Review: Seo Hyun-suk

Heterochrony, Culture Station Seoul 284, January 13-20, 2012

Heterochrony is another work by Seo Hyun-suk that takes the viewer or participant on an odyssey, but this time the focus of the work is directly on the subject/viewer- who in the end is the viewed. Not surprising was the manner in which the work begins, nor that each went through a series of passageways in the renovated Seoul Train Station, cum Culture outpost or through its modern successor, but what surprising was the extent to which Seo took hold of the viewer’s personal space and level of individual participation, even going so far as to ask for permission and telling each that the performance would end if the viewer said they didn’t want to go on. That alone left me wondering at the start what was I getting my self into. Compared to his other works this work had the effect of feeling less choreographed and not as tightly conducted by the actors or guides that in previous works had been so very scripted and in character. In this work the audience was more precisely the work and the guide a reflection of the audience; however, shaky or in control they presented themselves. In giving yourself over to the work you became something of a spectacle to be stared at or ignored but in the end you couldn’t avoid that you were both.

reviewed by Julia Marsh