Carey Young

Carey Young

Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst

Carey Young, We the People (after Pierre Cavellat), 2013. © Carey Young. Courtesy of the artist and Paula Cooper, New York.

August 26, 2013

Carey Young
Legal Fictions
August 31–November 10, 2013

Opening: Friday, August 30, 2013, 6–8pm

Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst 
Limmatstrasse 270 
CH-8005 Zürich
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 11am–6pm, 
Thursday 11am–8pm, Saturday–Sunday 10am–5pm

Carey Young (b. 1970, lives and works in London) uses a variety of media to explore the relationships between the body, language, rhetoric, and systems of power. Her exhibition at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst is her first solo show in Switzerland and the first to focus on her innovative body of work featuring law. The show will include a number of new commissions in photography, installation, neon, print and a giveaway multiple, which are contextualised by key earlier works, including video.

Young’s law-based works examine law as a conceptual and abstract space in which power, rights, and authority are played out through varying forms of performance and language. With the drafting assistance of legal advisers, her works often take the form of experimental but functional legal instruments such as contracts, and also employ media such as video, installation, and text. The works call law’s authority into question, playfully adopting and disrupting its forms and methods, while also highlighting its gaps, ambiguities and subjectivities.

Declared Void II (2013) is a new vinyl text piece consisting of a wall drawing which delineates a corner of the gallery, plus a large text: A contract in which American citizenship is offered to the viewer, in return for the viewer entering the performative ‘platform’ created by the work. Whilst clearly a fictional proposition, the piece conflates the gallery with ideas of migrancy and heterotopia and offers a potent political provocation. 

We the People (after Pierre Cavellat) (2013) is a large-scale photographic work, featuring a judge’s robe and wig hung on a domestic garden washing line. Young here considers law in relation to performance, the body and ideas of servitude. Echoing the Aristotelian idea that a speaking is a political act, Unintentional Silence (2013) is a free giveaway card featuring a contract which will playfully co-opt the card-holder’s silence any time the card is carried.

By and Between (after Bernd and Hilla Becher) (2013) incorporates a seminal work by Bernd and Hilla Becher, Gasbehälter Zeche Concordia, Oberhausen. D. 1969, from the collection of the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, plus a copy of the work produced with the authorisation of Hilla Becher. Young presents original and copy together with a legal text relating to ideas of repetition and appropriation.

Throughout her work, Young explores how corporate and legal culture progressively pervade and reshape all domains of life. A disarming humour and a sense of the vulnerability of the body add a piquancy to the apparent seriousness of her subject matter. 

Carey Young has presented her work in numerous solo exhibitions since 2000, including at Le Quartier, Quimper (2013), the Paula Cooper Gallery, New York (2010, 2007), the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, and The Power Plant, Toronto (both 2009); she participated in the Taipei Biennial (2010), Moscow Biennial (2007 and 2013), Sharjah Biennial (2005), Performa 05, and the Venice Biennale (2003). Young has also recently participated in group exhibitions at Tate Liverpool (2013), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2012), the New Museum, New York (2011), MoMA PS1, New York (2010) and Tate Britain (2010).

Carey Young: Legal Fictions is curated by Raphael Gygax.
Director of the museum: Heike Munder

Legal advice kindly provided by Robert Lands, Partner, HowardKennedyFsi LLP, Dr. Jaime Stapleton and Matthias Studer. Carey Young would also like to thank Hilla Becher. Financial support towards the development of the new commissions was provided by the Slade School of Art and the Grand Challenges Small Grants Scheme, both at University College London.

Talk: October 24
Carey Young will discuss her work with Costas Douzinas, Professor of Law and Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities in London, known for his writings on human rights, aesthetics, legal and political philosophy, literature, art and critical theory.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a new monograph, Subject to Contract, presenting an overview of Carey Young’s works from 2003 to 2013, and including essays by Martha Buskirk, Raphael Gygax, and Tirdad Zolghadr. English and German translation, 184 pages.
Publication date: August 2013. The monograph is published by JRP|Ringier and Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst.


Carey Young at Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst
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August 26, 2013

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