Bitter Sweet Sympony


“...Cause it’s a bittersweet symphony, that’s life...make ends meet,
you’re a slave to money then you die I’ll take you down the only road I’ve ever been
down... No change, I can change, I can change, I can change. But I’m here in
my mold. I am here in my mold...”

„INTERIORA PATENT“ Ausstellungansicht in Rittergut Lucklum

Bitter Sweet Symphony 
Balloons, energy drink, infusion stand, infusion device, expired medication,
fizzy vitamin C tablets, Silkscreen, score music by Bittersweet Symphony (the Verve) installation, 2018

Admittedly, it was not an easy challenge for me to work in an unknown place with a connection
to German history. But I had to make a connection between the work and the importance of this
place to me. When I came to this huge old place for an exhibition, what struck me the most was
the gold wallpaper, magnificent chandeliers, and wall-filled portraits that seemed to show the
glitz of the past. The sight of the splendor of a bygone era reminds people of the finiteness and
meaninglessness of life. Death is the fate of all living beings, and those who have already died
disappear, leaving behind the glory of the past.

In the old castle, illegible golden alphabet party balloons are scattered around the room, and some of them are hanging on a ring-stand, which is spilling energy drinks.
The energy drink flowing through the ringlet pipe dissolves the accumulated vitamin C like an acid. Originally it was a solid vitamin, but the finey ground vitamin C, piled up like acid melts in a loud bubble when the energy drink hits it. The notes of “Bitter Sweet Symphony”are on the floor, next to the engraving, drugs, and cannabis. The title of this installation work is also “Bitter Sweet Symphony”, a representative song of the British rock band The Verve, which celebrates the sweet and bitter side of life that begins with the sound of a fresh stringed instrument. The song became a worldwide hit after its released it in 1997. 

However, the song’s composer, Richard Ashcroft, however, didn’t make a single cent from the song. This was because the stringed-instrument sound used at the beginning of the song was taken from the orchestral version of the 1965 Rolling Stones song “The Last Time”. In fact, The Verve didn’t use the song without permission. They sampled with permission, under due process, on the condition that they pay 50% of the copyright fee. However, when the song became so popular, ABKCO, which owns the publishing rights to the Rolling Stones song, filed a lawsuit claiming it was “more cited than promised.” The Verve rose to fame with “Bitter Sweet Symphony” and gained popularity but made no money, and as the title of this song suggests, it had become, rather, a “bitter” situation.

Inspired by this music and the ironic situation that they experienced, I wanted to visualize and turn it into art.  While envisioning the work of installation in this room, I chose and searched for premade objects as if I were sampling. The items used in the work are things that can be found here in the attic, things that don’t work as if they have passed the expiry date and aren’t effective. Cannabis and energy drinks are both legal in Germany, but in Korea Cannabis is forbidden and energy drinks are often consumed in a different way. Due to cultural differences, these images are interpreted incorrectly. (*see Energydrink)

„Symphonie“ comes from the Greek „simponia“ (συμφωνία) meaning „harmony of  sounds“ or „accompaniment of vocal or instrumental music” and „symphonos“ (σύμφωνος) means „harmonic“. 
I have often experienced the impossibility of communication, misunderstandings, and certain situations that cannot be fully communicated in a language other than my mother tongue. But life cannot be explained exactly anyway. Perfect communication is impossible, always unpredictable, and sometimes it doesn’t work well, as if it is a bittersweet, discordant symphony.