Sung Hwan Kim, Line Wall (detail), 2011, mixed media. Installation view.

Sung Hwan Kim

Kunsthalle Basel

Sung Hwan Kim, Line Wall (detail), 2011, mixed media. Installation view.

“The aspirations of those who would isolate art from the social world are analogous to those of Kant’s dove, which dreamed of how much freer its flight could be if only it were released from the resistance of the air. If we are to learn any lesson from the history of the past fifty years of art, it is surely that an art unattached to the social world is free to go anywhere but that it has nowhere to go.” Victor Burgin’s statement sets the tone for Sung Hwan Kim’s spectral, socially invested works—and not just because Kim alluded to Kant in titling a 2007 performance Pushing Against the Air. The Korean-born, New York–based artist’s films, performances, and installations offer the enigmatic, half-articulate, and ever-necessary poetry of individual being that exists in tune or, often, in discord with the larger structures (be they social, political, architectural, or military)

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