For PDF with links to videos, email
apaxahn@gmail.com

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"a tall action is not a height"
performance exhibition
the chimney NYC
4.21 - 5.28.2017

opening friday, april 21 // live performance 6:30-9:30pm
second performance may 7 4:30-6:30pm
artist talk: A Visual Alphabet:
200 Morgan Ave, Brooklyn

The willingness of human fantasy and the function of turbulence in a vacuum

"...Which I wish to say it this
There is no beginning to an end
But there is a beginning and an end
To beginning..."

Gertrude Stein
Stanza XXXVIII, Part Five

"The Chimney is pleased to present a tall action is not a height, the solo exhibition of American artist Autumn Ahn, curated by Anissa Touati. Ahn’s performance operates similarly as a structuralist rite, both symbolic and disturbing. In her installation, she defies external and internal realities. The artist makes light of the movement of the spirit - the thoughts' creation and interactions, the sentiments and other psychological states and ultimately of her own body. Ahn walks on water and draws an ephemeral scar by making a mark on time: a visual alphabet.

Ahn's water projections on the walls and floors of The Chimney build an oneiric and immersive space. She hangs, swings, moves from a rope with her body, the artist builds both a visual and aesthetic tension. The turbulence of the video imagery confronts the cross-narrative of stillness and calm of the slow movement of her body. Dialoguing with the material and its form, Ahn will be balanced with rocks whose weight will match her own, like another identity, a representative object, a ghost-like body. This act of equilibrium will allow Ahn to guide the actions and movements of this counterweight, using intuition as a responsive mechanism. Autumn Ahn becomes the mediator between two realities and the bearer of this collision. Hanging in the middle of the surrounding water, she creates a space where the mind can freely progress, playing with the totemic fantasy of walking on water. She uses this long-standing image inside of the Chimney’s industrial space to bring back together the past and the present.

Trust, immediacy, vulnerability between the artist and the viewers are instantly established. Creating her moves with her perceptual impressions, only responding to the water, the waves, her weights, and their shadows, Ahn conveys a sense of wonder. The artist finds a new way to express herself through her body and uses it to create a new language, knowing that our words and the way we use them can change and control our identity while expressing so much about culture. Inspired by Gertrude Stein, especially Tenders Buttons’ chapter « Rooms », she twists this language, helped by repetition and rhythm. Ahn uses this signage as a dancing body to express inner movement and her performance-based practice to express a universal dialect that interrogates and remodels today’s frontier. She transcends the artistic space of the Chimney to open a new world and to create a global territory." - text Anissa Touati

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Autumn Ahn (b. 1986, Philadelphia, USA) completed a BFA in Oil Painting, Art History and Printmaking from Boston University. Her recent exhibitions include: Cine Tonalá for Fería ARTBO (Bogota Art Fair), Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Centre National d’Art Contemporain-Grenoble; Istanbul Embassy, WRONG Biennale; Contemporary Istanbul; Maison du Portugal, Cité Universitaire, Paris; Art Basel, Miami for AIDS Action Committee; Montserrat College of Art & Design, and upcoming solo exhibition at The Chimney in Brooklyn, NY.

Anissa Touati is an independant curator based in France, USA and Mexico. She works closely with Marc Olivier-Wahler, Chalet Society’s co-director in Paris. Touati has realized numerous exhibitions in unusual places from public spaces, disused buildings to outdoor sites. She tries to forge links and interactions between artists and the exhibition space. For her projects "Luna Park" and "Triangle Walks" in Art Basel (Miami), "Form Scratch" in Art Basel (Basel) and "Yodeling Circus" at the Venice Biennale, Anissa Touati has developed a reflection on the institutional system. Impregnated by the transcultural studies and the New Institutionalism, she questions the established roles and the archetypes existing inside the exhibition space. Touati also independently curated gallery exhibitions such as "¿Cómo te voy a olvidar? " at Galerie Perrotin (Paris) and" The Queen falls "at Galería OMR (Mexico City).

THE CHIMNEY NYC is an exhibition and performance venue promoting local & international artists. Located in the heart of Brooklyn’s creative scene, the venue plays on the rawness of its industrial architecture. All works are commissioned to interact with the space, creating immersive environments and interactions with the viewers. In addition to its permanent exhibition space, The Chimney is developing offsite installations and exhibitions in the United-States and abroad.
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Review 4.2017

-Chennie Huang- "Autumn Ahn's performance, "A Tall Action Is Not a Height" is a mesmerizing visual feat. It is a physical experience and a metaphysical experience. The Chimney located on Morgan Avenue in Brooklyn provided the perfect venue for the performance installation. Quietly tucked away in an area of industrial constructions is a little white house in which everything unfolds.

Inspired by Gertrude Stein's "Rooms" in her book called Tender Buttons, Autumn creates a narrative that denies linear chronology in time. When Stein wrote the book, she intended to create an experience without evoking the act of looking. Exploring her medium as a writer, she uses words weaving together physical descriptions of objects to be seen only through the mind's eye. For the writer the act of looking calls forth images hidden away in memory, therefore she sets out to create an experience taking place purely in the present moment. Like the story, Autumn's performance evolves in the experience of the present moment. Leaving no room for wondering into the past or the future, the performance combines sounds of nature, projections of moving image, and the physical human body moving with fluidity.

From the outside the little white house looks as if a residential parking garage. There is a door on the side, when it opens it is like looking through a kaleidoscope. Autumn's film projections moving through the space evoke the feeling of being surrounded by nature. This experience of serenity is contrasted by the artist's body suspending from the ceiling top by climbing ropes. Her acrobatic movements balance between the precariousness of physical suspension and the stability provided by earth's gravity. Oscillating back and forth, the sense of uncertainty is constantly present. Like so many questions are raised without them being answered definitively, Autumn's performance challenges notions of security, established truth, and absolute conviction about everything in art and life. "