Lee Ufan Selected Writings – A Geographical Localisation
In addition to the subject object allocation of Foucault’s the difference of the two access points is the rooting to a particular place not as with Foucault an undefined spatial allocation that can happen everywhere around the world.
Lee Ufan therefore grounds the lightness of Foucault’s to a specific place which adds a fourth component to the reasoning of Foucault, who only engages the three components: The viewer, the object and the empty space in between. Lee Ufan adds a fourth component the geographical positioning named topography, the space allocation to a specific geographically determined place and roots the scenery to a be it permanent or temporary place.
The grey-zone, the extension of subject object and in-between therefore shrinks and densifies to a place that the curator or artist chooses for his work.
Foucault left this one constant aside and Ufan’s theories brings the work to a more site-specific and further determined installation that place the scenery in real-space rather than an illusionary undefined setting.
Ufan says himself he actually wanted to become a composer but then only became a mere painter and sculptor which he didn’t want to be in the first place. He says in Japan they have a saying that a stone is decaying in the end but a Korean saying speaks of the dissolution of the stone instead.
We can therefore reason that at the end of the day the Mono-Ha movement had a greater influence on him as the dissolving of stones into almost nothing but space or mist brings us back to the dissolution of the object per se but still the specific site remains in his equation being a further development of Foucault’s original approach that he did not include in his writings. Might it have been unnecessary for him to follow or not, might he not have studied Lee Ufan’s writings we can not proof today but the further determinant of a geographical allocation seems a very important fact for me as it roots people to a specific place which as well brings more quiet in life opposed to the constant migration from one place to the next.
Ufan therefore rather defines installations further and the grey-zone of his works and art in general are actually diminished and art historical allocation leading to the two art historical periods Arte Povera and Minimalism, starting with Celant’s definition of the term ‘Arte Povera’ results in a defined art period and locates the first in Italy of the 1950s. The constant flux of art periods is therefore reduced and gives way to installations and art spaces that are located in cities, as well as the country side but are determined by one crucial fact, the geographical positioning.
Daniela Haberz, M.A.
Art Consultant and Curator