Exhibition - Haegue Yang: Handles

Tuesday, Feb 9, 2021 at 10:30am

The Museum Of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019

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Haegue Yang (Korean, b. 1971) is known for genre-defying, multimedia installations that interweave a range of materials and methods, historical references, and sensory experiences. Handles, Yang’s installation commissioned for MoMA’s Marron Atrium, features six sculptures activated daily, dazzling geometries, and the play of light and sound, to create a ritualized, complex environment with both personal and political resonance.

Handles are points of attachment and material catalysts for movement and change. Yang’s installation considers this everyday interface between people and things. Steel grab bars are mounted on the walls amid an iridescent pattern, and put to functional use in her sculptures. These monumental works come in distinctive shapes: some are inspired by the work of early 20th-century figures such as artist Sophie Taeuber-Arp and mystic philosopher G. I. Gurdjieff, and others use open-source designs for door handles to produce freestanding bodies at once futuristic and prehistoric. Mounted on casters and covered in skins of bells, the sculptures generate a subtle rattling sound when maneuvered by performers, and recall the use of bells in shamanistic rites, among other sources. The natural ambient noise of birdsong, which also permeates the space, was in fact recorded at a tense political moment in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea during the historic summit in 2018. Reporters strained to hear the private conversation between the two nations’ leaders, but their audio devices only picked up the chirping of birds and the faint click of cameras.

Handles draws on Yang’s in-depth research into various sources, ranging from vernacular craft traditions to the historical avant-garde, esoteric spiritual philosophies to contemporary political events. She integrates these seemingly disparate narratives into an artistic language uniquely her own, offering a fresh take on modernism and a critical reading of its legacy.

Organized by Stuart Comer, The Lonti Ebers Chief Curator of Media and Performance, Department of Media and Performance, with Taylor Walsh, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints; performances produced by Lizzie Gorfaine, Producer, and Kate Scherer, Manager, with Stavia Grimani, Assistant Performance Coordinator, Performance and Live Programs.

The artist wishes to thank Glocken Huck, since 1858; graphic design assistant Heesun Seo; interzone, Berlin; choreographic assistant Jessie Gold; Kroll Art & Projects; TopNotch; Studio Haegue Yang, Berlin (Sofia Duchovny, Atsushi Fukunaga, Liene Harms, John Matthew Heard, Atsuko Ichikawa, Chieko Idetsuki, Cheongjin Keem, Bokyung Kim, Yoonha Kim, Zarah Landes, Sofia Leiby, Kuo-Wei Lin, Nicolas Pelzer, Christina Pethick, Katharina Schwerendt, Emmy Skensved, Christopher Wierling); and Studio Haegue Yang, Seoul (Hanna Hong, U-jung Jang, Hyesook Jung, Myoungjung Kim, Jeesu Lee, Sihyun Ryu, Solkyu Yang, Heejung Ye)

Exhibition Date: Through Feb 2021  

Location: MoMA,  Floor 2, The Donald and Catherine Marron Family Atrium 

Admission:

Adults: $25

Seniors: $18 (65 and over with ID)

Visitors with disabilities: $18

Students: $14 (Full-time with ID)

Children: Free (16 and under) 

Members: Free

Tickets include admission to all galleries and special exhibitions.

Entry is by advance timed ticket only. Tickets must be reserved online and will not be available at the Museum.

Members do not need to book in advance. An allocation of timed tickets is reserved for members each hour; guest privileges apply.

Free admission for NYC’s healthcare workers, from Oct 1, 2020 through Sep 30, 2021, is made possible by UNIQLO.

Admission is free for a caregiver accompanying a visitor with a disability. 

Reserve timed tickets 

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