Minjae Lee Solo Unfirnished

22 June 2024 - 19 July 2024

We are starting the somewhat shortened 2024 season with a solo exhibition by Minjae Lee entitled Unfurnished. Inspired by Vito Acconci's legendary 1972 performance Seedbed in New York, the newly honored winner of the City of Munich's Visual Arts Award is showing a long-cherished dream project at apartment der kunst.

An unfurnished apartment. An empty room that you enter. You can see a new wooden floor, raised by 19 cm, with a door and a few of the artist's toes still protruding through the floor under which he is standing. In the anteroom, a monitor on which Minjae's face can be seen through a night-vision camera.

Only the footsteps of the visitors and Minjae's heartbeat can be heard.

19 cm. The height of Minjae Lee's ribcage.

The architectural intervention of the newly installed second floor in the apartment der kunst creates two rooms. One downstairs, which offers the artist protection, but at the same time exposes him to a strong lack of protection in its claustrophobic narrowness. And an upper room in which the audience can supposedly move freely.
Minjae Lee understands better than almost any other artist of his generation how to work on and with psychological experiences that many people in this day and age have experienced themselves on different personal levels, but which are nevertheless tabooed or at least largely suppressed on a broad social level and therefore affect us so directly.

Fear, the feeling of being at the mercy of others, protection and defencelessness, depression, homelessness, isolation, feelings of helplessness, powerlessness and power.

In the emotional space into which the artist invites us here during his performance, he is very present on a meta-level, although he is almost invisible on a physical level. What happens to and within the recipient in this situation? First of all, it is an offer and also a challenge to engage with it.

Minjae herself says: "Many of my works are about something invisible. It becomes perceptible for a brief moment, but then disappears again. My/our own fears are the same.
When fears are layered on top of each other for a long time, they no longer have a clear shape. They begin to blur and you no longer know where they originally came from.
It is no longer possible to say exactly what they are - but they exist, undoubtedly - only perhaps without being afraid. Fear of fear or fear without fear. - I tell myself: You don't need to be afraid. You don't need to be afraid anymore.
This reflects a compulsion of society. Because society implicitly wants to suppress an individual's fear without showing it to the outside world. My work is, among other things, an attempt to make this perceptible."
Lars Koepsel