Devouring Chaos: A Compositional Model It seems reasonable to suppose that the process of sculpting is an activity that produces order out of chaos. It might also be taking some central unexplained fact as a starting point. Suppose then that this fact is the concept of chaos itself. By convention or convenience, chaos arrives cloaked as disorder. Blame the mischief of everyday language. In contrast, scientific communities study chaos as a type of order, an unstable order in which temporal sequences form complex patterns. Chaos thus forms the condition for structure and coherence, and should not be confused with a proxy for randomness. It should also not be misconstrued as a simple explanation to understand Yein Lee’s exhibition Devouring Chaos. You must know that to explain means ‘to flatten’, and surely, there are times in which making things plain is necessary and desired, but this is not that kind of moment. Instead, consider this: We hold these truths to be evident, that empire has instituted on earth a diagram of destruction, amongst which the main dimensions are wreck, ruin, and great loss.—That forms of government have become corrupted of their ends by means, and the right of people to alter them, to institute new government, systematically undermined.—That a long train of abuses and usurpation have inscribed themselves in such a way to topple the guards of the future enrichment of life. The alien observer would say, ‘The oil guzzlers and penicillin gobblers live in a society in which greed has become rational creed.’ Aliens speak in rhymes because they believe in mobilising poetry rather than science fiction to enter the digestive system of the ruling class of fast-food brains. Chew. Then Swallow. (Everything that happens after becomes automatic.) The poiesis of Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, No.2 is that it flattens different moments in time onto one single canvas. Composed of distinct body parts, and nested, geometric elements, the painting orchestrates the dynamics of a moving figure as rhythmic score. Stripped bare of its final form, one could tentatively hold as its essence a photograph of stroboscopic motion, or read it as a cinematic effect absorbed by the medium of oil. If you’re tempted to replicate this analysis to understand Devouring Chaos—or you’ve lost yourself somewhere along the blinking nodes of the prismatic, multi-limbed figure, organs assembled from broken machines (a mixer, a chainsaw motor), dried branches and synthetic flowers—then you might pass up the chance to grasp a phenomenon as it surpasses the sum of its parts. This cinematic technique is also known as ellipsis; the plot of destructive creation is mistaken for that of creative destruction, and destruction has been omitted as a normal cost of doing business. The gear shifters never asked, ‘When the system comes undone, will it be for better or for worse?’ Muscle memory. (The muscle behind contracts and squeezes forward, while the muscle in front relaxes to allow movement.) If you can reproduce cinematic effects through painting, you can also achieve painterly gestures through the process of sculpting. Watch veins protrude from steel, bloodshot, airbrushed, glistening alloys. Notice how they’re not products of brushstrokes but the aftermath of lightning shocks sent through metal. Instead of joining two pieces of cooperative materials, you’re witnessing a shared sensorium with otherworldly existence, how time has been folded into matter. It knows, what you’ve known all along, but have been misled to disbelieve: There have always been alternatives. (Psst, they exist in real-time). And in this mathematics of montage you’ll find poetry produced from reality: Look at that! The last order of chaos A figure merging into itself Time arrested and time passing Why does the flap of a seagull’s wings Alter the weather forever They show the bones They hide their weapons; stand corrected Numbers found nothing like the old ones With rounded-off values entered into the system Neat remains, irreversible, enraged There lies the portrait of all ruin And so the death of a butterfly Travels as the sound of thunder Life is full of changes The rest is found in motion Life is full of changes You just need to ride with it Text by Steph Holl-Trieu - Yein Lee (b. 1988, S.Korea) lives and works in Vienna. After studying visual arts in Seoul, she continued her education in painting and sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Her practice combines elements of technology, physical organisms, and fantastic conceptions to create hybrid visions of the bodily realm. Investigating relations of social dissonance in her extended surroundings, found objects are combined with casted pieces and painterly gestural liveness. She creates a field of discussion by targeting the complexities of societal behaviour. Her work has recently been presented in group exhibitions at the Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris; Schinkel Pavilion in Berlin, Belvedere 21, Kunstraum Niederösterreich, Vienna; among others.