“Aesthetics is informed by a similar paradox, one which Lisa Young’s work explores by staging the intimate relationship between the transcendent, the beautiful, and the perfect, on the one hand, and the lowly, the repetitive, and the imperfect, on the other.” Cabinet Magazine
A combination of delicacy and rigor is a hallmark of Lisa Young’s hybrid and conceptual practice, which includes installation, video and web projects. Like a scientist, Young uses observation and classification, but her “experiments” produce empyreal results. A key activity in all her work is collecting, analyzing and repositioning image and text fragments. Young acts as a visual interpreter, placing everyday images (televised sports, fortune cookie fortunes) in structured systems that also allow for chance occurrences. Her works “function simultaneously as formal documents; as a framing of [my] consciousness and observation; and as pieces of ephemera that reflect the incomplete and transitory qualities of the sublime.”
Drives (above), is a compilation of hundreds of 3-5 second shots edited from televised professional golf footage, that capture the ball in mid-air. The movement of the ball is both graceful and erratic, seemingly random, yet structured by a system (the order in which the drives were made). Watching the almost indiscernible ball perpetually rising and falling against a backdrop of varying shades of blue and white creates a weightless, ethereal effect. While these clips are generally deemed superfluous by sports broadcasters,
Young transforms them into a system of abstract, sublime patterns. Flocking (right) is both a typology and an archive, and is comprised of over 400 sheep figurines placed on a long tabletop, the result of sustained collecting. A quasi-inventory of common collectables, the “flock” is caught in a state of suspended animation.
Perpetually en route to an unknown destination, Flocking emphasizes the significance of the journey over a predetermined goal. Young’s exhibition at the CUE Art Foundation marks her first solo show in New York and will include three of her video works, Lyra Angelica, Drives and Practice. Also on view will be installations of Flocking and Fortune Hunting (www.fortunehunting.org). Fortune Hunting involves the collection, diagramming and dissemination of fortune cookie fortunes, and individuals can search the artist’s extensive online database, print out their findings in the gallery and view the corresponding large-scale wall drawing. Whether juxtaposing multiple figure skating programs or mapping the path of tickertape across the sky, Young’s placement of everyday images within complex structures produces startling and beautiful effects.