Dry Spell at Villeperdue
Straw basket, wooden tripod, iron stove, artificial plants, mahogany seedpods, lotus seedpods,
suicide tree seeds (Cerbera odollam), pine cones
225 x 103 x 91 cm
Courtesy of Galerie Barbara Wien, Berlin
Photo: Studio Haegue Yang
Dry Spell at Villeperdue (2016) is composed of roughly three different objects: the stand and legs of a wooden coat rack are placed upside down in a cast iron stove, with a custom-made willow basket lying on top. Yang found the coat rack and cast iron stove during her residency at the Atelier Calder in Saché, France, in 2015 and made an order from a cooperative of basketry in a neighboring village, named Villaines-les-Rochers. This basket has an unusual form that comes from two baskets, an oval and a square-shaped one, seemingly stuck to each other, and is filled with pine cones and different kind of seedpods from places deemed exotic, such as India.
So far, Yang’s use of ready-made has been mysterious, yet draws one’s attention towards the notion of hybrid as well as the common quotidian origin, in this case a neighborhood thrift store in a village, named Villeperdue. This origin is hidden and less apparent, while the various functions and materials appear prominent. However this information contained within is Yang’s focus, since the thrift store is regarded as a residency of those objects, which could be understood as a citizenship and therefore, of significance to Yang, while the unknown real origin becomes irrelevant and no longer important.
With this sculpture, basket weaving has been introduced as a new element, as the artist pursues her interest in similar techniques like straw plaiting, which started earlier in 2015 with the series of Straw Sculptures, The Intermediates. As for most of her sculptural works, Yang uses objects that seem to have lost their original function and purpose by severing props from their previous contexts. The two intertwined straw baskets are combined with contradictory materials; draped with artificial plants yet filled with dried organic materials.
Dry Spell at Villeperdue is a unique piece, while also being a continuation of Yang’s work cycle of so-called ‘Furniture Sculptures,’ which deal with notions of domesticity, lifestyles, b-class cults, vintage objects, etc.
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