Liz Magic Laser

Various Small Fires is pleased to present Liz Magic Laser’s first solo exhibition in Asia. As a traveling presentation from Laser’s most recent exhibition at VSF Los Angeles, this debut presentation in Seoul introduces both the artist’s earlier work Mine (2009) and latest institutional project Handle / Poignée (2018), which was commissioned by Centre Pompidou for MOVE Festival in Paris. The exhibition examines the techno-utopian logic of the scientifically managed self and the sociality that hyper-productivity forges.

Presented through the window, the video Mine displays assiduous robotic hands delving, pinching, snipping, and suturing through the contents of her purse: identity cards, dollar bills and makeup. Upon witnessing a friend’s distress over a stolen purse, Laser equated the incident as a loss of identity and began exploring concerns associated with personal identity and surveillance in modern society. Laser worked with a professional surgeon to direct the da Vinci Surgical System robot to perform a series of surgical maneuvers on her purse. The invasive procedures both expose and destroy her personal belongings, leaving a disorganized pile that recalls an abstract expressionist assemblage. Serving as a self-portrait that reduces individual identity to its paraphernalia, the jumble of destroyed items exhibits the invasion of privacy and personal autonomy.

Handle / Poignée is a performance and video installation imagining a consulting firm for analyzing and rehabilitating relations between liberals and conservatives. The interactive piece offers a personality test and treatment center where the public learns therapeutic movement for their political-personality type. Laser’s “Movement Consultants” guide viewers through therapeutic choreographies developed to empower four archetypes: the disciplinary parent, the nurturing parent, the rebellious child, and the obedient child, loosely drawn from George Lakoff’s book Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think (1996). The consultants inhabit a colorful Venn diagram stage that symbolizes the overlapping spheres of home, work, and politics in Laser’s political cosmology. This piece is informed by the corporate consulting firm Insights Discovery, which offers a Jungian personality test to categorize workers into four psychometric “color energies” that facilitate seamless communication for an efficient workplace. The choreographies were developed with dancers and movement therapists specialized in Body-Mind Centering and shamanic dance practices. Laser’s somatic diagnostics refer to specific political moments such as Trump and Macron’s prolonged handshake (Paris, 2018). The live interactive iteration of Handle / Poignée was staged daily in the lobby of the Centre Pompidou, where museum-goers took Laser’s “personality test” and participated in movement therapy treatments.


Liz Magic Laser (b. 1981, New York) is a multimedia video and performance based artist from New York City. Her work intervenes in semi-public spaces such as bank vestibules, movie theaters and newsrooms, involving collaborations with actors, surgeons, political strategists and motorcycle gang members. Her recent work explores the efficacy of new age techniques and psychological methods active in both corporate culture and political movements. Laser’s work has been shown at venues such as Kunsthalle Baden- Baden (2019); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2018); Metro Pictures, New York (2018) Malmö Konsthall, Sweden (2017); the Swiss Institute (2016); the Whitney Museum of American Art (2015); Nam June Paik Art Center, South Korea (2014); Lisson Gallery, London (2013); Performa 11 Biennial, New York (2011); and MoMA PS1, New York (2010). She has had solo exhibitions at CAC Brétigny, France (2017); Jupiter Artland Foundation, Scotland (2017); Kunstverein Göttingen, Germany (2016); Mercer Union, Toronto (2015); Wilfried Lentz, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2015); Paula Cooper Gallery, New York (2013) the Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster, Germany (2013); and Mälmo Konsthall, Malmö, Sweden (2012) among other places. The artist’s work is in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Museum, and Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Liz Magic Laser lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

This is the artist’s fourth exhibition with Various Small Fires.

리즈 매직 레이저
2020년 2월 1일 – 2020년 3월 28일
서울특별시 용산구 독서당로 79

베리어스 스몰 파이어스 (Various Small Fires) 갤러리는 리즈 매직 레이저의 아시아 첫 번째 개인전을 개최한다. 리즈 매직 레이저 (1981년 뉴욕 태생)는 뉴욕에 기반을 둔 멀티미디어 비디오 및 퍼포먼스 예술가이다. 레이저는 배우, 외과 의사, 정치 전략가, 오토바이 갱단과 같이 작업하는데, 이들과 함께 은행, 영화관 및 뉴스룸과 같은 준 공공 장소에 개입한다. 그녀의 최근 연구는 기업 문화와 정치 운동 모두에서 새로운 시대 기술과 심리적 방법의 효과를 탐구하는 것이다. 레이저의 작품들은 독일 쿤스트할레 바덴 (2019); 파리 퐁피두 센터 (2018); 뉴욕 메트로 픽쳐스 (2018); 스웨덴 말뫼 콘스탈 (2017); 뉴욕 스위스 인스티튜트 (2016); 뉴욕 휘트니 미술관 (2015); 백남준 아트센터 (2014); 런던 리손 갤러리 (2013); 뉴욕의 퍼포마 11 (2011); 뉴욕 MoMA PS1 (2010) 등에서 전시했다. 레이저는 프랑스 CAC 브리타니 (2017); 스코틀랜드 주피터 아트랜드 재단 (2017); 독일 쿤스트베어라인 괴팅겐 (2016); 토론토 메르셀 유니온 (2015); 네덜란드 로테르담 빌프라이드 렌츠 (2015); VSF 로스앤젤레스 (2015); 뉴욕 폴라 쿠퍼 갤러리 (2013); 독일 뮌스터 베스트팔렌 쿤스트베어라인 (2013); 스웨덴 말뫼 콘스탈 (2012) 등에서 개인전을 개최했다. 레이저의 작업은 미국 휘트니 미술관, 스미스소니언 미술관 그리고 샌디에고 현대미술관 소장품에 속해있다.

레이저는 미국 뉴욕에서 작업하며 거주하고 있다. 본 전시는 VSF와 함께하는 네 번째 전시이다.