La Casa Encendida | Christine Sun Kim
La Casa Encendida | Christine Sun Kim
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La Casa Encendida

Christine Sun Kim

A String of Echo Traps
November 11, 2022–February 26, 2023



La Casa Encendida
Ronda de Valencia, 2
28012 Madrid Madrid
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–10pm

T +34 902 43 03 22



The Fondation Prince Pierre of Monaco is very pleased to present the work of artist Christine Sun Kim, winner of the 2022 Prix International d’Art Contemporain (PIAC), on the occasion of her debut exhibition in Spain organized in collaboration with La Casa Encendida.


Scheduled to take place from November 11, 2022 to January 8, 2023, and from January 24 to February 26, 2023, the exhibition was curated by Cristiano Raimondi, Artistic Director of the PIAC, and is entitled A String of Echo Traps. In the show, Berlin-based American artist Christine Sun Kim uses different formats to highlight the core of her artistic practice: musical notation, written language, infographics, sign language, the body and strategically deployed humour to challenge the politics of sound and languages.


The exhibition is the result of the collaboration between La Casa Encendida and the Fondation Prince Pierre of Monaco, which every three years, following consultation with international experts from the art world, awards the Prix International d’Art Contemporain (PIAC). This year’s winner is Christine Sun Kim, chosen by the Fondation Prince Pierre’s Artistic Council chaired by H.R.H the Princess of Hanover and made up of Marie-Claude Beaud (Vice-president of the Council), Cristiano Raimondi (Art director of the PIAC, curator and designer), Barbara Casavecchia (curator and writer), Manuel Cirauqui (curator and writer), Petrit Halilaj (artist), Claire Hoffmann (art historian and curator), Chus Martínez (curator, art historian and writer), Mouna Mekouar (curator and art critic) and Christodoulos Panayiotou (artist).


As curator of the show Cristiano Raimondi says, “Thanks to Christine Sun Kim’s art, viewers can contemplate works that merge visual graphics with musical signs and reflect on the relationship between hearing people and the Deaf community. In Christine’s work, combined hand gestures and speed of movement are used to signify a deeper understanding of the Deaf experience. Born in a world where film images are accompanied by subtitles, Sun Kim considers ASL through a musical lens, using the repetition of graphic signs and words to create visual musical compositions that tell the story of Deaf people navigating a world built by and for hearing people.”


The exhibition features three works that clearly exemplify the diverse formats and concepts that Christine Sun Kim usually employs in her work.


In Notating Transcribing Transcribing, 2022, a large 5.5×5-metre mural produced by the Fondation Prince Pierre of Monaco for the 48th edition of the PIAC, Kim uses drawing to represent the space in which two languages intersect—the space in which her daily life unfolds—and creates a delicate structure with abstract musical notes and written words, dissolving the boundaries of notation, transcription, translation and interpretation and blurring the differences between languages.


The video The Star-Spangled Banner, 2020, shows Kim interpreting the US national anthem in American Sign Language at the country’s main sporting event: the Super Bowl. Initially undecided about whether to agree to take part in an event whose values she does not share, or whether to use the occasion to give greater visibility to Deaf communities and ASL, Kim finally accepted the invitation from the National Football League. Unfortunately, her performance only got a few seconds of airtime, highlighting the barriers that American Deaf individuals still face. Artist David Horvitz, who nominated the piece for the PIAC, says that Kim’s work “picks apart America’s national anthem, picks apart America’s history, and picks apart America’s present.”


With the digital animation A String of Echo Traps, 2022, Christine Sun Kim explores the notion of the echo as a literal and metaphorical phenomenon. As with sign language interpretation, a message “bounces” from one language into another, with a certain degree of delay and distortion, conveying cultural visions and ideas while simultaneously exposing the hegemony imposed by some languages.


All three works in the show highlight Christine Sun Kim’s passion for sound and how it is represented in space, which in her works, as Cristiano Raimondi says, “suggests and evokes modern themes that are urgent at a universal level, and not just specific to the Deaf community.”