The Absence of Paterfamilias
Alex Verhaest, Cho Moon Ki
1 June — 6 August 2017
The exhibition, The Absence of Paterfamilias, offers the possibility to compare the two artists’ dissimilar methodologies as they approach family portraits that may reflect reality though appear nonetheless strange. Respectively using painting and interactive film in the distant and quite dissimilar cultural spheres of South Korea and Belgium, these two artists are nevertheless very similar in questioning the myth of the family and in borrowing the symbolism of religious paintings to illustrate it.
Both artists communicate in expressing contemporary anxiety, that stems from contradictions in the social system, with the family, the smallest unit of society, as the main topic. Through this, the uncontrollable violence and severed communications in the closest human relationships manifest themselves as negative emotions and in situations such as conflict, anger, derision, and bewilderment.
Just as the rigid iconography of model religious paintings is revived in contemporary artists’ works and continues the connection in The Absence of the Paterfamilias, the exhibition implies that the desire to be united with others through communication and the desire to remain an independent subject constitute a conflict that goes on beyond time.
Cho Moon Ki
Alex Verhaest(b.1985) is now actively engaged in creative work, dividing her time between Brussels and Amsterdam. Following her debut solo exhibition in 2013 at Grimm Gallery in Amsterdam, Verhaest has gained considerable attention at arts festivals and prize competitions including: the Electronic Language International Festival in São Paulo, Brazil; the New Face Award in the Japan Media Arts Festival. She has received the Golden Nica from the Ars Electronica, an Austrian arts festival, as well.
Cho Moon Ki(b.1977) is now actively engaged in creative work, freely moving between art and music. Starting with “Beer Calendar of Barbershop”(2006), Cho has held solo exhibitions including “Season of Collapse” (2013), and its follow-up, “The Origin of Collapse” (2014), and participated in numerous group exhibitions including “This Is Popular Art” (2013) at the Sejong Museum of Art, “When Attitudes Become Form” (2013) at the Seoul Museum of Art.