Seung-Taek Lee: "Things Unstable"

February 3 – May 22, 2023

Opening Reception: Friday, February 3, 6 – 8PM

Seung-Taek Lee: “Things Unstable” reflects on the pioneering work of the Korean avant-garde artist Seung-taek Lee (b. 1932). Lee gained his reputation from his groundbreaking multidisciplinary practice resulting in a wide range of artistic projects including ephemeral performances, site-specific works, photographic interventions, appropriated canvases, and sculptures.

Deploying natural elements such as fire, wind, earth, and water as conceptual collaborators, Lee’s multimedia performances expanded the lexicon of the 1970s’ turn towards environmental aesthetics marking his practice as an early proponent of eco-art.

Celebrating his life-long preoccupation with the environment, Canal Projects will host re-enactments of two of Lee’s most well-known works: “Wind-Folk Amusement” (1971) and “Earth Performance” (1989-1996). Documentation and re-enactments of his performances will contextualize Lee’s practice amidst today’s most pressing ecological concerns while also drawing back to the global environmental movements of the 1970s.

The show seeks to provide a wider understanding of Lee’s incessant aim to disrupt mainstream ideas of art. In subverting artistic hierarchies, Lee’s practice centers instead on the use of quotidian, unsuspected, and at times found objects imbuing his practice with unparalleled humor and irreverence.