X's confession
who could be anybody or nobody




Deabum Lee / Art Critic


The sphinx is not the cause of my fear,
it is an explanation of my feeling of oppression.
- Jorge Luis Borges, Seven Nights


The series of works by Bona Park, X, XX, X2 are the same format regardless of different viewing contexts. In the exhibition space, window opens outward and a binocular is on the table without any elements arresting one's attention. As fundamental meanings of glass window and binocular imply, Bona Park asks audience to look further beyond exhibition space. But ones' eyes are stopped on the surface of the window on which the stories of X in different layers (X, XX, X2) are written. Having that story in mind, audience turn their gaze from the surface of the window, outside of the window, and back in to the exhibition space.

Surface of the window: reflecting
What is important in X and X2 is that the window, on which the relationship between 'I' who have described full story of what anonymous X has told is written without changing a word (writer emphasized), is presented as a mirror. Basically two stories go like this. X and 'I' are two different personas standing opposite side of the window, in and out. 'Suddenly' a woman, who has a 'common looking' face came and talk to me. X. She told me her story and 'I' wrote the story as I was told, meaning 'I' was the one writing and there is no story about me in it. Even the only moment 'I' can speak something of my own (X's name), X hesitates. In other words, X dictated a story to me and the text on the surface of the window is a statement identifying me with X. Though X only speaks and 'I' only (listen) write, it is of the same voice in terms of language. In this sense, X speaks only when she meets me who could actually verbalize her words. X who is very talkative only in the presence of me, never speaks or limits her talk to minimum.

In X, X spends most of her time "looking at computer her computuer monitor"; in XX, X "sacrificing evertthing for her artwork" working 13 hours a day; and in X2, X kills time "reading a last issue magazine or a boring book sitting in the corner of the gallery." This limited talk is applied to the guard at the Gana Art Center who has the same face of X in X2. On this wise, X who seemed living very monotonous life came to 'me' right after she has done what she has wanted. That is, getting an answer why the one left X (X) and finishing a plan to kill the same faced one (X2). Her desire is finally verbalized only through 'me'.

Outside of the window: passing through
Window is a mirror but not a mirror, and inside of the window is completely different form the outside. Though one should be in front of a mirror to see oneself, there isn't 'me (or X)' before the window. Only the evidence (text) that they were there is presented. Now the third persona, the audience comes into view. He or she is standing in front of the window but the window is not reflecting him/her but showing the trace of X and 'me'. Then where is the audience? How about me and X? Nothing like presumption that there would be me reflected upon the window, there are only a hint of 'me' and X who both could be disappeared or even did not eXist in the first place. The audience sees beyond the window that is full of text proving X is (was or not) there. By using binocular, audience tries to find X in close sight.

In XX, however, there is no one who tells 'me' the story. 'I' wrote what I 'found' by myself (or hope to find) through X. As the title XX makes obvious, this work is of symmetrical format. There are two buildings (Big Baths / Ben Pimlott), each one with text introducing the same persona X. X is the one in the other building, reading the text on the window as I do and looking at the other building (in which 'I' am situated) with a binocular. What audiences are doing in two different places is finding X as it is described in the story only to find people behaving the same way as they do. After all, the act of finding X vanishes (disappears).

A symmetrical structure of XX seems it is indicating X standing in front of mirror. But could the one in the mirror be the perfect clone of oneself? As Lacan once said 'the Ego is the product of m?connaissance', and so the one in the mirror does not identify with oneself, existing as another person. That means there is a gap between the image that one thinks of oneself and the real one. The later X in the title constantly tries to unite with the former X who runs away constantly. They can never be one. Though a binocular in exhibition space is a means to unite X who is in distance right in front of one's eyes, this union never happens as there still is a gap as much as the length of the binocular.

Inside the window: there is no mirror (window)
If XX is of symmetry, X2 represents difference which shows they are destined to fail in self-identification. The question that "what is the most horrifying thing you can imagine to have two identical copies of in the world?" sounds like a provocative claim saying in front of a mirror that 'there is no mirror'. In X and XX, inside the exhibition space were places for audience to see outside. X and 'I' only exist on the window as a text. In X2, however, there is a person (guard), who could be the disappeared X or not is sitting at the corner of the exhibition space. So what audience first get to see is neither window, binocular nor outside beyond the window, but a guard sitting quietly holding his/her breath. The audience is looking away from the existence in the mirror with their back to the mirror (window). X in X2 asked a strange man to kill the woman (guard at Gana Art Center) who is same faced with X. "You must do this for me. Please attack her face. Do not make a mistake. Squash her face like mashed potatoes. Crush it... Crush it.... Until there is nothing left. So that no-one will see her face again..." After a couple of days, he and the same faced guard have disappeared. Then who is this person that you are looking at right now inside the exhibition place? Is it the X who went to see her ex-boyfriend with a gun three years ago? A future artist of promise yet holding her breath? A guard doing her duty at the Total museum? Bored guard at Gana Art Center? 'Me' listening to X's story? An audience looking for X? The one in the other building trying to find X with a binocular? Or you? It could be one of any of these or none of these at all.