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"ImagiNATION is my nation."

  • Author(s): Shin, Heejung
  • Advisor(s): Cross, Brian
  • et al.
Abstract

"Imagination is my nation, and that is where I want to live and die."

- Guillermo Gómez-Peña

Intro

In this paper, I discuss artistic subjects and themes that were featured in my project, 호올 (Whore/Hole/Whole) (2017), and more recent work, Free Fish”es” (2018), that stemmed from my three-years residence practice at the Visual Arts Department, the University of California, San Diego. A Korean transcription of multiple English terms whose sounds are clearly distinguishable to English speakers but suggest little distinctions to Korean speakers, 호올 (Whore/Hole/Whole) is an attempt to defy the hierarchy of languages and gender inequality by adopting forms of rap music video, dance and vernacular swear words. In the exhibition, viewers are embedded in the counter-representational space against patriarchal, white-supremacist, hetero-normative institutions of language, gender, and race that marginalize women of color and hyphenated Americans. Free Fish”es” imagines the world of immigration and border policing as the vast body of water in which the migrant body as fish has to navigate and confront obstacles, which endlessly confines migrants into the water. Why the sea and the sky both have the same color—BLUE—but are not traversable? Let’s make fish fly. Let’s break the horizon, the borderline.

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