“Kimsooja (b. Taegu, Korea, 1957) is a world-renowned artist, currently living in New York. Her work has been exhibited throughout Asia, America and Europe, and her practice includes installations, photographs, performances and videos. Her subject matter ranges from nomadism, the relationship between self and the other, and addressing the role of women and the human being in the chaotic world in which we live.
Kimsooja uses minimal elements: a translucent diffraction film that covers the vault, the entire glass structure of the palace, a mirror that covers the floor, combined with the sound of the artists’ breathing in the soundtrack The Weaving Factory, 2004. She brings the audience into a transforming experience and invites them to experiment with their minds, mobilizing senses, awareness, and imagination into focus. Kimsooja composed To Breathe – A Mirror Woman specifically for the space configuration of the Palacio de Cristal in Madrid. The artist incorporates the architectural structure of the building into the mirrors on the floor, to expand and unite space.
Outside light filters through the glass of the pavilion and reflects off the diffraction film. It diffuses into rainbow spectrums, transforming the external panorama seen from within the palace. The resulting effect is that the entire structure as well as the rays of colour reflecting off the mirrored floor. Natural light, colour, and sound are all ethereal elements within the empty space. The artist’s breathing from the performance, The Weaving Factory, bounces off the mirrors and fills the entire building to intermix with it, breaking down barriers of inside and outside, self and other, and reality and fantasy.”
Palacio de Cristal, Parque del Retiro, Madrid
April 27 to July 24, 2006
Courtesy of Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. Curated by Oliva María Rubio. Coordinated by Mónica Carballas and Rafael García.