Insa Art Space, Seoul, Korea
Nov 2 - Nov 20, 2021
mask filter, speaker, microphone, audio cable, variable dimensions
Somil Soway (Grace Cho, Wonwoori, and Sua Kim)
Room Nineteen* is one of the works of an exhibition Masked Words, which was curated collaborating with a psychotherapist and music composer. This work focuses on the stories of women in childcare. In a space, voices of moms who are speaking their minds about difficulty resulting from COVID-19 pandemic are played simultaneously. Their overlapping voices become more indistinguishable due to the audio feedback**. Though Masked Words series partially show what they are saying, it is not understandable with their limited sentences. Trying to hear the overlapping words that become denser over time reminds one of trying to empathize with stories of hardship.
The visitors’ efforts made in their movements through layers of mask filter to examine the space are intended to represent the progressive efforts needed to comprehend the covert stories of these women that are on-going even at the moment.
*In Doris Lessing's short novel To Room Nineteen, Susan, a full-time housewife, regularly stays in Room 19 of the hotel to find her identity.
**A phenomenon in which the sound output from the speaker enters the microphone and is amplified as the speaker plays it again. It also describes the audio feedback common in video conference calls that we have become familiar with while learning and working remotely.
Photo by Enoch Jeong, Eunchan Kim, Caleb Jeon and Chulkyu Jin
Video by Dami