Three Views of a Mountain
*Three Views of a Mountain* is a participatory program, co-led by the members of Pittsburgh-based Conflict Kitchen, John Rubin and Dawn Weleski, and North Korean defectors. Led by a climbing guide, the participants take on a hiking journey which starts from the entrance of Anyang Art Park to the valley of Gwanak Mountain. The itinerary follows the mountain trail and involves a haphazard visit to living rooms of three North Korean defectors temporarily built in the mountains. After conversations with each owner of the living rooms, the trip concludes with a coffee time at a café set around wide valleys of Gwanak Mountain.
The title of this project indicates perspectives of the three countries—South Korea, the United States and North Korea—toward others, while simultaneously pointing to the perspectives of the three North Korean defectors toward their own memory. The artists discover the mountains as a main element linking the three places that are Anyang Art Park, Pittsburg and North Korea. Anyang Art Park, the birthplace of APAP, is located at the entry of a hill mountain trail leading to Gwanak Mountain and Samseong Stream. Just like other major hiking trails in Korea, vast number of climbers visit the area every weekend. Based on this fact, artists gather a variety of myths on mountains or stories related to mountains’ characters or environmental characteristics for a program targeted toward everyday climbers and trekkers.
Run every weekend from March 29th to April 27th, 3 sessions a day, *Three Views of a Mountain* make it a rule that only one person sign up for one time slot, encouraging a more intimate and personal experience. The three living rooms built in *Elements House (Land, Water, Fire, Air)*, an architectural work commissioned by the 1st APAP, is reproduced according to the oral statement of North Korean defectors. Seemingly desolate and empty of all signs of life, comprised only of walls and flooring, the house is filled with stories and memories during the program led by the three storytellers. To create this house the artists interviewed seven defectors on their houses in the North.
While the program is on-going, the facade of Conflict Kitchen’s North Korean iteration is displayed in the exhibition space of Kimchungup Museum, connecting Pittsburg and Anyang; in May, after the program is over, the same space is transformed into a screening room playing the video documentation of the program.
Prior to the project, the artists organized two pre-programs, *Guide to North Korean Food* and *Live Table*. With the help of Jogakbo, an organization for peace and women of the South and North Korea, they learned recipes for North Korea’s local cuisine, and collected personal stories about childhood, food-related episodes, love relationship and political opinions through individual interviews with the North Korean defectors. The interviews were contained on the food wrappers of Conflict Kitchen’s North Korean iteration.
Three Views of a Mountain: Flyer Coo Coffe and Gwanak Mountain
03/29 - 04/27
Sign up for Three Views of a Mountain, a project by Jon Rubin and Dawn Weleski of Conflict Kitchen. A hiking course led by a guide, and also a journey into the lives of North Korean Defectors. Only one person person may sign up for one time slot.
Live Table, a program by Conflict Kitchen, presents a live cooking lesson and shared meal through video call, bridging the morning of Anyang, the evening of Pittsburg, and the night or daybreak of somewhere around the world. The menu for this event was Gamjajeon(potato pancake) and Soegogimuguk(beef and radish soup), both practiced by the members of Jogakbo.
The 4th APAP’s participating artist Conflict Kitchen learn directly from North Korean defectors how to cook their local recipes Mandutgut(dumpling soup) and Dububab(tofu stuffed with rice). From shopping for ingredients to plating, Conflict Kitchen and the guest teachers went through all steps to creating one dish together.
존 루빈 & 돈 웰레스키 Jon Rubin & Dawn Weleski ∙
John Rubin and Dawn Weleski discover ways to communicate with the communities and create connecting points through utilization of everyday cultural codes. They co-founded Conflict Kitchen, a restaurant that only serves cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict. Each Conflict Kitchen iteration is augmented by events, performances, and discussions that seek to expand the engagement the public has with the culture, politics, and issues at stake within the focus country. The restaurant rotates identities every few months in relation to current geopolitical events. The North Korean version ran from winter 2013 till 2014.
Production Manager: Hanbyeol Rhee
Space Design of *Elements House*: Soosung Lee