Reference Gallery

Anicka Yi

ShowingMay 22, 2015 - July 26, 2015

Reference Gallery

Departing from the ambiguity between the significations of taste as a sense and taste as aesthetic discernment, Anicka Yi’s work for the MIT List Visual Arts Center foregrounds her ongoing project The Flavor Genome. The artist’s sculptural installation examines how “flavors”—visual, olfactory, gustatory, auditory—can form sense memories and spur longing, though their cultural and economic value is subject to global consumerism and a politics of taste. For the exhibition, the artist will create a large, illuminated pond containing synthetic and biological matter such as hair gel and the cellulose “leather” that grows from the bacterial cultures in kombucha tea. The gallery is scented with menthol—which for Yi recalls the dish Mint Pond, a plate of molecular gastronomy she once consumed at elBulli, the famous but now defunct restaurant. The exhibition plays on ideas of good and bad taste throughout, the latter apparent in Soft Cell’s 1981 song “Sex Dwarf” playing over speakers.

Accompanying Yi’s exhibition, the List Center is producing the artist’s first catalog, 6,070,430K of Digital Spit. The book will contain an essay by Johanna Burton, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement, New Museum, New York; an interview between Yi and Caroline Jones, Professor of Art History, MIT; and an essay by exhibition curator Alise Upitis. 6,070,430K of Digital Spit will be published by Mousse Publications.

Anicka Yi (b. 1971, Seoul, Korea) lives and works in New York City. She studied at Hunter College–CUNY.  Recent solo exhibitions include Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio; 47 Canal, New York; Lars Friedrich, Berlin; and Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, Munich. Forthcoming solo exhibitions include The Kitchen, New York, and Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland.

Anicka Yi
is curated by Alise Upitis, Assistant Curator, MIT List Visual Arts Center.

Anicka Yi is a 2014-15 Visiting Artist at MIT, presented by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) and the MIT List Visual Arts Center.

  • Anicka Yi, Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’, 2009
    glass, halogen light, jello, flowers, tempura batter, water, acetate
    dimensions variable (aquarium 39” x 39” x 23”)

  • Anicka Yi, Sister, 2011
    tempura fried flowers, cotton turtleneck
    dimensions variable

  • Anicka Yi, You Should Hire Me Because My Kiss Is On Your List, 2010
    metal bowl, gesso, water, laptop adapter, clay, currency, ring box,
    pumice stone, msg, sand, wax plastic handle, styrofoam pedestal
    dimensions variable