Anicka Yi's latest solo exhibition, "A Shimmer Through The Quantum Foam," unveiled at Esther Schipper Gallery in Berlin, is a testament to her unwavering commitment to the fusion of art, science, and the metaphysical.
Within the gallery's walls, spectators are greeted by a mesmerizing convergence of form and concept. The exhibition introduces a series of animated pod sculptures that pulse and sway, their ethereal luminescence casting an enigmatic radiance upon algorithmically-derived paintings. Beneath this celestial assemblage, an aqueous expanse reminiscent of life's primordial origins sprawls across the gallery's floor, a subtle nod to the juxtaposition of the organic and the technologic that defines Yi's oeuvre.
Yi's artistic inquiry traverses the territories of politics and macrobiotics, dismantling conventional demarcations between humanity, flora, fauna, and machine. Her oeuvre is the offspring of an alchemical crucible, where materials and media, often laden with political undertones, find harmonious discord. A pioneer of a "biopolitics of the senses," Yi's installations deftly employ scientific paradigms to construct intricate narratives that probe the intricacies of human psychology and societal mechanics. The result is an immersive odyssey that redefines our relationship with the sensory and the sentient.
The horizontal paintings in this series, a departure from Yi's previous enigmatic works, offer a rare insight into the creative crucible from which her ethereal skeletal forms are born. The artworks are meticulously crafted using a UV printing process that harnesses the power of a custom-made machine learning model. Each piece is imbued with an almost otherworldly quality, thanks to the intricate milling of the acrylic surface, which bestows upon them a mesmerizing sculptural dimension. As one moves around these paintings, their appearance undergoes a beguiling transformation, evoking a sense of the holographic, a visual riddle that defies the confines of conventional representation.They oscillate between the visceral and the abstract, pulsating with the textural echoes of blood cells, algae clumps, and ruptured epidermis. These pieces linger tantalizingly on the precipice of cognizance, inviting viewers to engage with the malleability of their own perceptions and the nebulous boundaries of reality.
The suspended animated pod sculptures, reminiscent of kelp pods and floating aerobes, unfurl in the dimly lit exhibition space like magnificent biomorphic apparitions. Inspired by radiolaria, these bio-techno lifeforms are veiled in a mystique befitting their shadowy habitat, each fiber-optic strand within them dancing with a pulsating luminosity. As observers delve deeper, the sculptures reveal themselves as an homage to the enigmatic radiolaria, an ancient protozoan zooplankton. Their intricate design pays homage to the vagaries of evolution, offering a beguiling dance between smooth-shelled elegance and segmented complexity.
Within this darkened realm, a reflective aquatic expanse provides a visually stunning mise-en-scène for the evolving ecosystem that "A Shimmer Through The Quantum Foam" beckons forth. Fragrant tendrils of scent by French perfumer Barnabé Fillion waft through the air, seamlessly weaving olfactory and visual stimuli into a sensory tapestry. Yi's immersive realm challenges our preconceptions, blurring the lines between the corporeal and the cerebral, inviting us to explore the intricate dance between the known and the unknown, the tangible and the transcendent.