Presented/Organized by Alternative Space LOOP
Sponsored by Arts Council Korea
Passage is performed daily from 3pm to 5pm.
1F, 20 Na-gil, 29 Wausan-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Sascha Pohle’s work abstracts the images of everyday objects and structures the production process instead of representing them in a figurative or psychological way. Here, the materiality of the work marks the absence while it also reveals the boundary as a site where presence and absence as a site where they oscillate. In his work, the house’s surface, the city’s ground face, and some imprints from net fabrics convey the traces of history inscribed in social objects. The exhibition, which starts from Pohle’s personal life, is addressed as the archeology of the surface, the fluid ground of boundaries such as public and private, local and foreign, and micro and macro.
Amsterdam’s North District can be reached by taking a ferry behind Amsterdam Central Station. This social housing district was built as part of the Dutch public housing support in the 1920s. It was where the workers of the shipbuilding and shipping industries lived in the 1970s, but the Dutch shipbuilding industry declined, and it turned into a disadvantaged area in the 1990s. In 2008, the Amsterdam city government was preparing gentrification policies for this area. To prevent squatting, the city government provided temporary accommodation where artists and curators could stay at a low rent if the existing residents moved out. Pohle has lived in this area and has now been demolished to be remodeled as housing for middle-class families.
Liquid Grounds consists of a silent black-and-white video and 43 glass objects from silicone castings on the floor of Pohle’s house in Amsterdam’s North District. The surface of the old wooden floor, which has accumulated traces of life for over 100 years, becomes a rigid death mask made of glass. Just like the way the fossils are observed in a museum as seen in the video film, glass objects are placed on a lightbox. Glass objects float on a black background as if observing microorganisms under a microscope. The audience contemplates the rough surfaces of every corner of the house through the glass objects, imagining a now-demolished Amsterdam house. Using casting techniques to alter the material sensation of the subject, the cultural space of a house becomes strange glass objects, unfamiliar to everyday experience. The materialized negative space retains the faint traces of the past home and its inhabitants.
Regardless of Nationality is based on the fresco painting, The Tomb of the Diver, discovered in the ruins of Paestum in Salerno, southern Italy. Various images created by inputting diver images and the NGO text ** on immigrant artists into Stable Diffusion AI are laser printed. Like decorating and melding cracks on ceramic surfaces with gold, silver foil is partially added to the laser-printed surface to emphasize boundaries and gaps. Pohle has lived at the intersection of acceptance and exclusion that still exists between the locals and foreigners, repeating migration and sojourn. As the title suggests, this work works as a metaphor for the Korean government’s systemic discrimination against non-Korean artists active in Korea.
The series Passage, which has been produced since 2017, converts traces of the asphalt road in the city where the artist stayed and the artist’s studio floor into machine-knitted fabrics. Pohle talks about Flâneur, a person who roams the modernized city, and this connects to an attempt to read the ‘city as text’ by walking in the urban space and stripping away the surface of the concealed city. Pohle performed a flâneur, taking pictures aimlessly in the entanglement of cities such as Berlin, Düsseldorf, Anseong, Amsterdam, and Hong Kong, and capturing fleeting experiences of the city as an artwork.
Passage reinterprets the rugged city ground, damaged by time, as soft knitted fabrics. The material senses of different cities are changed through the irregular arrangement of colors, shapes, and patterns. Passage series comes to life as a performance in which the textiles are stored in LOOP’s warehouse and the process of folding and unfolding them is repeated. As the audience listens to the ratio of fibers used to express the names of different cities represented by different textile objects, they confront the act of the city surface being folded, overlapped, and unfolded.
I PACKED MY BAG is a work created by shaping the traces of net bags, once used in East Germany, into clay, and then firing them into pottery. The finished work is placed on styrofoam buoys collected from the Incheon coast. The title of the work, derived from a memory game with the same name, becomes a metaphor for the relationship between memory and oblivion. Pohle is experimenting again with the form in which the inside and outside of an object are reversed. Originally, the space is filled in, and the filled space is emptied to produce the work. It goes through the process of materialization by filling the invisible space between familiar objects, inside or under them, and revealing them visually. The resulting form created in this way is the negative space of an object, the empty space left behind by the object, and his object looks singular and solid in appearance, but also fragmented and gaseous on the other hand. These pieces are based on utilitarian objects and everyday places, but they deny functionality and turn space into rigid blocks.
**: The 42nd Session of the Universal Periodic Review Republic of Korea_Report on the Cultural Rights of Migrants by Park Kyong Ju (Founder of the DAKA)
Written by Ji Yoon Yang
Director, Alternative Space LOOP
Translated by Ji Won Kim