PRINT January 2013


Anicka Yi, I’m Every Woman I Ever Met (detail), 2011, vacuum-sealed peanuts and pearls, Plexiglas, 57 x 15 x 22".

THE TOFU WAS OOZING FASTER than Anicka Yi had expected. Untitled, 2011, her contribution to the 2011 New York group exhibition “Skin So Soft,” organized by fellow artist Josh Kline for Gresham’s Ghost, took the form of a winkingly medium-specific video—a grid of tofu blocks and packages—projected onto a craggy tofu-brick wall. But the wall wasn’t holding its shape particularly well. To temporarily absorb the discharge (and mask the stench of deteriorating food), Yi dumped foot powder onto the rotting protein. And why not—since health food, body parts, and quotidian accessories share the same status in her work, and after all, she accepts decomposition as a side effect of living. If today the instability of an artwork is often excused as a stab at self-reflexivity, Yi’s art, in its openness to structural failure, turns reflexively outward, demonstrating the

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