Lee Bul

After Bruno Taut (Negative Capability)

2008
Lee Bul's installation references Bruno Taut's lyrical 1919 book "Alpine Architektur", in which the early-20th-century German architect proposes a utopian city built of glass and floating in the cosmos. Here, Taut's vision is translated into a decorative structure fabricated from lengths of cheaply-made jewellery, the kind often produced in Asia for Western consumption. Simultaneously delicate and industrial, the shimmering expanses of the artwork point to failed modernist dreams while providing hope through the work's transformative offerings. "Human beings are always fated to dream of [utopia] and to plan it," suggests Bul. "And yet we're also fated to be disappointed by the inevitable realization that it's unreachable. Still we dream. I'm fascinated by those failures, as well as the dreams that the dreamers knew could never materialize."
Artist
Title
After Bruno Taut (Negative Capability)
Date
2008
Medium
Sculpture
Materials
crystal, glass, and acrylic beads on stainless steel armature with aluminum and copper mesh, with chains made of PVC, steel, and aluminum
Dimensions
274.3 x 296.4 x 213.4 cm
Nationality
Korean
Credit line
Purchased 2009
Rights
Photo © NGC
Accession number
42370