Multi-disciplinary artist Kimsooja works across performance, video, photography and site-specific installation to address themes of displacement and human conditions. Since the 1990’s, Kimsooja has been collecting objects from flea markets around the world, documenting and cataloging them in the ongoing photographic series Unfolding Bottari – Geometry of Possession. Kimsooja uses Bottari (meaning “bundle” in Korean) both figuratively and referentially in her work. Functionally, Bottari served as cloth containers to transport a family’s worldly goods, containing the elementary belongings needed to relocate and start anew. Metaphorically, Bottari suggests physical and spiritual migration. In referencing Bottari in her work, Kimsooja evokes the intimacy of clothing and bed covers, sewing and domesticity, and the physicality of flight and movement.
The piece included in Jameco Exchange is a part of the growing Bottari – Geometry of Possession archive. Deductive Object – Unfolding Bottari is an old Macy’s department store directory found in a New York antique store in 2002; an archive of products and services available at the now-defunct store. Viewers are invited to read the obsolete list, unwrapping its history through observation. The directory is a fossil of a bygone era, a reminder of societal mobility, transition, and transformation, but it is also an object soaked in familiarity and contemporary resonance.
Deductive Object – Unfolding Bottari is particularly resonant in Jamaica, Queens for its connection to Macy’s. Just west of Jameco Exchange is the site of a former Macy’s building open from 1947-1977, now the Colosseum Mall. The new Mall opened in 1984, and has been a significant meeting place for the Jamaica community. Hip-hop artists Run-DMC, Jam Master J, Jay-Z and 50 Cent have all featured the Mall in their lyrics. Unfolding Bottari references the thematic significance of a Korean cultural emblem, but also speaks to Jamaica, Queens and to a diversity of collective narratives; all of which are continuously unfolding in geography, time and space.www.kimsooja.com