Heavy Weigth History (2013), Kunstturnen (Artistic Gymnastics) (2014) I March 24 – July 23 2023
flop focuses on the complex dynamics of experimenting with the limits of a given set of rules. In 1968, Dick Fosbury introduced the first-ever backward jump in the Mexican Olympic high jump. Now, we call it the ‘Fosbury Flop’, after his name. Fosbury revolutionized the record with that little flip of the body, and since then, it’s hard to find anyone who jumps as far as he did in the high jump, changing the way the game is played.
Of course, not every revolution was successful. Like ‘Underwater’ in freestyle swimming, ‘Somersault’ in the long jump, ‘Spanish style’ in javelin throws, and ‘Korbut flip‘ in parallel bars. Those are the one that challenged the limitation given in sports rules, but were barred based on various reasons. There’s a structure of rules when it comes to sports, within the system of sports, and sometimes external contexts that have nothing to do with sports at all.
Nevertheless, the practice of pushing the limits of the rules or finding holes in the rules continues. We think of sportsmanship as accepting the given
rules, but in fact, there is a complex dynamic inside the system of sports that pursues to break the limitation.
The first problem that we find in exploring these issues is that if you want to change the rules of a world, you have to accept the rules of the game, and you have to be a player within it to open up the possibility of reversing the rules. The most important goal of this project is to extend the dialectical structure
of these rules and fouls from sports to arts and society. The paradoxical struggle to be willing to participate in a given game while rejecting it at the same time bears a resemblance to how art works. In particular, like avant-garde practices that questioned the boundaries of art itself, or post-medium practices that reflexively overturned the limitations of the medium that was already given.
We can find this similarity in how the world works with its own rule. Where you can think of a lot of practices that we are not just accepting it, but trying to change the given structure. We could ask, are the dialectics of rules and fouls are the principles which can change the world? From this perspective, the exhibition is not aimed to fuse sports and arts; it attempts to appropriate sports as a phraseology of art, traversing the rules of the world in strange ways through artistic work. In this way, flop explores the context of the Seoul Olympic Museum of Art, starting with the rules of sports, then exploring various methodologies of arts, to the changing the structure of the world.
In this context, the artistic practice of creating a completely different political movement by appropriating the rules of sports, or the works that reveal the rules of the queer overlapping the norms of normality, is important. Through this project, we plan to conduct research with various artists, create an exhibition, produce texts derived from the project through exhibition-linked research, and archives of techniques prohibited in the history of Olympics. In addition, lectures, workshops, and performance programs will be held. It is as trivial as the small transition that turns your body upside down, but we hope you can open up a moment when you can re-sensitize the small and subtle practices that turn the world upside down.
Installation view: Yokohama Triennial, Yokohama, 2017