And Berlin Will Always Need You
March 22 – June 16, 2019
Gropius Bau, Berlin, Germany
Installation view of And Berlin Will Always Need You, Gropius Bau, Berlin, 2019
Photo: Nick Ash
Haegue Yang interweaves political narratives with materiality and ornamentation, creating objects and installations that are conceptually multilayered and sensually immersive. Her latest works combine various elements into a holistic, cognitive experience: the wallpaper Incubation and Exhaustion opens up a panorama of narrative references that oscillates between the technical and the organic. Yang’s handmade sculptures The Intermediates emerge from this backdrop and populate the space. With these sculptures, constructed from knotted artificial straw that is reminiscent of pagan traditions, Yang questions the traditional notions of folklore as being an indicator of one’s own culture. In contrast, the humanlike, black-haired sculptures appear to be daemonic opposites. They are mutable organisms, acting as a link between the material world and the realm of creatures.
A birdsong recording provides the sound in Yang’s cosmos. It comes from the summit meeting between the heads of state of South and North Korea in April 2018 and was broadcast live by international press from the DMZ (demilitarised zone between South and North Korea). The excerpt documents the meeting of the two politicians at a great distance from where they chose to converse, such that only birdsong and occasional camera sounds can be heard. Running parallel to this original recording is a second channel featuring birdsong from the same birds, taken from a public access sound library.
Sound Elements, 2019