Body Techniques
2007
Photographic series

Produced during a residency at the Sharjah Biennial Artist in Residence Program and supported by London College of Communication and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
   
   
 

Body Techniques (2007) is a new series of eight photographs that considers the interrelationships between art and globalized commerce. The title of the series refers to a phrase originally coined by Marcel Mauss and developed by Pierre Bourdieu as habitus, which describes how an operational context or behavior can be affected by institutions or ideologies. 

Set in the vast building sites of Dubai and Sharjah’s futuristic corporate landscape, we see Carey Young alone and dressed in a suit, her actions reworking some of the classic performance-based works associated with Conceptual art, including pieces by Richard Long, Bruce Nauman, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Dennis Oppenheim and Valie Export.  In thus recasting earlier works centered around the physicality of the body in time and space, it is ambiguous whether the artist is molding herself to the landscape or exploring ways of resisting it.

The locations for Young's photographs are a series of empty, uninhabited 'new build' developments reminiscent of Las Vegas, rising from the desert's tabula rasa aimed at bombastic luxury and spectacle and intended for thousands of incoming Western corporate executives. The architectural style is consummate ‘global village’ - a business theme park composed of swathes of multinational HQs and Italianate McVillas. These non-places could eventually compose an entire world-view: a hyperreal, corporate vision of utopia. Half-constructed backdrops are used as a 'stage' for the action, with the artist appearing as one tiny individual, overwhelmed, dislocated from, or even belittled by the corporate surroundings, while dressed up to play a role within it.



 

Body Techniques (after Sculpture II, Kirsten Justesen, 1969)
Carey Young. 2007. Lightjet print, 56 x 48 inches

Body Techniques (after A Line in Ireland, Richard Long, 1974)
Carey Young. 2007. Lightjet print, 59 ¾ x 48 inches

Body Techniques (after Hartford Wash: Washing, Tracks, Maintenance: Outside, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, 1973)
Carey Young. 2007. Lightjet print, 54 ¾  x 48 inches

Body Techniques (after Dance or Exercise on the Perimeter of a Square [Square Dance], Bruce Nauman, 1967-68)
Carey Young. 2007. Lightjet print, 56   x 48 inches

Body Techniques (after Lean In, Valie Export, 1976)
Carey Young. 2007. Lightjet print, 59 ¾ x 48 inches

Body Techniques (after Encirclement, Valie Export, 1976)
Carey Young. 2007. Lightjet print, 60 x 48 inches

Body Techniques (after Parallel Stress, Dennis Oppenheim, 1970)
Carey Young. 2007. Lightjet print, 55 7/8  x 48 inches

Body Techniques (after Circles, Ulrich Ruckreim, 1971)
Carey Young. 2007. Lightjet print, 55 x 48 inches

 

Body Techniques as installed at Paula Cooper Gallery, Dec 2007

installation photos: Adam Reich