Met Museum Artist in Residence DJ Spooky to Screen MADAME FREEDOM with Talk & Live Performance of Score, 10/24 & 26

Met Museum Artist in Residence DJ Spooky to Screen MADAME FREEDOM with Talk & Live Performance of Score, 10/24 & 26

The first public event of The Met Reframed, the new Metropolitan Museum artist residency that in the 2012-13 season features Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky, is a screening of the classic 1956 Korean film Madame Freedom accompanied by a live performance-by violinist Jennifer Kim and cellist Danielle Cho, with electronic music-of an original score created in 2007 by Miller, on Friday, October 26, 2012, at 7:00 p.m. in the Met's Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium. The event will also be livestreamed over the Museum's website (

Two days earlier, on Wednesday, October 24, at 6:00 p.m., Miller will discuss the film with SoYoung Lee, Associate Curator in the Museum's Asian Art Department, in a Met Salon Series talk in the Bonnie J. Sacerdote Hall.

The Met Reframed, an unprecedented Metropolitan Museum artist residency, breaks new ground as a collaboration between artist and institution. The Museum's Limor Tomer, General Manager of Concerts & Lectures, conceived this year-long association as an opportunity to engage the curiosity and talents of the composer, multimedia artist, and writer Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid with the extensive artistic and human resources of the Museum, to create both new work and dialogues between artists, scholars, curators, and museum visitors.

Madame Freedom was one of the defining films of the "Golden Era" of Korean cinema in the 1950s. Based on a serialized novel that itself was an adaptation of Jung Bi-suk's controversial 1954 novel, Madame Freedom tells the story of the wife of a professor who gradually and tentatively ventures outside the home to experience work, romance, and emancipation before the film's tragic end.

"Yeonghwa! That's the Korean name for cinema! From its origins in the roots of post-colonial Asia, Korean cinema has been one of the most influential factors of culture in Asia throughout the 20th and now 21st century," says Paul Miller. "Madame Freedom is where so many of today's themes in current film culture gained a foothold in this complex society. Madame Freedom is the touchstone for many themes we see in today's Gangnam-style culture," a reference to the popular term for the trendy, affluent lifestyle of the Gangnam district in Seoul.

In 2007, Paul Miller was commissioned by Art Center Nabi in Seoul, Korea, and the Korean American Film Festival in New York to re-score Madame Freedom. As he explains, "In the 1950s, Korea went through a drastic modernization process. After the Korean War ended, South Korea was firmly embedded in a Western cultural sphere, families were put into radically unexpected contexts, and the rise of independent women changed the face of society. The film was viewed as a metaphor of the harmful westernization of all traditions in postwar Korea."

Miller's score for violin and cello evokes jazz nightclubs of the 21st century, and his use of electronic music enhances the dynamic tensions in the story and foregrounds the visual rhythm of the film's editing. Miller's score evokes the uneasy tensions between classic cinematic storytelling and the 21st-century techniques of digital media composition in collision with Madame Freedom's depiction of consumerist desire in a rapidly modernizing country. Read more:

In the related Met Salon Series talk, "Making Madame Freedom," Paul Miller and SoYoung Lee explore the film's graphic design, cultural hybridity, and the fluorescence that occurs when cultures collide.

When speaking at the press conference announcing the first season of Met Museum Presents, the Museum's newly renamed series of performances and talks of which The Met Reframed is a centerpiece, Paul Miller put it this way: "The role of the museum as preserving history vs. the idea of the artist as someone who interrogates history is going to be one of the themes for the residency. We'll be playing with this idea of playfulness in its own right, and above all thinking about applying this notion of musicality to the physical space of the museum...reframing the idea of what a museum does to art."