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Chris Marker at l’Atelier Hermès

Chris Marker and Coréens

Atelier Hermès in Seoul presents French photographer and director Chris Marker’s photographic series Korean Women, last seen in Korea in 1959. An exploratory dialogue, and a tribute to Korea’s performing artists, the work was created just months before Marker’s death.

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - Chris Marker at l’Atelier Hermès
© Chris Marker, 1957

The spring 2013 exhibition at Atelier Hermès presents a historical project by French director and photographer Chris Marker (1921-2012). Organised with Marker shortly before his death, the show features his series Korean Women, created in 1957, together with a selection of films. Four years after the end of the Korean War, Chris Marker was one of very few journalists authorised to travel in North Korea, bringing back a series of female portraits, and an unprecedented chronicle of everyday life, described by the photographer as ‘a short film in stills’. The collected photographers, censored on both sides of Korea’s north-south border, was published by Editions du Seuil (in France) in 1959, as a ‘cinematic essay’ – a unique opus in the artist’s ephemeral ‘Courts Métrages’ collection.   

Chris Marker’s work is a reference for contemporary art and experimental cinema, yet it has never been shown in Korea. Atelier Hermès curator Jee-Sook Beck invites four Korean artists to engage in an ‘imaginary dialogue’ with Marker, the author of the film La Jetée (‘The Jetty’).

Hong-Goo Kang uses a 6x6 format identical to Marker’s in Korean Women. Jae Oon Rho offers a reinterpretation in video of the north Korean landscapes captured by Chris Marker. Yoon-Suk revisits Marker’s narrative work and political activism, with a film highlighting Korea’s contemporary political scene. Finally, Sejun Hwang uses traditional painting techniques to examine the Western intellectual ‘journey into the Orient,’ as represented by the figure of Chris Marker.

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L'Atelier, Seoul, Korea 630-26 Shinsa-Dong, Gangnam-Gu, Seoul

Free admission: from 05/04/2013 to 11/06/2013


Curator: Jee-Sook Beck