Korean, born 1973
Four-channel video installation with sound, edition 2/5
Running time: 4 minutes, 7 seconds
Bequest of Arthur B. Michael, by exchange, 2011
Jaye Rhee’s performance-based video installations explore what she refers to as “authentic desire.” In her work, she encapsulates the indeterminacy of time by presenting images that juxtapose apparently real-life scenarios with the backdrop of fake, yet seemingly authentic, environments. In Rhee’s four-channel video installation Tear, 2002, a simple action becomes a poignant gesture. Plain white fabric is stretched across four screens; Rhee slowly walks through the screens—from one edge of the frame to the other—ripping the fabric as she walks. The result is hypnotic. This concise imagery cleverly breaks down into one seemingly aggressive gesture that mirrors perseverance and strength amidst adversity.
Rhee has commented, “My goal is to create a new visual space in which artifice evaporates through the very naked presentation of images as naked materials. This ‘honest artifice’ would ultimately lead one into an experience of reflection about one’s own nostalgia.” While her performative approach aligns her with other female contemporary artists such as Janine Antoni and Kimsooja, Rhee’s work is also reminiscent of the avant-garde, sweeping, gestural choreography of Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham.
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