Journal, blogging on newspapers with classifieds ads


Reading another person’s journal can be pure voyeurism or an interesting insight into lives very different from your own. Thanks to personal blogs we are getting so used to this form of ‘sharing’ that we don’t perceive it as a voyeurism anymore.Sure enough, bloggers who choose to lay their lives on the page are effectively exposing themselves to anyone with an Internet connection, so to any unexpected encounter. And the unexpected encounter is what Germaine Koh privileges in her art project ‘Journal’. Mildly interested in Internet as a too mediated medium for her liking, Koh has been publishing since 1995, on various daily newspapers, a sort of personal journal that appears in the section of the classified ads used to seek long-lost relatives. The ad project is completely anonymous and its primary audience are the people who might encounter it by chance, as they carry around and read newspapers during the day. These people are the ones who might wonder about the monumentalization of mundane activities, those who might recognize the described situations as familiar. Although the events are particular to the artist, they thus might seem to represent certain shared collective experiences. Now that people are more and more interested in getting a Second Life in a virtual world, Koh is deeply connected to the real world and attentive to the poetics of the daily. As if with the ads she was desperately seeking the unfolded world (and not Susan).

Valentina Culatti