The Realm Between Spectator and Performer, 2017, O New Wall E'Juheon, Seoul, South Korea
Supported bySeoul Foundation For Arts and Culture, Seoul Metropolitan Government, and Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism

The Realm Between Spectator and Performer

(When the position and role of art are in confusion and deprivation)
Text by Jihyun Kim in 2014

According to Hannah Arendt, the role of onlooking spectators as observers (zuschauer) is more important than that of the actors (akteure) [1]. Spectators are “on the outside looking in” and are thus able to assess, to form judgments and potentially able to communicate feedback to performers, thus allowing them a chance and change or improvement of their performance [2]. Boris Groys points out that today’s spectators are no longer static but are engaged in a form of kinesis, a “traveling” in a context involving partnership of participants [3]. The forms of contemporary art – time-based, interactive, participatory, situational – have repositioned the traditional notion of the spectator, and have made vita activa (active life) and vita contemplativa (contemplative life) indistinguishable from one another...

Works Cited

[1][2] Hannah Arendt, Lectures on Kant's Political Philosophy, ed. Ronald Beiner (Chicago, 1989).
[3] Boris Groys, Going Public (Berlin, New York: Sternberg Press, 2010), p. 99.
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