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The Faraway Nearby

Minsun Kim is an artist, often based on artistic researches, she explores the possibilities of art as creative resistance, focusing on the overlap between art, politics, and our everyday life. Her artistic role is to make a work that is a mirror to the others. She uses her personal living condition to reflect our collective community. Minsun’s work mainly focuses on otherness, muteness, and isolation caused by social structures. And these subjects are mostly developed into writing visual narratives as a form of the artistic video essay, which is not to explain everything in written language, but to remeasure anything through images and narratives. 

<The Faraway Nearby> deals within a hopeless situation in order to find hope by means in which reflects upon my current living condition in The Netherlands. This journey is traveling and transformation from the first film <Halmoni in Heterotopia> to the second film <Here and There>, investigating notions of Heterotopia. If the first film presents Heterotopia through my grandmother’s paralyzed body and an isolated place, a nourishing home, the second film is rather about myself as a foreigner in Western society, which was embodied as my grandmother. For me, Heterotopia is the state of broken belonging where the paralyzed grandmother and my isolated life as an immigrant are located. Through this film series, I occupy both the positions of representing Heterotopia as ‘them’ and also ‘us’. In other words, This project acts as a mirror that I face myself on the journey to care for the other in Heterotopia. 

The research document:

Film still cut, <Halmoni in Heterotopia>

Halmoni in Heterotopia
(video essay, 6mins, HD, color, sounds0)
*할머니 Halmoni means grandmother in Korean

Link to the film:

I visit my grandmother in a nursing home in South Korea through Google Earth. After she collapsed two years ago, her paralyzed body is staying in a nursing home. This visit is the only way I can go to a nursing home when social and physical distance is required, and the obvious way of failure is that I will never succeed in meeting with her. The image of a nursing home seen through Google Earth reminds me of Heterotopia which means utopian places that physically exist but never belong to society.

Film still cut, <Here and There>

Here and There
(video essay, 7mins, HD, color, sounds)

Link to the film:

This film shows ‘otherness’ that cannot be fully assimilated from one place to another through the frame of Heterotopia. Google Translator, powered by artificial intelligence, cannot translate the ‘betweenness’ between one language and another. It’s also obvious that my body, which remembers the intersection of its history, culture, language, and race, cannot throw away its accents(memories) and achieve a perfect Dutch native sound.

By showing failed translation and broken pronunciation, this lm tackles Utopia, which seems to be reached only when one thing is completely assimilated into another. And it says let us rather exist as heterotopias, accepting our otherness as we are.

The film consists of a decalcomania format of images from beginning to end to express the reflective nature of Heterotopia.