Artists | Kimsooja
2009: An Album: Hudson Guild
Kimsooja created a video project with a group of senior citizens from the Hudson Guild Senior Center in Chelsea, New York City. The artist spent several days at the center and asked the residents about their lives, background, families, and memories. She spent time in getting to know them, gaining their trust and support, and then filmed them over a period of two weeks. Most people at the Center are immigrants, coming from Latin and Central America, Europe, and Asia; and they range in age from 60 to over 80.
The final video, “Album: Hudson Guild”, is silent. The memories and the stories were personal, they expressed an intimate exchange between the artist and each of the sitters, and their confidentiality is therefore maintained. Yet the images are so charged with emotions that speak for themselves, resulting in a tender and powerful work that is both elegant and moving. The camera lingers for several minutes on each protagonist, capturing their diverse personalities and attitudes through the subtly changing emotions visible in their deep-lined and expressive features.
“Album: Hudson Guild” is a delicate and profound investigation of human emotions, as each of the participants embarks on his/her own psychological journey, solitary at first and then as a group, which leads them from their past to the present and their future. In the first few minutes, the viewer has the impression that the participants self-consciously “act” for the camera, but, as time passes, each starts to feel at ease and, with guidance from Kimsooja, allows their thoughts to drift, and their awareness to move to their inner selves. The film is a testament to the richness and complexity of each and every individual, and the poignancy and subtle beauty of aging.
Screening history - An Album: Hudson Guild