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- Author Young-hae Chang Heavy Industries; translation into Polish: Błażej Bauer; Polish lector: Jan Kowalewicz, English lector: Marc Voge
- Date of production 2015
- Duration 21’ (10’30” – polish language version, 10’30” – English language version)
- Author's designation a certificate signed by the artists
- ID no. BS/1091
- Availability in stock
- Acquired date 2015
- Object copyright Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art
- Digital images copyright CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Attribution – NonCommercial – NoDerivatives 4.0
- Digitalisation Young-hae Chang Heavy Industries (digital copy received from the artists)
Aneta. Monument to Kraków – this is an example of a work related to the current of internet art and concrete poetry. The Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries duo, who are responsible for its creation, consistently uses one visual form in its creative work. It consists of words animated and displayed on a white background, in a characteristic font. In subsequent works, only the rhythm in which words appear on the screen changes, and the content of words that become a visual poem. The texts are read by a lector or are synchronized with accompanying jazz music. In the case of work carried out for the Bunkier Sztuki Gallery, we deal with a record without a musical background. We only hear the voice that reads the words – alternately in Polish (by the poet and slammer Jan Kowalewicz) and English (by a member of Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries – Marc Voge).more
Aneta. Monument to Kraków – this is an example of a work related to the current of internet art and concrete poetry. The Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries duo, who are responsible for its creation, consistently uses one visual form in its creative work. It consists of words animated and displayed on a white background, in a characteristic font. In subsequent works, only the rhythm in which words appear on the screen changes, and the content of words that become a visual poem. The texts are read by a lector or are synchronized with accompanying jazz music. In the case of work carried out for the Bunkier Sztuki Gallery, we deal with a record without a musical background. We only hear the voice that reads the words – alternately in Polish (by the poet and slammer Jan Kowalewicz) and English (by a member of Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries – Marc Voge).
The viewer does not receive the whole line at once: only fragments appear before him for fractions of seconds, focusing his attention on individual words and phrases. Although we get everything in black and white (in the end, it’s the colours of letters and background), the message seems to be unreadable and frayed. In this way, we receive a signal not to read the work in a linear manner.
The starting point for the work of the artists was a meeting with the gallery’s curator – Aneta Rostkowska – who suggested that they implement the project. In the initial phase of the cooperation, the concept of creating a monument that would stand in opposition to the previous Kraków monuments appeared; ultimately, however, this idea fell. The members of Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries decided to use the aesthetics of their previous works and proposed a work completely breaking away from traditional forms of commemoration. In place of alternative monument structures, they launched a stream of verbal and conceptual associations: the themes of Kraków, Poland, monuments, curators, poetry, art, memory, digitalization and, finally, the artists themselves all appeared here. Aneta. Monument to Kraków talks about mediation of impressions and information: the artists talk about Kraków, but they have never been there – all their information about the city has been obtained from the curator. The mediation in the virtual discourse works in a similar way: its participant experiences only a simulation, which they take for reality.
The basic building material of the work, Aneta. Monument to Kraków, is a poem in which the content is as important as the form. The manner of presentation of the text allows one to capture only the sensibility and the essentiality of its meaning. The language becomes tangible here and now, so that the recipient can experience the physicality of the words: their shape and structure. The meaning appears only in the next stage of perception. The metaphor of the text, which – indeed – describes reality, but mainly through associations and artistic allusions, is equally fragmented. The discourse becomes a trap: it is difficult to grasp when reality is presented in a legible way and in which it becomes poetry. The complexity of the work of Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries is based on the poetics of the internet, for which immediacy, snapshot-like imaging, and non-linearity are characteristic. The carrier itself becomes a part of the message here; the recipient is unable to capture the entire real and symbolic universe, and reality is deconstructed.
The text displayed on the screen revolves around the theme of Kraków, but it never reaches it directly: it is based on random flashes of meaningful references that wind around the meaning like a climber. The reflection on Poland directs us to the image of a car factory, leading to the memories of car brands – in which the narrator travelled with his family – then jumps to the thread of Ford as an anti-Semite, information which the hero immediately checks in the internet search engine. In relation to this, he reminds us of the possibility of error, the right to disregard the truth – and so on without end: one word-association leads to the next one.
“The era of digitization – worse than carving in stone”. There is no room for reflection and wandering: immediate information is required everywhere. And yet, it is at times of uncertainty – according to the subject – that poetry appears. This statement is quite perverse, if we notice that the duo, Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, itself operates in the space of the internet, incessantly dealing with poetry. Their work is thoroughly subversive: artists use internet forms, but do not use it in accordance with accepted standards in virtual reality. They move perfectly in online aesthetics, but are not faithful to it: their work is characterized by distance and critical verification of the means used. “The curse of Wikipedia. Google. All of this era of digitization. Everything works. Too easy” – such sentences appear on the screen at some point.
At the end of the poem, two works by Pablo Picasso are mentioned: Monument to Apollinaire and Homage to Apollinaire. The first is a collection of intersecting lines that were inspired by the work of Apollinaire, especially the poem, the Murdered Poet, containing a fragment about the monument for the artist, who should rise from emptiness. This Picasso project has never been realized in public space because of its radicality and abstractness. The second work – Homage to Apollinaire – is still in the garden of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés monastery. It is a bronze sculpture, depicting the head of Dora Maar. Its affiliation with the commemorated character is only mentioned by the title engraved on the pedestal of the monument. Picasso decided on this form of work due to the rejection of his earlier project. Both works are mentioned in, Aneta. Monument to Kraków; they stimulate us to reflect on the very idea of making monuments and on the sometimes peculiar forms they take. And yet the work of the artistic duo becomes – just like Homage to Apollinaire – a perverse apotheosis of Kraków.
Elaborated by Karol Gromek, Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art,
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.
Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries is a duo from Seoul, founded in 1999, associated with the art of the internet and concrete poetry. It consists of Young-Hae Chang, a Korean artist and translator, a doctor of aesthetics of the Université de Paris I and Marc Voge, an American poet. The characteristic black and white typography of the artists juxtapose, among others, with jazz music, thanks to which the whole attracts attention in a suggestive way and constitutes the effect of exploring the narrative possibilities of animation and sound. The duo have realized projects for the Tate Modern, Centre Pompidou, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, and the De Appel art centre in Amsterdam.