Sowon Kwon

Full Haus
2042 Griffith Park Blvd
September 2, 2017–December 3, 2017

Sowon Kwon, Coffee Table and Escritoire (after Godwin), 1994, wood, paint, plaster, dimensions variable. Installation View.

Sowon Kwon’s current exhibition highlights the importance of punctuation in successful communication. For example: the comma, that curlicue of the sentence, was invented to accommodate written language to the process of reading out loud. The mark heralds a caesura while simultaneously conjoining words and clauses; such are the hairline semiotics of this artist’s work.

From Coffee Table and Escritoire (after Godwin), 1994, a relief-sculpture re-creation of an “Anglo-Japanese” design by Edward William Godwin, to Fiction, 2017, a relief covered in false eyelashes, to a collection of artist’s books, these works delight in the collation of disparate things, undermining legibility and singularity of authorship or identity. By freely associating artists such as Ed Ruscha, Sylvia Plath, and herself (as in the artist’s book dongghab, 2010), Kwon imagines a self-portraiture fabricated from the most diminutive of links. In her book S as in Samsam, 2017, she draws upon the droll chance of homographs, short-circuiting the relation between signal and sign—in this case, “sam,” the Korean word for teacher, and the English given name. The pieces here seem made for interior space—domestic and psychological, between and inside the subject and the predicate, the seen and the read, and in the breath taken for a pause.

— Meg Whiteford