“The through pass in soccer, also known as the soccer through ball, is a pass sent between two back defenders, or “through” a gap in the defense, into open space behind the defenders and out of the reach of the goalkeeper.   The pass is directed to a teammate who, after first being careful to be in an onside position at the moment the ball is passed, sprints to receive the ball in the open space.  Successful execution of the through pass requires recognition that the opportunity for the pass is available, that the passer and the receiver time the pass and the run properly, and that the pass has just the right pace (“weight” or “speed”) to be effectively intersected by the receiver.”[*]

If we see critique not as a simple response to an artwork, but rather as an artistic practice which interacts with the artwork, we can suggest a metaphor: critique as a through pass. Here the passer and the receiver are not fixed as the critique(critic) and the artwork(artist), roles can be reversed. In other words a critique can send a through pass to an artwork, and an artwork can also to a critique.

The important result of a through pass is the creation of open space. This open space is at the same time a space of opportunity – in a soccer game, with the back space invaded, the defense line is more likely to lose its order and be more vulnerable to attacks. For talented strikers, this moment is the opportunity to score a goal or directly participate in scoring one. Thus an artwork/critique, receiving a through pass from a critique/artwork, can get an opportunity of what is equivalent to a “goal” when the existing order is momentarily disturbed. We hope our critiques would act as a through pass, creating dynamic space for an artwork or an artist, and at the same time hope to receive one from an artwork or an artist, which would create dynamic space for our critiques. To accomplish this, we research current moving-image in Korea and produce critiques with just the right “weight” and “speed” to devise this virtuous cycle of critique and artwork.

Nevertheless, this cycle stands on a condition that the pass is not an “offside.” That is, our critic/artist must not arrive behind the defenders, before the ball does. This means an indolent play, and furthermore touches with the morals. When critiques and artworks perfunctorily exchange signs planned beforehand, or when each critique or artwork merely takes possession of the assigned area, thus when they only remain as a layout of self-approbation, “open space” or “dynamic space” can never be made – it would only produce “closed space” or “dead space.” This is a foul play. Our game is not a service for each other, much less a friendship in morning soccer clubs.

Thus, paradoxically, we should admit our own errors – not as an overlook, but as a keen diagnosis for the next strategy. Sometimes hecklings can be hard and loud, or we could even be betted on. Yet we must not ride on emotions upon them. Instead we must constantly run, in that very place where the ground shifts. No player would not want to make a goal. Nevertheless we must not play foully, nor must not hesitate to make an effortful error. Errors could be made. Maybe every attempt could turn out as an error. Even so, do not give them a farewell with such consolation and mere encouragement, nor enstrange ourselves with (self-)blames. We must strengthen ourselves of the “right pace,” filling up the blank pages. The game is not yet over.

Once again, we are “players.” Not a coach, a manager, a sport caster, a commentator nor a hooligan. Even less not Oedipus, nor a morning soccer club member, but again, a player. (supplemented in MAR, 2020)


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