Land: Scarcity banquet:
'The living have to eat, to be sure.' Pak Kyung-Ni, Land
MOUTH (Edia Connole and Scott Wilson) & the Korean Society of Ireland
Screening of FESTIN by Wojciech Doroszuk
DATE: 8 June
VENUE: Smock Alley Theatre
BOOKING: Eventbrite http://www.eventbrite.com/event/6828400931/efblike.
'To feed is the most basic verb, the most fundamental, the most rooted. It expresses the primordial activity, the primary basic function, the act "I" engage in even before I am born, or begin breathing. Because of it I belong to the land forever. Like the smallest animal crawling in the dirt, like the smallest plant, I began by feeding myself.' Francois Julien, Nourrir sa vie: A l’ecart du bonheur
For the second installment of The Prosperity Project, MOUTH, in collaboration with The Korean Society of Ireland, is hosting ‘A Scarcity Banquet,’ which explores the role of hunger and famine in national consciousness based in an ambivalent relationship with the land; source of life and sustenance yet always a site of struggle, steeped in histories of expropriation and exploitation. The food for this banquet has been sourced, devised and developed with TKSOI on the basis of ingredients inscribed with the trauma of Irish and Korean societies. The central concept expressing this trauma is han. Understood by Koreans to be the essential national experience, han is formed from sentiments of loss and rage at the severance of wholeness and continuity between self and history. The accumulated emotions of sufferers, han can be projected onto any political ordeal, but is taken by MOUTH to be the lived response to communal instances of colonization and famine. The reason for this is of course not to attempt to reproduce or mimic the desperate conditions of these instances, but to heighten, even in a context of festive and philosophical enjoyment, an awareness of hunger as both a force of transformation and commemoration of social and political bonds. Hunger changes the world, transgresses the taboos that structure social identities and hierarchies, radically changing perspectives on what should and should not be eaten, and with whom one can and cannot eat.
For the late Pak Kyung-Ni, author of Land (1969-94), arguably the most powerful and important piece of Modern Korean literature, the deep-rooted even chthonic sorrow of han is paradoxically best expressed in convivial and festive fashion, just like in the Irish Wake, where mourning and melancholia are ameliorated by eating and drinking. Moving from han to MOUTH, then, in the wake of the dead and insurgency of the land, this the latest installment of The Prosperity Project marks the desire for a banquet in which living and eating well is the best tribute and revenge.
Festin, a film by Polish artist Wojtek Doroszuk, takes as its inspiration the paintings of the 17th century Flemish animalist artists Frans Snyder and Jan and Ferdinand Van Kessel combined with post humanistic experimentation to envisage a future world in which the human has disappeared.
The film portrays a vanitas tableau of decay and disorder where the guests have been usurped by uninvited intruders. The imagery within the film brings to mind a sort of post apocalyptic epilogue of humankind,a portent of a future referring to various present day representations of ghost towns and abandoned settlements from around the world.
To get involved with The Prosperity Project and for a programme of events, check Create's website and The Prosperity Project on Facebook.