BY Nina Köller in Reviews | 23 JUL 11
Featured in
Issue 2

Sunah Choi

Galerie Cinzia Friedlaender

BY Nina Köller in Reviews | 23 JUL 11

Sunah Choi, Wall Piece, 2011

The line functions as a basic element: defining surfaces, generating connections and marking boundaries. In her new works, Sunah Choi explores this diverse range of possibilities and functions. Wall Piece (2011) composed of several construction site barriers arranged in a line divided the length of the large room of the gallery into two sections and prescribed a specific way of walking around and reading the work to get closer to it. The barriers on their concrete feet were concentrated in the centre of the room, with their narrow metal rods overlapping and converging to form a dense network of lines. Wall Piece initially appeared to be a recontextualization of material found on the street, separated from its original function and given a new treatment. The remains of torn placards, posters or announcements could be seen at several points on the barrier. Yet its paper that the artist herself carefully placed there; the work is completely staged.

The recurring theme in Chois work is not only the line but also the relationship of lines to each other in space. Accordingly, the barrier must be completely removed from its original context. But this step is not fully carried out the barrier still blocks and divides space, even though both sides can be accessed. Choi does not completely invert form and function; instead she makes their manipulation visible. The right angle of the rods and the primary colours of the paper scraps form the outline of an image while the white wall functions as background and fills out the surfaces.

With Wall Piece, Choi moves from the two-dimensionality of her earlier collages for example, the series Briefly (2009) to a space installation, a step that in turn generates new images. She also employed this principle in her performance Composition T (2010) at Berlins SPLACE, where she continually rearranged various materials and everyday objects, such as glass or photographs, on an overhead projector and generated new shadow images on the wall.

The second series of paper works Abdrücke (Imprints, 2011) manifests a similar approach to materials. Using graphite, Choi transferred the surface forms of gratings or asphalt found on the street onto sheets of paper; she wandered through urban space and used the frottage technique to document the various found forms. Although the compositions were made in the city, the large sheets appear as if they had been smoothed out for the exhibition; hardly any indentations, holes, punctures or creases can be seen. This contradicts Chois claim that the performative act should be in the foreground. Only a few fingerprints and stains at various points still bear witness to this act. Once again, she only reveals a small part of her staging technique. Choi could further exploit the potential of her key questions nevertheless this exhibition displays a consistent development in her works.
Translated by Colin Shepherd