Unfulfilled Desires


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Unfulfilled Desires
Physical Description:
Project in lieu of thesis
Kim, Hye Young
College of Fine Arts; University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla
Publication Date:


The project-in-lieu of thesis, Unfulfilled Desires investigates how a tongue can “speak itself” to express unconscious, repressed, or unfulfilled desires by simple but repetitive actions. Desire is formless like solid colors, but is actualized by projecting fantasy onto a subject. Desire is like a strange and endless loop between reality and fantasy, never fully satisfied in either case. Unfulfilled Desires is a video installation composed of two synchronized High Definition videos, Unfulfilled Desire I_idiosyncrasy and Unfulfilled Desire II_blindness, which capture hyper-details of a tongue performing tasks such as melting a lollipop and licking honey. By contrasting two different means of fulfilling desire, I show that desire is not fulfilled upon completion of the task in Unfulfilled Desire I_idiosyncrasy, nor is desire satiated through infinite supply in Unfulfilled Desire II_blindness. In Unfulfilled Desire I_ idiosyncrasy, a tongue licks a lollipop until it is completely dissolved. This performance focuses on the simple, mechanical actions of the tongue, which licks the lollipop while never truly consuming it. The color blue is the most familiar hue for sky or sea, but it is the most unfamiliar color for human skin or food. The saturated blue of the tongue, face, and lollipop provides a saccharin pleasure and implies fantasy. Unfulfilled Desire I_ idiosyncrasy exposes the physical process of the transformation of the lollipop into a warm and sticky syrup mixed with saliva. The work contrasts the sweet pleasure of desire with the fatigue induced by the tongues action. In Unfulfilled Desire II_blindness, honey dripping from a sword becomes a trigger to attract the tongue like a flower attracts bees. The color red communicates desire as an intense and reckless force, knowing danger yet tempting fate. The contrast between the strong and sharp steel of a sword and the soft and vulnerable muscle of the tongue increases the tension between blind desire and dangerous pleasure. A tongue doesn’t have eyes. A tongue doesn’t think. A tongue doesn’t feel guilty. A tongue becomes the living embodiment of desire as a receptor of pleasure. I investigate human desire by questioning what is known and unknown, available and unavailable, and simultaneously concealing/revealing meanings by observing human body actions.
General Note:
Art and Technology terminal project

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University of Florida
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"#$ % 2013 HYE YOUNG KIM


"#$ & To my family and friends, who have always supported me.


"#$ TABLE OF CONTENT ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 5 LIST OF FIGURES 6 ABSTRACT 7 CHAPTER 9 1. The Human Body As a Site of Experiencing the World 9 2. The Mouth As a Portal of Complex Desires 14 3. An Exploration of the Tongue: Functional and Symbolic Reson ances 18 3.1 The Tongue as an Intimate and Physical Contact 18 3.2 The Tongue as a Material Reality 21 3.3 The Tongue as a Receptor of Sweet Pleasure 24 4. Unfulfilled Desires: Installation 26 4.1 Desire as a Liminal Space Between Reality and Fan tasy 26 4.2 Unfulfilled Desires as Absurdity of Human Existence 31 5. Unfulfilled Desire I _idiosyncrasy 33 5.1 Licking a Lollipop as The Uncanny Moment 33 5.2 The Color of Blue as Familiarity and Unfamiliarity 35 6. Unfulfilled Desires II _blindne ss 38 6.1 Blind Desire as Reckless Attraction 38 6.2 Red as the Color of Desire 42 7. Conclusion 44 LIST OF REFERENCES 47 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 49


"#$ ( ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank my committee, Jack Stenner for his great conceptual and t echnical support, Katerie Gladdys for her encouragement and guidance, and Celeste Roberge for her insightful and honest advice.


"#$ ) LIST OF FIGURES Fig 1 1. Untitled (eels) by Patty Chang, 2010 "# Fig 1 2. Time of Rock by Hye Young Kim, 2012 "" Fig 1 3. Floating Experiments by Hye Young Kim, 2012 "$ Fig 1 4. Can You Change My Bedroom? by Hye Young Kim, 2012 "% Fig 2 1. Mirror of Desire by Hye Young Kim, 2012 "& Fig 2 2. Bubble Hysteria by Hye Young Kim, 2012 "& Fig 2 3. Aleph by Ann Hamilton, 199 2/93 "' Fig 2 4. Face to Face by Ann Hamilton, 1993 "( Fig 3 1. Consuming My Parents by Hye Young Kim, 2012 ") Fig 3 2. Mortar and Pestle by Janine Antoni, 1999 ") Fig 3 3. Erased de Kooning Drawing by Robert Rauschenburg, 1953 $" Fig 3 4. My Shit is Sweet by Hye Young Kim, 2012 $* Fig 3 5. La Trahison des Images (The Treachery of Images) by RenŽ Magritte, 1928 $% Fig 3 6. Red Velvet by Cristina Molina, 2010 $& Fig 3 7. Green Pink Caviar by Marilyn Minter, 2009 $& Fig 4 1. Unfulfilled Desires installation v iew #1, 2013 *" Fig 4 2. Unfulfilled Desires installation view #2, 2013 *" Fig 5 1. Unfulfilled Desire I_idiosyncrasy still #1, 2013 *% Fig 5 2. Unfulfilled Desire I_idiosyncrasy still #2, 2013 *& Fig 5 3. IKB 191 by Yves Klein, 1962 *& Fig 5 4. Trois C ouleurs: Bleu (Three Colors: Blue) by Krzysztof Kie!lowski, 1993 *' Fig 5 5. Untitled (Portrait of Ross) by Felix Gonzalez Torres, 1991 *( Fig 6 1. Unfulfilled Desire II_blindness Still #1, 2013 *) Fig 6 2. The Siren by John William Waterboat, 1900 %# Fig 6 3 Unfulfil led Desire II_blindness Still #2, 2013 %" Fig 6 4. Gloomy Sunday by Hye Young Kim, 2010 %* Fig 6 5 I go I go by Hye Young Kim, 2009 %% Fig 6 6. Be I by Barnett Newman, 1949 %%


"#$ Abstract of Project in Lieu of Thesis Presented to The College of Fine Arts of the University of Florida In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for The Degree of Master of Fine Arts Chair: Jack Stenner Major: Art UNFULFILLED DESIRES By Hye Young Kim Unfulfilled Desires, a project in lieu of thesis, investigates how a tongue can "speak itself," expressing unconscious, repressed, or unfulfilled desires with the performance of simple, and often repetitive actions. Desire is formless as a solid color is without form but it can be actualized realized physically when a viewer projects a fantasy onto a subject. In these cases, desire can function as a strange and endless loop between reality and fantasy, withou t completely manifesting either state. Unfulfilled Desires is a video installation composed of two synchronized high definition videos titled Unfulfilled Desire I_idiosyncrasy and Unfulfilled Desire II_blindness. The installation captures hyper details' of a tongue performing a pair of tasks: consuming a lollipop with a repetitive licking action, and consuming an unending stream of honey dripping from a sword. Both repetitive tasks represent boundless acts of consumption. By juxtaposing of these two dif ferent means of fulfilling desire, it becomes clear that desire will not be fulfilled upon the completion of a task (the case of Unfulfilled Desire I_idiosyncrasy ); nor will desire be satiated through infinite supply (in the case of Unfulfilled Desire II_b lindness).


