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Bodies Without Organisms

By Rhizome

U-Ram Choe is a Korean artist whose work employs and toys with the language of sculpture. His large-scale, pseudo-scientific objects mirror lifeforms while imparting them with the almost-cliche adornments of machine aesthetics, including shiny metal, hard edges, and ambiguously curvy bodies. The organic nature of his 'active sculpture' is thrown into paradoxical relief by his balance of hard and soft, round and sharp, and machine-made versus hand-made. The artist recently installed an exhibition at Bitforms Gallery that marked his New York debut. The exhibition is up through January 20 and visitors to the show will find thoughtful meditations on the nature of movement and evolution, as it is materialized in metal and plastic. The works on view are given witty titles which seem to parody the vocabulary of the science community, and are complemented by narratives composed by the artist. The end result of this work is something which is, in fact, very body-like: clunky, self-conscious, and yet beautiful and romantic in its own poetic way. - Irene Wu

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