Sharing a Bed with the Enemy

Hyeonsuk Seo
(Professor at Yonsei University, Graduate School for Communication and Arts)

Seonghyun Cho’s work is ‘theatrical’. It works as a device revealing the physical presence of a certain subject or a situation. His ‘creation’ becomes complete by the act of arranging physical conditions that culminate in perception. This is how he explores the fundamental condition for physical layers of certain state to be theatricalized.


The legendary element in the drama of the 20th century, the presence, the ’sense of being here’, ruptures definitively. The state of the material that resists linguistic significance with fish-like odor is happening ‘now’ ‘ here’. Metaphor and metonymy, symbols and allegory, all the communication channel conferred upon by the language is violated, and purest material existence arrives.

This is of a property that can be perceived with a single sense. A phenomenon that slipped undetected by one sense is captured by another sense. This is a sufficiently ‘theatrical’ sensation. One has to touch what one cannot see, and listen careful to things one cannot feel with hands. Such substitution of sense establishes a paradox. The paradox that one cannot ‘truly’ feel what exists. The paradox of the liveliness of things is made possible through the lack of such quality.

The multisensory impact and cracks occur from limiting the experience to one sense. ‘Multisensory capacity’ is an endless hybridity of a fusion and division of unrelated senses.

This leads to the significance that an endless compromise is required for ‘representation’. The raw existence wishes to release its sense of pure existence through being embellished by tastes nor processed by linguistic treatment, but perhaps ‘pure existence’ is really just a plausible fiction. The existence in a state of discord of having eliminated linguistic and polemical influence must be the true effect of narration. The conversion of material itself is probably already secretly importing the narration of representation.

If overlapping three primary colors of light produce white lighting, can one say that the ‘white’ ‘exists’ there? Or should one say that all three different waves of light are ‘represented’ in particular forms? Where does one find the boundary between the ‘existence’ and ‘representation’? When would representation be thrown into the layers of the existence? How does the existence physically recruit the system of representation?

Seonghyun Cho’s work ultimately approaches the semiotic and aesthetic dilemma of ‘representation’ through the physical condition. This is a struggle and a secretive formation of intimacy on and with ‘representation.’ What kind of insight and confusion does the physical change of objects bring in when solving the chronic problem of the aesthetic?

In such elaborate process, representation and existence drop their find separation and start mingling with one another. Such seditious and blatant cohabitation flashy like a low-class drama. It is obscene. But, at the same time, humorous. In such way, Seonghyun Cho’s work is ‘theatrical’.