You Complete Me

April 24 – August 2, 2008

You Complete Me took up themes from some recent conversations around interactive art and relational aesthetics through a series of works that are less viewed than experienced. Works that needed you to work to work. Martin Creed’s Work No. 360: Half the Air in a Given Space half-filled a room with silver-gray balloons, Mungo Thomson’s skyspace took the form of a bounce house, and Andreas Zybach’s long tunnel, 0—6.5 PS, used visitors’ weights to generate hydraulic pressure. The exhibition also included two commissions—a sculpture by Eli Hansen and Oscar Tuazon and a poster by Jordan Wolfson—and made local introductions of the work of Mungo Thomson and Mark Soo.

The show drew on discussions about artists working to activate the passive viewer, an effort now at least a century old. We are familiar with art asking something of us, a demand to participate in the work. The condition of being merely audience rather than participant, often critiqued as a passive position, was also perhaps a position of autonomy. Was there some coercion involved as we relinquished voyeurism for a more engaged role? Does interactivity make art more democratic, or can it also be a kind of tyranny? Can open forms result, as per Nicolas Bourriaud in the creation of “micro-utopias,” or should the work retain the potential to express or generate antagonisms and conflict?

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