"#$ + In Unfulfilled Desire I_ idiosyncrasy the saturated blue of the face, the tongue, and the lollipop provides artificial pleasure, implicating the viewer in a voyeuristic act of fantasy. The seemingly disembodied tongue licks a blue lollipop unt il the candy is completely dissolved. This performance emphasizes the physical process of the transformation of the lollipop which becomes a warm and sticky syrup when mixed with saliva. The work contrasts the sweet pleasure of desire with its attendan t, constant hope of satisfaction with the fatigue induced by the repetitive action required by the tongue. In Unfulfilled Desire II_blindness, honey dripping from a sword becomes an object designed to attract the tongue, similar to the way a flower is e ngineered to attract bees. Here, the color red communicates desire as an intense and reckless force, a force that knows danger, yet persists in tempting fate. In the process of producing the film, the taste of the honey kept changing moving from pleasan tly sweet, to saccharine, to almost bitter. My tongue became insensitive, not only to the sweet taste, but also to the danger of the sword. In the final work, the contrast between the strong and sharp steel of the sword and the soft and vulnerable muscle of the tongue heightens the tension behind the ideas of blind desire and dangerous pleasure. A tongue doesn't have eyes. A tongue doesn't think. A tongue doesn't feel guilty. With these things in mind, a tongue can be represented actively, as a living e mbodiment of desire; it can be represented passively, as a receptor of pleasure. In this work, I investigate human desire by questioning what is known and unknown, available and unavailable, and by simultaneously concealing and revealing meanings in the ob servation of selected actions of the human body.


"#$ 1. The Human Body As a Site of Experiencing the World My works explore the human body as a site at which one can know and experience the outside world. I am interested in the body as a medium through which we express inner desires and emotion. In my own work, I have been interested in exploring physical and psychological human traces what remains in a space after a physical body leaves a room, both physically and psychologically in order to understand human existence. Obviously these traces are ordinarily invisible they are based outside of our senses but my work seeks to make this invisible concept visible palpable to the viewer. My body is material evidence that proves my continuous state of existence in the world. In his book Phenomenology of Perception, the French philosopher Maurice Merleau Ponty explains that the human body is a primary site of the world and the source of knowledge. Thus the permanence of one's own body, if only classical psychology had analyzed it, might have led it to the body no longer conceived as an object of the world, but as our means of communication with it, to the world no longer conceived as a collection of determinate objects, but as the horizon latent in all o ur experience and itself ever present and anterior to every determining thought (106). I am using my body as an artistic medium the way a painter uses a canvas and I am conducting a series of empirical experiments, with all of my senses bearing witnes s to the world: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. The metaphor bears unpacking. If I want to have a project about a roller coaster, I need to ride a roller coaster. I am not


"#$ -. interested in representing or illustrating a roller coaster through a ph oto or a painting. I am interested in the fear and anxiety I experience as my body is strapped into the machine of the roller coaster, dropping, twisting, helpless against gravity. My art practice is based on sharing my unique psychological and physiolog ical experience as an individual; I seek to share a series of vivid and real experiences with the viewer. Other artists work in a similar fashion, and with a similar intention: artist Patty Chang explains "when dealing with psychological and physical stat es, using the body is a direct way to link them together" ( "Bradbury Gallery Presents the Human Condition, Video A rt Exhibition, Aug. 24 Sept. 28 ). In her video Untitled(eels ) (Fig 1 1), she records her reaction as eels slither inside her blouse for sixt een minutes. She shares her unvarnished physical reactions the uncontrolled and uncontrollable movements of her face and the rest of her body with the viewer. This profoundly unsettling performance' disturbs the state of mind of the viewer, provokin g at the same time in the viewer a voyeuristic sensation, an unbidden feeling of titillation. (Fig 1 1. Untitled(eels) by Patty Chang, 2010) In my own work, I use my body as a direct medium for communication with the viewer through a series of endurance performances, and these performances involve


"#$ -! simple tasks: tasks which include sanding a rock for thirty hours, jumping a thousand times in the execution of daily activities, and living in a room my own bedroom which had been periodically rearranged b y others in the course of a month. In Time of Rock (Fig 1 2) I concentrate d only on sanding a piece of Florida limestone it was sixty million years old and I was thirt y years old. This work required physical endurance as I perform ed the repetitive act of sanding, and mental endurance as I concentrate d as I endure d the repetitive noise made by the work, as I grapple d with the silence that surrounds it. My aim in this experiment is to comprehend the span of time in which the rock exists, to come closer to comprehension with the work acting as a vessel of transport, as a form of meditation. My aim is not completion the work isn't a means to an end; there will be no resultant beautiful craft. Even though I became physically tired with the monotonous an d repetitive action, I was surprised at my mental state within the work: I was relaxed in the sanding process, I was released from the burden of efficiency, from the pressure to produce. (Fig 1 2. Time of Rock by Hye Young Kim, 2012) In Floating Experiments (Fig 1 3), I present my desire to fly with the process of jumping into air. I experienced the jumping as a form of flying: going up, and then


"#$ -% shortly a fter going down under the force of gravity. While it's clear I cannot fly like birds in the sky, I can push against the ground with my feet, and I can move quickly upward, into the air. As I jump ed I realize d the limitations of my body, and I experience d the strength of gr avity as a natural force. I could conceive of myself as being suspended in air, even if it's for a fraction of a second. As th e work continued and I jump ed continuously, thou sands of times, my fight extended beyond gravity to a fight against physical tiredness and pain; I yearn ed for relief from the impact of landing on a concrete floor. Through performance I experience d a dramatic discrepancy between a conceptual dream of flying of a longing for freedom and the practical reality of existence with gravity, with falling and landing, with pain. (Fig 1 3. Floating Experiments by Hye Young Kim, 2012) Can You Change My Bedroom? (Fig 1 4) is a psychological endurance experiment by living in a private space without any se nse of control over surroundings Ordinarily the bedroom is a completely private space, controlled by its owner. I am the


"#$ -& only active change agent in m y own bedroom. My own repetitive daily ablutions, my other rituals of self care eating, working, sleeping all these things transform the space. How will the conception of my bedroom be change d if I lose my ability to control the space on my own? What makes a space private? For this experiment, I invited friends to rearrange my bedroom on weekends. After each revision, I lived in the arrangement for a week, recording my experience via a confessional style self interview' before I went to bed. I li ved in four different arrangements in a month, and as I moved through the experience I found myself engaged with conflicting pairs of feelings: intimacy/separation, comfort/discomfort, familiarity/unfamiliarity and excitement/disorientation. Typically, at first I would be excited when I saw the new arrangement of my room; however, each time I'd soon become frustrated with the difficulty of locating my own belongings. I became hyper aware of all my furniture and my other possessions: they seemed to take o n new resonance because others had handled them. Even though I lived with the same furniture and objects in the same space the objects themselves hadn't changed I'd lost' my only private space, a space in which I'd had a sense of total control. With this loss' I became more aware of the existence of the private self. I became aware of how important the maintenance of a private space can be to the existence of this self: a self that exists and is cultivated within a private space, beyond self c onsciousness, beyond the prying eyes of others.


