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Cahiers de doléances I

MinJi Kim

"sono superficiale" (I am superficial), 2019, adaptation for mezzaterra11 - flat gallery

Courtesy of the artist

“In the end, extreme superficiality is glamorous.”
December 5, 2019 — Januart 31, 2020

mezzaterra11 – flat gallery is pleased to inaugurate a new format as a special feature: Cahiers de doléances. After 5 years of presenting international artists in our unconventional space, we thought that it’s time to refresh our program to broaden possibilities of the project and to be more actively engaged in social, political issues. Cahiers de doléances is an inside platform of our existing exhibition format, focusing on voices: of manifestation, opinion, protest or criticism.  

Originally the Cahiers de doléances were books of complaints/grievances, collected from three Estates of France in early 1789, the year of French Revolution, ordered by Louise XVI as a preparatory measure to understand the problems of the people.  

Here, in this new platform, we expect that a shape of a forum would be naturally generated in order to deepen the issues introduced and help build one’s own view. Cahiers de doléances not only welcomes professionals in other creative fields but opens to any form of expression such as drawing, text, photography, objects etc. While our main exhibitions continue as they have been, the special feature will intervene as needed.  

As Cahiers de doléances I, mezzaterra11 – flat gallery presents ‘sono superficiale’ (I am superficial) by MinJi Kim (born in Seoul, 1975), an installation artist and co-creator of the project space. The text work, ‘sono superficiale’, was initially intended for being written right under the surface of an outdoor ice rink, to be installed as a part of one seasonal holiday event in Italy. It didn’t happen. Nevertheless, Kim has created an adapted version for the special feature at the flat gallery. The work conserves ambiguity and ambivalent feelings, which would work in manifold contexts and with various references, reflecting this historical period, encouraging narcissism, and the current society prevailed by admiration for superficiality. ‘sono superficiale’ is not criticism but a status of consciousness.  As Kim said, “in the end extreme superficiality is glamorous.”

The artist believes that artwork should articulate a negation of the gradual commodification of life, with a critical thought and constructive provocation, providing a specific instance of the refusal to accept the constraints of the society when it comes down to public art.

MinJi Kim has naturally progressed her works to be relational and contextual over the years. Her art resides within the magnetic space in between existences and is embodied in portraits as reverberation of the intimate and personal relations: one to one, one to group, one to a society, or one to universe. She considers that artworks should be incorporated in any form of constant provocation. Currently living and working in Belluno, Italy, where she is a co-founder and curator of mezzaterra11 - flat gallery, Kim is a Korean installation artist who has had several solo and group exhibitions in Seoul and abroad.

mezzaterra11 – flat gallery is a conceptual project space that opens up new interpretations on documentation images of contemporary artworks, by creating meta-linguistic translation as a white cube is compressed to be flat. International artists are invited to present their work with one image that is selected, adapted, and ultimately, printed for the space as a format of a solo show.