This paper reappraises the Oasis project’s performance of occupying the Mokdong Artists Hall in Seoul in 2004, utilizing the concept of scriptive things within relational aesthetics and politics as dissensus. The construction of the hall originated in the election pledges of former President Kim Young-sam and was led by the Federation of Artistic & Cultural Organization of Korea to allow artists to rent spaces for their activities. In 2003, a Korean parliament audit was conducted on a corruption allegation raised against the federation, following which the government subsidies to the federation for the project were confiscated. In January 2004 the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism took over the project to establish a fair and transparent process for the building’s construction. Despite the ministry’s intervention the hall was abandoned due to its suspended construction. This triggered Oasis’ decision to occupy the hall in 2004, with the aim of raising awareness of fundamental issues related to artists’ work spaces. Employing a space of dissensus where what is registered as mere noise by the police is turned into voice, I conclude that the reality of appearance illuminates the politics in the Oasis project’s performance, pointing attention as to why art space matters in Korea and focusing on the issue of artists who were expelled recently from urban regeneration areas due to the problem of gentrification.
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