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PKM Gallery’s exhibition brings together 6 internationally renowned artists

PKM Gallery is holding an exhibition where visitors can glimpse works by artists who have drawn a great deal of attention in the contemporary art world.

PKM Gallery’s exhibition “Eternal Now,” co-curated by Park Kyung-mee of PKM Gallery and Saskia Draxler of Galerie Nagel Draxler in Cologne, Germany, features works by six artists: Hito Steyerl, Francis Alys, Kader Attia, Koo Jeong-a, Lee Bul and Martha Rosler.

Lee Bul’s “Perdu XXXII” (2019) (PKM Gallery)
Lee Bul’s “Perdu XXXII” (2019) (PKM Gallery)

The works on display show each artist’s unique take on different issues in contemporary societies, ranging from artificial intelligence and genetics to power dynamics and political struggles.

The exhibition starts with Lee’s “Chiasma,” a giant installation that hangs from the ceiling. In it, Lee has visualized a moment in the process of genetic recombination when two chromatids are linked together.

Lee understands genetic recombination as a process where different forces come together, struggle, resolve and move forward. Without moralizing about any particular political issues or struggles, Lee focuses on the dialectic movements seen in different kinds of conflicts, or collisions, the gallery explained.

There are also Lee’s colorful mixed media paintings of chiasmata in mother-of-pearl, velvet and acrylic paint. Lee’s “Perdu” series is now part of her exhibition “Interlude: Perdu” at Lehmann Maupin in New York.

Also on view in the same room is Rosler’s photography series that offers a relatively simple juxtaposition of war images with perfectly normal, peaceful bourgeois households -- like in that scene from Michael Haneke’s film “Cache,” where Georges and Anne are backlit by a wide-screen television in the center of their living room showing war images from Afghanistan and Iraq.

Heading into the next room, visitors can see a media installation by Steyerl, an internationally renowned German artist whose work explores the complexities of the digital world, art, capitalism and the implications of technologies such as artificial intelligence. Steyerl has been regularly listed on ArtReview’s Power 100, the magazine’s annual ranking of influential figures in the world of contemporary art.

Hito Steyerl‘s ”Power Plants” (2019) (Courtesy of the artist)
Hito Steyerl‘s ”Power Plants” (2019) (Courtesy of the artist)

Her work at PKM Gallery, the installation “Power Plants,” was part of her previous solo exhibition at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London, which ended in May this year.

Standing right next to Steyerl’s works are Attia’s wooden beams from traditional Korean houses. His installations -- three shown at PKM Gallery -- were part of the 12th Gwangju Biennale’s exhibition at the Former Armed Forces Military Hospital.

The old wooden beams with cracks in them were stapled by Attia, a symbolic gesture of “repair” -- part of what the artist has called a constant process of cultural, historical and political adjustments that humanity continues to make.

On view in a separate exhibition hall are pairs of paintings by Alys. Each pair includes a painting of a television test pattern; the other painting depicts one of several scenes Alys captured in towns in Afghanistan. The artist’s paintings are also shown along with his four-minute video “Children’s Games 10.” This film made in Afghanistan is part of the artist’s “Children’s Games” series, in which he captures scenes of children at play in different locations around the globe.

A section designated to Koo Jeong-a includes a sculpture that can be seen through a mobile application provided by Acute Art, a studio that specializes in the production of artworks in virtual and augmented reality.

The exhibition runs through Jan. 5.

By Shim Woo-hyun (