Kimsooja | “A Beggar Woman” & “A Homeless Woman”

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Artist Kimsooja reflects on her series of videotaped performances — A Beggar Woman and A Homeless Woman (both 2000-01) — realized in cities around the world: Cairo, Delhi, Lagos, and Mexico City.

Kimsooja’s videos and installations blur the boundaries between aesthetics and transcendent experience through their use of repetitive actions, meditative practices, and serial forms. In many pieces, everyday actions—such as sewing or doing laundry—become two- and three-dimensional or performative activities. In videos that feature her in various personas (Needle Woman, Beggar Woman, Homeless Woman), she leads us to reflect on the human condition, offering open-ended perspectives through which she presents and questions reality.

Kimsooja is featured in the Season 5 (2009) episode Systems of the Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century television series on PBS.

Her work can currently be seen in the exhibitions Your Bright Future at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (through February 14th, 2010) and Dress Codes: The Third ICP Triennial of Photography and Video at the International Center of Photography in New York (through January 17th, 2010).

VIDEO | Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Richard Numeroff. Sound: Merce Williams. Editor: Lizzie Donahue & Paulo Padilha. Artwork Courtesy: Kimsooja.

Contributor
Wesley Miller is the associate curator at ART21. Miller co-curates the television series Art in the Twenty-First Century. He is also co-creator of the series New York Close Up.
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  2. June Edmonds says:

    Thanks, Wesley!

    Reply

  3. js says:

    You do not “become” a beggar by someone giving you money while you “pretend” to be a beggar. You become a beggar from a life of inadequacy and lack of sustenance, losing your pride, and maybe a little bit of yourself. Big difference from an artist’s performance. You go back to your home, hot food on table, after your performance.

    Reply

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