Haegue Yang | Manteuffelstrasse 112


The initiative for contemporary art by Silvia Venturini and Fabio Bassan, founders of VBL law firm, is now in it’s sixth year of operation. Every year spaces within the law firm’s offices are offered to an artist who interprets them freely, thus significantly changing the working environment for an entire year. The work of art, placed within a non-exhibiting and indeed, intensely functional contest, acquires a life of its own and becomes a source of daily inspiration, changing both points of view and interpersonal relationships.

This year, thanks to the cooperation of Federica Schiavo Gallery, the Korean artist HAEGUE YANG measures the spaces of VBL in both an intimate and personal way, as is clear from the title: Maunteffelstrasse 112 is in fact the artist’s address in Berlin.

With Maunteffelstrasse 112, Haegue Yang expands the practice of “appliance sculpture” that she has explored in recent works such as 5, Rue Saint Benoit (2008) and Doubles and Couples–Version Turin (2008) and Version Berlin (2010). This new work, the title of which refers to the artist’s address in Berlin, consists of seven sculptures built following the exact measurements of the heating apparatuses found in Yang’s home and studio. The project interprets the domestic environment as a physical and psychological field where the personal and political mingle. While meticulously abstracting the domestic devices that provide the physical template for the sculptures, Yang also imbues them a warmth and heat reminiscent of the specific functionality of the appliances in their original context.
In comparison to the artist’s earlier sculptural investigations of such themes, Maunteffelstrasse 112 focuses on the concept of warmth in its broadest meaning, and also as it is physically embodied in the different radiators and a boiler fromYang’s domestic and work spaces. Each sculpture is comprised of a metal frame inside of which hangVenetian blinds, light bulbs, and loosely structured cables. The interiors are partially revealed through the blinds that hang from the top of the frame. From the heart of each sculpture, light bulbs replicate the “warmth” of the original heating units, emitting subtle undulations of light.

Haegue Yang (born in Seoul, 1971) received her B.F.A. from Seoul National University, Fine Arts College, in 1994, and her Meisterschüler from Städelschule Frankfurt am Main, Germany, in 1999. Her works have been exhibited internationally, including at Gwangju Biennale, Korea, 2010; Korean Pavilion, 53rdVenice Biennale, 2009;Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 2009; Life on Mars:The 55th Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, 2008; Cubitt Gallery, London, 2008; Portikus, Frankfurt am Main, 2008; REDCAT, Los Angeles, 2008;Turin Triennale, 2008; Sala Rekalde, Bilbao, 2008; Anyang Public Art Project, 2007; São Paulo Biennale, 2006; BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, the Netherlands, 2006. Haegue Yang lives and works in Berlin, Germany, and Seoul, Korea.