Caroline Key and KIM KyungMook, Grace Period, 2014 (still). Video; 62 min
Presented as part of “Constantina Zavitsanos: THIS COULD BE US,” a project of the R&D Season: SPECULATION.
Constantina Zavitsanos’s residency “THIS COULD BE US” includes a series of research-driven programs organized around speculative concepts of planning, contingency, and care. Not only is care one of the primary sources of surplus value within capitalism, as feminists have argued, it is critical to social organization.
Featuring the New York premiere of Caroline Key and KIM KyungMook’s film Grace Period (2014), as well as excerpts from the 1970 film Finally Got the News, directed by Steward Bird, Rene Lichtman, and Peter Gessner in association with the Detroit-based League of Revolutionary Black Workers, this event explores issues of reproduction and organization. Grace Period is a record of the Yeongdeungpo sex workers in Seoul and their collective resistance to the 2011 government crackdowns on their work and space. The specificities of these women’s struggles bring into relief ubiquitous conditions of debt, urban development, gendered labor, and institutional and state violence. In the film, footage from their protests traces their lineage to Korea’s democratic union movements of the 1980s, while audio interviews overlaid upon footage of brothel interiors foreground the precarity of their work. The film digitally obstructs the figures of the women while they are at work, turning them into unstable, flickering silhouettes. Soyoung Yoon, Program Director and Assistant Professor of Visual Studies, Department of the Arts, Eugene Lang College, the New School, will join Key following the screening to offer a response and moderate a discussion.
Constantina Zavitsanos is an artist who works with sculpture, performance, text, and sound. Her work deals with issues of debt and dependency, and investigates how intimate economies and fugitive relations might transform processes of distribution and exchange. Zavitsanos attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program and has exhibited works at Slought Foundation, Philadelphia; Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City; Hessel Museum of Art, CSS Bard, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; and MoMa P.S.1, Long Island City. She will participate in Arika Episode 7 in Glasgow, Scotland, this spring. Her essay and performance scores, “Other Forms of Conviviality,” written with Park McArthur, were published in Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory. Zavitsanos lives in New York and teaches at the New School.
Soyoung Yoon is Program Director and Assistant Professor of Visual Studies, Department of the Arts, at Eugene Lang College, the New School. She is also a faculty member at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. In 2015–16, she will be a postdoctoral fellow for the Pembroke Center at Brown University. Yoon received her PhD in Modern and Contemporary Art and Film and Media Studies from Stanford University and holds a BA from Seoul National University. She was also a Critical Studies participant at the Whitney ISP in 2006–07 and has published in Grey Room, Millennium Film Journal, Film Quarterly, and Shifters, among other journals and books. Yoon is currently working on two books regarding the redefinition of the status of the “document” in the postwar period: Walkie Talkie, a project on the advent of cinéma vérité amid the struggles for decolonization and the rise of new technologies of policing, and Miss Vietnam, a project on feminist mediation, which reframes technological reproducibility via the framework of reproductive labor, focusing on the paradigmatic shift from photography to video.
Caroline Key is a Korean-American filmmaker and artist. She received her MFA in Film/Video from the California Institute of the Arts and her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Key was a Fulbright research fellow in South Korea in 2010 and participated in the Studio Program at the Whitney Independent Study Program in 2012. Her works investigate the construction and negotiation of identities rooted in conditions of alterity. Her films have been shown internationally at festivals and galleries, including Arsenal Cinema, Berlin; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; and the American Museum of Natural History’s Margaret Mead Film Festival, New York. Key lives in Brooklyn.