Young Chung (July 29)


Press Release
July 29, 2010

Exhibition: Commonwealth

Artists: Lida Abdul, Erich Bollmann, Enrique Castrejon, Susan Choi, Eduardo Consuegra, Michael Decker, Cirilo Domine, Eve Fowler, Will Fowler, Vicente Golveo, kate hers, Koh Byoung Ok, Alice Könitz, Kristi Lippire, Tala Mateo, Maryrose Cobarrubias Mendoza, Lucas Michael, Max Miller, Sandeep Mukherjee, Gina Osterloh, Alvaro Perdices, Job Piston, Dean Sameshima, Anna Sew Hoy, Ethan Shoshan, Chris Sicat, Jeannie Simms, Jen Smith, Nodeth Vang, Matt Wardell

Curator: Young Chung

Date: July 29, 2010
Reception: Thursday, July 29, 7– 9 PM

1904 East 7th Place
Los Angeles, CA. 90021 USA

(Gallery hours and receptions are 7-9 PM. For further information please contact HK Zamani at 213.488.1280 / or Young Chung at 213.703.9077 /

Robert Summers, PhD

LA-based artist Young Chung selects artworks by 30 artists from Commonwealth Avenue. For over a decade, Chung has been gathering together works, which resonate with the personal, poetic, and political, through exchanges, purchases, and gifts. These artworks mark—perhaps, a (in)visible-spatio-temporal-psychic-stigmata—Chung’s personal relations, investments, and support for and with these artists and their works.

The title of this exhibition comes from both the name of the street Chung lives on, as well as the idea of “being(-)with” that resonates with his collection, and his part of a “community,” one could say a “commonwealth,” which is part and parcel to his desirous idea to create a(nother) type of commonwealth for various subjects and visualities. Hence, this exhibition aims to highlight particular artists, inclusions (and its attendant exclusions), reciprocity, and the intertwinement of people, places, and things. Furthermore, this exhibition asks us to critically think about what is meant by collecting, community, and commonwealth; indeed, how are such (contested) terms constru(ct)ed—especially in this era of the “politics of aesthetics,” to borrow from Jacques Rancière?

A series of interlocking ideas should be raised, which moves around and beyond this exhibition. These ideas are of critical importance, and have been re-thought for generations: what may we say of “commonwealth”? One thing may be said, crudely stated: the commonwealth is of, and for, “the people”—a “collective group,” a “community” imbricated in (the) politics (of aesthetics). What also may be said of the commonwealth? But, something else can be asked before the said: what precedes and exceeds the commonwealth—which is also to ask what is “wrong” with the common, community, consensus, as Rancière has asked? Let us go further: what undermines—even as it underwrites—the common(wealth)? The answer is rather simple: those of no (ac)count, which are those bodies in the commonwealth who (supposedly) have no voice—or are not heard—in the formation of the commonwealth, which they nevertheless “belong” to—precariously so. Indeed, every commonwealth is based upon a series of exclusions, which is true for everything, which is also to say there is incommensurability in commensurable. This point is raised here in order not to show the smoke and mirrors of consensus—but rather to surface Dissensus—which is tethered to (the) politics (of aesthetics).

Now, it is important to note that the artworks—these aesthetic objects—on display are those of “no (ac)count” within the staging and scripting of modernist art history (itself a highly political ideology—no matter how “natural” or “objective” it presents itself); hence, the artworks disrupt the narrative (a poor man’s teleology) of art history through their dissensus, their “redistribution of the sensible.” These artworks, as well as the exhibition, are, let there be no doubt, political in that they actively demand a recount in order to be taken into account: their voice will be heard, the intimate and attested relations (in-)between art and politics will be made visible—no matter how temporary. In this way, Chung has generously and genuinely put forward a series of various visualities that highlight the connection(s) between art and politics, the common and the uncommon (always inside the former). So, from one angle, it appears that what is surfaced here, that which ties the exhibition together, is what and how is art and politics (inter)related, and how are these related to the (un-)common of the commonwealth, so how to think through the commonwealth, otherwise? The answers to these questions may be unsettling, and they may irritate many, but they must be asked and critically thought through, which is an immediate and absolute engagement in (the) politics (of aesthetics) today.

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