The Hugo Boss Prize 2016: Anicka Yi, Life Is Cheap
Anicka Yi is the recipient of the 2016 Hugo Boss Prize, a biennial award for contemporary art that for over 20 years has recognized some of the most powerful and singular voices in the field. Yi catalyzes vivid fictional scenarios through concepts and techniques drawn from scientific research, creating installations that ask incisive questions about human psychology and the workings of society. Challenging the primacy of vision in the reception of an artwork, she expands the perceptual experience of the “viewer” into a broader sensory immersion. The artist has a longstanding interest in smell and its potent link to memory and subjectivity, at times activating her installations with scents designed to evoke specific emotional states or cultural identities. Her work studies the ramifications of both the disembodied digital realm and our inescapable reality as corporeal, and therefore entropic, beings, with a particular focus on how biology has been mobilized politically in relation to gender or race. Creating an environment that interweaves Yi’s ongoing study of microorganic forms, data collection, and sensory perception, this exhibition coheres into a densely layered examination of the intersecting systems—biological, social, political, and technological—that define our lives.
The Hugo Boss Prize 2016: Anicka Yi, Life Is Cheap is organized by Katherine Brinson, Curator, Contemporary Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Susan Thompson, Assistant Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and is made possible by HUGO BOSS.