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On (un)language: Jesse Chun





Thursday, 15 June 2023

On (un)language: Jesse Chun, a screening program followed by a conversation with Erika Mei Chua Holum and Jo-ey Tang

Jesse Chun’s moving image poems, short films, drawings, and installations address language, translation, and historiography. Traversing found institutional narratives, documents, and imprints of linguistic imperialism as a site for (mis)translation, rupture, and abstraction, Chun’s work unearths alternate semiotic trajectories and poetics for non-linear passages of meaning, time, and untranslatability.

On the occasion of From the KADIST collection: Be here, or even better, be nowhere, KADIST presents a screening of 3 video works by Chun, followed by a conversation on unfixing language and its politics for alternate poetics with Erika Mei Chua Holum, Assistant Curator, Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston and KADIST curator-in-residence, and Jo-ey Tang, Director, KADIST San Francisco.

In O (for various skies) (2021), which is currently on view at KADIST San Francisco, Chun decentralizes American colonial narratives about the moon through “unlanguaging”—a methodology that the artist has conceptualized for unfixing language. The project disrupts bureaucratic documents pertaining to the United States government’s lunar colonization and militarization, such as The Lunex Project of 1958 and Project Horizon of 1959, through methods of visual, semiotic, and sonic (mis)translation and abstraction. Chun redacts the found texts, transforming them into concrete poetry, while interweaving lesser-known Korean folklore about the moon, such as the precolonial Korean women’s moon dance (ganggangsullae) and shamanistic ritual dance for ushering the departed into another world (gildakeum).

Screening Program:

  • O (for various skies) (2021), 10:27 mins, KADIST collection, originally commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto
  • 술래 SULLAE (2020), 6:25 mins
  • Tongues of Fire (2022-23), 6:00 mins, Commissioned by Ballroom Marfa


Artist ( Description ): 

Jesse Chun‘s (b. 1984, South Korea. Lives in Brooklyn, New York) recent and forthcoming exhibitions include the 12th Seoul Mediacity Biennale hosted by the Seoul Museum of Art; the Nam June Paik Art Center (South Korea); Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto (Canada); SculptureCenter, New York; Queens Museum, NY; The Drawing Center, NY; BAM, NY; the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, NY; Ballroom Marfa, TX (United States), among others. Select awards include the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant (US); Art by Translation (Paris); Smack Mellon (NY); the NEA fellowship at ISCP (NY). Select public collections include the Museum of Modern Art Library (NY); the Smithsonian Institution (DC); the Metropolitan Museum of Art Library (NY); and KADIST (FR/US). Chun currently works between New York and Seoul.

+1 415 738 8668
Venue ( Address ): 

KADIST San Francisco

3295 20th Street
CA 94110

KADIST , San Francisco

Other events from KADIST

On (un)language: Jesse Chun
The Screening Room: Wang Tuo, The Northeast Tetralogy
04/14/2023 to 08/12/2023
From the KADIST collection: Be here, or even better, be nowhere
04/14/2023 to 08/12/2023
Here We Live
02/13/2019 to 07/27/2019


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