"#$ -' (Fig 1 4. Can You Change My Bedroom? by Hye Young Kim 2012) 2. The Mouth as a Portal of Complex Desires I n their book Anti Oedipus French p hilosopher Gilles Deleuze and psychoanalyst Felix Guattari explain the mouth as "an eating machine, an anal machine, a talking machine, or a breathing machine (asthma attacks)" (1 ) Of all the parts of the human body, th e mouth is one of the most complex: it is practically an organ in itself. It is the site at which many actions are performed: actions rooted in instinct, in the sensual, the unconscious, all o f which originate with desire. The mouth as a space can seem t o be a strangely positioned frontier, located halfway between inside and outside; it acts as a sort of gateway for a haphazard assortment of social and biological necessities ranging from speech to nourishment, from breathing to sexual pleasure. The mouth plays a significant role to satisfy biological (nutritive) and psychological (emotional) needs from early childhood to adulthood. According to Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud, the "oral stage" is the first stage of psychosexual development in his book Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality. For an infant, sucking at her mother's breast is "the child's first and most vital activity (181). The mouth is an all absorbing organ through which she can experience pleasure, procure sustenance,


"#$ -( explore envi ronment, and begin the difficult task of communicating with parents. Even as we mature into adulthood, remnants of this "oral stage" remain, sometimes evolving into fixation: smokers, nail biters, finger chewers, and thumb suckers A ll represent this inte nse connection with an infantile stage of development. It bears mentioning that those who seek solace in oral gratification often do so in an attempt to alleviate stress or anxiety. People under an extreme amount of stress may turn to an eating disorder if only subconsciously as a way to self soothe, to attempt to gain a sense of control by subverting physical hunger. The anorexic achieves a (possibly false) sense of emotional relief by restricting food; the bulimic seeks a measure of release through purging; the binge eater looks for a similar sense of release during binge episodes. Therefore, the mouth cannot be defined by a single function or desire, since it performs actions rooted in the biological, the social, and the psychological; it functions on a liminal cusp between the conscious and the subconscious. One of my pieces, titled Mirror of Desire (Fig 2 1), illustrates the ephemeral moment of a saliva bubble captured between the lips of a disembodied mouth, slowing the action of the bubble (si xty times slower than real time). The delicate movement of the lips reveals the mouth as a portal of desire; a focus on the reflection present on the surface of the bubble reveals the mouth as a mirror of desire. With this image the mouth becomes an unkno wn, unfamiliar, uncontrollable organism.


"#$ -) (Fig 2 1. Mirror of Desire by Hye Young Kim 2012) Another piece, titled Bubble Hysteria (Fig 2 2) explores an un conscious desire behind the formless (in other words, nearly subconscious) activity of blowing bubbles with chewing gum. The piece calls into question why people blow bubbles with gum an activity without any purpose or function and why they repeat the se seemingly meaningless actions (such as the blo wing and popping of bubbles). It highlights a connection between blowing bubbles and hysteric repetition (in which a person repeats simple actions in an attempt to relieve fatigue, stress, or anxiety). Wit h the observat ion of hysteric and mechanical movements of the mouth, this work calls into question why we simulate the actions of eating without the presence of real food, why we feel satisfaction when we blow a bubble with chewing gum in order to experien ce the pop.' (Fig 2 2. Bubble Hysteria by Hye Young Kim, 2012)


"#$ -* Some artists use human body for an extraordinary or unusual purpose, o r to replace another body part. A mouth has been an ongoing site for Ann Hamilton's art practice to examine the transformative power of the human body by focusing on "the importance of the information that comes through our skin" ("Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago"). In H amilton's Aleph (Fig 2 3 ), the mouth is a receptacle for a collection of marbles; it is a storage mechanism. The mouth engages in a seemingly endless activity, rotating its collection of marbles over and over, making speech (or any other form of oral comm unication) impossible. In her Face to Face (Fig 2 4), a small pinhole camera is place d inside the mouth. Now functioning as the eyes would function, the mouth assumes the position occupied by an eye's pupil (similar to how one might see a tiny image of on eself in the reflection of another person's pupil). Allowing the mouth to communicate in this unorthodox way opens a new perspective to understanding our own bodies and desires, blurring the once clear relationship between a body part and its function. ( Fig 2 3. Aleph by Ann Hamilton, 1992/93)


"#$ -+ ( Fig 2 4. Face to Face by Ann Hamilton, 1993) 3. An Exploration of Tongue: Functional and Symbolic Resona nces 3 1. The Tongue as an Intimate and Physical Contact Ordinarily, a human sees an object first, then she might touch it, and finally she might taste it. Only after she feels it is totally safe to consume an object will she accept it into her body. The action of taste requires a series of physical contacts, ending with the moment when a tongue inside a mouth meets an object introduced from the outside world. Therefore, when a tongue makes physical contact, it can be a moment of intimacy. My two channel video, titled Consuming My Parents (Fig 3 1) introduces to the viewer a gesture to know the taste of my genetic heritage by simultaneously loving/hating an d accepting/denying my parents. Physically tasting a representation of my parents' faces is illustr ative of an intimate and resonant desire for knowledge, for connection, for consumption. In my own life, I have never seen my parents so closely; I have never actually licked their faces with my tongue. Here is an example to illustrate a specific intimac y and trust between an artist and a subject. In Mortar and Pestle (Fig 3 2) Janine


"#$ -, Antoni creates a photographic tableau of the artist's tongue licking a man's eyeball in order to "know the taste of his vision" (28). When the artist's soft tongue touche s her husband's vulnerable pupil with absolute trust, the act itself integrates the functions of two different senses, sight and taste. (Fig 3 1. Consuming My Parents by Hye Young Kim, 2012) (Fig 3 2. Mortar and Pestle by Janine Antoni, 1999) What do I mean by "consuming my parents?" Consumption is a process in which the substance of a thing is completely destroyed, used up, incorporated, or transformed


