E-Witness is a one week event organised in co-operation with amongst others the artist initiative Art Ze-An from Seoul, South Korea and Theatre of Wrong Decisions from the Netherlands and hosted by the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) and Quartair.
Quartair has the exhibition part.
The show reflects on the role of women in war.
According to the exhibition text the cardinal question is “How can we analyze mechanisms of power and abuse both from the past and the present, towards the future?”
As usual the way to find an answer is more interesting than the answer itself.
It results in an interesting exhibition with works varying from very expressive to very hermetic.
The works by the Koreans reflect, as far as it is manifest, on the victim role of Korean women during the Japanese occupation and the Korean War.
With such a heavy and still open historic trauma it is probably difficult not to reflect on.
As such the danger is that too little attention is given to the present position of women in war, or even at war, and to a diversion from the victimhood that is too narrow a focus to assess the role of women (or others) in war.
Most works are interesting, but some need more explanation.
For instance, the untitled video work by Min Cheol-hong looks quite wonderful but what is the connection with the issue?
Even one of the most beautiful works in the show, Bouquet of Memories by Kim Su-hyang, surely has more to say than just itself.
The works are still on show over this weekend.
© Villa Next Door 2018
Contents of all photographs courtesy to the artists and to Quartair, Den Haag