DER ÖFFENTLICHKEIT — VON DEN FREUNDEN HAUS DER KUNST: Haegue Yang

DER ÖFFENTLICHKEIT — Exhibition, from

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Exhibition overview

Haegue Yang (born 1971 in Seoul) was the inaugural artist for DER ÖFFENTLICHKEIT — VON DEN FREUNDEN HAUS DER KUNST, an annual art commission conceived especially by the museum for the Middle Hall of the historic building with the support and collaboration of the Gesellschaft der Freunde Haus der Kunst. 

Like Yang's dOCUMENTA 13 contribution, the installation in Haus der Kunst consists of Venetian blinds suspended from the ceiling. These elements are structured in three autonomous, yet united parts: A massive towering structure, which is confrontationally located at the hall's entrance; a flat vertical grid wall, and a voluminous rectangle on top, which is gradually fragmented toward the floor. Depending on the angle of approach, the blinds overlap in a varying number of layers, and the interplay of light and shadow changes depending on the location. At times, the installation appears completely opaque, and at others, completely translucent. 

The installation's title "Accommodating the Epic Dispersion – On Non-cathartic Volume of Dispersion" itself occupies a significant amount of space and forms the counterpart to the multiple layers of blinds that sometimes hinder the unimpeded view into the hall. The title also alludes to Haegue Yang's inspirations, which lie in the literary processing of migration and diaspora. Born in Seoul, Korea, in 1971, Haegue Yang has lived in Germany since 1994 and is therefore well aware of the challenges faced by those living in a foreign country. The actions and decisions of authors and their characters with immigrant and post-colonial biographies allow the artist the possibility of comparison and identification while inspiring her work, which also explores migration and uncertainty. Haegue Yang translates these issues into a spatial experience and introduces abstraction into the narrative: Walking through the installation, the visitor explores the relationship between space, dimensions, weight and volume, where force and control are manifest, where they are weaker and even lost and where they are recreated or being reconstructed.

Haegue Yang has exhibited her works in major international institutions, including BAK/basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht (2006), Portikus, Frankfurt (2008), Artsonje Center, Seoul (2010), New Museum, New York (2010), Kunsthaus Bregenz (2011), and Modern Art Oxford (2011). In 2009, she represented South Korea at the 53rd Venice and participated in dOCUMENTA (13), 2012. The commissioned work was developed specifically for Haus der Kunst's Middle Hall. Located at the heart of the building, the 800 square-meter hall is being imagined as an open and freely accessible public plaza. It is thus the natural place to commence the evaluation of the criteria surrounding discussions of public space, serving as the principal node of access to the entire contents of the museum. The Middle Hall is also a place where visitors can gather, sit and read, or simply linger. 

DER ÖFFENTLICHKEIT — VON DEN FREUNDEN HAUS DER KUNST is commissioned by Haus der Kunst, realized with generous funding by the Friends of Haus der Kunst.