Practicalities Part 1: The Idea


Last November, Doryun Chong (previously associate curator at the Walker Art Center, and now associate curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art), met with Haegue Yang in Berlin to discuss the possibility of combining her exhibition, Integrity of the Insider with an artist residency at the Walker in 2009. An exchange between Doryun and Haegue began several years ago when her piece, Blind Room: Series of Vulnerable Arrangements (2006) was included in the exhibition, Brave New Worlds , which Doryun co-curated with Yasmil Raymond.

Since then, Doryun and Haegue have continued to carry on a conversation and Integrity of the Insider itself emerged from Doryun’s interest in selecting a group of works that would provide an overview of the artist’s prolific output over the last several years. The works selected reflect the Haegue’s ongoing engagement with concepts such as folding/non-folding, light and shadow, sensorial experiences, communication, historical figures and the subjectivity of experience.

Reflection and assessment were key in developing the structure of the residency. Drawing on specific themes presented in the exhibition, the residency was conceptualized as a platform from which the artist could work with a group of people to revisit ongoing themes and ideas in her work through a series of seminars. Haegue spoke about her interest in “domesticizing” the institution and taking up residency as an apprentice inside the museum.In an effort to learn more about the subjects she has been investigating she asked the Walker to mobilize a group of “experts” to take part in an open-ended skill-share and knowledge exchange.

The centerpiece of Haegue’s exhibition, a room-sized installation titled Yearning Melancholy Red references the late French author Marguerite Duras. Subsequently, the residency’s platform of “shared discovery” also became an invitation to the artist to deepen her understanding of Duras’ writing as well as her lesser-known activities, such as her film work and writing for the stage.

In February 2010, Haegue’s interest in the varied artistic outputs of Duras will result in a series of public programs. Working with all Walker programming departments, Haegue plans to stage Duras’ novella, The Malady of Death and screen a program of films written and directed by the author. Additionally, a Mack Lecture by the German philosopher Marcus Steinweg will reflect his recently published book that describes Marguerite Duras as a philosopher.



Other Artists


Within the triangular relationship created between the artist, the artwork and the public, there is a fourth element that surrounds it and that makes this union possible – the institution. The seminar with Haegue Yang, disrupted the traditional “miss en scene” revealing this triangulation and creating new forms of relationship. Artist, Work, Public and Museum met at the same table, creating a space for dialogue and exchange. The artist listened and the public referred to the artist to understand the work. The museum was a place of the academic/pedagogic knowing.

Is the role of museum as an institution to introduce artistic discussions from the classroom into the public space where they might mingle with the everyday like a reunion between friends? That can be a risky but interesting road – speculation about the unknown within the work of art opens an important space of imagination between the public and the artist. However, to create discourses that allow evolution in rhetorical speech, there is nothing better than to “confront” all who are involved in creating it.

Luisa Fernanda Garcia-Gomez

Comments may use the following tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Follow responses with this comment RSS feed.