STRANGE MEETINGS

Multi-media installation. 

Strange Meetings testifies to the impossibility of maintaining clear boundaries by tracing entangled bilateral policies against the spread of STD (sexually transmitted diseases) among US soldiers stationed in South Korea in the 1970s.

One video in Strange Meetings documents a former STD treatment facility, which served to isolate bodies presumed contaminated from those deemed clean. A host of strange meetings, the site today, however, materially bears witness to the entangled relations behind its establishment and the impossibility of creating neat separations. The decomposing building is being encroached upon by rubbish and surrounding vegetation. Knotted together, each feed on each other, breaking down distinctions between inside and outside, architecture and debris. Beyond being an abandoned site in decay, it now serves as a backdrop for another strange meeting: A performance takes place behind the building each weekend, inadvertently complicating the relationship between past and present and diffusing the reading of the site by overriding but potentially also purging its history.

Another video presents the drawing of a map of a former STD treatment facility by a woman who was forcibly subjected to treatment. Documents used as evidence in a recent compensation lawsuit are presented in an archive while an aluminum diabond print shows how the entangled bilateral relations become visible on a microscopic level.


Video stills Strange Meetings. HD video. 11:08 min. 2017


Trace Evidence. Circular aluminum diabond print 60 x 60 cm. 2017

Sample from former STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) facility photographed through a microscope and fused with a microscope image of contaminated blood cells.


Video stills Entanglements. HD video 9:27 min. 2017. 


Acknowledgments

Cinematography: Guston Sondin-Kung

Performers: Halmae and Mishin / 할매와미신이

Organisational support: Durebang / 두레방

Translation and research assistance: Hayeon Heather Kim / 김하연

Research assistance: Haeseo Kim / 김해서 

Research exchange: Jennifer Kwon Dobbs