George Korsmit

Sending Out The Gods

Ellen de Bruijne Projects is proud to present Sending Out The Gods, an exhibition of new work by George Korsmit.

In the autumn of 2013 George Korsmit left for Seoul to work with several female South Korean shamans (mudang) and in large part hand his artistic decision-making over to them. In his work Korsmit usually reduces his role of author to that of intermediary. His part in the creation of the work is limited to establishing a set of rules to follow, using dice to determine the dimensions of the colour fields and a blindfold to select the colours. The outcome is unknown and unpredictable.

For this exhibition George Korsmit has relinquished his authorship to the shamans who conduct their rituals and ceremonies on Mount In Wang in Seoul. The shamans use attributes such as coloured flags, costumes and knives to make contact with spirits of ancestors and gods. Colour plays an important part in these shamanistic rituals, signifying messages from the spirits. The shamans themselves are merely intermediaries in the process. Korsmit asked the South Korean shamans for advice and invited them to choose colours for him, instead of making his usual blind selection.

For two weeks Korsmit worked on Mount In Wang. He felt a kinship with the shamans in his own ritualistic experience as an intermediary between the uncertain and the concrete physical work. As with the Korean shamanistic ceremonies, the procedure of executing his rules involves endurance and accuracy, requiring a dedication and concentration that is at least as important as the final result. The role of the artist here is not as the prosecutor of meaning but as the witness of phenomena – waiting, listening and accepting the uncertain outcome. Meaning emerges as he follows the plan.

The works in the exhibition breathe this concentration on process. On viewing the work you become mesmerized. Whether you look at the round drawings, the video, or sculptures based on previous paintings, the image is elusive, disorienting and impossible to remember. The work involves the viewer, who is caught up in an experience that is difficult to pinpoint. It generates a sense of irrationality, irreducibility and inscrutability. No formal or meaningful analysis makes sense; the colours and shapes captivate the viewer, constantly revealing new relationships. There is no rationale for their configuration. Any contest between form and process, form and anti-form or reason and madness seems ultimately irrelevant. Korsmit’s work allows us the pleasure of participating in a delirium, a deadening of the reasoning faculties, a loss of ‘self’ in the Western sense of the term. — Dyveke Rood

Exhibition: 28/05/2014 – 02/08/2014
Opening : 28/05/2014, 3-5 pm
Informal artist talk with slides & video: 3 July 2014 at 8pm

Ellen de Bruijne PROJECTS
Rozengracht 207A
1016 LZ Amsterdam
The Netherlands