Terence Koh - Under the Influence New York Monday, March 9, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Peres Projects, Los Angeles

  • Exhibited

    Los Angeles, Peres Projects, Terrence Koh: The Voyage of Lady Midnight Snowdrops through Double Death Star, March 26, 2005

  • Literature

    M. N. Holte, “The Voyage of Lady Midnight Snowdrops through Double Death Star,” Frieze, issue 92, June - August 2005

  • Catalogue Essay

    Any valid [test] record contains some data that provides information about ideation, cognitive meditation, information processing, emotion, coping preferences and response styles, capacity for control, self-perception, and interpersonal perception.
    J. E. Exner, Jr. and S. P. Erdberg, The Rorschach, Hoboken, 2005, p. 7
    …a work…is completely made by those who observe it.
    D. Daniels, Duchamp und die Anderen, Cologne, 1992, p. 3
    Terence Koh's online presence is strewn with forms resembling Rorschach blots, and there seems to be a formal connection between those psychological tests and the artist's work.  As Rorschach's forms are ambiguous, but highly suggestive, the viewer gets the sense that there are right and wrong answers to be found in their interpretation.  Someone very much in control of what's being presented has worked diligently to derive an orderly range of possible responses from a seemingly random splash of ink.  That a spectrum of answers is expected is a large part of the point, however, as one's response to such a test is scrutinized for the very subtext that the blot itself ostensibly lacks.  In this sense Koh's work is fairly viewed as both sign and signifier—two mirrors held opposite one another—setting up an endless meta-narrative to accompany any consideration of the work. Have I uncovered the artist's intent, or have I missed something?  What if Koh's intent was to make the viewer feel as though they've missed something?  Or if the knowing the artist expecting that something be missed was part of the point—if inhabiting that dis-ease might also be intentional?  All artistic production is both projective and subjective—a work's maker is saying something to its viewers, but those viewers' responses are important, necessary.  In the case of Koh, whose practice is grounded in performance, one could argue that the anticipation of these responses are a vital component of the work in toto.  Rather than existing as objects of simple contemplation, the artist's sculptural works engage viewers, their very formlessness making consideration a constant act of give and take.  Work like the present lot is created first to make us feel, and then to consider why.      
    The forms of The Voyage of Lady Midnight Snowdrops through Double Death Star (The Comet I Destroyed Again and Again, II, finally, recall Rorschach shapes themselves—no coincidence.  The Rorschach test’s primary use is to expose how the subject views, and organizes their view, of the world.  With Koh's career still on the ascending curve of the parabola which comes to represent all creative working lives, spewing manifold content at a furious rate, the viewer is left, full of intention,  to continuously make their own connections.  In-home psychoanalysis never looked so good.              


The Voyage of Lady Midnight Snowdrops through Double Death Star (The Comet I Destroyed Again and Again, II)

Acrylic, porcelain, mirror, and mixed media.
3 7/8 x 16 3/8 x 44 1/8 in. (9.8 x 41.6 x 112.1 cm) as installed.

$60,000 - 80,000 

Under the Influence

9 Mar 2009, 10am
New York