"#$ %. int o something else. From the perspective of genetics, licking a visual representation of my parents is a gesture with which I accept my own genetic code: the color of my eyes, my hair and my skin. From a psychological perspective, the complete erasure of m y parents' image at the end of the video represents a gesture of psychological independence. Why is it important to become "psychologically independent" from parents? As babies, we are completely dependent on our caregivers usually our parents for all of our needs. As we grow, we begin to develop toward physically and psychologically independent beings Particularly the psychological separation affects human relationships, social acti vities, education and careers. In an article entitled Psychologica l Separation of Late Adolescents From Their Parents p sychologist Jeffery Hoffman defines four discrete scales of psychological separation of college students: functional, emotional conflictual, and attitudinal. In a study of 150 college students, result s show that greater conflictual independence was related to better personal adjustment particularly love relationships and greater emotional independence was related to better academic adjustments (170 78). In Korea, parent child bonding is very stron g for a lifetime, so it is difficult to achieve a total emotional independence even in adulthood. Even though I am very independent to make all decisions by myself, I am still struggling from needs for parental approval, cl oseness, and emotional support. During the performance of consuming my parents' images, I felt freedom from my artistic expression and guilty from my parents' objection to art at the same time. The action of erasing something can be a positive and productive ges ture in the art making pr ocess. With Erased de Kooning Drawing (Fig 3 3), Robert Rauschenberg sets out to discover whether or not an artwork could be produced entirely through erasure


"#$ %! through exclusively removing marks from a sheet of paper, rather than creating art by adding a nything. This work contains within it the physical labor of a one month process of erasure, capturing a psychological tension between de Kooning's creation and Rauschenberg's deconstruction. Consuming My Parents contains within it a similar paradoxical g esture. Even though I completely erase my parents' representation, my physical existence itself is the most vivid evidence of their ex istence. I could not exist without their existence. There is no deconstruction without construction. (Fig 3 3. Erase d de Kooning Drawing by Robert Rauschenburg, 1953) 3 2. The Tongue as a Material Reality I am interested in the gap between visual perception and material reality, and between visual image and sensual taste. While taste requires physical contact with a ton gue, visual perception requires cognition, which is a mental process involved in knowing, learning, and understanding things, but not necessarily a physical or material contact. While Consuming My Parents shows the irony and the impossibility of


"#$ %% consuming (or erasing ) my parents, my single channel video, titled My Shit is Sweet (Fig 3 4) shows a huge gap between visual perception and sensual materiality. In La Trahison des Images (Fig 3 5) Belgian surrealist artist RenŽ Magritte contemplates the imperfect ion of visual perception through painting s : The famous pipe. How people reproached me for it! And yet, could you stuff my pipe? No, it's just a representation, is it not? So if I had written on my picture This is a pipe,' I'd have been lying!" ( The Tre achery of Images") Magritte understands that we are never totally objective; he understands that an artist can never show reality in its totality. In my own experiment with the limits the imperfection of human visual perception, I made a decision to c hallenge myself to taste something I do not want or perhaps it is something I should not want. What is the most disgusting thing that I should never want to taste? It is my feces. I began to conceive of a piece that would expose this taboo while possi bly exploring the boundaries through which a viewer might struggle to perceive it. As I worked, I found a very interesting relationship between my mouth as a portal of consumption and my anus as an outlet of excretion. Both a mouth and anus are very impor tant human organs, but the mouth is associated with attraction, while the anus is clearly associated with disgust. In My Shit is Sweet, I printed an image of my feces on a piece of edible frosting paper; Then, I documented the process of licking the whol e image with a video camcorder. I intentionally use the image of my feces to show that the image maybe an illusion of reality, not always t he closest representation of reality. This experimentation is to expose the inconsistency between visual perception and sensual


"#$ %& taste by evoking conflicting emotional response s from the same object. During the time in which I licked the image, my senses of sight and taste were in a state of extreme conflict I experienced waves of disgust as I leaned into the clear im age of the shit, and I ex perienced moments of sensual pleasure as I sampled t he sweet material on the page. When I tasted the image of the shit, I could not deny a clear reality a materialit y. That realit y which was made of water, glucose syrup, and cornstarch existed regardless of the image printed on the paper. Even though I was clearly aware of the fact that it was not real feces, I could not free myself from my preoccupation with f ilthiness, with loathsomeness. At the same time I could not separ ate myself from my emotional reaction with pleasure, with sweetness. My Shit is Sweet seeks to illustrate the limits of human perception while highlighting the possibility (and the consequence) of senses forced into conflict. (Fig 3 4. My Shit is Sweet by Hye Young Kim, 2012)


"#$ %' (Fig 3 5. La Trahison des I mages(The Treachery of Images) by RenŽ Magritte, 1928) 3 3. The Tongue as a Receptor of Sweet Pleasure The primary purpose of the tongue is to receive, to perceive. In my work and in the work of many others the tongue represents the living embodiment of desire and it functions as a receptor of pleasure. Biologically, the perception of sweetness starts on our tongues. Inside the pink bumps on the surface of your tongue (they're called taste papillae) are taste buds (onion shaped structures that conta in taste cells). The taste cells on our tongues allow us to interpret different foods perceive them, and then to receive. The tongue can identify a range of tastes : salt, sour, sweet, bitter, and savory When sweet molecules from foods and beverages join to receptors on the tongue, the receptor indicates the taste of sweet.' An actual electrical signal arises from a series of biochemical steps in the taste cell. Next, a network of nerves conveys this signal to the brain, where it is then identified as sweet. Taste is subjective sensation comparing with sight and hearing, and is highly related with emotional response. As sweetness is the pleasure, bitterness is the pain. In


"#$ %( neuroscience research, sugar acts on parts of brain and spinal column to r elease a neurotransmitter called dopamine, the levels of which affect energy, memory and focus. The result is a burst of energy and feelings of euphoria thing s we associate with a drug high ("St udents: just say no to sugar"). To like sweet taste is our innate preference because sugars are a simple and safe energy source. It bears mentioning that sweetness is not an "all or nothing" experience; r ather, it exists on a spectrum. A strawberry is sweeter than a tomato, but it is not sweeter, perhaps, than a n artificially flavored candy. If you eat a small quantity of candy, you can enjoy the sweet taste as pleasure; however, if you eat an extremely large quantity of the same candy, you may blunt the tongue's ability to perceive sweetness you may thwart th e spectrum. Also, you run the risk of tipping p ast pleasure and into aversion. The degree of sweetness is always an attractive subject to artists. In Red Velvet (Fig 3 6), Cristina Molina eats a red velvet cake without assistance from her hands. She tak es delicate nibbles and assertive bites, exhibiting reactions that range from sweet pleasure to repulsive saccharinity. The level of sugar in the cake never changed, but the way in which Molina experienced the cake changed: the taste was pleasurable in t he beginning, painful in the end. In Green Pink Caviar (Fig 3 7), Marilyn Minter creates a lush and sensual voyeuristic hallucination, seducing and disgusting viewers at the same time with an exhibition of intense sensation. Minter stages an image cove ring the tongues of models with a colorful sugar compound and the mixture of the sugar with saliva (which has itself been colored by experience) across the glass surface is hyper detailed. The image makes an impact beyond the reach of the simple things that comprise the image. Again,


