An array of disruptions and codependencies

Brooke Benington is pleased to present An array of disruptions and codependencies, Yeni Mao’s first solo exhibition in the United Kingdom.
The exhibition will be at Brooke Benington’s London, Fitzrovia gallery at 76 Cleveland Street, London, W1T 6NB from 11th October to 18th November.

An array of disruptions and codependencies presents a fleet of sculptures that access social and transcendental states through the interplay of suggestive human, animal and industrial forms. Throughout the gallery, lustrous steel and leather armatures support organ-like artefacts made of bronze, ceramic, volcanic rock and mercury glass. These cyborgian assemblages are installed in the space as if technological fragments extruded from the architectural envelope. As we navigate the installation, encountering this network of objects, our own codependencies and reliance on technological and societal structures are challenged. The works in An array of disruptions and codependencies act as machines of desire, an interdependent network rendering the actual object of desire obsolete, preoccupied by the passage rather than by the end goal.

Yeni Mao’s practice engages in issues of fragmentation through series’ of assemblages and architectonic arrangements developed over several decades in the United States and Mexico. He evokes and examines a sense of otherness, with the concurrent sensations of restraint, domination and order. His works are coded with references to subcultures, countercultures and outsiders; enforced or self imposed on account of their social, racial, sexual, or transnational status. Mao sees deviance as the basis for his multivalent practice, positing that identity is not intrinsic but a rupture, an anti-identity led by our ungoverned, base instincts.

This new body of work utilises somatic strategies of ambiguity and cognition. The sculptures operate by an inherent visceral understanding, recognitions that are spurred by the agency of the materials and objects, the viewer, and the artist. Three of the sculptures incorporate bronze castings of cow tongues. There is an emotional path embedded in these works, an initial response of curiosity, followed by abjection and perhaps even repulsion. The abjection emerges from the realisation that these tongues, cut from the bovine body, are the same as our tongues. They are our animal nature. Following the path of this transference, the disembodied cow could be emblematic of any body, a mythological beast, a lion, a dragon. Mao is interested in these possibilities as a mechanism for consciousness.

Yeni Mao’s own peripatetic journey spans continents and cultures, drawing influence from outsider experience, a life in opposition. His enquiries and modes of expression are informed by an intersection of influences – architectural modernism, the industrial music and body modification movement, his Chinese heritage, his queerness. This array of interactive defining mechanisms highlights the composite nature of diasporic visual language and the ephemeral nature of our own ontologies.