An article by Toni Ferrer
- Wall Street International / Persona

Korean-born artist Go-Eun Im’s practice is characterised by an on-going and continuous effort to reflect on notions of self and other. She overtly deconstructs such concepts establishing dialectical relationships between them sin order to enquire about their nature. This revisited version of Take a Picture, 2004 tackles issues around notions of representation and perception of images. Drawing from Jacques Lacan, the artist makes reference to the Mirror Stage theory when an infant first acknowledges its unified image in front of a mirror. For Lacan, the split between subject-object is of central importance for the future development of the self and Go-Eun’s reenacts such milestone experience to investigate herself and others. By taking a picture of herself she feels compelled to ask if what is represented in that image is her subject-I or her ego. She explores the way images are processed and how perception is subject to filtering and distortion. In a wider scope, Go-Eun is also interested in the blurred boundaries between self/other and the reciprocal relations that exist between these two notions. She is aware of this and recognises a trans-personal dimension in her practice. Go-Eun herself argues, ‘I who was taking the picture was engraved in eyes of the other – the twinkling of my embarrassment which was hers’.

‘Because the outside world has changed’, 2014 takes as a point of departure the institutional transition of the former Filmmuseum in Amsterdam. This work-in-progress, made in collaboration between Go-Eun Im and Bosnian artist Igor Sevcuk, introduces the concept of acculturation. Drawing from a passage of Kurt Vonnegut’s novel ‘Timequake’, the artists stress how socio-political and cultural systems not only structure social life but are also deeply embedded on a psychological level forming a set of frameworks that establish accepted ways of doing. It is precisely in these moments of transition, or processes of acculturation, that previously accepted forms of behaviour cease to be valid and very specific kinds of social anxiety, such as social embarrassment, arise. As a result society in its widest sense, not only provides material comfort, patterns of conduct and ontological security but also defines in space and time, the very notion of self. ‘Because the outside world has changed’ also includes work by Igor Sevcuk that on a more formal and dialogical level investigate possibilities between different media.

Toni Ferrer

http://wsimag.com/art/11703-persona