Sun, Jul 24, 2005 - Page 4 News List

Near no man's land, artists strive for unity and peace

FEAR OF WAR An artists' installation set near the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, `DMZ-2005,' attempts to reconcile the divisions between the two

NY TIMES NEWS SERVICE , HEYRI ART VALLEY, SOUTH KOREA

The intense surveillance along the demilitarized zone forms a backdrop for the "Evidence Locker" project devised by the American artist Jill Magid in collaboration with the police of Liverpool, England. Every day for a month last year, Magid telephoned the city's video surveyors and asked them to record her at various sites and help guide her through the center of town with her eyes closed.

She then had the tapes released to her as "evidence" and edited them for an installation that dramatizes the prevalence of video surveillance in many urban centers around the world while diffusing its threatening associations and turning it into a tool of intimacy.

3,000 flowers

At the observatory atop nearby Mount Odu, where visitors can look across the demilitarized zone into North Korea, the South Korean artist Ahn Sung-keum has hung a large balloon bearing a new flag she created for the two Koreas.

The flag shows a united Korea filled with 3,000 flowers -- the number symbolizing the length of the Korean Peninsula in traditional measurements.

In clear weather, the observatory can be seen from the North, and the balloon was meant to be visible to North Koreans. The exhibition, however, fell squarely within the rainy season.

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