Carey Young: Disclaimer
2 July – 2 October 2004
Exhibition in Gallery 4
Investigating the increasing incorporation of the personal and public domains into the realm of the commercial, Young's exhibition explores the connections between legal 'disclaimers' and notions of negative space.
Following her fellowship at the Henry Moore Institute, Carey Young (b. 1970) made two new works for Gallery 4. Young is a London-based artist who has become recognised for works across a variety of media.
Disclaimers are 'legalese': the small print which has appeared with increasing prevalence at the end of emails or on websites. In essence, disclaimers allow authors, publishers or (often corporate) hosts to protect themselves by denouncing responsibility for what they or their employees have said, creating a kind of absence or 'negative space' around communication, meaning what has been said is also termed 'unsaid'.
Carey Young has developed two new works which expand on this theme. In one, she has collaborated with a notable intellectual property lawyer to create a disclaimer, which will be placed on the gallery wall as a large text piece. Alluding to 'social sculpture' and conceptual works by Joseph Kosuth, John Baldessari and others, Young's disclaimer uses a legal precision to destabilise the status of the relationship between artwork, viewer and host institution.
The second piece is a video which features a smiling woman enunciating a disclaimer whilst standing in an idyllic rural landscape, replete with references to the painterly landscape tradition. The text has been drawn from a series of corporate websites. As the woman performs, references to the digital 'site' of the disclaimer and the 'site' of the landscape seem to merge. The dislocated, distanced language of the speech take on a different association: the language of the corporate void, a void which has come to engulf everyday life, and yet which remains, at present, largely unaccountable.
Carey Young was born in Lusaka, Zambia and trained at the Royal College of Art, London. She has exhibited in Beck's Futures (ICA, 2003), A Short History of Performance, Part II (Whitechapel Gallery, 2003) and has recently lectured on her work at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.