Friendly Fire

Video installation, 2011-2012

Presented at
A Holiday Love, Project Space SARUBIA, Seoul, 2012
Real DMZ, Woljeongri Station, Cherwon, 2012
Temporary Re-Visionists, space o'new wall, Seoul, 2011

Friendly Fire from Sylbee Kim on Vimeo.


In Sylbee Kim's video installation Friendly Fire the fantasies of war, sexuality and the future form an example of science fiction. Fragmented images of exotic places are inserted in the video, without giving any specific notion on their geographic origin or time period. These somehow familiar yet undecipherable images are projected lingering onto the architectural surface of the empty rooms where the figures later appear. The projective apparatus shown in the video represents the contemporary media to view 'the other world'.

A male voice-over narrates and superimposes different layers of memories. The script is inspired by the South and North Korean relationship, where the discourses on Korean War is often articulated through the rhetoric of a fratricidal tragedy, rendering it into a homosexual incest drama. The protagonist arrives to a remote planet in search of his twin brother and enters a mediating organization to infiltrate the terrorist group apparently joined by the missing twin. During a night march, he mistakes the twin brother as an enemy and shoots. His monologue at a military hearing afterwards is psychological abstraction than structured train of thoughts. The tense and the tone of his narrative are almost random, phrased in the language of uncertain memories mingled with vanished moments of intimacy. The story is overly tragic, loaded by the antinomic nostalgia for the close others and for the eternally exotic somewhere.

The sci-fi subject genre of the journey to the unreachable time and place is amplified into a parallel narrative to the reality of the division, as Friendly Fire is installed at the abandoned Woljeongri Station, the most northern spot on the railway to North Korea, now blocked. The video is combined with installative elements that Kim calls as a sort of "relics from the future". She deliberately misinterprets the Korean proverb saying "birds listen to you during the day, mice at night". The things that currently have no value are rediscovered and introduced as potentially significant relic for the future, imagining that these secretly store our present existence as the day-birds and night-mice might do. The objects are combinations of the collected material from the current security tourist and militarily monitored area around Woljeongri station, extending the world in the video out to the reality to complete the imaginary time and space which is neither the past nor the future.


Friendly Fire
Single channel video, HD, color, sound, 12’55, 2011


Friendly Fire
Video installation, 2011-2012


Relics from the Future: Day-Birds and Night-Mice
Installation, mixed media, dimensions variable, 2011-2012


North Korean Radio
Sound collage, South Korean TV and movie footages, 05'44, 2012



비디오 설치: 단채널 비디오, HD, 컬러, 음향, 12분 55초; 혼합재료, 가변크기, 2011 

비디오 설치 작품 <오인사격>은 전쟁과 성 정체성, 그리고 미래에 대한 판타지를 재구성한 공상 과학물로, 일렁이는 영상의 건축적인 속성을 탐구한다. 비디오에 등장하는 영사 장치는 방문할 수 없는 "다른 세계"를 재현하는 동시대의 매체들을 상징한다. 한편 보이스 오버는 남북한 관계를 조명할 때 자주 등장하는 '동족상잔의 비극'이란 수사를 바탕으로, 남북한을 동성애적 근친 관계로 상정한 드라마를 독백한다.
비디오에서 주인공은 잃어버린 쌍둥이 형을 찾아 다른 행성에 도착하고, 테러리스트 단체에 가담한 형에 접촉하기 위해 중간 조직에 잠입한다. 야간 행군 중 마주친 형을 적으로 오인사격하여 군사재판에 부쳐진 동생의 독백에는 파편적인 기억이 혼재한다.  

도달할 수 없는 곳으로 가는 여정 등 공상과학 장르적인 주제는 북으로 가는 기로에 있는 월정리역에서 상영되면서 분단 현실에 평행한 서사로서 다시 한 번 증폭된다. 덧없이 스러진 애정의 순간들을 묘사하는 이미지와 불명확한 기억의 언어로 구성된 비디오에는 작가가 "미래에서 온 유물"로 명명한 설치 요소가 결합된다. 안보관광지이자 군사 지역인 역 주변에서 새롭게 발굴한 사물을 조합시킨 오브제들은 과거도 미래도 아닌 상상의 시공간을 완성시킨다.



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