Joo Yeon Park’s Library of the Unword, at the National Poetry Library

National Poetry Library | Level 5, Blue side | Royal Festival Hall
5 December 2019 – 29 March 2020 | Admission free

Joo Yeon Park, Twenty Times a Thousand, 2019
Joo Yeon Park, Twenty Times a Thousand, 2019. Courtesy National Poetry Library, Southbank Centre. Photo by Dan Weill

Joo Yeon Park’s Library of the Unword commemorates the 30th anniversary of Samuel Beckett’s death.

The exhibition features an installation, Twenty Times a Thousand (2019), in response to Beckett’s poem ‘Echo’s Bones’ (1935). The work comprises over a hundred mixtures of mirrors and a ‘disembodied voice’ written as circles using graphite and ink on Korean manuscript paper.

The term ‘unword’ in the exhibition title, borrowed from Beckett’s ‘German Letter of 1937’, recalls Beckett’s goal as a writer to ‘bore one hole after another in it, until what lurks behind it – be it something or nothing – begins to seep through’.

The exhibition also features archival items on Beckett from the National Poetry Library collection, including audio, images, press cuttings and a rare copy of his poetry collection ‘Echo’s Bones and Other Precipitates’, published in 1935.

Joo Yeon Park is an artist based in London. Her artistic questions, often manifested as drawings, writings, moving images and sculptural installations integrating mirrors, lights and shadows, consider the poetical and political aspects of the self and ‘otherness’ in languages.

Her works have been exhibited at museums and biennales including Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, and Gwangju Biennale.

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