“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.
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