23 November 2018 – 17 March 2019
Tate Liverpool presents the first museum exhibition in the UK of South Korean artists Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho (both b.1969). Their new film, Anomaly Strolls 2018, commissioned for the gallery, responds to Liverpool, and will be shown alongside the acclaimed video work, El Fin del Mundo (The End of the World) 2012.
Both films form part of the ongoing project News from Nowhere which was initiated in 2009. News from Nowhere takes its name and inspiration from the satirical 1890 novel by designer, writer, and socialist activist, William Morris (1834–1896). Combining socialism and science fiction, Morris’s novel used his vision of a utopian 21st century London as a way to comment on the 19th century England in which he lived. Moon and Jeon present their vision of the world 100 years from now to similarly reflect on today’s society and ask, ‘What is the social function and role of art in the contemporary world?’
El Fin del Mundo (The End of the World), a 13-minute science fiction film that explores the role of art in a changing world, through scenes of a post-apocalyptic future. Separate screens cinematically depict two characters. A male protagonist continues to make artwork amid an unfolding catastrophe; meanwhile, projecting the viewer even further into the future, a female character goes about life in the event’s aftermath. Documenting relics of the past, she comes across a string of fairy lights the male character incorporated in his artwork. Her encounter with this strange-looking object stirs profound new emotions in the woman, with the artist leaving behind traces of feelings and meaning long after he has gone.
Anomaly Strolls is a multi-screen work featuring the same male protagonist as El Fin del Mundo. He has travelled on a journey through space and time, eventually arriving in Liverpool. Here he explores abandoned buildings, deserted alleys and pubs. Unnoticed by others around him, the film reflects on human existence and how we can be anonymous in our own time. Remaining committed to the power of art, he picks up discarded items, putting them in a shopping trolley, as he did in El Fin del Mundo, to make a new work. Hinting at an apocalypse yet to happen, the new commission highlights that the future is dependent on the present and therefore prone to flux and instability.
Both works will be presented in an installation designed by the artists using salvaged materials including discarded and recycled metal.
The exhibition is curated by Tamar Hemmes, Assistant Curator, Tate Liverpool.