The Real Man

2009, Sound & Video installation, dimension variable
Military songs such as “The Real Man,” a product of a particular masculine culture, find popular resonance among men and women of all ages. This fact, regardless of whether they actually have experience and nostalgic memories of being in the military, reflects masculine values that act as the “universal standard” and “norm” within Korean society. Through repeating, inverting, and transforming the well-known Korean military song “The Real Man,” my project engages in a process of deconstruction. I first invert this song by reversing the order of the score so that the first note appears last, etc. Then I make the musical score of this military song, which was originally fast and upbeat, slow, gentle, and melancholic. After that, I combine it with new sounds in order to transform it into the entirely new genre of trance music. This deconstructive process of “flipping” and “transformation” is further visualized through projecting the lyrics onto a screen. Rather than in the linear order that makes the lyrics easily understood, each single letter of the song’s lyrics appears then disappears in an “a, b, c…” order, and is then scattered across the screen. While the first and second scores appear together in the second score, all three scores appear in the third score. The constant rearrangement of the letters in an “a, b, c…” order, and the increasingly rapid overlapping of the lyrics provoke not only the deconstruction of both the original lyrics and their meanings but also the appearance of a new text.