A Needle Woman, still from video, Performed and filmed in Paris, 2009, 25:00 min loop, silent
Commissioned by Nuit Blanche Paris, 2009
I’m a Student Exhibition Guide at the Henry. You can see me around during the Saturday Public Tour at 12pm, and at art events.
This year my favorite piece so far has been Kimsooja’s A Needle Woman, it was a video in the Stroum gallery with Now Here is Also Nowhere: Part I exhibit. In the video we see the artist standing still wearing a gray smock that washes her out of the crowded street. People walk pass and around her without stopping or even realizing that she is there. For a while, I waited to see her move but then my focus moved through the faces in the crowd. At this point I was awed by the vibrations of the colors in the white t-shirts, red lipstick, and blue blues. The slow motion take allows the viewer to notice details and time. The aim of Now Here is Also Nowhere was to bring together works that attempt to represent intangible ideas. In our time many artists have taken up the task to visually express feelings of love, brotherhood, death, and in A Needle Woman, we see humanity.
While A Needle Woman was on display I made a point to include it in my tours. I am always interested to hear opinions from visitors of all ages and backgrounds. On one occasion, after watching it with a group of Saturday visitors they all agreed that the overall feeling was loneliness. Even though, the artist was surrounded by many people she was ignored. Through Kimsooja’s stillness the viewer found themselves in the same perspective, everyone felt still and ignored. In A Needle Woman, the feeling of loneliness in today’s most crowded cities is expressed. The viewer senses this loneliness and lack of connectivity between everyday people. I find that this feeling is human and that everyone senses loneliness and embraces it differently. The film documents the lack of communication and intents to show feelings that the modern life does not make time for anymore.
While on other tours, this idea of universal loneliness prompted a whole new conversation with a group of kindergarteners. We talked about manners, and everyday courtesies that we notice. The group concluded that in everyday situations we should all communicate with each other, even if it is only to say hello to the morning bus driver.