Beyond the sea 2018 continues Bona Park’s exploration of themes of extinction and redundancy brought about by human activity, technological development and economic imperatives. Its three channels each focus on an individual working behind the scenes in Korea’s film and television industry – a voice actor, a lighting operator and a stunt performer – whose roles have become precarious with shifts in cinematic fashion and financing.
The work’s central monologue, read by the voice actor, is drawn from French playwright Marguerite Duras’s experimental 1981 film The Atlantic Man – an ode to a departed lover. The ‘you’ addressed by the central monologue is directed toward film and television workers, and the profession of voice acting in particular. Once popular for dubbing foreign films, many voice actors were made redundant after the global financial crisis of 2008, their function replaced by subtitling.
Abstracted from their workaday context and framed by Bona Park’s videography, the actions of all three professionals take on a poetic resonance. Deeper readings are also possible – both of the oblique cinematic references inherent in each action, and of the broader conditions of labour in jobs that are vulnerable to obsolescence, the workforce equivalents of endangered species in the natural world.
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Delve deeper into APT9 with Martha Atienza
Born into a family of seafarers, Martha Atienza creates video, sound and installation works that explore the experience of being at sea and address histories of migration, labour, environmental degradation and identity.
More than 400 000 Filipinos work on board some type of vessel, making them the largest group of seafaring people in the world. Atienza uses art as a tool for social change by working directly with the community of Madridejos on Bantayan Island, where her family is from, to address the problems this small fishing community faces due to poverty, environmental change, and the long absence of family members at sea.
Atienza’s work, while based on specifically local concerns and culture, has global significance and highlights common issues shared across the more than 7000 islands of the Philippines.
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APT9 has been assisted by our Founding Supporter Queensland Government and Principal Partner the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments.
Bona Park is supported by Arts Council Korea
Feature image detail: Bona Park’s Beyond the sea (still) 2018
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