The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA) and the 2021 Experimental Film and Video Festival in Seoul (EXiS) are proud to present Ex-Live as part of the MMCA Film and Video program. Launched in 2004, EXiS is a festival that acts as a stage where experimental filmmakers can present their works and interact with visionary artists from around the world. Ex-Live is dedicated to introducing experimental films that go beyond the theater screen and include music, performance, and other forms of multimedia. MMCA Film and Video will introduce four programs as a part of Ex-Live. The first program Doing and Being will show three major works from Nigel Rolfe, and the second program Living Images will screen shorts by various artists including Yuki Kobayashi, Luca Bosani, and Whiskey Chow.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made us think more about our bodies than ever before. Unable to travel freely and restricted from many physical activities, we are experiencing "unfreedom" like never before. As schools and workplaces become increasingly structured around noncontact interaction, living and moving in our bodies that we took for granted has become a special, uncommon experience. The performances in Ex-Live transport viewers to various places including galleries, marshes, parks, and subway stations.
Nigel Rolfe was born on the Isle of Wight in 1950 and is currently based in Dublin, Ireland. Since the 1970s, he has produced performances that incorporate photography, video, and sound. Having worked in the field for over 30 years, he believes that a performing artist's duty is to create and deliver a living image right before the audience's eyes. Dust Breeding captures the artist's face, covered in dust and contorting in slow motion, while Into the Mire shows the artist jumping into a bog. In The Rope That Binds Us Makes Them Free, the artist ties a large bundle of rope around his head. Audiences are prompted to imagine and consider how they might feel if they were to repeat such actions before they begin to interpret the meaning of the performances. With the suffocating feeling of a face covered in dust, the cold water and mud of a bog, and a rope slowly constricting one's airway, a visual experience becomes tactile and seeing becomes acting.
Living Image focuses on works by artists from diverse backgrounds who were born around the 1990s. In SeDUCKtion, Rosie Gibbens unsuccessfully attempts to seduce the ducks by a pond by dressing up as one of them. Jade Blackstock's Black River is short and simple, but leaves audiences with a powerful final image. Luca Bosani designs an interview with a person called Federico Esposito, but due to the constant change of costume and character, the film throws viewers into deeper confusion instead of providing insight into the characters. In this second program, the audience comes face to face with multiple identities that do not fall under one category and heterogenous qualities that are not accepted by a homogenous group. Identities that refuse to be bound or suppressed by rules to frames come alive.
September 2021. It has been more than a year since we have found ourselves confined to a limited space, wearing masks in our everyday lives. These artists' performances awaken the senses of the body and show us that to live and move is to exist as human beings.