Mimi Park "Treasure Hunt"

20 January - 17 February 2024

Is simultaneity not simply a question of scale? Things often happen at the same time, but are magnitudes apart. To be simultaneous places more emphasis on an imagined shared present moment—yet things occur in varying scales of time, things occur despite or because of other occurrences, things are always occurring with or without each other. My friend Clara often tells me this. “It’s always both,” she would say. Perhaps she meant it not in the sense that both must be true simultaneously, but that if both were in fact true, then we might be able to see things differently, see them to their full potential.

Tender are the buttons that fasten us to one another, that fasten one occurrence to the next—as we chat, they gather like dust in the corner of the room. Time melts away and settles in rings of sediment as we consider what came first, what followed, what I am to you in this moment or the next. Gertrude Stein begins Tender Buttons by declaring a carafe a cousin. Objects as relatives help us understand what they really are to us—cousin, in its familial ambiguity, is a word that avoids and incites the urge to map webs of relations between you and I. What then is mother? How does the web of relations change when one goes from friend to lover?

These things are seldom within our control: time, love, family, friendship. They reverberate through the tense threads that string me to you and from one to the next. They pulse with electricity, light up in a jolt, and waft pollen and dander into the air. It is difficult to navigate a world where every surface buzzes with energy, refracting and dispersing light. As she leads us through the eye-white sky-light white-light district of the moon in her poem Lunar Baedeker, Mina Loy speaks of cyclones of ecstatic dust whirling.

Mimi Park’s work dots the space like a constellation of things. A stack of books from the artist’s personal library is adorned with tinsel, a woofer once launched pigment onto a gallery wall, a vase is left shattered after an install mishap—soon, these pieces will all be swept away, organized and returned to their respective plastic bins and cardboard boxes. Park’s work has often dwelled in the ephemeral and given in to chance and circumstance—her acts of worldbuilding assimilate that which she cannot control while also exacting meticulous care on the elements that she can. Parts from previous installations have been restaged or remade, but they too will become material for the next one. However, little by little, Park has begun to preserve bric-a-brac in tablets of clear resin: the dust in the corner of the room, that button that once held us together, stardust, accidents, memories embalmed.

In Loy’s travel guide, immortality mildews in the museums of the moon. Here, Park’s resin works amber with time.

—Calvin Wang

Installation Views