Jaha Koo Cuckoo


Jaha Koo was born in 1984, in South Korea. He was born at a time when Koreans could still entertain dreams of a bright future in the run-p to the dawn of the VIth Republic. But this was prior to the agreement reached on the 21st November 1997, placing the country under the administrative control of the International Monetary Fund. The artist extracts, from out of this time of violence and solitude, a performance of a unique nature.

This solitude, of course, was of a paradoxical nature, in that the whole world had its gaze fixed upon this country. A country kept under the dictates of a system which wilfully organised its bankruptcy. In Jaha Koo’s hands, this story becomes the symbol of a time when finance takes the upper hand over man and replaces the possibility of being happy by the obligation to abide by rules, and the necessity of being together by the sadness of being alone. The theatrical gesture thus takes on a meaning of its own and transforms itself into a narrative of a universal nature. Jaha Koo, in the position of storyteller, interweaves the evolution of the world with the torments of his life. After the on-screen projections of newsreel footage, he takes his place, alone, in the midst of three rice cookers, and guides us into the heart of a reality shaped by decisions taken at the summit of a pyramid which is alien to him. In that instant, the machine becomes the young man’s sole interface. We are confronted with a complex present in which it is necessary to live, but against which he fights with all his might. Such is the combat an artist whose faith lies in the capacity of words and theatre to change the way things are.
Running time : 1h
Performed in Korean with French subtitles