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BUSY DAYS with Christine Sun Kim

BUSY DAYS with Christine Sun Kim

de Appel, Schipluidenlaan 12, Amsterdam
BUSY DAYS with Christine Sun Kim stages five artistic interventions throughout Amsterdam (and beyond). It presents a concise selection of works by the American artist Christine Sun Kim that explore the medium of sound through technology, performance and drawing. Each of these interventions concerns a particular medium, duration and social context, such as a nightclub, a radio station or an office hallway, and highlights Kim’s singular relationship with spoken languages and her aural environment.

The project has grown out of a number of extended live chat-sessions between the artist and De Appel director Niels Van Tomme. These sessions touched upon topics such as the visual interpretation of sound, alternative experiences of spatial sonic qualities, or privileges related to hearing. There was one topic, however, that became more urgent as their chat-sessions progressed: how to organise an exhibition project that would both befit Kim’s main thematic preoccupation, namely the conceptual and social aspects of sound, and the new nomadic organisational reality of De Appel?

Thinking about this issue, the project set forth to explore a set of open-ended questions related to idiosyncratic modes of exhibition making attached to being an institution without a fixed exhibition venue. What is the relationship between an organisation without a home and an artist predominantly preoccupied with sound, a medium that travels freely through time and space, unbound by spatial limitations? What if one disentangled the very idea of an exhibition project tied to a specific exhibition space? What if the project dispersed to different locations throughout the city and even ceased being an exhibition? And what if it sometimes even abandoned physical space altogether?

Fore mostly, BUSY DAYS with Christine Sun Kim highlights some of the distinctive ways in which Christine Sun Kim understands the concepts of sound and listening. This understanding has been determined by her being Deaf since birth – hence the project’s elaborate exchanges through live chat. Kim, however, prefers people to focus on the communication aspects of her work, instead of letting deafness be the driving force behind it. By doing this, she challenges widely excepted cultural ideas about the human voice as a predominantly sonic force, or sound as something that can only be experienced through audition.

To underscore the multifaceted ways in which the artist comprehends sound, ‘BUSY DAYS with Christine Sun Kim’ consists of a wide range of strategies of intervention:

Location: Red Light Radio Time: Friday 5 May 2017, 14:00 – 15:00 Listen to the broadcast on redlightradio.net.
Christine Sun Kim and her frequent artistic collaborator Thomas Mader give a unique interview on Amsterdam’s prime online radio station Red Light Radio. There will be an American Sign Language Interpreter present throughout the interview.
Location: Cafeteria, Broedplaats Lely, Schipluidenlaan 12 Time: Saturday 6 May 2017, 17:00 – 18:00
Christine Sun Kim performs a talk about her relationship with the church bells she has been watching from her apartment in Berlin, and how her observations have moved her to evolve her previously held ideas about bells and sound.
Location: Hallway to De Appel (thinks), Broedplaats Lely, Schipluidenlaan 12 Time: Saturday 6 May 2017 – Saturday 19 August from 12:00 until 18:00
The drawing series Available Spaces for Composers (2016) and Just Music (2017) develop notations informed by many years of working within sign language interpreters’ sonic parameters and reading captions on television and movies.
Location: De School, Doctor Jan van Breemenstraat 3 Time: Thursday 8 June 2017 – Sunday 9 July 2017, Tuesday – Saturday, 12:00 – 22:00, and during club nights
The video works Close Readings (2016) and Classified Digits (2016) playfully subvert film captions by inviting Deaf friends to add their own “sound cues” and American Sign Language storytelling methods by recounting common awkward social situations while utilizing the arm game.
Location: Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee Time: Friday 7 July 2017, 00:00 – Saturday 8 July, 24:00 Listen to the broadcast on jajajaneeneenee.com.
This re-broadcast of a 24-hour long radio piece collects the contributions of twenty-four participants who were asked to produce a sound recording of one hour in which they were “busy” doing studio time, such as reading, meeting, drawing or even riding on a bus.
Taken together, these five interventions provide tools to comprehend some of the inquisitive ways in which Christine Sun Kim explores sound and what she calls “the politics of listening”. BUSY DAYS with Christine Sun Kim thus highlights the artist’s dedication to always playfully break the rules, especially when it concerns the questioning of culturally conditioned hearing practices or the ways in which we are habituated to experience sound, and in doing so provides alternative modes of communication. It connects these issues to De Appel’s continued exploration of its firm yet unfixed organizational identity in Amsterdam and alternative exhibition contexts within which to experience art.

The artist(s): Christine Sun Kim uses the medium of sound in performance and drawing to investigate her relationship with spoken languages and her aural environment. Selected exhibitions and performances have been held at: White Space, Beijing (solo); Carroll/Fletcher, London (solo); nyMusikk, Oslo; Sound Live Tokyo, Tokyo; Berlin Biennale, Berlin; Shanghai Biennale; and the Museum of Modern Art / PS1, New York. Kim was awarded TED and MIT Media Lab Fellowships.

Thomas Mader employs different media to research questions of national identity, communication and storytelling. Selected group exhibitions and online contributions include: NGBK, Berlin/Germany; SAVAC, Toronto/Canada; Bus Projects, Melbourne/Australia; The Kitchen, NY/USA and Bomb Magazine, NY/USA.

De Appel (acts): De Appel (acts) is De Appel’s nomadic artistic programme, which is presented at various context-specific locations throughout the city of Amsterdam (and beyond). For ‘BUSY DAYS with Christine Sun Kim’ De Appel partners with Red Light Radio, Broedplaats Lely, De School and Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee.

‘BUSY DAYS with Christine Sun Kim’ is supported by Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, Mondriaan Fund and Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen. Christine Sun Kim is represented by Carroll / Fletcher, London. Christine Sun Kim is represented by Carroll / Fletcher, London.

Home page video captions by Ariel Baker-Gibes

EDITIONS #01 CSK / Christine Sun Kim

collection (unintended), 2017