American Suburb X : : April 2010
The darkness and the empty stare out at and pervade everything and look at you and say “you are us”. You, alone in the silence, in your dreams, in the pondering… you exhale and look further inward. The clouds turn from circles to black and your heart matches them.
You sit alone on the ice and the rocks… the mist covering the opening to the sky. You can’t see the sky, maybe the sky has left you forever and the ice and the rock are all that you will ever now know.
The desert is empty and the old wreckage that once was a school bus hisses at you as the wind runs through its jagged edges. The children are no more and the child in you is also gone. You know now that the child inside of you can never return, the knowingness came and killed them, only memories remain but they are leaving you faster than they came.
The trees are twisted into ugly shapes and they howl at you with their wind-like voices telling you that you are just like them. You are ugly, you are broken and you have no life left in you. All you are is broken and all you are is dry, all you are is crying like they are, empty sounds and howling shrieks that cry out into the nothing with nothing howling back at you in return.
The broken piano keys sit there laughing at you in their impotence and you in yours. The keys are withered and cracked as they sit there, only as a thing now that has no music. The music that once was played is only a memory and that memory is evaporating on the stillness of the wind. There will be no more music for you.
As you look up through the open beams of the empty house into the nothingness, you feel nothing, the “home” is gone and only the shell remains. The warmth and the belonging has left long ago to be replaced by the infinite and the empty space. You no longer have a “home”… only a frame and an empty shell, forever in which to dwell.
The single window frame juts up from the broken rock wall and you peer through it into the cloud. You wish that you could build everything up around it but you have no strength now, only weakness. Your body gives up and your heart has nothing left. You stare into the cloud, through the window in the broken wall and you know that this is it. You can never go back to the way that it once was.
Jungjin Lee, in her poetic volume “Wind” speaks of the nothing and of the empty. She speaks of the eternal, of the pain, of memory and of the past moving on or being stuck. In her melancholy manipulation of the landscape and of its elements, of its human objects, she expresses those complex feelings that defy you to put them into words… that dare you to try and describe them with logic. She address the complexities of the heart, of reflection and of loss… of loss of the self, of loss of love, of loss of life… complexities that are from the depths and that know no end. Only if humans cease to exist, would they have an end. But perhaps those feelings would remain, somehow embedded in the land. She paints those feelings in silence and in emotion that roars. Howling winds that are invisible, yet chill to the bone as they scream and roar. She takes you into that abyss of the infinite and lets you stare at what it is to look at the forever.
“Wind” as a body of work is without category and that is what it is all about. Work without category is what we need in this craft. Yes, of course work within a category and created in the context of a concept can be strong and special, but that without category takes us to a place that we need to go. We need to feel and we need to understand by feeling versus intellect, we need to forget about the conceptual and let the object imprint itself on our self… let the object and its language make its mark within us… on us.
That mark on our “self”, if the work or the object can make it, then something special has been done.
By virtue of this logic then, “Wind” clearly is something special.