Haegue Yang: Asymmetric Equality
June 28--August 24, 2008
Opening reception: Friday, June 27, 6:00--9:00 p.m.
Artist talk: 6:30 p.m.
Haegue Yang's practice is rooted in the permeable relationships between the past and the present in an attempt to broadly locate or conceptualize ideas of community, home and subjectivity. Through abstraction, Yang's work occupies a position that inhabits both a presentness and plurality, while resisting dogmatic formations of subjectivity--a process the artist describes as a "de-territorialization of one's own understanding." Her interest in abstraction is not rooted in Western modernist notions of objectivity or neutrality but rather stems from its boundless capacity to elicit emotional, sensorial and cognitive responses that are necessarily subjective. Somewhere between presence and memory lies the potential and potency for a narrative or subjective whole.
Working with non-traditional materials such as customized venetian blinds and sensory devices including lights, infrared heaters, scent emitters, and fans, Yang constructs complex and nuanced installations that collapse the space between the concrete and the fleeting. Yang's recent works explore the real and metaphorical relationships between her material surroundings and emotional responses, attempting to give form and or meaning to experiences that exist outside conventional order. She explores the possibility of accessing experiences through her own perceived or constructed relationship to social and political determinants or historical precedent. To this end, her recent work has gravitated toward her thinking about historical figures, including the French novelist and filmmaker Marguerite Duras, whose work explored conditions of colonialism and reflected her commitment to the Resistance as well as the underground Korean revolutionary Kim San and the American journalist Nym Wales, whose encounters with Kim under life-threatening circumstances led to the publication of his biography.
For her first solo exhibition in the
U.S., the artist presents a newly commissioned, site-specific installation at REDCAT entitled Asymmetric Equality. The work continues the artist's exploration of narrativity through abstraction and contemplates the possibility of arriving at some notion of universal equality through physical and sensorial displacement. As Doryun Chong observes in his catalogue text, Yang is interested in "a kind of 'potentiality' which requires an exterior to help what is already there, a kind of 'dehors' ('outside' in French)...a kind of subjectivity--an agent of suspicion, indignation, and recognition that can see that injustices are necessarily part of reality." In this sense, her practice grows out of a responsibility she bears as an artist and social being and is an articulation of freedom and autonomy achieved through criticality.
This exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual (English and German), 206-page, 4-color catalogue published in collaboration with Sala Rekalde in
Bilbao, Spain. The publication includes an introduction by REDCAT acting gallery director and curator Clara Kim, text by German philosopher Marcus Steinweg, an essay by New Museum director and curator of education and public programs Eungie Joo and a dictionary/lexicon by Walker Art Center assistant curator Doryun Chong. The book is designed by Gail Swanlund, Katie Hanburger and Jon Sueda of stripe and will be available in July.
Born in 1971 in
Seoul, Yang received degrees at the Seoul National University and the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. She participated in Life on Mars, 55th Carnegie International, Pittsburgh; Brave New Worlds, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; 2006 São Paulo Bienal; the 2004 Busan Biennale; the 2004 Gwangju Biennale; Hérmes Korea Missulsang for Contemporary Korean Art, ArtSonje Center, Seoul; Manifesta 4, Frankfurt am Main. She has recently presented solo exhibitions at Portikus, Frankfrut am Main; Kunstverein, Hamburg; Cubitt, London and BAK, Utrecht. Yang lives and works in Berlin and Seoul.
This exhibition is made possible by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the
Korea Foundation, and Galerie Barbara Wien. Additional support provided by Ingo Kretzschmar and Ilene Kurtz-Kretzschmar.
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