"#$ %) it bears noting here how important sensu al perception is to the interpretation of these works; it bears noting that perception can be altered with the duration or intensity of different types of sensory stimulation. (Fig 3 6. Red Velvet by Cristina Molina, 2010) (Fig 3 7. Green Pink Caviar by Marilyn Minter, 2009) 4. Unfulfilled Desires : Installation 4 1. Desire as a Liminal Space Between Reality and Fantasy According to French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan in his book ƒcrit s desire is produced in the beyond of demand because in linking the subject's life to its conditions, demand prunes it of need. desire asserts itself a s an absolute condition" (525). According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, while need is a circumstance in


"#$ %* which something is necessary, or that requires some course of action, desire is a strong feeling of wanting to have something or w ishing for something to happen. We do not desire what we already have; obviously we must desire only what we do not yet have, or what we may never have When the body moves forward to satisfy a desire born in mind, we realize that desire itself requires something beyond the action of the body, physically, visibly, and materially. When we are eager to execute our desire, we hope at first to satisfy that de sire; the realization of incomplete satisfaction comes later. The human body functions as a site for reproducing endless desires Therefore, in a sense, desire cannot be wholly fulfilled or perhaps it should not since it is linked in this way to the body. In his book Looking Awry Slovene philosopher Sla voj "i#ek mentions that desire is inseparable from fantasy : The fundamental point of psychoanalysis is that desire is not something given in advance, but something that has to be constructed and it is precisely the role of fantasy to give the coordinates of the subject's desire, to specify its object, to locate the position that subject assumes in it. It is only through fantasy that the subject is constituted as desiring: through fantasy, we learn how to desire (6). Desire exists in a liminal spac e betwe en reality and fantasy. Our desires, therefore, necessarily rely on lack since fantasy, by definition, does not necessarily correspond to anything in the realm of real ity. Desire exists only as a driving force, as a transformative energy between the imp ossibility of fantasy and the possibility of reality in that sense, the transformative quality of desire works like magic works in the eyes of the viewer.


"#$ %+ For example, in a magic show, a rabbit appears in the hat of a magician, then is made by the magic ian to disappear.' Where is the magic? The rabbit is not magic. The hat is not magic. As a viewer, the only way to experience magic is to shift perception, to believe it happens by magic, by an invisible and mysterious power. Unfulfilled Desire I_idi osyncrasy and Unfulfilled Desire II_blindness ( Fig 4 1, Fig 4 2) start and end with solid colors: blue and red. The pure color s in the pieces convey an abstract energy, a sense of infinite potential, a space in which the immaterial (fantasy) cou ld be proj ected, actualized, or transformed into the material (reality) as another form In that sense, an object could appear. In Unfulfilled Desire I_idiosyncrasy, the saturated blue is transformed in the eye of the viewer into the shape of a lollipop, a tongue and the face, all of it blue. Why would anyone desire the action of licking a lollipop? It could be said that lollipops are designed to initiate and then to sustain desire the pleasure, the sensual experience of licking, relates to an instinctiv e actio n, lik e suckling at a mother's breast. An infant experiences hunger as a physical need; therefore, nuzzling into the mother's breast in order to nurse is an instinctive action designed to satisfy need (in thi s case by alleviating hunger). The whole proces s of seeking, finding, smelling, touching, and suckling at a mother's breast becomes associated with satiety ; it is therefore further identified as a pleasurable experience, because desire in this case becomes linked with the ideas of milk, mom, and love. What the infant wants is not the physical shape or form of the breast, but the total experience of desire and satiety, the physical and emotional feeding as a total pleasurable experience.


"#$ %, How does the lollipop correspond with this example? The lollipop is not designed to satisfy hunger. The sweetness of the candy initiates desire; the action s of the mouth necessary to attain that which is desired the taste of sweet initiate s and sustains a deeper desire. What is wanted is not the physical lollipo p; what is actually wanted is the pleasure of sweetness, the sensual experience attendant with consumpt ion. In my work, the lollipop functions as a trigger for the viewer, a signifier for pleasure. The lollipop is just an object no different, in one sen se, from a cup or a pencil but the viewer can activate it as an object of desire with the tongue and with an attendant emotional response. The true reason to lick a lollipop is not to accomplish the task of consuming the lollipop completely, or efficien tly, but to experience the pleasure from the licking process which attends the attainment of the taste of sweet The lollipop can trigger a short lived pleasure, but i t cannot fully satisfy desire. Therefore, the desire for pleasure can continue to be p rojected onto other objects or onto other subjects. In Unfulfilled Desire II_blindness, a solid expanse of red is transformed by the viewer into a pair of objects ( a sword and a tongue ) Honey streams from the end of a sword (identifying it as sender ), and drips from the sword onto a tongue (identifying it as receiver ) It seems as if the tongue could consume the honey endlessly in this way. Could desire be satisfied with infinite supply? The relationship between demand and supply seems simple. If I am hungry, I could be satisfied with a reasonable amount of food. If I am full, I don't have a need for food. There is a physical limitation to demand, to the concept of satiety. However our desire for pleasure does not have the same set of limitation s


"#$ &. Putting these physical limitation s aside why do we still desire endlessly? What is the significance of this endlessness?' The sword is a metaphor for absolute power or for unconditional love, which is very difficult or even impossible to attain We function within this enormous ironic construct: human beings as temporal beings desire "permanent and unconditional love" despite its inaccessibility, despite the near impossibility. The only way to pursue the idea of love is to get proof of love in e very moment. A baby sometimes cries to get her mother's attention even when she does not feel hunger or discomfort. In ƒcrits Lacan clearly explains that the impossibility of demand guarantees the incomplete satisfaction of desire: For the unconditional ity of demand, desire substitutes the "absolute" condition: this condition in fact dissolves the element in the proof of love that rebels against the satisfaction of need. This is why desire is neither the appetite for satisfaction nor the demand for love, but the difference that results from the subtraction of the first from the second, the very phenomenon of their splitting (Spaltung) (580). In Unfulfilled Desire II_blindness I want to explore th is endless and restless desire for proof of love by others t hrough constant supply of honey The desire for proof of love is close to obsession It is close to happiness because it is so involved with the concepts of pleasure, of the present, and of anxiety for the future. For example, a bride is smiling for th e photos on her wedding day but she could also be start ing to worry about her marriage tomorrow, which comes, as she knows, with no guarantees. Similarly the red tongue can taste sweet ness only when the honey drops. The pleasure lasts only for seconds. Therefore, as soon as my tongue gets the drop of honey, it starts waiting for the next drop of honey to feel pleasure, which could commute into proof of love The desire


"#$ &! for proof of love is based on the expectation of temporal sensation, on this expecta tion of ephemeral contact, rather than on physical lack (or even surplus). Therefore, desire is not constituted by a lack of supply; instead it is the sense of lack at the heart of desire that ensures we continue to desire. (Fig 4 1. Unfulfilled Desires installation view #1, 2013) (Fig 4 2. Unfulfill ed Desires installation view #2, 2013) 4.2 Unfulfilled Desires as Absurdity of Human Existence Unfulfilled Desire I_idiosyncrasy and Unfulfilled Desire II_blindness are synchronized and looping videos, and so the pair of actions (licking a lollipop and l icking a stream of honey) point up the absurdity in repetition in the body's actions and in de sire


