risk assessment (by what love have I), 2020
abandoned chair, horse tibia, steel, plaster, carpet, traditional Chinese sleeping medicine, pigment, horse hair, glue, water, cigarette butts accumulated from December 2019 to February 2020
68" x 23" x 27"
Presented by Lyles & King
Catalina Ouyang’s risk assessment (by what love have I) confronts language, space, and the power relations embedded within them. It is one in a series of works that engages with domestic and scholastic furniture as sites onto which the body is grafted. The components of this work—a small wooden chair, a horse tibia, and carpet (among others)—toggle between discipline and protection, violence and tenderness.
The title risk assessment is a term borrowed from corporate liability management. Within that context, one considers the likelihood of crises and the risk thought, or assumed, to be dealt with as a manifestation of cognitive dissonance. In reality, there is in fact no way to “prepare” for a crisis or adequately assess its potential for damage.
The legs and stiles of the chair are carved into sharp points, subverting the object’s connotations of comfort into something both precarious and dangerous. The objects’ rejection or incapacity of language elevates reminiscences of the places speech cannot go—trauma, grief, calamity. In this, Ouyang considers proprioception, the inherently politicized nature of phenomenology, and how a subject orientates in relation to the architectures and objects around them down to the most familiar, intimate, and banal: the chair.
Catalina Ouyang has presented solo exhibitions at Lyles & King, New York; Night Gallery, Los Angeles; Micki Meng, San Francisco; No Place Gallery, Columbus; Make Room, Los Angeles; Real Art Ways, Hartford; and Knockdown Center, Queens. They have been featured in recent group shows at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield; Kimball Art Center, Park City; Jeffrey Deitch, New York and Los Angeles; Galerie Kandlhofer, Vienna; and Simon Lee Gallery, London and Hong Kong; among others. Ouyang is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, and was a 2020-21 Smack Mellon Artist in Residence. Their work has been written about in publications including the New York Times, Artforum, Frieze Magazine, The Cut, Flaunt Magazine, and Art & Object. Their work is in the collection of Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas; Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus; Kadist Foundation, San Francisco, Paris, São Paolo; and Faurschou Foundation, New York, NY. Ouyang is represented by Lyles & King in New York and Make Room in Los Angeles.
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