We’re in the habit of talking about site-specific installations, but time-specific would be a more appropriate tag for Eun Hyung Kim’s new exhibition at Gallery 400. The artist’s ever-increasing catalog of images is equally journalistic, confessional, and allegorical: a man urinates on his own face (decapitated, in the toilet), a person grows from a tree, a brain swells with Marsden-esque linework, a man drowns in his own water-filled chest, a makeshift machine dislocates a man’s arms and legs. In each short sadistic narrative there is no conclusion, only a video loop.
Kim’s imagery is both cryptic and accessible—perhaps uncomfortably so. This dynamic is the strength of Kim’s multimedia installation, titled “Designing Eros.” Eros, from the Greco-Roman pantheon, is sexual desire, and literally translates as madness from the gods. Twentieth-century psychoanalytic theory paired expressions of Eros with Thanatos, or the death drive. Here, Kim is not, assuredly, presenting us with the expression of the maddened artist, but reminds us that our viewing habits thrive—and are threatened by—pleasure. (Andrew Blackley)
Through June 12 at Gallery 400, 400 S. Peoria