Presented by Arts House and RISING
Wednesday 7 – Sunday 18 June 2023
10am – 6.30pm
Sunday 18 June 10am – 4:30pm
Closed Sunday 11 & Monday 12 June
Under Maintenance is suitable for all ages
North Melbourne Town Hall
521 Queensberry St,
The mechanics of care come under scrutiny in Geumhyung Jeong’s uncanny installation of needy robots.
What would it be like to meet your maker? Just ask the robotic creations of South Korean artist Geumhyung Jeong.
Her bespoke artificial beings might be cobbled together from inanimate parts, but beneath their cold exteriors pulse something all too familiar. Clumsy, flawed and requiring great care, their imperfections only serve to make them more sympathetic than you might think.
Jeong’s relationship with her robots is at the heart of this work – through her kindly administration of attention and repair, she blurs the line between technician, caregiver, surgeon and saviour. At the same time, these machines increasingly trouble the distinctions separating humanity and its creations, instead proposing a shared world of coexistence.
Choreographer and performance artist Geumhyung Jeong uses her ‘toys’ to introduce viewers into an eerie world in which human and machine are uncomfortably intimate. In an age of unprecedented techno-dependence, her works ask provocative questions of the onlooker with implications that linger long after the batteries have died.
With Under Maintenance, her toys have reached a new stage of vitality, but at the same time need more attention than ever before. Show a little kindness – these robots need it.
Artnet “Could We Love Machines? Korean Artist Geumhyung Jeong’s Performative Robots Test Our Empathy. The artist builds her own machines from scratch and performs with them via remote control” by Kate Brown, May 4, 2021
About the artist
Geumhyung Jeong is an artist whose work ranges from performance, dance, theatre, choreography, video and installations. Jeong studied Acting at Hoseo University in Asan (South Korea), Dance and Performance at the Korean National University of Arts and Film Animation at the Korean Academy of Film Arts (both in Seoul). Since the beginning of her career, Jeong’s work has investigated the relationship between the human body and inanimate everyday objects, by way of productions that combine languages and techniques derived from the fields of contemporary dance, puppet theatre and the visual arts. Her practice adopts ordinary movement and strips the specific codes of art and theatre conventions down to the bare minimum. In the course of the physical interaction between her body and the objects, it becomes ambiguous who controls whom. Her works have been presented internationally at the festivals and museums including the 59th International Art Exhibition of Venice Biennale in 2022 and ImpulsTanz – Vienna International Dance Festival 2022.
Filming: Carolin Röckelein
Image Credit: Video still filmed by Carolin Röckelein
Image Description: A robot with two black wheels on a silver axis sits on a table. The robot has a bald white ceramic head and lots of blue and red wires. A person with long black hair sits beside the robot. There are tools on a table in the background.