Below is Bae Se Jin’s unedited statement regarding his recent “Waiting for Godot” series of ceramic works:
“‘En Attendant Godot’ is a famous drama written by Samuel Beckett. ‘Gogo’ and ‘Didi’ are waiting for ‘Godot’. A boy says ‘Godot’ cannot come today. They keep waiting for ‘Godot’. What is the ‘Godot’? I think ‘Godot’ is the passage of time. I began to record the time on clay. Cutting, breaking, pressing numbers and affixing, I repeat these actions numerous times. I make a mass of the time.“— Bae Se Jin
The laps of time involves duration, repetition, transformation, circulation. It is continuous, repetitive and circular. The change always follows with the repetition and circulation. This time is along with nature as well as human. However, modern society increasingly separates it between human and nature, which has become the main cause of the alienation of human beings, and prevalent in modern society. In the boundary of art, a study of the laps of time is ultimately a study of the human. Samuel Beckett revealed the laps of time in nature in his play ‘Waiting for Godot’, by the two main characters repeatedly waiting for the Godot. Beckett’s plays become the motives of my work and title.
Working with the clay as a natural material is unifying the time of nature and human. The clay contains the time of duration, repetition, transformation and circulation. And the artist inevitably harmonizes himself with the laps of time in nature. And the one who work with have to match the time with it inevitably, in order to work with. I think the essentiality of the clay material is the laps of time, and worked through with the clay to reveal the laps of time. The continuous repetition of labor would be inevitable in order to visualize infinite of time because human is mortal. Putting the serial numbers and attaching tens of thousands of small blocks leads me to the stage of impassivity and makes super temporal experience. I discover myself in super temporal experience. The experience of these can be passed through by the work made by constant repetition of labor, to the audience too.
I tried to visualize and record the laps of time in nature by working with it. The continuing repetition of labor helps me to overcome with alienation of human beings and to discover myself by the super temporal experience. Recording the laps of time gets its meaning only when performed repeatedly for a long time and it can deliver to audiences. So, I think the last three years of work experience is not me long. On the basis of what I have studied, I will try to get closer to the repetitive and circular time of nature by continuing repetition of labor.
Bae Se Jin is an artist from Seoul. Statement courtesy of Art Smart Seoul.
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