Semiosis – Symbolization and Repetition - Kang, Taesung , Art Critic)

Semiosis – Symbolization and Repetition

Miro Kim creates a wide variety of animal images such as a puppy, lamb, and horse in copperplate and lithography, arranging or overlapping the images repetitively. The animal images are imbued with her subjective emotion rather than conveying any conventional, symbolic connotation. In The Bored Puppy a puppy is presented in a dull pose, sat on the ground in a standstill like a two-dimensional fragmented form. The two forms are repeated by two, making viewers feel boredom through the puppies. In Liberal Rats Kim connotes the meaning of being captured in stereotyped reality and closed space through rats scattered here and there in the four corners of the frame. In this work the artist creates basic forms in printmaking and diversely places them, thereby generating a completely different scene.

The modeling quality of repetition also appears in Accumulated Pictures-Animal Drawing in which animal motifs repetitively overlap and fill a scene. As in the repetition compulsion Sigmund Freud argued for, Kim’s repetition can be seen as the case of a little boy healing his wound caused by the absence of his mother, working off dissatisfaction in a process of throwing his toys away and getting hold of them (fort-da), but this contains another meaning: duality engendered when form repeats. This means an object is denied in part and its original meaning becomes heterogeneous as a form emphasized through repetition, and this form becomes obscure by a form presented later due to the feature of overlapping. That is to say, dichotomous thinking (underlining sameness or difference) is dissolved by movement (bascule) between the two (identification and heterogeneity).

This also recollects the ‘shaking moment or movement’ between sameness and difference Jacques Lacan defined. This moment and movement is presented as a significant frame of her work. Repetition also presents the meaning of signs to the artist. We often misunderstand all forms and things as ‘signs’, audaciously trying to apply semiotics to all cases. This is not true, however. Hubert Damisch explains “any sign, whether it is visual or aural, can be referred to as a sign only when it has the structure of articulation’.” This means linguistically ‘father’ must be divided or analyzed into ‘f-a-t-h-e-r’, to be visually same.

In this sense Miro Kim’s work has the structure of numerous dogs, lambs, and horses formed through sign articulation and the collection of ‘monemes’. This accounts for her formation of ‘sentences’ through a complex creation of monemes. Her interest in creating words and sentences formatively is rare in Korean art. In this respect her art can be called ingenious. I am looking forward to her presentation of more creative and diverse formative semantic structures.

By Kang Tae-sung, Art Critic