Woojung Chun

Witchcraft's life and knowledge at the Venice Biennale

53rd Venice Biennale

Pagan religion as a human need expressed through art

di Claudio Simeoni

53rd Venice Biennale: Pagan religion as a human need expressed through art.

Pagan religion.


Italian version: Woojung Chun at the 53rd Venice Biennale



On the Venice Biennale's website, as a presentation of the artist, it is written:

"The installation of the Korean artist Woojung Chun presents an imagined library with bookshelves, desks and other familiar devices - recognisable as symbols of secured and organised knowledge. Where seemingly all knowledge resides, the artist reveals the image of a library as a place of persistent search for elusive questions: unsolved theories, unexplained narratives and unresolved philosophical debates."

What the Korean artist deals with is extremely more complex and touches on a key argument of Witchcraft relating to the world and to life.

The Universe and what it contains surround the Beings of Nature.

So the artist made two structures similar to ancient globes with two different maps on them. On one of these, the life of Nature is represented, with all the Beings moving on the earth surface. On the other one, the labyrinth of life is represented.

This is what life walks through, during its changes.

These two globes represent life and its paths and are surrounded by libraries. These libraries contain knowledge. But this is not intended as Human knowledge, but as the absolute knowledge, belonging to and being for every Being, every Consciousness, every subject that inside the world and the universe says to the world and to the universe: "I am!"

This scene presented by Woojung Chun, of which I couldn't take a photo of the whole ensemble because of light issues, represents a great vision of life and of its relations with the world.

But why is this a key principle of Witchcraft?

Woojung Chun underlines the separation between Living Beings and Knowledge.

Even when in libraries bodies or consciousnesses are represented bodies and knowledge are separated from the Living Beings.

Knowledge isn't inside Living Beings, but outside them and is outside their labyrinthic path of their existence.

Living Beings must reach it there linking their tensions to every object of knowledge they should need.

Starting from their needs and necessities and from the challenges for life which their existence poses to them (or searched by them).

Knowledge isn't "native" and doesn't belong to the species, none of the species. Tensions and the will to live do belong to the species.

Since it's born, every Living Being extrudes its tensions in the world and these tensions, like thin threads, create the links with the objects of the world and form the knowledge of the subject. They provide the Living Being with weapons so that it can face conditions and contradictions of its existence with awareness.

These tensions allow the Living Being to walk through the labyrinth of its life, taking part to the relations with every other Being on the earth and in the Universe.

The art of Witchcraft is the art of living. In Woojung Chun's representation, the art of Witchcraft is the art of linking our need to know with every possibility of knowledge contained in the libraries of the universe surrounding us.

Video about Woojung Chun's exhibition:


Scarica Flash Player per vedere i video.

When Father Zeus fought the Titanomachy, he defeated the Titans locking them in the depth of the Tartarus of life, inside the Beings of Nature's hearts. Father Zeus knew that, if the Beings of Nature could have access to all the "libraries" of the universe, their perceptions, bodies and existence would have been in danger. Knowledge must be constructed time after time, so that the individual can construct him/herself and fit him/herself out by disciplining the newly acquired knowledge according to his/her own needs of living in the world.

But the Titans are forces that every Being of Nature has inside itself and who lead it to act in the world, to acquire knowledge and pass the limits that Zeus, through the rational mind, posed to it.

While walking through the labyrinth of life by Woojung Chun every Being of Nature links itself, by means of its tensions, to the knowledge of the universe.

The harmonies of life: the individual living in the world and linking his/herself to the universe in order to live in the world.

The Beings of Nature do that while growing, but Human Being, after they become adults, forget to continue their growth linking themselves to the universe in which they live, they stop growing. So they stop constructing new links with the libraries of life that surround them.

The Witch or the Sorcerer never stops constructing the emotional links between him/her and the world, so s/he needs an always growing knowledge that s/he acquires relating him/her to the libraries of the universe that surround us.

A Witch/Sorcerer is like a child who never stopped growing, because s/he's aware that his/her growth will end only at the death of the physical body.

At the moment of his/her transformation.

Nel momento della sua trasformazione.

This is what I felt from Woojung Chun's exhibition at the Venice Biennale of Art. The exhibition is located at the end of Via Garibaldi (fondamenta S. Anna), Castello 994 and it's open until the 22nd November.

It's worth visiting it and identifying ourselves in the figures depicted on the "globe of the Beings of Nature", so that to look from that point of view to the immense of the libraries that surround us. Woojung Chun represented Mnemosyne. The memory of everything contained in the universe, to which every Being can gain access with the only limit of its own "nature", its becoming as an individual of a particular species.

Marghera, 25th June 2009


53rd Venice Biennale: Pagan Religion as a human need expressed through the art.


Italian version: Italian version: Woojung Chun at the 53rd Venice Biennale


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Claudio Simeoni


Apprentice Sorcerer

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E-mail: claudiosimeoni@libero.it