"#$ &% itself. As a site of reproducing desires, the human body is the point of origin for unfulfilled desire. Some bodily action s such as breathing or digestio n are automatic, but still they are functional. Other bodily actions such as nail biting or thumb sucking, are not functional. Are the non functional actions meaningless? If these bodily actions are meaningless, is our existence meaningless, too? Th is sense of absurdity as linked to existence is illustrated by the Greek myth of Sisyphus The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with so me reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor (Camus 119). What is the most frustrating thing in Sisyphus's experience as he grapples with his rock? Perhaps his frustration is not caused by the painful labor, or by any other physical pain, but perhaps instead it originate with the meaningless and worthless action the repeated labor without any sense pur pose. In Unfulfilled Desires I_idiosyncrasy, a blue tongue keeps licking a lollipop, and in Unfulfilled Desire II_bl indness, a red tongue keeps licking at a stream of honey dripping from a sword. Each tongue feels a sweet pleasure in the beginning, but both eventually experience a physical tiredness a numbness with regard to taste. How are the endless and restless physical labors of Sisyphus different from the labor of this pair of tongues? The labor put forward by the tongues is meaningless because desire is not satisfied in either case, and it will never be satisfied. Could it be possible to find any me aning f rom meaningless actions? In his book The Myth of Sisyphus, French journalist and philosopher Albert Camus presents Sisyphus


"#$ && as a hero who is conscious of the absurdity of his fate, but who does not give up ; Camus's Sisyphus executes the partic ulars of his fate with passion. According to Camus, Sisyphus's goal is to keep pushing th is rock he has been assigned up a hill, with the full awareness that the task won't end for Camus, Sisyphus has full consciousness of this fact, and relate s it to the absurdity of life. Sisyphus' passion and effort as he addresses his bottomless task is a victory of sorts; "for the rest, he knows himself to be the master of his days"(123). Camus accepts the positive and negative sides of life: "there is no sun without shadow, and it is essential to know the night. The absurd man says yes and his effort will henceforth be unceasing"(123). Are we certain that the labors that constitute our own repetitive everyday life are so different than the labors of Sisyphus? To accept the a bsurdity of existence itself isn't an easy task for us because we are obsessed with meaning, with production, with efficiency, and with achievement within our own small lives. Whether we find meaning or not, it is important that we keep desiring something it's an essential and biologically based part of keeping an organism of any kind alive and functioning. 5. Unfulfilled Desire I_idiosyncrasy 5.1 Licking a Lollipop as The Uncanny Moment Unfulfilled Desire I_idiosyncrasy (Fig 5 1) seeks a way to find uncanny moments from bodily reactions in humans. According to Sigmund Freud, "the uncanny is that class of the terrifying which leads back to something long known to us, once very familiar" ( The Uncanny 125 ) with a mixed feeling of attr action and repuls ion. A lollipop is a type of candy on a stick and intended for sucking or licking. L icking a lollipop is a


"#$ &' very ordinary and mundane action that anyone can do. How can I extract a new perspective or experience from the lollipop's obvious purpose and fun ction? In staging my piece in focusing on bringing the tongue outside as it experiences the sweetness of the candy I expose the hidden action of licking a lollipop (which ordinarily takes place mostly inside the mouth). Licking a lollipop is not my u nconscious and private action anymore; now it becomes a public, attention getting action: there is an element of performance which did not previously exist. I emphasize the physical labor of my tongue and the chemical transformation of the lollipop mixed with saliva rather than emphasizing my subjective pleasure. By masking my face with blue fabric, I completely remove any identifiable markers of identity race, gender, age, nationalit y, or any other identification. Ironically, the physical mask of the human face exposes the fact that the human being is just an animal that has a relatively short tongue in comparison with othe r animals. With this masking of everything except the tongue, viewers are able to focus exclusively on the performance of the ton gue, rather than on the performer. (Fig 5 1. Unfulfilled Desire I_idiosyncrasy still #1 from 21min video) 5.2 The Color of Blue as Familiarity and U nfamiliarity


"#$ &( In Unfulfilled Desire I _idiosyncrasy (Fig 5 2), the color blue is employed as a signifier of artificial ple asure, of mysterious fantasy. Everything in view exists in a highly saturated blue. I t is an unnatural and unreal blue. The lollipop made with artificial food coloring is blue. The tongue usually reddish becomes blue. The face usually yellowish pink is shrouded in blue. Blue is a color both known and unknown. The color of the sky keeps changing from moment to moment de pend ing on sunlight or cloud cover. The color of the sea keeps changing from moment to moment depending on the color of the sky or any moveme nt in the waves. The bl ue of sky can be measureless. The blue of sea can be unfathomable. French Artist Yves K lein said in his lecture at the Sorbonne in 1959: Blue has no dimensions, it is beyond dimensions, whereas the other colours are not.. ..All colours arouse specific associative ideas, psychologically material or tangible, while blue suggests at most the s ea and sky, and they, after all, are in actual, visible nature what is most abstract ( Weitemeier and Boesten 19) IKB 191 (Fig 5 3) is one of Klein's monochromatic paintings which use s his own blue called International Klein Blue as a means of evoking the immateriality and boundlessness of his own particul ar utopian vision of the world. T he color of blue can imply a subconscious feeling of absolute solitude as it does in the film, Trois Couleurs: Bleu (Three Colors: Blue) by Polish director Krzyszto f Kie!lowski. In a swimming pool scene (Fig 5 4), the character of Julie played in the film by Juliette Binoche is often depicted alone in a swimming pool. Each time, Kie!lowski bathes the whole scene in blue light. Julie immerses herself completely i n the


"#$ &) water, stay ing underwater for as long as pos sible before she comes up for air. She falls to her deepest subconscious feeling s as she does so, leading rooted in a tragic experience which the death of her husband and daughter in a car accident. Blue is very unique color which implies familiarity and unfamiliarity at the same time, so it is useful in the creation of uncanny moments in Unfulfilled Desire I _idiosyncrasy. (Fig 5 2. Unfulfilled Desire I_idiosync rasy still #2 from 21min video) (Fig 5 3. IKB 191 by Yves Klein, 1962)


"#$ &* (Fig 5 4. Trois Couleurs: Bleu (Three Colors: Blue) by Krzysztof Kie!lowski, 1993) The blue color of the lollipop highlights that it is an artificially made candy: however the lollipop functions solely to provide sweet pleasure. It's visually appealing without containing any nutrition and value None of its elements is based in nature. Blue colored food is a rare occurrence in nature, so people used to avoid blue colored food, thinking it cou ld be poisonous or even lethal. With the development of synthetic food coloring, blue became popular in the crea tion of candies, drinks, popsicles, puddings, g ums, cakes, cookies or jellies. Adding artificial color to food can make it look more appealing, more fun; even though the coloring itself can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, and migraines, the food industry st ill seeks to employ artificial coloring in the creation o f a broad range of foodstuffs. The co lor of food does not mean anything rather than visual attraction, so people have become confused as to whether or not food is safe, or whether or not it is ripe, or whether appearance will otherwise relate to taste. Therefore, t he blue color of the lollipop could also function as a metaphor for superficial gratification and for misleading temptation. Other artists also use candy's superficial gratification or misleading temptation for creating an exchangeable experience. Candy can be used within another metaphor that which would concern love and loss as in Untitled (Portrait of Ross) by Felix Gonzalez


