December 22, 2009

Haegue Yang (elisa)

Haegue Yang creates abstractions of stories so that they can be experienced more universally - the emotional experiences that we all share.

I experienced the power of Haegue's installation "Yearning Melancholy Red" made of simple objects producing simple experiences of heat, air, movement, light and shapes.

During the lecture, I was hit by the simplicity and delightfulness of the origami shapes and lights installed in the space where the curator first met her. I like to think of art as play in space, and I must not forget that.

She sees her installations as a democratic field of senses - a field of different sensory experiences, not distributed to produce one conclusion, but in every possible direction. The entire space is mapped like a body of work.

She found her interesting material - blinds create unexpected effects, even though they play a persistent role in our lives. These sensations are mundane and basic. You can associate warmth with either pain or pleasure. You can choose your own associations.

Maybe not ever telling any story can get a little bit boring. Can we add more complexity to perception, more depth to increase our longing. An increase of meaning found in an increate of form. I think Olafur Eliasson is at times more successful at this. I have dismissed him as being too into spectacle, but I think some of his work does an amazing job of using interactivity to explore the way we perceive, interact with, and construct the world.

What exactly does Marguerite Duras have to do with the installation?

October 1, 2009

Haegue Yang-Artist Talk

The most interesting part of this talk for me was when Yang discusses the democratic space that the setup creates. Curator Doryun Chong then begins to talk about the perceptual experiences that we have when we wake up, especially in public spaces, walking through airports, etc. without being fully aware of our surroundings. I feel that Yearning Melancholy Red reflects this idea well because it seems as a viewer we are entering into a surreal world without an acute sense of time or space. I would like to hear this topic touched on more by the artist rather than the curator. When Yang talks about her installation, she says the whole structure is kind of breathing, and how the moving lights reveal the structure of the lines. I don't know that I had this same experience in the installation, but thinking about it as such is an interesting angle that I can understand.
I also liked how she discussed the exclusion of power in her work, how the player of the drums cannot see the effect they are creating with the light, which was something I definitely experienced in partaking in the space.

-Robin Schwartzman

September 29, 2009

Haegue Yang -Sensory Experience

The thing I immediately notice upon walking into Yearning Melancholy Red was the set up of heat lamps across from a fan. This invited me to stand in the middle and experience the sensory effect of simultaneously being hot and cool. The color of the, changing from red to blue, created a mental change in my temperature while the physical remained somewhere between the two. As I continued to walk into the room, I found myself dead-ended by mirrors and blinds, a sort of labyrinth. It is interesting to me how the artist made the decision to pair mirrors, a solid wall of reflection with blinds, an adjustable "wall" designed to either allow light in or block it out. Yet the blinds in this room were always open the same amount. By making such decisions, Yang creates a state of feeling lost in time, direction, temperature and somewhere between intensity and calmness.

What then surprised me was the moment of audio, yet not being able to see it. Hearing drums play and watching the previous constant and entrancing motion of the lights suddenly pick up movement was like an escape from being stuck within a trance. Then, making my way over to the drums and realizing I, or for that matter anyone, could partake in the installation was quite empowering. Another surprise to me was the social interactions which took place within the space. Because of the work's participatory nature, other viewers came up to me to discuss what they were seeing when I played the drums and asking what I saw out of the piece and so on. Thus I got a sense of community engagement.

And so curator Doryun Chong aptly writes, "Yang's practice translates the landscape of her own emotional and intellectual life into a 'democratic' space of experience, a space generously open to viewers by way of sensory perceptions that almost anyone can experience."

If I could as Yang three questions I would ask her first to articulate her choice of material. I would also ask if there was a specific time/space/memory that led her to creating the space that she did. Lastly I would be curious as to how the actual space of the gallery affected her decision making.

I would describe this show to a friend as an experience rather than something you go to see.

