Video images as art rely heavily on the pacing of how the image plays. Jungju An capitalizes on the method of splicing scenes in a certain sequence to provide a rhythmic pace that compliments the subjects in his moving images.
Military drills, ceremonies and a marching band embody pomp and circumstance but through the judicious use of looping that the goose-stepping, crisp salutes and pedantic marches seemed manic. All these modes of regiment and discipline slowly unravel to spastic, absurd and at times humorous.
A marching band in a forest seems ridiculous but the unnatural pairing makes sense. The forced levity and calculated formation cracked as one errant trumpet player crashes to the ground and the band played on in circles around him. If it was more Mariachi music, it could have been mistaken for a Francis Alÿs. However, An gives it his own flavor with his casting and poetic cinematography.
Now taking symbolism and pattern into the mix, An utilized it to create a harmonious and arresting tapestry with the building demolition, factory robots, and a bottling plant. These are scenes of destruction or production. It is mesmerizing with the atmospheric sound and looping certain parts gave a mechanical mantra that certainly enticed.
However, the best illustration of destroying and creating is the concert between a saw and drum. The split screen played on simultaneously as the power saw created a harp while the drum player slowly delves into a destructive mania decimating the entire set. Juxtaposition does not get any clearer and boldly served in this piece.
An just used the loop in the purest way for this series and did not employ digital trickery and the newfangled tech savvy software to get it to stratospheric height. But it is clear as in the show title that the loop is where it’s at and we’ve been clued in or rather kept in the loop all the while. As it is said, simplicity is beauty when done skillfully.
Jungju An: loop
On View: March 10 – April 7, 2016
Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm
Doosan Gallery. 533 West 25th Street. NYC, NY 10001