ART REVIEW: Yingmei Duan, "Thingness" at Neuer Kunstverein Wien, Vienna [PREVIEW]

"I was always very afraid to speak before the age of 21, because I spent most of the time in silence because people could not understand my words even until I was a teenager. So I often talked to myself and the objects around me.”
Installation view, courtesy Neuer Kunstverein Wien.
With this quotation from artist Yingmei Duan in mind, Thingness, her current installation at the Neuer Kunstverein Wien becomes a strange, personable journey into her psyche by way of the objects she has chosen to include. Indeed, the show itself is purposefully devoid of her authorial voice in the most evident of ways, making her hesitance with words and speech—and the lack thereof—a crucial element of the exhibition. Namely, instead of including the usual object labels and artist statements that are standard by now in contemporary art exhibitions, as well as ones that are so conceptual and cerebral in nature, Yingmei has chosen to write the labels from the point of view of the objects themselves. This strategy allows the items that Yingmei has chosen to take up the burden of speech, of explanation, of making the first contact with the viewer, creating the impression, if not the reality, of an absence of the artist’s intervention in the most literal sense...

You can read the rest of this review at Paste Magazine.