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stephanie mei huang: how to hobble a young horse?

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Open: Wed-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat 10am-2pm

Obermarkt 51, 82418, Murnau am Staffelsee, Germany
Open: Wed-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat 10am-2pm


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stephanie mei huang: how to hobble a young horse?

to Sun 28 Aug 2022

Obermarkt 51, 82418 stephanie mei huang: how to hobble a young horse?

Wed-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat 10am-2pm


“As a Chinese American artist, I dialogue with and challenge the affective racialized, gendered constructions that codify my body and identity as “harmless” and “non-threatening” within the hegemonic West. I am interested in how my presence has the capacity to disarrange systems of prediction based upon otherness and threat. I see slippery, chameleonic identity as a form of infiltration: a soft power reversal within hard architectures of power. I explore these subjects through a diverse range of media and strategies including film/video, installation, social interventions, sculpture, writing, and painting.”

Artworks

Bay of hail i, 2021

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Bay of hail ii, 2021

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Bay of hail iii-xv, 2021

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How to paint a rocking horse, 2020

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Neither donkey nor horse, 2020

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Inauguration, 2020

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How to hobble a young horse, 2022

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Self portrait of three years of my life in Marfa, Texas as the only full-time east Asian resident, 2018

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How are you (after Adrian Piper) i, 2021

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How are you (after Adrian Piper) ii, 2021

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How are you (after Adrian Piper) iii, 2021

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Requiem for myself, 2021

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Requiem for my damsel, 2020

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Green requiem for my self i, 2022

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How to paint a rocking horse, 2020

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This body of work is an ongoing study in racial melancholia and racial grief, in examining how and why we fixate, even devour that which we are excluded from. The foul lump is a reference to John Yau’s poetic series “Genghis Chan: Private Eye” (1989), in which the Chinese American narrator states: “A foul lump started making promises in my voice.” If we consider the foul lump to be a repulsive object that hijacks the Chinese American subject’s racialized body for the vocalization of others, we must consider how the lump arrives in the larynx in the first place. In Freudian melancholia, melancholy is pathological and enduring, in which the ego wishes to incorporate the object into herself through devouring.

In this case, it is my double’s (a Chinese cowgirl avatar) fixation on the American West, a mythological space she recognizes as biopolitically, historically, and thus, residually not belonging to her. Through racial melancholia, how do we navigate new conditions from which we speak and new ways of inhabiting our subjectivities? How can we begin to consider melancholia as a realistic response to the insidious underbelly of American history?

„how to hobble a young horse explores the slippery terrains of animality, constraint,

and consent, in both taking on the figure of the Chinese cowboy/girl and the horse in

the American (U.S.) West. huang shifts animalities, in becoming them, rejecting them,

and transmuting them. The body of work includes performance, film/video, sculpture, painting and photography. The exhibition is named after huang’s most recent performance, in which huang’s cowboy avatar Stirrup Steph with her animatronic horse, Diamond, re-enacts and distorts a found video tutorial of a cowboy demonstrating in disconcertingly domineering and gendered language “how to hobble a young horse.” Stirrup Steph inscribes themselves into the script in the way that they inscribe themselves into the frontier of the American West, a mythological space they recognize as biopolitically, historically, and thus, residually as not belonging to them. Through racial melancholia, how do we navigate new conditions from which we speak and new ways of inhabiting our subjectivities? How can we begin to consider melancholia as a realistic and productive response to the insidious underbelly of American history?“ – stephanie mei huang and A. C. Smith

Courtesy of the artist and PULPO GALLERY, Murnau am Staffelsee


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