Lethal Love: Haegue Yang

22 Feb 2008 – 5 Apr 2008

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Cubitt Gallery

London, United Kingdom

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Cubitt is proud to present Lethal Love, a new commissioned installation by Berlin-based artist Haegue Yang (Seoul, 1971).
With this ambitious architectural construction, Cubitt joins a group of international institutions that will individually host parts of a large group of installations by the artist over the course of this year. Together with Kunstverein Hamburg, Portikus (Frankfurt), Sala Rekalde (Bilbao) and Cubitt, Yang has developed a series of abstract portraits that take their inspiration from infamous public personas in Asian and European history. This evolutionary storyline will find its final form in a publication to be released late 2008 by Sala Rekalde.
Lethal Love is inspired by the life of German activist Petra Kelly - the founder of Germany's influential Green Party - who was shot in her sleep in 1992 by her lover and supporter. Her tragic death is seen by Yang as a metaphor for Kelly's conflicted life: torn between her life as a public defender of pacifism and 90s European political moral on the one hand, and her obscure private life, depending on the protection of an ex-army general on the other.
The dramatic polemic of Kelly's still unsolved homicide generates a striking resemblance with Yang's artistic production which challenges the balance between private and public. The highly subjective interpretation of Kelly's story for instance, is executed within the gallery space in such an abstract fashion that a clear narrative relation to the story seems to be sabotaged instead of communicated: where the private life of Kelly stayed obscured for the public eye, the public form of Yang's installations mask their own conceptual points of departure.
Haegue Yang's artistic production has been strikingly described as the combination of the act of speech and the act of silence. The objects of mass production that define Yang's pallet (Venetian blinds, floodlights, mirrors and scent machines) are charged with an almost dramatic mythology that generates a plurality of interpretation. As an answer to a question that is still unknown, Yang's installations challenge the viewer's private engagement - intellectually and physically - through the use of light, scent and movement.
With kind support of Arts Council England.

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