Review: Youngeun Keem

402, Seoul Art Space Mullae, December, 2011

The theater is typically a shared experience, one we can discuss or debate after the curtain closes. But the singularity of 402, a sound work seen alone in a small room, and “viewed” in isolation possessed an ambiguity and lack of distinction from its surroundings, like the tree that falls in the woods when no one is there to hear it fall. Still 402 is more like the sounds of living in a studio flat in a multipurpose building. Framed by incidentally domestic and office sounds, doors opening and closing, music rising and falling, construction and conversations, this work requires much of the viewer’s attention and distraction, as it was hard to not let the mind wander. Because, it was, to a certain extent, unclear when the piece began and ended, deciding what the work included in the neatly appointed room was a subjective endeavor, and therefor like a dream who’s meaning only the dreamer may know, the patterns and rhythms of the work narrated themes characteristics of urban life. In the end the work, in that small, clean space, had an ironic cinematic effect, and acted like an oasis from the chaos and cold of the city outside.

reviewed by Julia Marsh