As the light disperses into the eyes

January 8th ~ January 23rd  2022    PCV A and Online

  2020 was full of uncertainty, and in 2021 mass vaccination seems to show a hope that the pandemic may be manageable. However, at the beginning of 2022, the Omicron variant appears to make the situation back to 2020, when the world was full of extreme precariousness. Over the past two years, the global pandemic has been revealed and highlighted the defects of society. In the opening of 2022, under the largely changed environment, we all know that this present will become the past. However, when it comes to remembering the era of personal and collective loss, the period of unveiled structural flaws, the age of enhanced state control, which part of the present will be preserved amid the flood of tragedy?

  As the light disperses into the eyes is an exhibition at an apartment in Peter Cooper Village located in New York City. Peter Cooper Village is named after the 19th-century industrialist, inventor, and philanthropist Peter Cooper, who founded Cooper Union. It was initially designed as a post-war housing development in 1942 for returning World War II veterans. However, the apartment has a history of large-scale slum clearance and racial discrimination: In 1945, approximately 11,000 persons were forced to move from the neighborhood under the urban renewal projects. It was enabled by various state laws and amendments that permitted private companies to enter a public field of action. In 1943, Councilmen Stanley M. Isaacs and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. sought to introduce a provision into the contract to prevent racial or religious discrimination in tenant selection, but this provision was not accepted.

  As the light disperses into the eyes invites viewers to a private space inside of Peter Cooper Village in an attempt to activate the junction where the remains of modern history and contemporary time meet. It brings the intersection where the site that is inherent in the history of world war II, the starting point when the state law engaged the private company to enter the public field, the history of racial and religious discrimination, and the contemporary discourse intersect to the surface. Viewers are invited to see video works and objects in an intimate setting. The materiality of light projected on the apartment wall appears as a substance that manifests the present, sensual and non-material reality. The works being screened talk about the invention of otherness as a system of control / community of the East village / struggle for the preservation of the self. Contemporary discourses, which are projected as light in the apartment in New York built on Le Corbusier's ideal, the modernist "Towers in the park" theory in which residences consist of tall apartment buildings situated within a park-like environment, for war veterans that were erected by clearing the slum area, declare the existence of immaterial reality of now. With the present movements to reject and conquer the history of discrimination in a place that has the history of dehumanization, what part will be dissipated, rebuilt, and preserved? As the light disperses into the eyes invites the viewers to imagine an enigmatic dimension of history, a dissipated spirit of the present. As the light spreads through each individual's world, through eyes and skin, through sensory organs, the exhibition prepares a ground to heighten, reimagine, and emphasize the imaginative possibilities of our present.

Doi Kim

December 31, 2021

Curated by Doi Kim
Poster design by Doi Kim
Caligraphy by Felix Harlan

Featuring works by:

Anthony Reamer
Nefeli Asariotaki
Maho Donowaki
Doi Kim

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