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Unbidden: Jin-me Yoon

JJin-me Yoon Unbidden: Jungle-Swamp, 2003
JJin-me Yoon Unbidden: Jungle-Swamp, 2003

Jin-me Yoon Unbidden: Jungle-Swamp single-channel video installation 8 min. 46 sec. loop projected dimensions variable
5 May 2005 – 22 Jun 2005

The title of the exhibition and this series of works refers to the involuntary surfacing to consciousness of images and memories. We have all accumulated a vast and fragmented bank of images through exposure to the media, the Internet, archival documents and Hollywood films such as Bridge on the River Kwai and Apocalypse Now. In Unbidden, Vancouver-based multi-media artist Jin-me Yoon stages performances that are metaphors for the effects of war and violence that linger and haunt us.

The works in Unbidden were videotaped in the Kamloops area during Yoon’s artist’s residency in May 2003. Susan Edelstein writes in the exhibition catalogue, “Viewers can travel to the sites of their own memories, reinforcing the idea that Unbidden could have been staged in the deserts of Arizona, on a lake in Korea, or near the outskirts of Kamloops, British Columbia. The fact is, it doesn’t really matter where the scene takes place, it’s the content of the image that provokes the viewer’s memory.” By superimposing vestigial memories on present-day surroundings, Yoon expresses the psychic legacy of the past in the present. New questions arise: How do the psychological effects of trauma communicate through generations? How does “there and then” play out differently “here and now?”

With Unbidden, Jin-me-Yoon’s media-specific approach to her subject draws attention to the impact of televised war footage in a post-9/11 world. Through critical engagement with public space, she sheds new light on the hidden effects of visual images that impose themselves, often unbidden, on people’s unconscious minds.

This exhibition expands on themes visited previously at MSVU Art Gallery. In July 2002, Lily Markiewicz’s video installation Promise II evoked the transmission of trauma from Holocaust survivors to subsequent generations. Frances Dorsey’s Dragon’s Teeth 1994 (MSVU collection) incorporates her father’s wartime journal entries and photographs into a textile work that addresses the lasting effects of violence on soldiers and their families. This work will be exhibited in Moral Fibre, July 6-August 21.

The Unbidden exhibition, publication and national tour are generously supported by the Canada Council , the Department of Canadian Heritage, the City of Kamloops, and the British Columbia Arts Council.

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Exhibition Image
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Jin-me Yoon, Unbidden: Grassland 2003       

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