WATCH OUT #8: Agnessa Schmudke on Mooni Perry
Mooni Perry's (b. 1990 in Seoul, South Korea; lives and works in Berlin and Seoul) artistic practice intriguingly interweaves documentary and academic research with fantasy, speculation, gaming, and science fiction. I enjoy following her complex explorations of individual and collective realities, often employing feminist discourse, sociological inquiry, or investigations into human-animal relationships, and being reminded that the human experience lies beyond the linear.
Mooni studied painting in Seoul and London, but works predominantly in video, installation and performative formats today. In her most recent work, Binlang Xishi (2022), a three-channel video installation, she explores the concept of 'uncleanliness' in different socio-cultural contexts. In the first chapter, a Pansori singer chants about the metaphor of the 'double fall' – an alienation from the binary of good and evil, upon which societal frameworks are built. Binlang Xishi, the so-called betel nut beauties of Taiwan, are considered the subjects of this falling, with their work often meeting public disfavor. Mooni illustrates how the (passive) fall and the (active) jump can be connected and agency regained– by incorporating 3D animations, references to anime culture, and cartoonish ‘portals’, through which the marginalized individuals may enter a new space-time continuum.
Binlang Xishi exemplifies Mooni’s artistic approach that I find inspiring: her works are based on long-term research that blends interviews and fieldwork with associative and fantastical elements to create a more complex notion of reality. Mooni and I met through her residency at Callie's, an experimental art institution and residency space in Berlin-Wedding, where I worked as a curator for four years. Since then, we have worked together on multiple occasions, including through Mooni's collaborative practice at AFSAR (Asian Feminist Studio for Art and Research), a platform she co-founded with Hanwen Zhang to promote collective learning and exchange.
About Agnessa Schmudke
Agnesa Schmudke is an art historian and curator, currently working as assistant curator at LAS Art Foundation in Berlin. Before joining LAS in fall of 2023, she was part of Callie’s, an experimental arts institution dedicated to fostering creativity and cultural exchange through residencies, exhibitions, and public programs. As curator, Agnessa accompanied the residencies of artists such as Camille Henrot, nora chipaumire, Baudry / Lorenz, and Colin Self and organized a variety of public programmes, including exhibitions, performances, and readings.