The Sea Wall facilitates a conversation between the work of Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Haegue Yang. Their practices’ talk of human relationships through the formation of abstract artworks, reflecting on such notions as intimacy and activism, private and public, as well as place and people. Together, the works of these artists from different generations balance poetics and politics; they are emotionally charged, often made from domestic objects and materials provided with a new significance and personality, and with a sense of fragility or vulnerability.
Gonzalez-Torres’ work “Untitled” (Water), 1995, an iridescent blue beaded curtain, is presented throughout the exhibition spaces, creating transitional spaces. The artist said he wanted to leave a viewer with "something else, non-artistic yet beautifully simple.” In dialogue with this will be an atypical selection of works by Yang from the last ten years, including early formative works.
The exhibition has been titled after the novel The Sea Wall by writer Marguerite Duras, which depicts her family life growing up in colonial-era French Indochina during the 1930s. Yang has long been interested in the life and work of Duras and has made numerous works that take her as the subject. There is a season of Marguerite Duras films to accompany the exhibition, opening with Hiroshima Mon Amour on 23 July.