Inside Gucci’s Utopic New Exhibition, No Space, Just A Place. Eterotopia

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Olivia Erlanger, Ida, Ida, Ida!, 2020Exhibition view, No Space Just a Place, Daelim Museum, Seoul (2020)

Gucci’s new exhibition, No Space, Just A Place. Eterotopia has just opened its doors in Seoul, South Korea

This article is published as part of our #CultureIsNotCancelled campaign:

Exhibitions around the world have been closed due to lockdowns imposed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. And while we remain in lockdown here in the UK, some countries are beginning to ease their restrictions and show that there is a light at the end of this dark, dreary tunnel. One such country is South Korea, where Gucci has just opened a new exhibition titled No Space, Just A Place. Eterotopia, at the Daelim Museum in Seoul.

According to the Italian house, this project is aimed at supporting the rich cultural landscape and contemporary art scene in Seoul, taking its cues from the “complex history of independent and alternative art spaces” in the South Korean capital. A selection of art spaces have thus been invited to exhibit across the three floors of the Daelim Museum – from Audio Visual Pavilion to White Noise – with each presenting a project, created in dialogue with curator Myriam Ben Salah.

A selection of local and international artists have also been invited to exhibit their work, in the form of immersive installations; these artists include Meriem Bennani, Olivia Erlanger, Cécile B. Evans, Kang Seung Lee and Martine Syms, who was featured as the Art Project in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of AnOther Magazine.

Titled Notes on Gesture, Syms’ installation represents “a reflection on the way gesture, body language and actual language are shaped by cultural forces and allow to perform identity – implying that the latter is a construct and opening up possibilities for alternative identities”. Created in 2015, the video features a black female actor who enacts gestures which are readily associated with black women and blackness, pushing back against racist and reductive stereotypes of black life.

While the selection of artists represents a diverse range of creative practitioners, they each interrogate dominant discourses through their work; something that Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele is also known for – as recently as the brand’s Spring/Summer 2020 menswear show, he questioned conventional – and toxic – masculinity. 

Above all, this exhibition seeks to explore the “the alternative spaces as a utopian place”, which in these uncertain times, feels like an vital task. For those not lucky enough to be in Seoul and visit the exhibition in real life, Gucci is allowing people to explore the exhibition via an interactive 360-degree film which can be viewed here. Alternatively, explore the making of the exhibition via the film below.

No Space, Just A Place. Eterotopia is at the Daelim Museum, Seoul, until July 12, 2020.