Autumn Ahn


In my work I think about the poetic implications of invisible systems, the spaces they hold, and the distortions they create. Distilling them, I question our notions of the sublime or the absolute. Art for me is a truth, uncovering and refining the emotional virtuosity of our differences as humans, as a society, and as stewards of culture and life. A continual exercise in empathy and rapture, it unhing-es the states of our imagination. I am deeply moved by the sites, sounds and histories that enter my immediate life. In this way, my projects are sites of temporal, political and cultural reflection, exploring the potential ways to unwrap a seemingly concrete set of expectations often built into our daily experiences.

Through performance, moving image, drawing and installation, I examine the sources of these abstractions as a territory of new language. How does movement, the familiar, and the unexpected, work together to give us a a sense of ourselves beyond what we know? Familiarity reveals our relationship to what we do not know. I tend to the unknown because of the meanings we discover along the way. This plurality tells us that obfuscation is around us and with that, there is work to do to renew our senses and our meanings. This work with deeper observation, of movement, of language and of experimental playfulness challenges the realities I see everyday and gives me a way to see beyond it in ways that connect me to the past and also gives me a sense of my future.


                                   Autumn Ahn (b.1986, Philadelphia, USA)
Autumn Ahn (b.1986, Philadelphia, USA) is an American artist best known for her performance art and interdisciplinary work. Her work often shares encounters between the body and unseen forces such as gravity. She is influenced by experiences in a Korean-American family, exploring the nuances of ritual, meaning, identity politics, and language in her work. Her particular relationship to hierarchy extends from being raised in contexts that distort the singularity cultural phil-sophies. For example, growing up in a publically Catholic environment while a home life is guided by Confucian and naturalist practices. These experiences open up possibilities of plurality while confirming the existence of clear attempts to obfuscate the truth.
She has lived abroad in several countries, and currently resides in the mountains in Western Massachusetts, USA. She is currently creating new projects around the idea of looking backwards to look forwards in light of its relationship to memory or decay. Inspired by the years of observation of plant life, decay, and its conditions, her studio work and a turn to nature has reestablished a more full experience of an ancestral spirit and a sense of wonder. Explorations of sound and wildlife amplify her interdisciplinary aptitude and has given her experiences safe and unsafe that ground her in the sensations of the body. She has been working from a temporary studio environment in her cabin since the beginning of the pandemic emergency in March 2020. After completing her Visiting Fellowship at Harvard University’s Department of Philosophy in 2019, she will a Project Space Resident at the Headlands Center for the Arts when it is rescheduled for the coming year.
She completed her BFA at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts and also at the Scuola Internazionale de Grafica in Venice, Italy. Her recent solo exhibitions include, surfaces, at Howard Yezerski Gallery (2020), a tall action is not a height, at The Chimney NYC (2017), Untitled (Chamber), for the AIDS ACTION COMMITTEE & Alter Projects, Art Basel-Miami (2014), and, Latent Lavender, at Ryan Lee Gallery, NYC (2014). She has participated in group exhibitions at HUBWeek with CASTLEDRONE CORRAL (2017),  Cinema Tonalá and Fería ARTBo for The Host, Bogotá (2016) curated by Anissa Touati,  Montserrat College of Art & Design for SEVEN, Boston (2016), École du Magazin (Centre National d’Art Contemporain), for TakeYouThereRadio, Grenoble/ (2015). She has been invited to the residency program at MassMoCA, Wesleyan University’s ICPP program, a recipient of Boston’s Opportunity Grant, Createwell Artist Grant, a Constantin Alajalov Scholarship. Her work has been reviewed on Whitehot Magazine, The Boston Globe, ARTE, Art New England and in the Emergency Index.
She lives and works in Massachusetts, USA.