Li Setbyul

An echo is a reverberation. An echo is a sound wave that returns with sufficient amplitude and definite delay in time resulting from reflection. It is generated only by someone’s action and it comes back to the speaker after being reflected off something. If there is no speaker, there is no reverberation. An echo is a sound that cannot exist autonomously. Then, is an echo a non-subjective sound? Is it merely an isolated reverberation that faintly repeats the speaker’s words?

Echo, a mountain nymph in Greek mythology who fell in love with Narcissus but roused the anger of a goddess and was punished to exist only in her voice, is a bodiless voice that continues to wander. The story of Echo, falling in love with a man who was fascinated by his own reflection and eternally shut up in a prison which was himself, and losing her own body, is quite ironic. Narcissus fell in love with himself and thus could not accept love from another person. Echo, in her desperation, lost her physical body through which she could prove her existence and was left as a voice that wanders forever.

If we see echo as merely a reverberation, it is just a simple repetition of sound that comes back to us. However, what if we say it is a transformed sound that leaves the mouth of the speaker, bends the air, and returns to the speaker after being reflected off something? What if we say it is a sound newly created through reverberation, which returns in a separate bandwidth? What if the sound of repeating the words of others was the only autonomous action of Echo, the nymph who intrudes into and contaminates the voice of the speaker and returns a sound that has not been explained? What if it is a sound combined with countless things that have not been captured by our eyes or ears from where the speech was made, added with things other than what the subject uttered, distorted, tainted and transformed to the degree of making it impossible to recognize the original source? What if we consider it as the reverberation of the voices of those who have disappeared without their own shares and also after-effects of an event? What if it is the howling of our lives which we want to consist of hearable sounds? What would it be like, if the space itself plays the role of amplifying certain bandwidths of sounds that we blurt out? Howling, the sound that continues to be added unnecessarily to the complete sound with a clear meaning, and the sound that changes the input in the input/output system due to the output, is a feedback. It is an endless loop of input and output of something added and distorted to the original sound on its return.

The color green is added to the echo that is transformed and returns. Considered the most natural color, green was once seen negatively as a color that imitated nature, but today, it represents an idealized life beyond nature. It’s been a long time since green became the trend and most favored alternative. The color requires more and more capital and the price for maintaining it continues to weigh on us. Our words, actions and thoughts do not stay stagnant. They have echoes that will come back to us, and the feedbacks, which eternally alter our words, actions, and thoughts, will be repeated endlessly.

What is the echo of the color green? If green comes back as an echo, which color, shape and sound will it assume? Fresh and vivid green, which is like a zombie that does not realize its own death and repeats to rise from its grave, reveals itself in a huge, terrifying form ceaselessly adding numerous different things to itself. If we lift its thin skin, there should be bright red lumps of death made of flesh filled with pus, sticky blood and frayed muscles. In a world where only those adapted to neoliberalism survive, it is attempted to present the echoes of genuine desire, the stories of things removed for the color green to stay green, to our dreadful inertia of trying to make life tolerable while not changing anything fundamental. The exhibition focuses on showing hollow people who create green howling, or the color green that comes back to us as an echo. Just as the unpleasant howling that is amplified and returns is constructive to the sound system, the stories of things that we removed from life are constructive to our lives. What is important definitely comes back, no matter how hard you try to conceal, hide or deny it. What you have suppressed not to see may not show, but it has not disappeared. It ultimately returns to your life.