Ben Luke talks to Anicka Yi about her influences—from the worlds of literature, music and, of course, art—and the cultural experiences that have shaped her life and work.
Yi creates installations and objects that sit on the borders of art and science. Drawing on research into biology, and particularly macrobiotics, but embedded in geopolitics, Yi’s work calls for a deep sensory engagement from the viewer, with smell as important as sight. In fusing different categories of knowledge, she questions what she calls “the increasingly hazy taxonomic distinctions between what is human, animal, plant and machine”.
She discusses being “possessed” by the formal language of Isamu Noguchi and inspired by the breadth of Rosemarie Trockel’s work; she reflects on the impact of John Ashbery’s poetry and how Donna Haraway prompted her series When Species Meet (2016).
Plus, she gives insight into life in her studio (and how it compares to a laboratory) and answers our usual questions, including: what is art for?
• Anicka Yi, Gladstone Gallery, 24th Street, New York, 6 October-12 November