Lucy Kim & Jeesoo Lee
Installation art can sometimes be pretty inscrutable. Is it sculpture? Is it performance? Is it a painting that crawled its way out of the frame like a magic carpet? But these questions are the definition of what’s interesting about art—being asked (or even required) to think. Lucy Kim and Jeesoo Lee, two artists of Korean origin who count installation work as a significant part of their repertoire, will be giving viewers a lot to think about in their upcoming exhibition at Tiger Strikes Asteroid.
Born in Seoul and trained at RISD and Yale, Lucy Kim’s work roams the wide range between paintings of celebrity iconography and conceptual installations—her past work includes tinfoil impressions of her apartment and car’s interior and an apple painted with the likeness of Paris Hilton. Jeesoo Lee, also trained in the U.S., has described herself as “a painter working three-dimensionally,” projecting her painterly aesthetic into the realm of sculpture and installation—many of her pieces look like they belong in a pop-up book of abstract expressionism. Both women were formally trained as painters, but felt the need to break out of the frame into the third dimension.
Together, their works make for a visceral, tactile experience in which thread, paper, and molded tinfoil jut out into the realm of the viewer. (Emily Crawford)
W.E.B. DuBois coined the term “double-consciousness” in an 1897 Atlantic Monthly article on the duality of African-American life. He was addressing the difficulty of claiming an American identity when the color of his skin permanently marked him as Other to most of America—“always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity.”
Quadruple-Consciousness at Vox Populi multiplies DuBois’ concept by factors of gender and sexuality. Curator Malik Gaines brought together 19 artists, and appropriately, their chosen media are diverse—the show features paintings, musical performances, dance, sculpture and film and video art. Friday’s opening includes performances by Ei Arakawa and Sergei Tcherepnin, New York-based performance artists who use the film Philadelphia to discuss the AIDS crisis. Xavier Cha’s installation features the conflict between performance and the mediated gaze—a live dancer and a cameraman interact as choreography. Closing the evening is Zackary Drucker’s modified drag performance, a question about the roots of the humor when gender and sexuality are turned into something of a minstrel show.
The variety is a reflection of Gaines’ goal of “hyperbolizing” consciousness. From playful (Dynasty Handbag’s one-woman show) to haunting (Taisha Paggett’s dance piece), the wide range of geographic, ethnic, social and gender-spectrum backgrounds reflect the new complexity of identity in America. “There is no one answer to the premise I proposed,” says Gaines, “so the work is diverse.” (Alli Katz)
6pm. Vox Populi, 319 N. 11th St., 3rd floor. 215.238.1236. voxpopuligallery.org
Bike Part Art Show
“Bike culture, especially in Philadelphia, has a lot to do with being able to create and reuse something in a new way,” says Kitty Heite, executive director of Neighborhood Bike Works. Evolving from one of the West Philadelphia-based nonprofit’s arts-and-crafts programs in which youths created jewelry out of otherwise unusable scrap parts, the first Bike Part Art Show was held in 2003. “It gives local artists an opportunity to transform something old and discarded, like a dirty inner tube, into something beautiful,” Heite says. “One of the big reasons people get into bikes and biking is because they want to simplify their lives and cut down on waste and consumerism.” In a season of unabashed consumption, the annual event is a celebration of sustainability, creativity and care.
In previous years, local artists have rummaged through NBW’s used-parts bins to produce works across mediums, including prints, paintings, shirts, furniture and jewelry. All submitted works will be available for purchase during the silent auction, and all proceeds benefit NBW’s after-school and summer youth-cycling programs. (Elliott Sharp)
7pm. Studio 34, 4522 Baltimore Ave. 215.387.3434. studio34yoga.com
Calendar: Sept. 2-9