12 Jan 2023 — 11 Feb 2023
Dasom Park

Is it possible? A wholesome drive without depression? Park Dasom wrote a scenario more than a decade ago. It was a story of three sisters born roughly a decade apart?in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. The eldest declared she would not go visit her mother’s gravestone, and the other two sisters are indignant over it. That scenario gradually developed over a decade and became the video work . In it, there are no images of their cherished mother or direct relation to a passing. Instead, there are three sisters in conversation, as they are moving somewhere on an automobile. During the exchange of conversation, wrinkly-aged doll versions of the sisters interject. Those doll-bodies presuppose a perspective, a point of view that is observing the sister’s aging bodies. The gaze itself, however, feels glum, down-cast. The upbeat music is barely holding up the heavy curtains of depression from falling entirely. This drive is whole(some) as an intentional experience of depression.

by Park Dasom is about curvature and the body. She trusts what transpires between her actions and unpredictable consequences. What she doesn’t believe in is a priori?a defined and expected result that can be expected without actually having observed it. And to counter, the actions that lead to unexpected outcomes are wholesome and pure in some way, as it inspires trust. Firm strength lies in seemingly loose relationships rather than the more surface-hardened ones. It is more persuasive, in other words. The curvatures and the body in the context of this exhibition are both keywords that mark Park’s trust and faith in such loosely defined relationships. Those ideas have been given form along the rising and falling curves of the roller-coaster tracks and the deepening crevices between wrinkles of an aging body.

Park Dasom has been exploring the human physicality, from the two paintings and , which segue into the paraboloid curvature of the roller-coaster tracks. The roller coaster tracks oscillate with the lurching inertia of gravity, superimposed with the aged, deteriorated, and wrinkled body?tracing the passage of time. Park would often gaze upon bodies worn out, tired, and spent. She connected those sights with sadness and depression, and sought it root cause. At its very foundation, she found two: time and gravity. In that case, the creases and wrinkles are not necessarily caused by emotional burden. Things irrelevant to the reality of emotions are beyond human control, and the body is transformed into an unemotional substrate to the expression of creases and wrinkles. From that perspective, Park looked at aged physical states with the driest of eyes and the roller-coaster’s undulating curves became a means to emulate the wrinkled and creased form of the body. That is, a means to understand the physicality of wrinkles as-is, separate from the emotional elements associated with a broken body.

Pareidolia is a part of Park Dasom’s visual creations. The eyes, nostrils, and mouth can be seen in the curves of the roller-coaster tracks, as if brought to life, possibly. Her work starts by tearing paper and ends by drawing cracks. For a moment, she sets aside the a priori things such as knowledge systems and rules of visual representation and searches for something honest and natural under the human touch. Follow the drawn path and some things appear before the gaze. Paper torn along its grain, imagined or informed forms, cracked surfaces appear before the gaze. Paper, not being cloth, is specifically for tearing, perhaps? The partitioned atmospheric spaces are perhaps forms that wished for paper to fill, and the green paper tape adhered to fix the paper to the wall perhaps wished to be in-frame. The crack running down the center is in that form, because it was conjured by the image itself, to be a painting. The form of the face which remained to the end prove that there is presence in process, of the will to create everything in the form of man (or woman, or personhood).

A wholesome drive is accompanied by melancholy, as if by mandate. Like the crack down the painting, plays upbeat music. In it, mother’s death and the wrinkles of the three sisters reach a point of utter gloom. The major-chord melody plays over it like a jarring rift that opens a drier and colder gaze that looks at their conversation and wrinkles, to add time and gravity to them. As the paper tears, as the form draws itself, and as the gaze scans the surface, what consists the painting and not the artist exerts its will over the perspective of the artist’s work. Is this surrender of one’s will to the will of the universe, or the positioning of will inside the painting itself? As the crack exists as the fracture that is not part of the whole, Park Dasom’s drive is where depression exists to be hidden.
Installation view