Young Joon Kwak’s Trans/Feminine Visions / Hyperallergic

Young Joon Kwak, video still from “Untitled (Am I Pretty Mommy. . . ), 2014. All images courtesy of the artist and Commonwealth & Council Gallery, Los Angeles.

Young Joon Kwak, video still from “Untitled (Am I Pretty Mommy. . . ), 2014. All images courtesy of the artist and Commonwealth & Council Gallery, Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES — There is a new mutant form emerging, pushing its way past the thin layer that separates the interior and exterior world. In Young Joon Kwak’s exhibition at Commonwealth & Council, Mother Spill, the artist’s body overtakes her mind, erupting into the world in a way that is neither graceful, flawless, nor incredulous — it’s just pure guts and gore, beautiful in its grotesqueness. Everything about this work is goop, puddles, not-yet-formed definitions, and a sense of breaking free, a continual realization of becoming — of never having arrived. Kwak, who performs as Xina Xurner, creates new definitions of trans/femininity that reveal a delight in the grotesque, and a raw, multi-colored wave of visual sensations.

These new definitions erupt in a conscious realization of gendered time. Seminal filmmaker/performance artist Maya Deren, often referred to as the high priestess of experimental cinema, discusses feminine and masculine definitions of time. In the documentary In the Mirror of Maya Deren, the artist is explains how, for men, things happen in the now. The time quality of a woman, Deren explains, is much different — the woman has strength to wait. She must wait nine months for a child; time is built into her body in a state of becoming, and she is in constant metamorphosis. A woman’s sense of time, Deren claims, could not be more different from that of a man. Deren’s films represent a dream reality, or an inner reality, on film, and that too is gendered. These ideas of gendered time relate to Kwak’s trans/feminine body and spirit.

Read the full story on Hyperallergic: http://hyperallergic.com/153755/young-joon-kwaks-transfeminine-visions/