In her research document, What Will Become of My Soul, artist Jooyeon Lee offers a list of poetic provocations. One of them writes, "Find a friend's wavelength that gets longer as the distance increases".
When our safety depends on keeping the distance between bodies, the tautness of threads binding us as a whole is more apparent and palpable than ever before. However, what Lee's question conjures is the possibility of an intensified sense of connectivity as a means to register the complexity, fragility and reciprocity of relationships rather than a measure against a threat.
Responding to Lee’s provocation, two films selected for this programme address loneliness and interconnectedness, rendered invisible by social isolation. In both films, the loneliness experienced by an individual is inextricably enmeshed within the broader social structure. Meandering ambiguous boundaries between fiction and non-fiction, seemingly disparate images and stories collide to zoom in and out of the interconnected whole. They embrace the complex and fluid nature of connectivity while acknowledging our limits to understanding one another, inviting us to think with their unresolved and unending conversations.
"We were trying to search for our places in the world through the process of grieving. Instead, it unsettled the world as we knew it. As the conversation continued, we only came to realise how little we knew about our lost ones." - Jeongyoon Ahn and Misun Ahn from Two Voice.
Jeongyoon Ahn, Onlooker
Artist Jeongyoon Ahn and her collaborator Misun Ahn have been recording their intimate conversations around death and loss as a mourning practice. Their slow and ongoing dialogue inspires a series of films, exhibitions and writings, engendering a collective practice of sharing and hearing grief. In Ahn's 2016 film Onlooker, they share drawings of their dreams; Misun meets her injured cat, and Jeongyoon sees the death of her departed friend. These drawings give shapes to fear and guilt, longing and remembering through which they see the entwined relationship between life and death.
Jeongyoon AHN deals with personal disasters and depressions. She produces video works by observing how people feel and express their fears of anonymous life and death and reconstructing them into her language. The Hymn of a Republic (2009) was screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and won the Seoul International New Media Festival's Rising Artist Award in 2010. Onlooker (2016) won the Korean EXiS Award at the Experimental Film & Video Festival in Seoul and was selected as the best independent film collection project by the Korean Film Archive in 2016.
This video has been selected by Sun Park. The screening is organised in collaboration with The Stream