"#$ &+ Torres. Untitled (Portrait of Ross) (Fig 5 5) is compri sed of 175 pounds of candies, which is close weight of Ross Laycock, Felix's partner. Viewers are encouraged to take a piece of candy, and the diminishing amount of the candies represents Laycock's weight loss and suffering prior to his death In Felix's work, candy is still attractive and it still functions as a mechanism which provides the pleasure of sweet, but what the candy really provides is a means of measuring loss and pain. (Fig 5 5. Untitled (Portrait of Ross) by Felix Gonzalez Torres, 1991) 6. Unfulfilled Desire II_blindness 6.1 Blind Desire as Reckless Attraction In Unfulfilled Desire II_blindness (Fig 6 1), honey dripping from a sword become s a trigger to attract the tongue, just as the Sirens functioned to attract sailors. In Greek mythology, the Sirens (Fig 6 2) were dangerous and beautiful creatures with enchanting voices; they are portrayed as femmes fatales who sang beautifully in order to lure sailors to shipwreck on t he rocky coast of an island. The sailors knew of the risk involved with coming closer to the shore, but curiosity and attraction always got the better of them, and they always moved closer, and the ships they occupied we re then


"#$ &, dashed onto the rocks. Inevitably, the sailors met their deaths. Why are people still attracted to pleasure, even with the presence of danger or risk? What is the relationsh ip between pleasure and danger? Our bodies can become highly alert and sensitive during dangerous situations; in this heightened state, we are able to see, hear, smell, touch, and ta ste more strongly and clearly. These abilities most likely evolved in humans as a kind of survival mechanism The hormone which attends this ev olution called adrenaline, or epinephrine is key to the triggering of the "fight or flight" response that is activated when an individual is faced with immediate danger Some people actively seek out extremely stressful situations in order to feel th e rush a ssociated with this experience. They may enjoy activities such as driving fast, engaging in heated debate, practicing martial arts or p articipating in extreme sports. Danger can increase the intensity of our sensual perception, but it is a misco nception that danger directly increases pleasure itself. (Fig 6 1. Unfulfilled Desire II_blindness Still #1, 2013)


"#$ '. (Fig 6 2. The Siren by John William Waterboat, 1900) In order to examine the performance of Unfulfilled Desire II_blindness, I will relate my own physical and psychological experience. At first, I was lying down under a Japanese sw ord; I closed my eyes to conce ntrate only on the sense of taste. As honey dripped down from the point of the sword onto my face, my tongue started to se arch for the honey in order to taste it. I was clearly aware of the fact that my tongue could be cut i f it touched the sword. All my senses were alert ; all my attentions were on the movement of the tongue. When my tongue tasted the honey for the first time, I found the materiality o f the honey itself the experience of the honey to be very soft, wa rm, mellow, and delightful. However, the taste of honey kept changing it changed from pleasantly sweet, t o saccharine, to almost bitter. Finally, my tongue became numb, and I could n ot taste the sweetness of the honey anymore. My tongue became wholly insensitive : it was not only insensitive to the sweet taste, but a lso to the danger of the sword. I could no longer perceive whether or n ot my tongue touched the sword. My tongue becam e accusto med to the danger of the sword. For these reasons, I became more reckless and careless with the actions of my tongue.


"#$ '! To comprehend Unfulfilled Desire II_blindness it is important to examine a set of similarities and differences between the tong ue and the sword. As the Chinese proverb goes, "the tongue is more to be feared than the sword." There is another Chinese proverb related to the tongue: "beware of one with a honeyed tongue and a sword in the belly." The tongue is a metaphor for words, and the sword is a metaphor for physic al harm; both can be dangerous. A sword can be analogous to the tongue, because a sword desires power and a tongue desires pleasure. Just as blood can run on a swo rd, saliva can run on the tongue. A single stream of red looking liquid keeps streaming from the sword, so viewers are not sure if it is real blood or if it i s honey colored red with the reflection of its surroundings. The only way a viewer could be sure would be if she were to taste it. In Unfulfilled De sire II_blindness (Fig 6 3), when the tender tongue touches the harsh sword, viewers experience a dramatic tension between blind desire and dangerous pleasure. ( Fig 6 3 Unfulfilled Desire II_blindness Still #2, 2013)


"#$ '% 6.2 Red as the Color of Desire In Unfulfilled Desire II_blindness the color of red signifies blind de sire as an intense and reckless force. A tongue is blind to everything but the pursuit of desire. Desire can be blind, because it is not innocent or ignorant, but passionate and ardent. Everything in the scene takes on an aura of red The tongue is colored vivid red as an emblem of blind desire. The sword appears red as it proj ects the desires of the viewer onto the shiny and reflective surface, even though a sword doesn't have any color. And even though honey is ordinarily a yellowish and nearly transparent liquid, in the piece the honey can look like blood the viewer can pr oject her desire or her expectations onto the image. The viewer isn't able to recognize the original color of the sword and the honey. She experiences a sort of color blindness in the presence of this vivid redness. Why must it be red? Red is the color o f desire. Red is the color of instinct, the color of impulse, the color of excitement, an d the color of birth and death. Red evokes contrasting emotional responses attra ction and danger as does fire. Fire is fascinating to watch (candles, fire in a fireplace, a campfire), but fire can be dangerous as it burns (paper, t rees, houses, and even people). Moreover, red affects the human body by enhancing metabolism, increasing respiration rate, and raising blood pressure. The color red is significant in my previous works as well, which are often presented with red yarn. Red yarn is a metaphor for my blood for the span of my own life. It has a strong connection with the three Fates, who gather to decide a man's destiny in Greek mythology: Clotho, the spinner, who spins the thread of life and decides the time of birth, Lachesis, the measurer, who measures the length of the thread and chooses


"#$ '& the length of life, and Atropos, who cuts the thread of life and decides the time of death. In Gloomy Sunday (Fi g 6 4), a thread of red yarn descending from my mouth represents the time I already spent, and the rest of the yarn inside my body suggests the time I will sp end. In I go I go (Fig 6 5), a strand of yarn in the middle of the video represents the flow of t ime, which keeps mov ing forward without narrative. In this way, the red yarn can signify my spiritual existence with abstract line and color. I go I go refers to Barnett Newman's zip paintings, which present ideas relating to totality and the sublime wit h ver tical zip and color. Newman made a similar claim when he had an interview with David Sylvester in 1965: I hope that my painting has the impact of giving someone, as it did me, the feeling of his own totality, of his own separateness, of his own i ndividuality, and at the same time of his connection to others, who are also separate (Sylvester 40). In one of his paintings, Be I (Fig 6 6), the zip' generates a tension throughout the canvas between presence and blankness, solidity and fragility. As the zip' presents the moment of the viewer's connection with human existence, the color of red in my works suggests the ambiguity of human existence. (F ig 6 4. Gloomy Sunday by Hye Young Kim, 2010)


