Ji Su Kang-Gatto
Only the artist is present
Interview with Ji Su Kang-Gatto - 23rd of April 2020
"Only the artist is present", was originally a solo exhibition of your work series "Identities and Recipes", which can be experienced in real space. To what extent does the performance on the opening evening, and especially the resulting video work, fit into your working method and artistic position?
"Only the artist is present" is the name of the livestream of the solo exhibition "A Daughter`s Table" and the resulting video work. The "performance" was not an elaborated concept that I worked on for a long time. The idea was practically born out of necessity. The time of the actual opening of "A Daughter`s Table" was shortly before shutdown. The circumstances how the exhibition could or could not take place changed a few days before almost every hour. In the end the exhibition should have been cancelled. But I did not want to admit defeat, so the work "Only the artist is present" was created. The title is obviously based on Marina Abramovic's "The artist is present" and can be understood literally.
Even before "Only the artist is present", my work was often understood as performative, since it is always me who can be seen cooking and eating in "Identities and Recipes". I don't really see myself as a performer. It simply makes sense that I film myself when I treat my hybrid identity. In "Only the artist is present" I also had the feeling of performing more or less involuntarily. I knew that not everything would go smoothly. I wanted to record that. I think with "Only the artist is present" I wanted to be as honest as possible. In contrast to the previous video works of "Identities and Recipes", in "Only the artist is present" I was probably more like how my friends know me.
Sculptural objects, such as the hands, creep through some of the works in the series. Is the use of the hands as wall holders for the tablets in the exhibition space to be understood as the beginning of a "breakout" back into real space?
A tablet is not only a medium for reproduction, but also an object that is to be understood as a sculpture in the exhibition context. Through the hands I underline this fact. I use the image of hands again and again in my works, because handicraft is important for me. The process and the small mistakes, which are perhaps only noticeable on closer inspection, is what makes the handcrafted work so special.
My generation is the in-between generation, which is familiar with the digital, but also grew up with the analogue. So my work and my way of working is also influenced by both. I also wanted to refer to the YouTube portal, where all the video works of "Identities and Recipes" can be seen on the channel of the same name, since YouTube videos are usually seen on a portable technical device in the hand.
The objects are independent works: The sculptures, paintings and sometimes costumes that I use as props in the video works are made especially for a video or selected from my existing work. I see my work like a big puzzle, which consists of many independent works and can be put together variably according to my liking.
What are you currently working on?
The second season of "Identities and Recipes" is already taking place. On Wednesdays and Sundays I upload a new cooking video on my YouTube channel "Identities and Recipes". The difference to the first season, however, is that I'm neither cooking nor being seen. Instead, artists and friends are invited to submit their cooking video. This joint project is due to the current Corona quarantine situation. The reality of life for many of us is similar to "Identities and Recipes". Many people have to deal with different emotions like loneliness, frustration and fear.
Depending on the situation, people focus a lot on eating and cooking now. The feeling I seemed to be alone with before, is now a state of great community. Suddenly I feel understood. After I had to experience a lot of racism in Germany during the pre-shutdown phase, this sudden feeling of community, which can be felt absurdly in the quarantine, is a very pleasant state. I also wanted to contribute a part to the community and so I had the idea to open "Identities and Recipes". I am sure that the previous experience through "Only the artist is present" encouraged me to make this decision. The originally planned second season is currently postponed. How long the current season will last depends on the Corona situation. Personally, this unexpected second season, which I called "Season 2 I Identities and Recipes: All Stars", gives me a lot of warmth and I hope participants and viewers feel the same.
HOW TO COOK KIMCHI JJIGAE
HOW TO MAKE TTEOKBOKKI
HOW TO COOK SUJEBI
HOW TO COOK GODEUNGEO JORIM
HOW TO COOK YUKGAEJANG
HOW TO COOK RAMYUN
HOW TO MAKE SUBAK HWACHAE
HOW TO COOK EOMUKTANG
HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE CHAPSSAL TTEOK
HOW TO COOK DOENJANG JJIGAE
HOW TO COOK SAMGYETANG
HOW TO MAKE BULGOGI
HOW TO COOK YACHAEJUK
HOW TO COOK NAKJI BOKKEUM
HOW TO MAKE SUJEONGGWA AND GOTGAMSSAM
HOW TO MAKE HAEMULPAJEON
HOW TO COOK JANCHI GUKSU
HOW TO COOK KONG GUKSU
HOW TO MAKE GIMBAP
HOW TO COOK PATJUK
HOW TO COOK MIYEOKGUK
HOW TO MAKE BIBIMBAP
HOW TO COOK DUBUJORIM
HOW TO COOK KONGNAMUL GUKBAP
Ji Su Kang-Gatto
based in Düsseldorf
Born 1989 in Seoul. Graduated at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 2013. (Meisterschülerin of Lucy McKenzie.)
Since 2018 postgraduate Studies at Academy of Media Arts Cologne.