Excluding the moments when displayed in exhibitions, vast museum collections usually remain stored deep within museum cellars, sometimes destined to be forgotten. Married by Powers is a project that re-illuminates varying aspects of these collections, exhibiting them and imbuing them, from new perspectives, with new meaning.
Together with the Mediacity Seoul 2016 exhibition team, Bik Van der Pol made a preliminary selection of 139 pieces from among the nearly 4000 pieces in the collection of the Seoul Museum of Art. This selection is guided by some basic questions including the following: Does the artwork contribute to an understanding of the context of Korean contemporary art and society? Is the work related to the key questions posed by Mediacity Seoul 2016? Does the work provide a way of viewing the geographical, historical, and social landscape of the city of Seoul? And, in a larger perspective, could one speculate on the future of the museum as a space for conserving knowledge and information?
By installing the storage environment (the works in their crates) into the exhibition hall, Married by Powers is emphasizing both exhibition and storage. Along with three artworks chosen by Bik Van der Pol, seven videos of interviews with Bik Van der Pol and the six guest curators, articulating their choices, are exhibited for the entire duration of the exhibition as parameters that mediate the space. To some, this scene may seem like a disaster zone, but to others it will feel like a place where the gifts we have inherited are outspread before us.