The Institute of International Visual Arts (Iniva), London, is currently hosting two concurrent exhibitions that share an interest in manipulating the documentary form to explore themes of religion, history, aspirational society and the role of film in the modern world. The work of filmmakers Park Chan-kyong (South Korea) and Lina Selander (Sweden) is now showing at the London institution as part of an EU-funded research project into internationalism and the legacy of colonialism.
Park’s Pa-Gyong – Last Sutra Recitation, offers a new take on the folk religious practices of his country, such as shamanism and utopian religious communities, dating from the Japanese occupation through the Cold War to the present day. The name is taken from a sacred song sung by a shaman at the end of a ritual; the ceremony is organised by an individual to help dead friends and relatives reach heaven, but it also does the trick for any unrelated and nameless spirits in the vicinity who happen to be stuck in limbo. Park’s films are intended to do something similar, acting as a remembrance and blessing for the past. Open System – Silphium and Other Works is composed of three recent films by Selander along with a collection of materials from the artist’s archive. The Swedish artist links contemporary society with the historic and prehistoric through her work, asking the viewer to reconsider the image as both document, memory and object.
The two exhibitions run until 21 March.