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Shared Discovery of What We Have and Know Already

In the last few years, Haegue Yang has worked with non-traditional materials such as customized venetian blinds and electrical devices including lights, infrared heaters, and fans, to create a series of carefully orchestrated and nuanced installations that operate as microcosms of sensory experiences.

Yang’s abstract forms create an experiential language that, in the artist’s words, “gives true value to the presence of narratives inside of me as well as the narratives that exist outside of me.” For Yang, “abstraction is not anti-narrative, but rather allows a narrative to be achieved without constituting its own limits. The form of language I choose to experiment with is abstract even if the motivation is always concrete.”

Coinciding with the opening of her exhibition Integrity of the Insider, Haegue Yang will be in residence at the Walker Art Center to conduct an experimental project where she aims to “domesticize the institution” by taking up residence as an apprentice in the museum. Provocatively exploring her concept of the antagonistic relationship between artist/artwork and institution, Yang has mobilized the Walker to bring together a group of “expert” participants in a skill-share and knowledge exchange that takes the form of a small-group seminar. Titled Shared Discovery of What We Have and Know Already, Yang is working with participants as both teachers and learners to investigate critical notions in her work, such as abstraction, community, and subjectivity. Specifically, the seminar series addresses the relationship between Yang’s abstract forms and the influence of such topics as the history of transnational wartime resistance, the biographies of historical figures such as Marguerite Duras, Kim San and Nym Wales, the cinematic and literary work of Duras, the history of abstraction, as well as the plastic arts of carpentry, knitting and origami.

In February 2010, a series of multidisciplinary public programs resulting from these discussions will coincide with the closing of the exhibition; including a Marguerite Duras film series, a lecture by Marcus Steinweg and a staged reading of Duras’ play, The Malady of Death.

At this time, the Walker will also launch a new publication documenting the residency that will be available from the self-publishing website LULU.com. This piece—designed to be inserted into the exhibition gallery guide—will be generated from responses and reflections on the seminar series by the artist and participants.