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“5779”, 8/12, Pae White, < L 3 U ~ . > C ≈ K ¥ ◊ C H Δ R M S ‡, 2014

“5779”, 8/12, Pae White, < L 3 U ~ . > C ≈ K ¥ ◊ C H Δ R M S ‡, 2014


curated by Nicola Trezzi

5 May 2019 - 2 Jun 2019

Pae White
<L3U~.>C≈K¥◊CHΔRMS‡, 2014
70 neon, trasformatori, cavo elettrico
Installazione site specific

Pae White belongs to a generation of artists who have been fascinated by the language of design and craft. Through a deep understanding of the notions of collaboration and contract work, these artists have based their practice on the redefinition, recontextualization and reversal of these themes, through the creation of hybrid pieces of art: works that are at the same time works of art, pieces of industrial design and somehow functional objects.

The work presented for BUILDINGBOX is a fragment of an installation made of 540 neons. The initial project – consisting of over 2.000 tubes of neon – has already been reconfigured through a randomizer, which adapted and transformed the installation in accordance to the space intended to accommodate it. The same strategy has been applied once again for the space of BUILDINGBOX.

Conceived as a kind of light therapy to offset seasonal affective disorder, <L3U~.>C≈K¥◊CHΔRMS‡ refers formally to ornamental motifs from a mythical magic carpet. Hued in different gradations of white that simulate the effects of daylight, the neon installation creates a joyful “light room”, which in this case visitors and passersby will have the chance to experience not only during the day but also during sunset, night and dawn.

Pae White’s<L3U~.>C≈K¥◊CHΔRMS‡ is the eight chapter of “5779”, the exhibition project opening the first season of BUILDINGBOX, which is an independent space within the premises of BUILDING, characterized by its own unique program. The opening project, curated by Nicola Trezzi, opens on the week of Rosh HaShana, which is the beginning of the new year – the year 5779, as the title says – according to the Hebrew calendar.

Following these premises, a window gallery which is visible 24/7, and a calendar which consists of 13 months: 5779 is a leap year(Nisan, Iyar, Sivan, Tammuz, Av, Elul, Tishrei, Marcheshvan, Kislev, Tevet, Shevat, Adar Alef and Adar Beth), “5779” is a group exhibition in which several artworks are not presentednext to each other but rather one afterthe other. The structure of the calendar – day after day, month after month, year after year – becomes the guideline for the presentation of artworks by several artists; in doing so, this structure transforms the essence behind group exhibitions, from coexistence and juxtaposition to linearity and procession.

Furthermore, this specific format deconstructs the very core of the group exhibition format, which is, by definition, an exhibition in which several artworks, by several artists, are presented next to each other in a confined space and for a specific amount of time. With “5779” the idea of a group exhibition in which works of art by several artists appear, in the same space, one after the other – substituting one another, replacing one another – suggests an inversion in the equation at the base of exhibition making. Rather than rooting exhibition making into space, as it usually happens, this time the exhibition is rooted in time rather than space.


To reinforce the predominance of time over space, a complete overturning of exhibition making and of its premises, is the decision to display artworks that are not only on view 24/7 but also that are ‘fed’ by electricity – neon signs, works with light bulbs, videos, etc. –, works that are independent sources of light, “small suns” (although the Hebrew calendar is not purely solar but “lunisolar”) giving the rhythm of time.

Pae White’s <L3U~.>C≈K¥◊CHΔRMS‡ will remain on view until June 2, during the days of Iyar.At the end of the 13 months (5779 is a leap yearand has Adar Alef and its intercalary month Adar Beth),  BUILDING will present a catalogue conceived as a calendar and featuring all the 13 artworks presented during the year, which will be revealed month after month.

Biographical notes

The work of Pae White (1963, Pasadena CA, United States; she lives and works in Los Angeles) has been the subject of solo exhibitions at institutions such as Cini Foundation in Venice, MAK in Wien,Langen Foundation in Düsseldorf, South London Gallery, The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, Museum für angewandte kunst in Wien, Site Santa Fe, New Mexico,The Art Institute of Chicago, The Power Plant in Toronto, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC,Manchester Art Gallery, Milton Keynes Gallery (United Kingdom), Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, CAC – La synagogue de Delme (France), Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth (New Zealand), Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver as well as galleries like greengrassi in London, kaufmann repetto in Milan and New York, neugerriemschneider in Berlin and 1301PE in Los Angeles, which currently represents her.

She has participated in group exhibitions at Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai, Sammlung Goetz in Munich, Staatliche Kunsthalle in Baden-Baden (Germany), Remai Modern in Saskatoon (Canada), Macro Testaccio in Rome, Kunsthalle Oslo, Istanbul Modern, Barbican Center in London, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, San Diego Museum of Art (United States), Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, MOCA in Los Angeles, MoMA in New York, MUAC in Mexico City, KUMU in Tallinn, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Tate St Ives,Národní galerie Praha, CAPC in Bordeaux, de Appel in Amsterdam, Zabludowicz Collection in London, Tate Modern in London, The Jewish Museum in New York, Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo NY (United States), Tate Liverpool, CAC in Vilnius, Kunstverein Düsseldorf, LACMA in Los Angeles, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, ICA in Boston and the New Museum in New York, as well as recurring exhibitions such as the 2017 NGV Triennialin Melbourne, the 2012 Mardin Biennal (Turkey), the 2010 Whitney Biennial in New York, the 2003 and 2009 Venice Biennales, the 2008 Folkestone Triennial (United Kingdom), Skulpture Projekte Münster 07 (Germany)and the 1997 International Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana.