Sunset Bath

Architectural Body: Se Jong Cho

Open Space is thrilled to present Architectural Body, a solo exhibition of new works by Se Jong Cho. Please join us for the opening reception on Saturday, September 10, from 7-10pm. The gallery will be open on Saturdays from 1-5 pm until October 8. More information here.

Now it is time that gods emerge from things by which we dwell…
–Rainer Maria Rilke

These paintings are about figuring out how architecture came to organize around humans or how humans came to organize around architecture. The title comes from Madeline Gin and Arakawa’s book that explores and contemplates the architectural solutions to the dilemma of mortality.

The dilemma of mortality comes from the assumption that consciousness is personal, that when our bodies expire, we cease to be conscious; we cease to exist: the ultimate existential crisis. This assumption rises from the self-awareness that doesn’t seem to extend beyond our individual physical bodies. Apparently, Wittgenstein thought so too, concluding from his investigation of mind through an experiment of “beetle in a box.” He conjectured that one cannot feel another person’s pain, but can only infer from their own. However, if you ask a person with an alien hand syndrome, when their hand is prodded with a stick, whose pain they feel, this person would respond that it is somebody else’s pain, distinctly not their own. So, if consciousness is truly personal, how can anyone feel somebody else’s pain that is not inferred from their own?

These paintings explore our relationship with architecture as a way to expose the non-personal, collective consciousness concealed by our mortal habitation. The audience is physically external to these architectural artifacts while the body parts are integrated in them. Thus, the audience can make clinical observations of feelings of restrain and dependence, anxiousness and relaxation, and desperation and liberation. Consequently, we can begin to imagine what it feels as a body alien to our own that could foster a greater comprehension of our collective consciousness.

– Se Jong Cho, 2016