"#$ '' (Fig 6 5. I go I go by Hye Young Kim, 2009) (Fig 6 6. Be I by Barnett Newman, 1949) 7. Conclusion In Unfulfilled Desires I investigate the complex relationship the human body has with the concept of desire. In this work, I explore a range of desires (ill ustrated with the use of the mouth and the tongue) in concert with biological, psychological, philosophical, and historical research. First, I explore the role of my own body as a site of experiencing the world. I offer my own body as a direct artistic m edium; I use it to communicate with viewers through a series of endurance performances. Second, I examine the role of the mouth as a portal of complex desires by performing a series of functi onal and non


"#$ '( functional actions. Finally, I explore the functio nal and symbolic meanings of the tongue: the intimate and physical contact the tongue makes with other objects; the material reality experienced by the tongue; and the role occupied by the tongue as receptor of sweet pleasure. Th is investigation this se ries of experiments involving the mouth, and especially the tongue led to the development of Unfulfilled Desires a project in lieu of thesis. Unfulfilled Desires begins this exploration of human desire by addresses sing the impossibi lity of ever truly f ulfilling human desire. Through fantasy, we feel desire; in reality, however, we can only projec t desire through our physical body. In Unfulfilled Desire I_idiosyncrasy, a lollipop can trigger a brief and temporal pleasure as it is licked, but it cannot be an absolute subject that provides a complete pleasurable experience (such as a mother's love). In Unfullfilled Desire II_blindness, even though honey seems to drip endlessly from a sword, the piece points out that the tongue can no longer taste the swe etness of honey after only a handful of minutes. Our desires often confront ironic situations like these; our desire for pleasure has no limit, but our body has definite limits. These limitless physical desires parallel other types of improbable and unat tainable desire experienced by humankind (like the concept of "permanent and unconditional love"). Upon understanding this failed ability to fulfill our desires, I question in the work whether our body and our existence has meaning. As Camus recogni zes Sisyphus as a "master of his days" because of the awareness Sisyphus has of the irony of his fate, I propose that we need to accept the absurdity of our own existence, during which we exist within an endless loop of desire. In fact, our inability to f ulfill desire is linked to survival, and to an impulse we all share: to live in this liminal space regardless of satisfaction,


"#$ ') beyond satisfaction. Why is it important to realize or recognize "unfulfilled desires?" We pursue our desires without doubt or q uestion. However, we do not know what we really want. We desire things regardless of whether they are viewed as "good" or "bad." In addition, our desires are not always our own: they can be fabricate d or manipulated by social institutions such as media, religion, and tradition Furthermore, many of us subscribe to a delusion put forward by capitalist society: we believe that we can easily satisfy our desires by possessing o r consuming material goods. Therefore, it's time to carefully ponder our desires as "i#ek has claimed: Today, more than ever, we need time to think. This doesn't mean that we don't protest or do what's possible. But let's not behave as if everything is clear ("The Day After: An Interview with Slavoj i # ek "). We think that we kno w ourselves, but we don't even know what we want. We need to pay attention to what we desire and why we desire rather than focusing on how we can satisfy our desires most quickly. My ultimate goal is to be fully aware of the ambiguity and absurdity o f human existence by continuously questioning our body and its desires, rather than seeking (or even finding) artificial or superficial gratification.


"#$ '* LIST OF REFERENCES Antoni, Janine. "I Want to Know the Taste of His Vision." Work from the Peter Norto n Collection N.p.: n.p., 2000. N. pag. Print. "Bradbury Gallery Presents the Human Condition, Video Art Exhibition, Aug. 24 Sept. 28." Astate.edu Arkansas State University, 17 Aug. 2012. Web. 01 Apr. 2013. "Bradbury Gallery Presents "The Human Conditio n," Video Art Exhibition, Aug. 24 Sept. 28." Astate.edu Arkansas State University, 17 Aug. 2012. Web. 20 Apr. 2013. Camus, Albert. The Myth of Sisyphus, and Other Essays Trans. Justin O'Brien. New York: Vintage, 1991. Print. Cox, David. "Students: Just Say No to Sugar." The Guardian Guardian News and Media, 18 Mar. 2013. Web. 20 Apr. 2013. Deleuze, Gilles, and FŽlix Guattari. Anti Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1983. Print. "Demigods & Spirits Fates (Mo irae), the Spinners of the Thread of Life." Greek Gods.Info N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2013. Eikmeyer, Robert. "The Day After: An Interview with Slavoj Zizek." Http://fillip.ca Fillip, Mar. 2007. Web. 08 Apr. 2013. Freud, Sigmund, and James Strachey. Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality New York: Basic, 1975. Print. Freud, Sigmund. The Uncanny Trans. David McLintock. New York: Penguin, 2003. Print. Hoffman, Jeffrey A. "Psychological Separation of Late Adolescents from Their Parents."


"#$ '+ Journal of Counseling Psychology 31.2 (1984): 170 78. Print. "i#ek, Slavoj. Looking Awry: An Introduction to Jacques Lacan through Popular Culture Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1991. Print. Lacan, Jacques. Ecrits: The First Complete Edition in English Trans. Bruce Fink. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2006. Print. Merleau Ponty, Maurice. Phenomenology of Perception London: Routledge, 2002. Print. "Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago." Collection N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2013. Sylvester, David. Interviews with American Artists New Haven: Yale UP, 2001. Print. "The Treachery of Images." Mattesonart.com N.p., 5 Mar. 2009. Web. 01 Apr. 2013. Weitemeier, Hannah, and Wil Boesten. Yves Klein 1928 1962 Keulen: Taschen, 2001. Print.


"#$ ', B IOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Hye Young Kim was born in 1982 in the city of Gongju, located in the So uth Chungcheong province of South Korea She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting from Korea University, South Korea in 2007, and her Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from Washington University in St. Louis in 2009. She is a graduat e of the University of Florida's School of Art and Art History, where she received an MFA in Art + Technology in 2013. In the United States, Kim's work has been exhibited in New York City, St. Louis, Seattle, and in Gainesville, Florida and Davis, Californ ia. I nternationally, her work has been exhibited in Berlin and in Seoul. Her paintings are permanently collected and displayed in Washington University (St. Louis) ; in the University City Public Library (St. Louis); and at the Korea Science and Engi neerin g Foundation (Daejeon, South Korea). Kim has held residencies at University of Washington and at the Kulturprojekte in Berlin. In 2004, she participated in the Geunmgang Nature Art Biennale, South Korea. She has lectured and conducted workshops in St. Louis and Seattle.