Anicka Yi

(USA) b.1971

Lives and works in New York

Anicka Yi’s uses perishable and impermanent media in her works to investigate relationships between materials and materialism, consumption and consumerism. Her work probes the sensorial experience of art, exploring the use of scent as a reaction to the predominant presentation of art as visual. The use of scent, which ostensibly draws the viewer in to experience the work at a closer proximity, prompts the viewer to also question the unspoken and seemingly inviolable distance between artwork and viewer that is built into the conventional experience of art. Examining the dichotomy of permanence and transience, she inquires into the meaning of “value” in relation to art, often creating pieces involving perishable food and various natural materials that unavoidably decay in the process of being exhibited.

At TB2014 Anicka Yi’s sensorial installation explores the tension and balance of entropy in a “bacterial ecosystem,” taking reality as an elaborate matrix of perceived unique essences. Any and each moment contains an imprint of sensorial sequences. Incorporating energy-transferring media such as glycerin soap, bao dough, and a single-channel video of protists “encased” in inflatable, transparent PVC, she attempts to merge elaborate mappings of subjectivities with symbiotic life by combining the cohabitation of different forms, organic and synthetic. Yi’s installation questions the idea of digestibility, decomposition, and the space between the monumentality of human infrastructure and entropy.

Eventually, when humans are gone, vines will overtake buildings, bacteria will spread, and every bit of human infrastructure will collapse. The tendency of this chaos to overtake what we build and what we put in strict order is called entropy. Chemical reactions that occur spontaneously and go to a less ordered state and structure and ones that require energy require an increased formal shape or forced design.

Yi’s works have been exhibited in 47 Canal, New York (2014); Cleveland Museum of Art (2014); Galerie Lars Friedrich, Berlin (2013); Galerie Rudiger Schoettle, Munich (2011); and Green Gallery East, Milwaukee, USA (2011). She was the recipient of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award in 2011 and has recently participated in the MIT Visiting Artists Program (2014).

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