Gyre – Yunchul Kim, 2022
Curatorial Team for the Korean Pavilion, 59th Venice Biennale
Gyre. Amidst the turbulence of endless openings and implosions, energy draws itself towards the centre of the oceanic void. The spiralling ends amass all the contiguous material with a force as strong as its centre, generating a vortex that expands continuously. Eventually, the knot of the gyre comes undone and new vortices arise. At this blurred, swollen boundary where a spiral ends and another begins, there is motion in stillness and stillness in motion.
Consider the world as a labyrinth. The planets in the solar system orbit the galaxy in their own spirals, while auroras emerge radiantly with bursts of solar wind. Overflowing waves, scattering dusts and the convection currents of the earth’s mantle are all vortices, large and small, and they accompany myriad fragments of light that pass through the trees that become witnesses to slow swirls at the edge of the sea. Such cosmic connections and circulations occur everywhere at every scale beyond our comprehension and those countless knots that gyrate constantly become things—things thinging again in a worlding world.
In Gyre, Yunchul Kim imagines the Korean Pavilion as a sprawling body of entanglements: an embodiment of the “placelessness” of things. Nameless objects and intricate materials intertwine with cosmic events as viewers encounter intimate tangles of a flarelike whirl of fluids and seawater flowing down through the microtubes around giant knots. In such pataphysical contact zones, what really matters is mattereality in flux, not materiality framed. As our senses, bodies, meanings, materials, non-materials, machines, non-humans, events, and the outer world are in ceaseless intra-action, their (other)worldly potentials emerge and transcend the boundaries of their cultural and social values as well, all flowing into their own emerging horizons.