Kara Chin exhibits in 'life-bestowing cadaverous soooooooooooooooooooot', a research exhibition and live programme collated by Rae-Yen Song, running from 24 February 2024 until 18 May 2024.
In this research project and live programme, Rae-Yen Song serves as both artist and researcher. Song will present new work, and has invited artists and thinkers to come together to speculate on the potentials of world-building.
The soot of the show’s title is the sunken mist of decaying animal and vegetable matter, which continuously rains down from the ocean’s upper reaches to its obscure depths. It is referenced in Vilem Flusser’s meditations on Vampyroteuthis Infernalis, the squid which, as an impossibly distant relative of human beings, thrives in a fathomless underwater zone which is utterly hostile to us. Vampyroteuthis feeds off this oceanic cadaverous soot, and Song uses this relationship as a figure via which to think of composite cycles, beginnings and endings, the giving of life to the ashes of death; and through which to speculate on alternative futures which could be built from the debris of the present.
The work of this exhibition is in the amassing of this debris, to form matter that seeks to nourish the potential for untested life-to-come. This matter is suffused with concepts of diasporic~ancestral mythology; abstracted homes~lands; imagined futures~kin; and other ways of being that resist and dream beyond our current, increasingly unliveable realities. The exhibition draws on Rae-Yen’s own speculative map - reflecting on the cartographies of personal ancestors’ movements across time, space and culture - to pose questions for an imagined thirdspace, based on a creation mythology emerging from the stories and legacies held within Rae-Yen’s family.
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