Art Basel 2022: Booth M3

Messe Basel, 16 - 19 June 2022 

Tina Kim Gallery is proud to premiere Endless House: Harlequin Baby (2022), a new work by Mire Lee, as part of Statements at Art Basel 2022. Lee’s Basel presentation coincides with her inclusion in the 59th International Art Exhibition, The Milk of Dreams at La Biennale di Venezia, and her solo exhibition, Look, I'm a fountain of filth raving mad with love, at the MMK Frankfurt, as the recipient of the PONTOPREIS MMK 2022.

 

Draping over the top of the booth, a steel scaffold supports a hanging form, suspended above a metal tank. Flesh-colored fluid drips among the porous, bone-like objects, which string together loosely, creating a partially enclosed space. The liquid is ceramic glaze, the skeletal forms are bisque-fired ceramic, with PVC tubes contorting outward from their surfaces - one surface readily accepts the glaze, the other repels it, dripping downward into the metal tank below. Womb-like, vestigial, Endless House: Harlequin Baby offers a multitude of these proximate but liminal comparisons, partial without end as it continues to spew glaze throughout the course of the fair, suspended from the rafters of the booth which become part of the work itself.

 

Endless House: Harlequin Baby‘s approach sculpture is both time and site-specific. Upon the fair’s conclusion, the ceramic components of the work will be fired, baking the temporal sediment of its prior “life” during Basel into the work and rendering it into a carapace-like shell. Lee’s work consistently refers to a state separate from the one it currently occupies, its vitality in preparation for dormancy, its dormancy a fossilized record of its time at the fair. In this way, Lee’s installation shares kinship to her work Endless House: Holes and Drips (2022) on view at La Biennale di Venezia, however Endless House: Harlequin Baby’s qualities are closer to figuration than the spread landscape of the concurrent work - the Basel-based installation’s form is left stark against the white walls of the booth. As a single, broken form with nowhere to hide, the work concentrates the intense affective sensibility in which Lee’s practice thrives, even as it offers a focused reflection on her conceptual influences.

 

Endless House: Harlequin Baby continues Lee’s ongoing engagement with Endless House (1947-1960), the utopian architectural project and thought experiment by Fredrich Kiesler, who sought an architecture that would transform life itself. He arranged his project in order to offer a living organism for human habitation, an open organic form that offers a flow between states, often best realized in drawings rather than architectural models, which fail to realize the living fluidity of Kiesler’s vision. Taking up where the promises of utopian architecture failed, Lee’s work instead also reflects an distinctive fragmentation of its quasi-organic forms, creating a womb-like composition that also alludes to her ongoing interest in the fetish culture of vore, or vorarephilia, in which one desires to consume the object of their affection. Vore contains an equally utopic wish for oneness that transgresses across boundaries between living and dead, disgust and pleasure, self and other, as necessarily impossible as Kiesler’s vision.

 

Tina Kim Gallery is honored to bring Lee’s work to Basel, in the midst of her exceptional exhibition calendar in Europe and across the world. In presenting Endless House: Harlequin Baby, Lee’s singular vision can be held, just for a moment, by the fair’s public, before being ingrained in the work forever, a deeply affecting monument to both Lee’s meteoric rise and gravitational practice.

 

 

Booth: M3

Hall: 2.1

 

Mire Lee, Endless House: Harlequin Baby (2022)

Fired clay, silicone, glycerine, glaze, peristaltic pump and other mixed media

Metal plinth: 26 x 120 x 380 cm

Sculpture appx. 60 x 80 x 200 cm

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