Thursday, April 25, 2013

Haegue Yang's 'Dress Vehicle'

It functions like a baby walker, which means
that movement itself is quite primitive. 

For Tate Modern's 15-week exhibition "The Tanks: Art in Action", which concluded last year on October 28, 2012, South Korean-born artist Haegue Yang created colorful metal sculptures of aluminum frames, venetian blinds, and macrame that she calls Dress Vehicles. She gave her three sculptures the evocative names Bulky Lacoste Birdy, Zig Zag, and Ying Yang

Light projections, triggered when viewers made use of a drum kit and microphone the artist provided, animated the sculptures, which are equipped with wheels so that they can be "danced" or moved around a gallery space by performers on the insides.  

In the video below, Yang, who is primarily a performance and video artist now living and working in Berlin, discusses her work and what she aimed to achieve through its creation. What to me fascinates is the potential of the performative aspect of these mobile sculptures, how they can come alive seemingly spontaneously in the space they occupy, if visitors and the performers who "drive" or "dress" in them choose consciously to interact. I'm also drawn to the rich implications of Yang's explorations of occupied space; of what we're willing to accept as constraints on movement, especially where our public and private selves intersect; of what it takes to motivate participation or interaction, to enter the "inside" when we are outside our comfort zone; and of feelings of being disconnected while connected. 

Direct Video Link (The video also is available on YouTube.)

The Tanks is a relatively new industrial space at Tate Modern. The exhibition, which included a commission by Sung Hwan Kim, was devoted to live art, performance, installation, and film.

For other videos about work included in The Tanks, go here. You'll find interesting articles at The Tanks Blog.

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