February 9 - March 3, 2023
Contemporary Art Gallery Lobby
Featuring A. Branch, Danielle Bobier, Kyla Dooley, Hannah Dubois, Ysabel Gana, and Pierre Kaufman.
During their CAG Prize Residency, The Couch organizers Debbie Chan and Sena Cleave spent time in the Contemporary Art Gallery’s Abraham Rogatnik Library, where they encountered Kim Beom’s artist book Hometown. This book inspired the call for art objects to which the six emerging artists featured in Hometown II responded.
First published in 1998 in Seoul, Korea, Hometown is about Ungyeri, a town that does not exist. Artist Kim Beom invites readers to learn about Ungyeri in order to claim it as their hometown, explaining that because the town does not exist, no one can contest these claims. The book acts as a guide for those who do not know their hometown or do not wish to reveal it though they have one. And “even if you do not have such a need,” Kim writes, “some of you may want to imagine a small, nameless mountain village or wish to have stories about places other than those that everybody recognizes by name or large, stifling cities.” He instructs readers on how to take on the qualities of a former Ungyeri resident, including details about the town’s location, customs, economics, and history.
In the preface to the English edition of the book, Kim adds “it would indeed have been ideal if I could have created a hometown for each of you somewhere in your own country that has an environment similar to those of other people’s hometowns.” The Couch takes this as an invitation to continue Kim’s work of imagining space and place, intervening in existing infrastructures, and playing with narratives of belonging.
Photo by Paige Smith