Moon Kyungwon born, 1969, Seoul. Lives and works Seoul. Jeon Joonho born 1969, Busan, Korea. Lives and works Busan
While making their work EL FIN DEL MUNDO (2012) (which translates as THE END OF THE WORLD), artists Kyungwon Moon & Joonho Jeon asked themselves these questions about a future where ‘major climate change endangers human survival’:
‘Will today’s social systems still be relevant in this future? What values will sustain our existence?
Will art still be around? What will we eat and wear?
Will sunsets still be beautiful?’
The resulting video installation forms part of Moon & Jeon’s larger project NEWS FROM NOWHERE (2012–). Many of the props and costumes in EL FIN DEL MUNDO were created in collaboration with architects, artists, designers and scientists, a process that is detailed on their website:(http://newsfromnowhere.kr/)
and in the publication NEWS FROM NOWHERE: A Platform for the future & Introspection on the Present, on display in the exhibition resource area on Level 2.
In the late 21st century, following a catastrophe on Earth, most of the world is under water, and majority of humans have died. Survivors now live in a dangerous environment. In this world of chaos, where all order, values, national governments and social systems have collapsed, a small number of corporations maintain a new system of human society. The companies gathered the survivors together, gave them “citizenship,” and provided them with comfortable lives and the benefits of civilization. Using survivors’ labour, the corporations now compete with one another in order to acquire hegemonic control of the new world. Survivors complete dangerous tasks and go through a strict screening process before they finally attain citizenship from one of the companies.
This film is divided into two separate screens: one for the man and the other for the woman. The film simultaneously depicts how the male character continues to work on his art even through the catastrophe and how the female character, a descendant of the survivors, becomes aware of the aesthetic senses after the catastrophe. The woman is sent by Tempus, one of the remaining companies, to a remote archive and happens upon the place where the man worked long ago, coming into contact with traces of the man that transcend time and space.
‘El Fin del Mundo adopts a futuristic setting of the apocalypse and its aftermath to pose questions about the social function and role of contemporary art. The film is based on our post exhibit conversations expressing doubts and regrets about contemporary art. It is a dual-screened film that depicts artists and their attitudes just before the apocalypse as well as the rebirth of art through revamped aesthetics in the postapocalyptic world. By presenting the end and the beginning, we hoped to more closely examine the social function and role of contemporary art.’
Moon Kyungwon & Jeon Joonho El Fin de Mundo Artist statement