Multi Faith Room
February 23 - March 24, 2012
Greene Naftali, New York
Installation view of Multi Faith Room, Greene Naftali, New York, 2012
Photo: John Berens
Greene Naftali is pleased to present the gallery’s first solo exhibition by Haegue Yang. The ambitious multimedia installation explores the dissolution of distinctions between territories—mystical, economic, and social—that result in fractured and liminal spaces. The exhibition’s title, Multi Faith Room, refers to the eponymous airport-designated prayer rooms furnished to accommodate all religious practices, a response to an increasingly common lifestyle of permanent transience. Yang addresses the separation of identity from place by creating an abstract formal language composed of materials drawn from the domestic realm of everyday objects and products suggesting a culture of shamanistic tourism.
The works in the exhibition are situated within the context of a large-scale digital wallpaper print, made in collaboration with Berlin-based graphic designer Manuel Raeder. Depicting an inverted urban Asian landscape, Multiple Mourning Room brings together images ranging from the artist’s own work to bonsai trees and Shinto grave markers within an impossible virtual space. Time and physicality are collapsed into an otherworldly panorama, positioning the viewer within a disorienting phenomenological field and catalyzing associative relationships.
The installation also includes three new iterations of the artist’s signature Venetian blind works, Towers on a String, which are suspended from the gallery ceiling. Formerly constructed as walk-in environments, Yang’s new autonomous blind sculptures occupy independent spatial volumes and take on a monolithic yet transparent presence as they simultaneously reveal and obscure light and the visual environment.
Yang’s Trustworthy collages, made with the patterned interiors of security envelopes, also raise questions of the visible and the hidden in our everyday surroundings while exploring optical effects of geometry, symmetry, and gradation. Constellations of the meticulously handmade works are installed in variable arrangements that engage with architectural space, activating the compositions with a dynamic sense of movement. The draped towels intertwined with circuitry hardware that comprise the light sculptures on view continue this element of motion as they convey a bodily presence and gravity that speak to Yang’s deep roots in performance and dance.
Haegue Yang was born in Korea and currently lives and works in Seoul and Berlin. She is the most recent recipient of the Gwangju Biennale emerging artist award and has had solo exhibitions at Kunsthaus Bregenz, Aspen Art Museum, Redcat LA, Walker Art Center, and Modern Art Oxford. This will be the artist’s first gallery presentation in the United States.