Antagonistics York Chang IMAGES
Situated in the interstice of reality and fiction, York Chang’s projects embolden us to cross-examine the apparatus of our sociopolitical imaginary.
In Antagonistics, Chang interrogates the ethical legacy of “The Pictures Generation” through a series of collages that appropriate images of oil portraits of bankers. This work was purportedly stolen in 2007 from the studio of Gustavo Raynal, a Latin American conceptual artist whose identity Chang has been cohabiting over seven years in publications, exhibitions, radio appearances, documentaries, and on the web. Chang’s thievery of Raynal’s appropriated work puts authorship and ownership of images at stake again. The artifice of Raynal's fictional identity serves as both pretext and context for Chang's narrative strategies, in which efforts to reconcile the contradictory impulses of canonization and institutional critique collapse under the weight of postmodern dogma.
Antagonistics also features Confronting Raynal, a film that further blurs the line between fiction and reality. In the film, Chang plays the role of a curator and expert of Raynal's oeuvre, while an amateur Argentine actor and computer programmer plays Raynal. Entirely scripted and staged by Chang for a live audience, Confronting Raynal documents a panel discussion between the artist and curator on the relationship between economic crisis, insurgent violence, and cultural production. Through substantive, sometimes hostile exchanges on complex issues, they bring previously unarticulated political positions to life. Chang presents a version of reality through an artifice of fiction, inciting political imagination through the involuntary suspension of disbelief.
York Chang is a conceptual artist who lives and works in Los Angeles. Select exhibitions include: Syrop & Chang at Chapman University's Guggenheim Gallery in conjunction with OCMA's California-Pacific Triennial (2013); The Winners at Greene Exhibitions (2013); Second Life at 18th St. Art Center, Ping Pong at Art 43, Basel, Switzerland (2012); Incognito at Santa Monica Museum of Art (2011); The Workers at MASSMoCA (2011); Suelto at La Central Gallery, Bogotá, Colombia (2011); Open Daybook at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (2011); ARCO Madrid with g727, Madrid, Spain (2010); ZOOM at the Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA (2009); The Search for the Visceral Realists at the Federal Art Project, Los Angeles, CA (2009); Asian New Media, Center for Democracy at Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles CA (2008); and Hard Left, at Merry Karnowsky Gallery, Berlin, Germany (2008).