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Cody Choi at the 57th Venice Biennale

Venice Diary: Slowing down

Amidst the chaos of the vernissage, a place for reflection

By Louise Darblay

In such a context, where the average time spent scanning an exhibition space is unlikely to exceed five minutes, I’m surprised to find myself lingering in the Korean Pavilion for far longer. Ironically, it’s the pavilion’s tacky, garish façade, covered in neon signs supposedly advertising motels, ‘free orgasms’ and peep shows that draws me in. Playing on the casino culture of cities like Macau and Los Angeles, this work by Korea-born, America-based Cody Choi continues the artist’s tongue-in-cheek critique of Western cultural dominance by appropriating and subverting some of its cultural symbols – such as Richard Sanderson’s 1980s hit song ‘Dreams Are My Reality’ or Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker (1904), a replica of which can be found inside the pavilion. But it’s was the more low-key, descriptive work of Lee Wan which holds my attention for the longest time.


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