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Koo Jeong-A, Dearest Young Hoi (detail), 2014, enamel, stainless steel table, 29 1/4 × 78 3/4 × 29 1/4". From Real DMZ Project 2014.

Real DMZ Project 2014

Various Sites/Art Sonje Center

Koo Jeong-A, Dearest Young Hoi (detail), 2014, enamel, stainless steel table, 29 1/4 × 78 3/4 × 29 1/4". From Real DMZ Project 2014.

It has been twenty-five years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, a fact that acutely informed the Real DMZ Project this year, thanks to the participation as guest curator of the German architect and theorist Nikolaus Hirsch, who worked in collaboration with Real DMZ artistic director Sunjung Kim. Now in its third year, the annual exhibition takes place primarily on the edge of the border zone between South and North Korea. Several contentious “realities” were under examination in this most recent edition, among them the outright paradox of nomenclature—the Korean Demilitarized Zone remains the most militarized place on the planet. The shops and monuments around the zone, like the guided tours to the area, all seem to incorporate the term peace into their names, but this is a peace maintained by the balance of intense mutual threat.

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