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Thisinstallation brings together different elements of slow and fast environmentsthat are stopped, stored, freeze framed, repeated and mapped out forpresentation here as well as on the internet.


BasicKorean (15 boxesof video tapes) is an ongoing record of my ongoing studies of Korean. I startedmy studies in the summer of 1995 in Hiroshima (a significant place in theKorean-Japanese history) with the help of Japanese-Korean and Korean tutors. Icontinued studying in New York on my own or with the help of Korean andemigrant Korean tutors. All my efforts have been taped by a surveillance camerain order to help me study and to quantify and represent what is notquantifiable and representable: the process of learning itself, now objectified,totaling more then 400 hours of video tapes.


4Weeks, 5 Days a Week, 6 Hours a Day – Basic Korean (6 boxes of 10 video tapes each)is the art work/performance produced in Kwangju before the exhibition opened.It contains my study of Korean with the help of Korean tutors for the giventime. Similar to Basic Korean, the 120 hours of study were videotaped and presented asan “educational sculpture”.


4Weeks, 5 Days a Week, 6 Hours a Day – Basic Korean (works on paper). These are studysheets tracing parts of my conversations and learning activities. They createan exotic and orientalist reading on the part for the viewer who doesn’tunderstand the language.


4Weeks, 5 Days a Week, 6 Hours a Day – Basic Korean (photographs) depicts my tutorsworking with me. These photographs are part of a larger body of works I referto as “educational photography”.


In thevideo, Please, teach me Korean, I request that Korean speaking people teach me Korean.Korean is only one of a number of foreign languages (including Japanese,Russian, Modern Greek) that I have been studying systematically over manyyears.


Who islearning and is forced to learn, what language and for what reasons? As EdwardSaid and others have well outlined, the academic infrastructure of knowledgeproduction is historically linked with the history of (not just) Europeandomination overseas. It is less about languages and more about the cultural,political, ideological, and economic differences that lie behind languages andlanguage acquisition. With new communication and transit technologies, as wellas with new labor and leisure markets, more and more people are traveling orbeing pushed around the world. It’s complex linguistic geography runs therisk of being reduced to only a few dominating languages. Globalization andtransnational capitalism export imperialistic languages which reinscribethemselves flexibly across borders, also affecting the lives of those who"travel" via information exchange, work, desires, and through theconsumption of goods.



The work http://www.thing.net/basic.korean(wall painting)is an address and Connect (wall painting) and What’s New, what’s Cool,Net Search, People, Software (wall painting) are elements from the interfaceenvironment of the internet, where this installation continues. The internet isa powerful hybrid instrument in the accelerating process of global capitalism,with which something cultural producers are often uncritically complicit.


The wallpainting window, Clifford, travel/translat refers to the book Routes: Travel andTranslation in the Late Twentieth Century by James Clifford.(HarvardUniversity Press: 1997). A discussion of this book is held on the internetwhere I propose a critical message exchange in relationship to it and to issuesthe author raises. Clifford addresses important questions of cultural constructionand representations in uneven post and neo-colonial intercultural exchange.


Theprojections of these abstract(ion)s of discussions, knowledge production, and asoftware environment into an exhibition space serve to propose and solicitmultiple readings and understandings of a book, a language, an exhibition, andits architecture. This exhibition should function like an interface that linkspeople and ideas, works and exhibitions. Please, visit this site andparticipate in a discussion in any language http://www.thing.net/basic.korea.


Rainer Ganahl, Kwangju, Korea, August 1997

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