Korea, has experienced many crises since the COVID-19 virus in March of 2020. This unprecedented pandemic of the 21st century has brought to the surface many societal issues. These issues include racial conflict, unemployment of economically disadvantaged groups, the sharp fall in sales of small businesses, climate change and other environmental issues. AES+F, since organized, has examined important values within the contemporary world through their visual and auditory works. The group presents a world where the past, present and future are mixed and conventional values and hierarchies are overthrown. By introducing the work of AES+F, JMA would like to look into the present and furthermore provide an opportunity to envision the future world.
The show AES+F: Lost, Hybrid, Inverted, consists of four main sections with works premiering in Korea. The show begins in Gallery 2 and includes the series Inverso Mundus (2015): a piece previously introduced in Korea as a video work. Gallery 2 presents 12 pieces of photography and CAGE, one of the objects shown in the video. In Gallery 3, Angels-Demons is a sculpture series where good and evil, race and sex seem to coexist in the form of infants, heralding the beginning of a new world. Gallery 4 presents the series of photographs of Allegoria Sacra (2012): a different form of recreation of a mixed reality environment. Allegoria Sacra satirically describes diverse civilizations, religions, and races by presenting scenes in an airport where the airport is used as a sense of allegory. As the title already implies, the concepts of pleasure, torture, etc., are overthrown, leading to a chaotic situation. TURANDOT 2070 premiers in Asia at the JMA in Gallery 5. A reinterpretation of Giacomo Puccini’s opera Turandot that was once screened at Teatro Massimo in Italy in 2019, TURANDOT 2070 is set in imaginary Beijing in 2070. This work raises existential questions about China from a Western perspective, revenge taken by women and authoritarianism, and a mix of the past and future, each of these themes intertwined.
In this exhibition, many “isms,” such as surrealism, hedonism and exotism, are exquisitely blended with media and topics such as games, fashion, advertising and the internet, creating images of another world through the mediums of photography, sculpture and video. JMA hopes that this show provides visitors with an opportunity to envision many different situations regarding the ever-changing paradigms in our world.