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Break Breath, 2023

View of the duo show «Break, Breath» with Park Chae Dalle, Alterside, Seoul, Korea 2023

Photos ©Wonwoo Kim

Break, Breath


Hey, you made it! The most important, and sometimes the hardest part is showing up.

We are glad that you are here. Now, close your eyes and take the deepest breath you’ve taken all day. Breathe in through your nose, let the air stream deeply into your lungs and belly. Hold it for a second and exhale slowly through your mouth. Try to relax and be in this moment. Imagine your thoughts like clouds passing by. Don’t hold them, just observe and let them fade. They come as they go. Focus on your body and the space around you: What do you hear? Is there something you can smell? With your next inhale, slowly open your eyes again: What do you see? How do you feel?


In their exhibition Break, Breath the artists Park Chae Biole and Park Chae Dalle investigate practices of taking a breath, a break, a rest. Like the exercise above which can aid in taking a pause for a moment, their site-specific installations offer spaces for reflection and contemplation: What does or can resting mean? What is required to take a rest? Is rest possible at all?


Park Chae Biole’s «Series of reading hammocks» invites the audience to climb in, to lie down and to change from a vertical to a horizontal perspective in the exhibition space. The fabric of the hammock can be wrapped around the body, separating inside from outside and providing shelter. Inside the rocking structure, several books and three sound pieces by Octave Magescas, which are as comforting as they are disruptive, invite the visitor to reflect on the ambivalences that are associated with ideas of resting. The position in the hammock also functions as a safe and comfortable viewpoint from which to overlook and observe the exhibition and the urban space of the neighborhood outside.


Park Chae Dalle’s «Leaves» and «Hand to hand» seem to float in space. Like bodies in a hammock – which are secured by a rope – the painted canvases are held above the ground by threads, keeping them from falling. The canvases were made in a labor-intensive, experimental and repetitive process of collecting, drying and layering leaves and glue; of knitting woolen shapes, stretching and stabilizing them. This meditative practice of active patience manifests and visualizes not only the passing of time in the presence of the leafy and knitted canvas but also destabilizes notions of rest as something passive.


Hanna Steinert 

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