Day 9 | Soyeon Jung

“the Eater” is a two-channel, interactive video installation. The version of the piece included in this screening is a single-channel video that presents a simulation of the physical installation. “the Eater” deals with the harvesting and consumption of experience, transforming it into personal memory. On opposing walls, a video of “the Eater” is coupled with a sequence of memory images that must literally be consumed in order to preserve them. The abstracted images resist referencing any particular event, but rather represent the lived-in time of the artist’s multiple journeys between Korea and America. Within this piece, the act of eating of one’s own memory exhibits a cannibalistic consumption that alludes to the destructive potential of memory when it becomes internalized. A sound-scape that becomes suddenly violent, as “the Eater” seizes a memory in her desire to consume it, augments this feeling of unease.

The self-destructive drive to internalize and preserve traumatic memory is the product of a fear of emptiness; a situation in which one finds oneself lacking memory, experience, and attachment. In “the Eater” the body is treated as a repository for a multitude of accumulated time, yet in this state it is also susceptible to the resurfacing of the embedded trauma. In visualizing this relationship, the piece acknowledges the need for memory to be recuperated and creates a space for the audience to engage in this performance. The scale of the installed piece, combined with the multiplicity of images, limits the vision of the audience, forcing them to make decisions as to how they will negotiate the flow of images, which subjects they will visually and psychologically engage with, and which they will let slip by and escape consciousness.

the Eater 2006 – revised 2010, TRT 7:48

Originally from South Korea, Soyeon Jung is a multi-disciplinary artist currently practicing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her work interrogates the intimate subject of personal memory from a multicultural perspective that is rooted in her experience of being situated in between Korea and the United States.

Her installation and video work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions and screened in a variety of venues. Selected events include, International Simultan Festival in Timisoara, Romania, CologneOFF Videoart in Germany, Delhi International Arts Festival and Cec-Carnival of e- Creativity in India, Manipulated Image in Santa Fe, London OMSK, International Women’s Film Festival, Detroit Museum of New Art, Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, Big Orbit Gallery, CEPA Gallery, and Olean Public Gallery.

Soyeon was a graphic and web designer at Samsung in Korea before relocating to the United States. She received her MFA from the Department of Media Study at the University at Buffalo. Currently, she teaches in the Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and in the fields of experimental video and digital art.

Soyeon Jung – Milwaukee Wisconsin

6 thoughts on “Day 9 | Soyeon Jung

  1. I really enjoyed this video. It is interesting how you are focused on the video with the image but then out of no where the woman starts moving. It is a very interesting use of a focal point change for the viewer. I also liked how the chop sticks opened as wide as the fame of her video before it snapped on the other frame.

  2. Watching this video online, I can only imagine what it must be like in a live installation. Very inventive use of the medium. The idea of “the eater” reaching out with chop-sticks and grabbing an image from the opposite screen through the space between is very inventive.

  3. This visual representation of ‘consuming’ memories is a very cool. I really liked the effect of the woman going slowly from black and white to color after she ate the memories. It made me think that one is empty and dull without experiences and with is rich and full of life.

  4. I love the title chosen for this film. Very interesting concept. The perspective is very unusual (in a good way), very effective. I love how you can see the women and the memory’s side by side, and the way she takes each image and devours it.

  5. Although it was difficult for me to grasp the meaning of the video until I read the artist’s statement, I still found it to be interesting and thought-provoking, and I still got the uneasy feeling like I was supposed to. Like another comment mentioned, I watched this on a much smaller scale than the full wall installations discussed in the statement, which may have altered the atmosphere and meaning of the film, and may be something to think about before posting online. One thing I felt a little distracting were the switches of “the eater” from black and white to color – I would have liked to see them stay black and white, although the switches may have a meaning that I have missed.

  6. the two clips work well together they don’t really distract from each other too much they help to build up the idea behind the video. the ways one takes in the world and what parts of it we remember.

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