-Robin Schwartzman

September 26, 2009

Haegue Yang

I was glad to be able to visit the Walker on Thursday to attend the artist's talk and experience the installation work. I was most affected by a few elements. The wind created by fans was powerful because it brought my other senses directly into the experience, breaking the intensity of many visual aspects. I was also impressed by the paper relief sculptures on the wall, because of the way they altered my depth perception with such simple angular variations. The placement of these pieces was what made it for me, with the view out the window leading ones eye along the length of the wall and creating a jolt of misperception with each one. There was a lot of contrast between different pieces, and things seemed not to relate to each other. It seemed as though this could be intentional, creating confusion as sort of a theme.

Were your ideas formed in response to the space at the Walker, or were they preconceived?

Are things like the paper reliefs just spontaneous ideas, or do they reflect on certain aspects of society...or something else?

Do you want people to understand where your ideas come from...or not?

It was interesting to hear the artist and curator talking, mostly to see and hear firsthand what a working/professional relationship is like in the art world. Hearing about the line that is drawn between them becoming "truly friends" made me think about the complexity of trying to live as an artist, in reality. I would like to know more about the exhibit in abandoned house in Seoul. This seems like a mix between public and private art and its interesting to me.

Haegue Yang: Integrity of the Insider - reflection

>>I think the way that the red lights shown through the blinds and the shapes and shadows they created were interesting and surprising. The lighting definitely made a difference and contributed to the overall effect. I think my senses were engaged by the near fear that would have been instilled within me had I not known this was an art exhibit. The exhibit feels like a scene from a horror movie at times because of the stillness and red lights and "ally way" type corridors. The term "red light district" comes to mind despite the fact that it really doesn't make sense for what a red light district really is, but the literal words themselves seem to represent this piece. The light and shadows as a part of the visual sense were probably the strongest. Three questions I would ask would be 1. What is/was your muse for this piece? 2. What were you feeling when you decided to construct the hanging structures and make them a part of the exhibit? 3. How did the historical figures mentioned in the talk with Doryun Chong play a role in the construction of the exhibit? I would describe the installation by describing the walls as "venetian blinds" (I think they are called) and then telling them that there were moving red lights being shown through them and the walls/blinds were set up like hallways or corridors.

>> Something interesting that I found in Haegue and Doryun's talk is how carefully Haegue constructs her space and how much attention to detail she includes. At one point during the discussion, about a half an hour in or so, she explains how not only the visual sensory experience was crafted very carefully, but also how the smells and sounds were to be experienced. In essence, she was creating the complete sensory experience for the viewer. I also found it interesting when she talked about Yearning Melancholy Red and the "red-walls" and how they shaped the lines of the structure of the hanging walls. The color red seems so visceral in the environment where they're hanging in the middle of the room. Doryun also noted that how red can represent revolution, blood, and Communism and how there are real thoughts and feelings evoked from this one color; the representation of the color is important in its environmental context. I guess I'm curious as to why the artist chooses particular colors to represent something in their piece, aside from maybe the aesthetic/traditional artistic reasons. (i.e. blue because it's sad). It was also interesting how she incorporated some historical figures (Kim Jong Il and the French person) into her pieces.

-Nick Gentle

September 22, 2009

Haegue Yang: Integrity of the Insider

Prior to class on Tuesday 9/29:

> Visit Haegue Yang's Integrity of the Insider and experience her multi-sensory environments.

Admission to the Walker Art Center is FREE on Thursday evenings from 5pm to 9pm.


>Attend the artist's talk with curator Doryun Chong at the Walker Art Center @ 7pm on Thursday 09/24 - FREE tickets are available for seats to this talk beginning at 6pm


>Watch the webcast on the Walker Channel.

>>Write 1 paragraph about your sensory experience of Haegue Yang's Integrity of the Insider including your reflections on:

- what surprised you most
- how were your senses engaged as you experienced the installation
- describe the sensory experience that is now strongest in your imagination
- pose three questions that you would like to ask the artist
- how would you describe the installation to your best friend

>>Write 1 paragraph about what you found to be most interesting in the artist's talk with Haegue Yang and curator Doryun Chong. Include an example of something that you were introduced to in this talk that you would like to know more about.