David B Jang
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Artist Statement
 
 
 
 
 

Jang’s exacting, fanciful, obsessive re-appropriation of common materials articulates countervailing forces inherent in the everyday, such as expansion and contraction, perfection and imperfection, force and balance, having and lacking.  He deconstructs, re-programs and re-constitutes industrial and commercial cast-offs to reveal new relationships.  Coded also into each of these objects (and the materials from which they are composed) are its life’s instructions.  He examines these codes and the continuum of the objects, to discover the hidden subtexts and hierarchies they uphold.

Ultimately, Jang’s work is about survival, or what he calls life tactic.  In its performative aspect, he seeks to establish intimacy with the consumer material, transforming it, according to Peter Frank, into “machines that are “at once hilarious, frightening, and charming.”  Because these materials are a day to day reality of an industrialized culture, and emblematic of it its inherent materialism,  the artist “recommodifies”  at the same time “deobjectifies” the materials by his transformation and loving use of them.  In this way, as much to critique capitalism, and because of a thirst for novelty, he creates circularity in the life of the objects and shifts the attention away from the product to the process and the consumer.  He finds a strange reassurance in a “rich harmonic practice that addresses the conditions that define our daily existence,” by creating a formal aesthetic out of the utilitarian, mass produced object.  In other words, if in society, property ownership is a pathway to the “American Dream,”   then Jang’s life tactic is to subvert, dissect, comprehend, and redirect property and its use in mechanical reproduction to verify its potentiality and truth (or uncover its lie).  In this way, the invisible inner workings of things are made visible.

Jang states that contemporary relations between art, politics, technology, and science may be identified as a field of obsessions.  By duplicating, multiplying, and unifying the diversity of human activity (represented by consumer materials and artifacts), he desires to experience contemporary human urban life.  He is propelled by the notion of the redirection of short life cast off mechanical reproductions into genuine objects of supreme beauty. If consumer materials are becoming the new landscape, and its leavings permanent, then Jang desires to make them, instead of heavy handed, approachable, lovely, and infinite.  He desires not just to make sense of them, but to make them venerable and meaningful, a reflex of human self-consciousness.

 

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